Seminal debut LP from Manchester indie Gods
I got into The Stone Roses after they'd split up, so I'm a late-comer. I think it was around 1997 that I first heard Waterfall and wondered if I'd heard anything so amazingly melodic in my life. Released in 1989 on Silvertone Records (ORE LP 502) it wowed fans and critics alike and is consistently featured high up in those 'albums of all time' lists. The NME even said it was the greatest British album of all time. Praise indeed. It was the pinnacle of the Madchester scene and the start of Britpop. It was recorded by John Leckie who had previously worked with Pink Floyd on Meddle.
Holding this album together is the wonder Marr-inspired guitar work of John Squire, who also designed the cover as he did with the majority of Roses releases. 7 singles in all were released from this album in a little over three years – the last being the stunning 'I Am The Resurrection'. Each song is bliss; opener 'I Wanna Be Adored' fades in but is instantly recognisable by Mani's bass line, shortly joined by Squire's (pentatonic) scaled guitar. Drums follow and singer Ian Brown's almost hushed lyrics build the song to it's climax. 'She Bangs The Drums' (overplayed in my opinion) and the sublime 'Waterfall' follow with 'Don't Stop' and 'Bye Bye Badman'. 'Bye Bye Badman' is also the name of the Jackson Pollock-inspired cover art and is influenced by Parisian riots in the late 60s. The riots are also the subject matter of the song 'Bye Bye Badman'.
Side 2 starts with the Beatles-esque 'Elizabeth My Dear'. The remainder of the record is of the same high quality as previous. 'Made of Stone' and the aforementioned 'I Am The Resurrection' are two of the finest crafted songs of the last 30 years.
Is yours a first pressing?
This copy is the first repress of the album – the first pressing is easily identifiable by gold raised lettering on the cover. The repress has a 'flat' cover. There's no difference in the inner sleeve. One side has another John Squire painting on – 'Waterfall' and the reverse has a few black and white pics of each band member. My favourite of these is the extreme bottom-right image – Squire's playing the guitar but has a very attentive onlooker peering over his shoulder looking at how Squire is playing whatever song he's playing!
The labels are cream with red text on the repress, whereas the first issue has one black label and one with a close-up of the 'Waterfall' image from the inner sleeve. The catalogue number, barcode and matrixes are the same between these two pressings.
You can pick up a copy of this LP for a sub-£20 quite easily if you're patient. It should, no, needs to be in your collection.
- I Wanna Be Adored
- She Bangs The Drums
- Don't Stop
- Bye Bye Badman
- Elizabeth My Dear
- (Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister
- Made Of Stone
- Shoot You Down
- This Is The One
- I Am The Resurrection
Side 1 – ORE LP 502 A2
Side 2 – ORE LP 502 B2