This September sees the twentieth anniversary of the NME's favourite ever album, ‘The Stone Roses'. It will also see the release of various box sets and extended versions to mark this anniversary.

Prior to this the band have had reissued as seven inch vinyl releases all five of the singles they put on the Silvertone label between 1988 and 1990. The first, ‘Elephant Stone’, comes with a box to hold the singles and a new artwork set of prints for each of the five records. None of these are especially cheap. The ‘Elephant Stone’ box set is £10 while the other four singles, ‘Made of Stone’, ‘She Bangs the Drums’, ‘Fools Gold’ and ‘One Love’, are each £5. Only ‘Fools Gold’ is being given a CDS release at a more reasonable £2.

Before they signed to Silvertone , the Stone Roses put out two other singles, 1987’s ‘So Young’, which only came out on twelve inch, and 1988’s classic ‘Sally Cinnamon’, both of which are not included here.

‘Elephant Stone’ was produced by New Order's Peter Hook. Here it sounds a little too fast and quite odd. At the time the band were still finding their feet in the early days of psychedelic dance and “baggy” music. ‘Elephant Stone’ sounds like the Byrds on speed playing the Beatles’ ‘Rubber Soul’. Its B side, ‘The Hardest Thing in the World’, is a jangly Rickenbacker pop number and has a honey-soaked vocal from the young Ian Brown over its top.

‘Made of Stone’ is from its first note a muso's prayer. Another jangly Rickenbacker number, it is a perfect record and a song that makes you want to get up and move your feet too. Its B side, 'Going Down', is much softer, a joyful Sunday Morning coming down track.

'She Bangs the Drums', if it is pssoible, improves on the greatness of 'Made of Stone'. It is a song that makes you celebrate life and all that's in it. It is total guitar heaven. 'Standing Here', its B side, starts off with a wild guitar solo, which has signs of where lead guitarist John Squire would later head towards on their second album, 1994's 'The Second Coming'. The guitar sounds here are more in the vein of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Ian Brown's vocal is slow and seductive, while the baggy grooves let you float into a world of summertime smiles and sunshine.

'Fools Gold' was a massive song, which completely outhone everything else the band had done in the past. It is dance-flavoured baggy psychedelic heaven and full of deep funky 70s grooves.

'One Love' was the Stone Roses' last single on Silvertone. It carries on from where 'Fools Gold' left off, and is very guitar heavy with big grooves, while its B side, 'Something's Burning', is a graceful lightweight chill out number.

















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