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The Stone Roses

When Manchester's Stone Roses released their eponymous debut album in 1989, British youth were abandoning rock music en masse for acid-house sounds and communal raves. Without resorting to dance beats, Stone Roses effortlessly tapped into this cultural sea-change and almost single-handedly made British rock music hip again. Stone Roses remains forever faultless. The dreamlike opener, "I Wanna Be Adored," and the enthralling conclusion, "I Am the Resurrection," ultimately caused a plague of overconfident Brit youth declaring similar greatness, but coming from the Roses' Jagger-like vocalist Ian Brown, such claims were temporarily justified. Gifted guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani, and drummer Reni all helped set a musical agenda of classic psychedelia married with punk energy and rave swagger, a sound at its best on the pop anthems "She Bangs the Drums" and "Made of Stone," the backward-guitar riffing "Don't Stop," and the raucous "This Is the One." A post-album single, the lengthy and funky "Fool's Gold," was added to later American pressings of Stone Roses and then that was it: the group got famous, became embroiled in law suits, and reemerged only in 1995, with the stodgy and wrongly titled Second Coming. The Stone Roses, however, remains a stellar contribution to the canon of classic debuts. Tony Fletcher

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