the top 5 Stone Roses ‘b’ sides
All Across The Sands
Great bands have great B-sides and its about fair to say The Stone Roses have released some of the best hidden gems of any British band, if you count Fools Gold as an out-right B-side then they probably released the greatest ever.
Along with other bands like The Smiths the roses knew the value of putting quality B-sides out, as did the Clash before them so marking the moment when group found and released that bubble gummed melody of Sally Cinnamon, they also backed it with some thing just as beautiful in ‘All Across The Sands’, with its kinda Beach Boy vocal and heartbreak/bluesy lyrics it could be seen as an early attempt at something like ‘Made Of Stone’ that came a year later, Reni’s backing vocals and Squires emotive solo make it an early roses b-side favourite.
Starting with that sun kissed opening solo to the loved-up chorus all the way to its dreamy ending ‘Standing Here’ has to go down as one of thee greatest Stone Roses B-sides. It almost lazily skips along to some of Ian Browns best ever lyrics topped with a chorus you just can’t help singing along with, its love song with attitude as Ian states he could “park a Juggernaut in your mouth” like only he can, and still get away with it.
Reni’s drumming steals the show and as the live video below from Finland 1990 shows the track steps up a few gears live with John’s guitar sounding so good, I wouldn’t think they’d be too many complaints if they fired into this on tour this summer. released in July 89 playing support to its A-side ‘She Bangs the Drums’ Standing Here wouldn’t of stood out of place on the album, but instead its another total gem of a B-side and easily one of their best.
Coming off the back of ‘One Love’ in July 1990, Somethings Burning is probably the singles real highlight. Its dark but soulful rhythm, almost jazz like offers an alternative to the all out big chorused One Love with its minute long spaced-out intro and Ian Browns vocal sly’in in with the cocksure opener “don’t count your chickens because there never gonno hatch” catches them at their sneering best.
Whats it all about?…haven’t a clue but I’m guessing its title refers to something in the air and ‘getting on it’, what ever ‘it’ is its all very cool, understated and full of foresight. Ian’s ‘in the know’ lyrics whispered in the verses followed up with the question “what you gonno do with the rest of your life” almost rings out like a call to all the bedsit stoners to get up and do something, backed by Mani’s bobbing/weaving bass and Reni’s trance’d out jazz shuffle its classic roses with the band in creative over-drive, stretching the dance/rock sound they’d found with the use of backward loops, together with John Squires guitar work makes it a low-key roses classic.
Where Angles Play
An invite from Ian Brown to join him some place no eyes have ever seen is one that cant be refused and again shows the bands awareness for great openers, taken from I Wanna be Adored ‘Where Angles Play’ is a B-side that became a firm favourite successfully making the groups set list, its another twisted love song as Ian turns it around by letting you know he “doesn’t need you now” and like Standing Here, Waterfall, Shoot you Down and other songs from that period that last minute or so is the band jamming, pure gold, as shown from Blackpool-89.
From the 1994 ‘Love Spreads’ 12″ ‘Groover Harder’ may not be one of the most obvious of standout Stone Roses B-sides but for just over 4 minutes it combines the Led-Zep influence of The Second Coming with what they had done previously with instrumentals like the magical run through at the end of ‘Resurrection’ with John Squire up front in full throttle and the “greatest rhythm section off this rock” as Ian Brown christened them, right behind him.
Maybe not as well known as their other releases it stands up all the same, what would it sound like live?…probably awesome.