The title's a bit of a misnomer. The Complete Stone Roses concentrates on the band's first album, compiling the A- and B-sides of the group's hits from "Elephant Stone" to "One Love." In addition to the familiar material, the disc includes rare, early singles like "So Young" and "Sally Cinnamon" for the first time on compact disc, giving their classic material some context. The loud guitars of "So Young" are clearly the work of a hesitant band, while "Sally Cinnamon" is the first indication of John Squire's gift for ringing, melodic guitar hooks. However, their inclusion -- as well as the appearance of the B-sides, which lack the consistent brilliance of "I Wanna Be Adored," "She Bangs the Drums," "Elephant Stone," "Waterfall," etc. -- make The Complete Stone Roses a flawed introduction to the band. Nevertheless, there's a fair amount of classic pop here, and the rarities are necessary for dedicated fans.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine