The Stone Roses

The Complete Stone Roses [Video]

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Having lost the Stone Roses to Geffen in 1991, Silvertone Records inevitably proceeded to milk its relationship with the band. As well as several albums, featuring everything from B-sides to previously unreleased session tracks, Silvertone threw together this assortment of video materials. The Complete Stone Roses contains a documentary-style overview of the band's Silvertone career -- assembled from interviews, television appearances, home movies, and promotional videos -- followed by a 1989 concert at Blackpool's Empress Ballroom. Along with the 1990 Spike Island show, the Blackpool gig is often cited as a legendary event that showcased a band poised for world domination; however, the performance featured here, while strong, doesn't entirely support such mythmaking. The chronicle of the band's Silvertone years makes for more interesting viewing, although it's patchy and marred by a gushing narrator who spouts ready-made nostalgia. In interview snippets, Ian Brown and John Squire embody the cool aloofness and arrogance that were an undeniable part of the Stone Roses' attraction and that permeated their music. The band never lacked self-belief and this is (comically) captured in their first live television appearance, interrupted by a power outage: as the presenter struggles to take control, Brown stands behind her shouting, "amateurs!" But the attitude was always backed up by the music; that's confirmed here by excellent videos for two of the band's greatest songs, "Fools Gold" and "One Love." A mimed performance of "Fools Gold" from Top of the Pops is also priceless: even lip-synching on Britain's infamously tacky chart show, the Stone Roses look like legends. This release may be part of Silvertone's plan to cash in, and it may be inconsistent, but it offers a rare visual document of the Manchester group whose blend of guitars and dance grooves inspired a generation of British indie bands.

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