We’ve all had that one album that you listen to and, as soon as the needle drops, you know that your life will never be the same again. That incredible moment happened for Oasis singer Liam Gallagher when he heard The Stone Roses self-titled debut.
Speaking with Vinyl Writers, the mouthpiece of every band he’s ever been in, Liam Gallagher showed off just how remarkably important the Manchester legends were to the ream of Britpop acts that sprung up after their arrival.
Manchester’s music scene wouldn’t be the same without Liam Gallagher and we’re pretty certain that LG wouldn’t be here in the spotlight without one band. No, not Oasis, but Ian Brown’s baggy pre-cursor to Britpop, The Stone Roses.
It was a band that Liam Gallagher, the youngest brother of three, could finally claim for his own: “My older brothers were ahead of me with The Jam, but I was the one who discovered the Stone Roses. Hell knows what would have become of me without this record. It’s not only the soundtrack of my youth, it is my youth: beautiful, sun-kissed pop songs with guitars.”
The album is seen as a seminal moment not only in Gallagher’s life but in Manchester’s music scene and, arguably, the pop culture of Britain. The band represented a carefree casualness that had been missing from the music scene. When the album arrived, it came as a breath of fresh air.
Gallagher remembers the moment it arrived: “The Stone Roses was released in spring, but I can still remember the unusually beautiful weather we had in England at the time. That fit because there couldn’t be a better summer album. Of course, the album also got promoted cleverly.
“Even when nobody had heard it yet, everyone was talking about the Stone Roses and their drummer, who was supposed to be superb and looked like an alien.”
The album became the anthem for the disaffected youth of Britain. While America was getting deep into the noise of heavy rock, England was looking for an escape and they were using whatever they could to do it.
Liam Gallagher was part of that very same disaffected youth: “At parties it was always the same back then: I arrived, walked straight to the turntable, pulled down whatever record was spinning and put on The Stone Roses. Then my friends and I formed a semicircle around the turntable, we allowed nobody to get too close to it, and whoever wanted to put on another album got into trouble.”
“That might have been a bit rigorous, but you have to keep in mind that everything else sounded shit back then. I know I always say that, but that’s how it was.” We’re not sure Gallagher has ever thought much of any other music that wasn’t his, The Beatle or The Stone Roses “I’ve always seen things black and white. The Smiths? Sounded perfumed to me. But then the Stones came and everything changed.”
The album remains a bastion of British culture. Perhaps the last truly organic explosion of a youth movement, there’s no doubt that The Stone Roses is a seminal moment in all our lives.