The Stone Roses’ association with the ‘Madchester’ scene and the larger than life presence of frontman Ian Brown make it easy to forget just how technically accomplished musicians they were. The mercurial John Squire gave the Roses an edge over their counterparts and his prowess shines through no greater than on the impeccable ‘Love Spreads’ — which sounds even better when his guitar is isolated.
After five years in the wilderness following the release of their faultless debut album which resulted in a vicious legal dispute with their record label, The Stone Roses then returned with a bang in the form of ‘Love Spreads’. The track has been described by Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream “as the greatest comeback single ever” and it’s hard to disagree.
For their big ‘comeback interview’, the Mancunian legends chose to do an exclusive interview with The Big Issue because they knew whomever they spoke to would make a significant profit. “Somebody’s going to make money off us coming back, so it was the best thing to do,” said lead singer Ian Brown. “The last time the NME had us on the cover it was one of the biggest selling issues of the year. We’d rather the money went to helping the homeless than into the coffers of a big organisation like IPC. We thought let’s put something back. If somebody gets a house just by the four of us talking then it’s got to be worth it. It works better for us as well because it’s away from the music press.”
‘Love Spreads’ was more of a classic rock anthem than anything that the Roses had done before and saw them shock the world with this left-field track that instantly became a classic. “There’s still a lot more room for improvement,” said Mani in the same interview. “We’re heading in the right direction. I’ve learned that part of the secret is opening yourself up to new types of music, not being so blinkered. I never listened to Hendrix or Zeppelin until much later on in life.”
That classic rock influence of artists like Hendrix or Led Zeppelin shines through on ‘Love Spreads’ which is largely thanks to John Squire’s killer guitar skills that was The Stone Roses’ special ingredient. Listening to it isolated is nothing short of magical, check it out for yourself below.