As word gets round that The Stone Roses are to split again, it takes me back to when The Stone Roses was regularly topping bestest album of all time polls in the NME and elsewhere, I would nod sagely: this was it, we’d found a winner, the album to end all albums, no need for a recount, no need to run this poll again thank you.
It might have occurred to me that it wouldn’t last forever, that something would come along and oust The Stone Roses, or that - forfend! - tastes would change, but I might not have considered it for too long from inside my cosy bubble. I was indie forever.
Then came the legal disputes, and - worse - Second Coming. Lead single Love Spreads was a canny move, allowing The Stone Roses to say they hadn’t lost it during their years of legally enforceable silence, but its groove was an illusion: opening track Breaking into Heaven illustrates most of what was wrong with the album, taking over eleven minutes to deliver one sumptuous chorus melody. The rest of it is solidly rocky, but all too often uninspiring. Only How Do You Sleep really harks back to the infinitely superior debut, and even then only by demonstrating what a remarkable moment of creative coalescence that first album was.
The Stone Roses are one of those groups that even though I rarely listen to them, will always be a welcome sound on the radio, in the pub, in the club(!), wherever. I Wanna Be Adored will always be one of the most glorious statements of intent made by any band at any time: as a song it’s irresistibly cool, perfectly pitched to squeeze maximum swagger out of lead singer Ian Brown, while John Squire on lead guitar quietly goes about his business with the riffs and twiddles.