By now you know the story. Take four lads from Manchester in the mid '80s, the early gigs competing with Primal Scream for dominance, that epic John Leckie produced self-titled with guitarist John Squire's Pollock influenced album cover, the Hacienda, Spike Island, the 4 year reclusion, the let-down of Second Coming and subsequent split. So here we are in 2011 and according to reports from Ian Brown via the NME, the reunion is “happening.”
We explore what this means some 15 years after the split after countless Ian Brown solos, lager can bludgeoning at the Great American Music Hall in SF, a well publicized beef with guitarist John Squire, and bassist Manny “Mani” Mounfield partying it up with the Primals in the meantime. Let us look at what a series of unrelated artists do to alter the legacy of the Roses' catelogue for better or for worse.
Lightouts – “Here It Comes”
Lightouts create a dedicated cover, keeping the vibe psychedelic while zeroing in on the buzz-saw guitars that are rattling against the same flanger that made the Byrds' “Wasn't Born to Follow” more than just a song from the Easy Rider for the baby-boomer crowd to get nostalgic over. You know, like that time Uncle Nathan and his buddies decided to take spoonfuls of nutmeg while listening to Cheech and Chong's The Wedding Album.
The Raveonettes – “I Wanna Be Adored”
Like that airy opening of the original, the Raveonettes keep that vibe going throughout their entire cover. The big attraction here is the Sharin Foos vocal replacing Ian's, like hearing the Ronnie Spector's original of “Try Some, Buy Some” after being weened on the George Harrison version your entire life.
Badly Drawn Boy – “I Wanna Be Adored”
BDB's Damon Gough plays out the gentler side of “I Wanna Be Adored” with an acoustic strumming of strings. Periodic electric guitar punctuates moments of the cover while permeating the entire track but never take away from Gough's acoustic rendering.
Death Cab For Cutie – “I Wanna Be Adored” (Live)
Long before Death Cab was a staple band, played in excess on your stepmom's stereo, they too just wanted to be adored. While Benny Gibbs has now taken his group to household-name-festival-headlining old pro status, he used to be another buzz band playing at Seattle's Breakroom back when Y2K was the biggest threat anyone could think of.
Litmus – “Waterfall”
At last, “Waterfall” set to strings! Almost like that Terry Edwards Plays The Music Of Jim & William Reid but not. Thank you for that, Litmus.
Codeine Velvet Club – “I Am The Resurrection”
“I am the Resurrection” is given the big-band treatment by Codeine Velvet Club with enthusiastic vocals. The jury is still out whether or not the brass send-up section toward the end is warranted, earned, or necessary; the tribute works and thrives on their jubilation for their baggy fitted heroes.
Wheedle's Groove – “Fool's Gold”
Wheedle's Groove injects some serious soul into the classic dance foor masher, “Fool's Gold.” Pastor Pat Wright and the Total Experience Gospel Choir give the track a groove that is steeped in heavy Hammond organ and a revival tent style that would have blown the doors off the Hacienda quicker than an X deal gone wrong.
Scott Weiland – “I Am The Resurrection”
This has been included to sober you up to the unfortunate reality of reunions, seeing the fabled legends some umpteenth years after paying homage to the oldies. When it comes to SR, we're thinking positive. But then, here's a counterweight: the Stoned Temple Pilot himself blundering his way into a half-awake rendition of “I am the Resurrection.” All eyes now are on the Roses' world tour and we're mad for it; sort of.