Eight Stone Roses songs you need to listen to

Friday 09 February 2024 15:39

The new United x adidas x Stone Roses collection has one of Manchester's most famous bands on everyone's lips yet again.

The four-piece might have released their most recent album way back in 1994, but they continue to inspire obsessive fandom from music enthusiasts across the world.

But if you don't know any of the Roses' amazing tracks, or what makes them so special, what are you waiting for?

Their music is freely available on streaming services – including the classic self-titled 1989 debut album – so we recommend you dive right in. To start you off, here are five of our favourite tunes, plus three deeper cuts that perhaps do not get the praise they deserve...

Who are the Stone Roses?


Unfamiliar with one of Manchester's most iconic bands and their association with United? Here's an explainer.

“I have loads of favourite Stone Roses songs, but the one that means most to me is Sally Cinnamon; it’s the first Roses song I ever heard and the one that got me hooked. A lad way more into his music than me, and who modelled his hairstyle and dress sense on Morrissey, played it one wet playtime at secondary school. I pretended to recognise it, said that, of course, I was intending to buy their forthcoming album, and that I definitely knew some of the band were United fans. <cringe> The track evokes memories of my late teens, one particularly eventful camping trip to Barmouth, Wales in 1989, and was my entry point to arguably the world’s coolest ever band. The relevance to MUFC? One lyric from this song – ‘Sent to me from heaven’ – can still be spotted on United tricolour flags wherever the team play.”
Paul Davies, United Review Editor
“Every great album needs a superb sophomore song to keep you hooked and She Bangs the Drums is, in my opinion, one of the very best. Despite being released three years before I was born, this record perfectly encapsulates my formative years, bopping away until the early hours in sweat-filled indie clubs. The lyrics – ‘I can feel the earth begin to move’, ‘the past was yours but the future’s mine’ - made teenage me feel like the world was there for the taking, while John Squire’s outro riff, which gradually fades out over the course of 30 joyous seconds, takes the euphoric feeling to another dimension. Squire himself summed it up succinctly enough: ‘She Bangs the Drums is about those brief moments when everything comes together. Like staying up till dawn and watching the sun rise with somebody you love. And then regretting it bitterly.’ ”
Sam Carney, Deputy App Editor
I Am the Resurrection is the final track on the Stone Roses’ debut album and it’s an epic. The full version lasts over eight minutes and there’s something about it that sums up the confidence, well arrogance, of the band and Ian Brown, in belting out those evocative lyrics. I particularly like the bombastic start though, and the way there is a such a long intro as the pace builds and you’re left waiting for the chorus, which feels like it could have been inserted earlier. John Squire’s amazing guitar skills are really shown off and it seems like nobody ever wants the song to end!”
Adam Marshall, Contributing Editor
Roses are Red Video

Roses are Red

Discover the story behind 'This Is The One', United's iconic stadium walk-out song by The Stone Roses...

“I had a ticket for Spike Island, the Stone Roses’ legendary gig of May 1990, with a busload of ravers from my hometown in Scotland primed for the gig of our lives. I also had a trip booked to follow Scotland at Italia '90 a few weeks later, so being a skint youngster, something had to give and sadly I sold my ticket to the gig. The reports that came back from the gig were mixed, but there’s no doubt that just ‘being there’ in that weird industrial wasteland near Widnes was a generational moment. By that early summer of 1990, the songs from that debut album had already been burned into our soul, and returning to them 34 years later, they still sound as fresh and relevant as ever. There really isn’t a duff song on the record, but one that has stuck with me is (Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister… in true Roses style, it starts off with simple melodies and quickly pivots to an absolute banger of a chorus that shimmers with psychedelic menace and has been bellowed from indie disco dancefloors up and down the country for the last three decades.”
Ian McLeish, Editor-in-Chief


“Despite not being old enough to recall memories of the 'Madchester' scene, my love for the Roses stems from my mum's influence. Often heard blasting at family parties from a young age, it is a homage to how influential Ian, John, Mani and Reni are that they can have such an effect on people, no matter their age. Bye Bye Badman typifies that rebellious teenage attitude we all had as 17 or 18-year-olds and the softly spoken melodies that begin the track are a staple of almost every Roses tune from that debut album. It will always hold a place dear inside of me and is one of those songs you cannot stand still to, remaining a timeless classic some 35 years after its very release.”

Matt Holt, Freelance Journalist


What's this? ManUtd.com bigging up Merseyside? Not quite. Not everyone realises that the River Mersey does pass through Manchester before it reaches Liverpool, but indeed it does. This piece of perfect guitar pop is all about dreaming of escape, but you don't need to understand its lyrical content to enjoy. Just listen to that chorus, those joyous guitar riffs and the sound of a band racing through its imperial phase...


The Roses' second album is somewhat overlooked, which is perhaps understandable, given the otherworldly perfection of their 1989 debut. But The Second Coming has plenty that deserves your attention, starting with the opening song, a sinisterly funky 11-minute snake of a tune that shows Mani (bass) and Reni (drums) at their very best. It doesn't really kick in until the fifth minute, but it's worth the wait...


If you weren't lucky enough to experience the manic, madness of the Manchester clubbing scene in the early '90s, I reckon this is as close as you'll get to feeling it. It's not a dance track, per se, but it's a pretty amazing attempt at one from a few lads with some guitars and drums, with battering percussion, six-strings that sound like fighter jets and paranoid gospel-style backing vocals. Just amazing, and way ahead of its time.