The Stone Roses


Music has for close to fifty years been a key component of the jigsaw of my life. I have loved music since I was a child captured by the exotica associated with some fine recording artists including Three Bob’s, Dylan – see my earlier post here – Bob Dylan  – Marley and Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, The Eagles, The Doors, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones and Tom Waits.

In later years, and for the best part of quarter of a century, I earned my living in the Law, specifically Music Law representing some fascinating entrepreneurs, vagabonds and minstrels. It paid the bills and kept my music opiates topped up. I met some truly extraordinary people, who often lived complicated but wonderful lives devoted to engaging and entertaining others. Equally, I have met a fair proportion of consummate egoists, disinterested in those who don’t pander to them.

Simply put, music talks to my soul. It evokes memories. It causes the recall of sights, sounds and emotions.

Asked for my favourite song – that’s easy – U2’s “One”. I can rarely listen that complete wonder of a composition without tears in my eyes.

My favourite – what we used to call “Album” – being a collection of several songs that the artist (or their record company) has deliberately chosen to join together in some overall theme, concept or message. Honestly, again, that’s an easy one, the 1989 iconic debut album of the Manchester band “The Stone Roses” is simply one of the most complete and luxuriously beautiful bodies of work ever collected onto a 12” vinyl record, 4” digital CD or stream.

Depending on the format and country of release, “The Stone Roses” comprises a minimum of 12 recording that lasso a time, a mood and a vibe of the UK pre-BritPop explosion of the early 1990’s. Along with fellow Manc, The Happy Mondays, this album defined an era and is the soundtrack to the lives of me and many of my contemporaries.

Ian Brown (vocals) and John Squire (guitars) who had known each other from Altrincham Grammar School For Boys – somewhere I often played rugby on Saturday mornings in the late 1970’s – formed and disbanded several bands prior to being joined by Gary “Mani” Mounfield (bass) and Alan John “Reni” Wren (drums) to form The Stone Roses (Squire’s name), a guitar indi-rock band that sprung from the vibrant Madchester scene of the UK’s second city.


Having composed and recorded songs for a demo, the band sent out 100 demo cassettes that featured the artwork of Squire, a very talented fine artist. This was followed by touring, further production and the release of some tracks to little commercial effect.

In August 1988 the band played Dingwalls in London in the presence of A&R representatives from South African owned label, Zomba and Geoff Travis one of the founders of the seminal indie, Rough Trade.

Rough Trade paid for some studio time and suggested Peter Hook bassist with New Order as a potential producer, when Hook was unavailable, Geoff suggested John Leckie a former Abbey Road award winning producer with an amazing production pedigree including Pink Floyd, XTC and Radiohead. The Stone Rose were signed to Zomba by Roddy McKenna and appeared on Andrew Lauder and Andy Richmond’s  Silvertone inprint. Rough Trade sold their tapes of “Elephant Stone” to Zomba.

Singles from the eponymous album were released in early 1989 and drew the attention of the all important Radio One. The Album, with John Squire/Jackson Pollock inspired artwork, was released on 2nd May 1989, went on to win the NME Reader’s Poll for Best Album of the Year. The Album is certified in the UK as triple platinum, notching sales in excess of 900,000 units.

To add a copy of The Stone Roses to your collection – click the link below the image:


The Stone Roses (20th Anniversary Legacy Edition)

Images used with grateful thanks – Sony Music and Ian Tilton/NME

If you like this post please “Like” and share it with your friends and colleagues. We’d really like to hear of your experiences of the products/subjects featured in this post. please share them below in the “Leave a Reply” section. Thanks

Sonos ZonePlayer by Dominic Baker

Sonos 3

The week Aestheticons regular, Dominic Baker, brings us a modern design icon in the guise of the wireless driven player and surround sound system, Sonos.

With the ever changing landscape of the music industry, there needed to be a device that could keep up with the current trends, something that was both stylish and fool proof, flawless and dynamic. Something of quality, something that not only embraced the modern market but was at the cutting edge of what is available, a pioneer of technology something so far ahead of its time that the competion never saw it coming.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Sonos.

Sonos is based in Santa Barbara (California USA) and was founded in 2002 by John MacFarlane, Craig Shelburne, Tom Cullen and Trung Mai with a prototype wireless music streaming device made for the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It won the ‘Best In Audio’ category.

Originally named the Digital Music System – a bundle of smart speakers – the player was released in Febuary 2005. To the existing player the design team added a mesh networking system – in which each node relays data for the network and all meshed nodes co-operate in the distribution of data within the network – as a result it could be used for both wired and wireless networks. They also used AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) to prevent the system from being easily hacked – it contained similar layers of security usually to be found in Modems.

Sonos 2

This ‘Meshed’ networking system allowed the speaker(s) to play in any room and, using wifi, enable the same system to play different music streamed from the same source to different wireless and/or LAN connected speakers throughout the house. The system came with its own amazingly easy to use controller, so at a time when Smart phones were still relatively in their infancy, this was a huge leap.

It wasn’t just the cutting edge tech that made the Sonos player stand out. The speaker quality was exemplary and had built in WLAN and LAN connections. It delivered acoustic excellence with suprisingly good response including crisp high ends and full mid-ranges. It also had well measured bases even on the smaller units.

With pioneering consumers looking to enhance their home music set up and waiting for a system that would combine their online and offline music that wasn’t restricted to one streaming source, the Sonos really appealed. Those wealthier consumers that had  already invested in streamed music, that played saved iTunes or had a Spotify account, their Sonos wasn’t just another glorified dock that played music from your phone – as by 2005 the market was saturated by them – it was an integral and very high quality component of their home entertainment system.

Sonos 6

Most relationships work when they grow and mature with their surroundings. 
The Sonos did just that with remarkable timing. With the emergence of downloadable music on Amazon Music, iTunes and Spotify, Sonos hit the market with an unerring accuracy – with its Zone Player system now version S5 – and with the sound quality of a high-end stereo it relieved technically savvy connoisseurs of their cash …. all over the world!

Sonos 4

If you liked this post please “Like” and share it with your friends. We’d really like to hear your experiences of the subject(s) featured in this post. Please share them below in the “Leave a Reply” section. Thanks