Let me put you in the picture,

let me show you what I mean. Ian Brown is the flattest singer in the world, ever. When he starts to sing, and I use the term ‘sing‘ in the loosest terms, you couldn’t get one of John Squire‘s plectrums between the arse of his flared Joe Bloggs and the Spike Island toxic sludge. But you knew that already.


Stone Roses, 1993

So kudos to Simon Dawson. He’s the anonymous genius who mixed ol’ monkey boy’s flat-as-a-pancake vocals into the rough polished diamond that is The Second Coming, the Stone Roses long-in-the-making second (and final) album. Why Dawson isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Nigel Godrich or John Leckie or any of those other indie-producing wunderkinds is anyone’s guess. If I was in a band and looking for that Led Zeppelin plays Sly Stone’s Greatest Funk Hits sound, he’s the man I’d be looking for.


Reni & Mani do a Brown

As a band, the 3 non-singing musicians can really play. Listen to this, the vocal-free rehearsal track that became ‘Daybreak‘.  8 minutes long at the fade-out and not an overdub within earshot. Or listen to this, John Squire and Reni jamming on effect-heavy guitar and drums. Like, cosmic man! They can really play. But. Add the vocals and you get this. The 1993 demo of ‘Love Spreads’ sounds like heavy funk soup. It was my favourite record when it came out. I played it to death. I’ve never played the demo to death, though it is something of a curio. But the demo version lets you appreciate the lengths Simon Dawson had to go to at the controls in order to get the whole thing sounding fantastic.

In more innocent times, I used to de-tune my guitar to open G, grab an empty botle of Stella as a rudimentary slide and freak out in front of the mirror as I played along loudly to ‘Love Spreads’. In actual fact, all you need to do is drop the thick ‘E’ string to a ‘D’, get yourself a decent £5 slide and play along to the tab below. S’easy, man!



John Squire, Glasgow Green

A wee ned punched me full in the face at this gig. Sore, yes, but not as painful as the bootleg I have of the show. Those flat vocals. Ouch!

9 thoughts on “Let me put you in the picture,”

  1. Hello technically-challenged visitors –

    You can download the same way as before – click
    on the blue text to open the link. It’ll open DivShare in a new window. In the new window you have the option to play the track (look for the wee triangle under the media player to start) or download the track via the big green button in the top right-hand corner. The one that that says ‘download'(!)

    Hope that helps.

    Happy downloading, and keep on visiting Plain Or Pan?

  2. Hi Phil, nice to see you plugging this album, easily one of my favourites of the 90s. (That year I believe we had Second Coming, Stanley Road & Tindersticks II, what a great year). I don’t say it loud, but I prefer this album to the first, maybe cos I had a bad experience early on with the Roses, but there you go.

    BTW, here in NZ it came with a live bonus ep called Crimson Tonight, recorded in Ireland. I really recommend it if you can track it down.

  3. Hi ¿how are you rockstars?
    can`t you see?? four man playing songs really really great.I am the resurection,waterfall,bye bye bad man,tears my godd
    after that I listened Oasis and everything has changed for me…

  4. Ian Brown seemed tone deaf on the live clips I’ve seen but this LOVE SPREADS demo is mostly tolerable.
    But he’s cool and does that monkey dance. The band was phenomenal. As good as Cream but more interesting.

  5. Hi there..I can’t for the life of me open the download page for Love Spreads Demo by Stone Roses. the divshare is not working on this track. cheers Paul

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