The Stone Roses – Love Spreads

The ‘greatest comeback single of all time’, according to Bobby Gillespie. He’s probably right. It was released in December 1994, and given nothing new had been heard from the band since 1990, expectations were massive at the time.

Apparently, the lyrics, written by John Squire, were inspired by the book ‘Woman’s History of the World‘ , but the music without a doubt, is heavily influenced by a certain British rock band, who were very popular from the late 60’s and through the 1970’s.

The single was first played on Radio 1 (in November), having been delivered by security van (!). I tuned in expectedly to Steve Lamacq’s show and on first hearing, being honest, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Like most fans, I expect, I’d already decided early on that the first album was a classic and would be difficult to beat, no matter how great the band were.

Obviously, I taped the show and played the track constantly over the next hours/days. By the end of that I’d decided that it was actually something really special; it had all the elements I liked: unbelievably funky undercarriage, ominous, clever lyrics and guitar playing that was a level above & beyond Squire’s previous high watermark.

Fast forward almost a year later, I saw the band on their first UK date for the Second Coming tour at Bridlington (minus Reni, unfortunately) and this tune sounded absolutely epic live. By this point, the guitar intro alone had become one of the classics in their catalogue, up there with Made of Stone, Adored etc.

There’s already quite a few good covers of Love Spreads on YT already so rather doing another version of the single, I decided to focus on how John Squire played the song live in 2016/17. He takes a slightly diiferent approach and uses the slide a fair bit extra. To my ears it sounds more ‘delta’, bluesier and rootsy. Not better than the recording, just different.

There’s more info over on the video page for this one. It’s good exercise in playing single note riffs and lines whilst also using the slide. Plus the opening section sounds so good to play once you get it down. You might even imagine you are on stage at Bridlington Spa…

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