that stone roses studio sound…
we can’t help but notice from the recent new york MSG gig:
that John didn’t use his strat once.
The same detraction of sound is apparent from the recent singles too. Although All For One sounds non-seahorses live, plug in that les paul into the studio and it has it’s distinctive seahorses sound.
Whilst the difference in sound is less noticeable live, it’s still noticeable and REALLY noticeable in the studio.
There’s insightful piece here by paul mcauley: http://www.pdmcauley.co.uk/guitaristpages/guitar/GUITARS.html ) on the gretsch and combined with the ibanez cs-9 chorus pedal and Alesis Midiverb II (channels 90 and onwards) and you have that classic stone roses sound.
John also used a 1960 pink strat too around the first album. And this poppy sound is the sound we and the fans miss.
If you listen to that first album, it’s quite rare to hear John bend one string. Try now and think of a song on the first album where john bend a string. Difficult, right. Compare that to his post-1991 playing and that clean poppy sound is gone. Out with the fender and Country Gent and in with the better looking, easier to play and more comfortable non-poppy, non-baggy les pauls.
The Country Gent makes you play in a different way. One of the ways John stood out in 1989 was the bass notes in the songs. Think Elephant Stone and Hardest Thing in the World. The bass notes are often over looked by young and modern guitarists who instead just thrash out chords (think oasis) and then try to add poppyness via the treble strings (g, b, and e) and notes.
We are not sure why the complete full change to les pauls over the strat. Was it just for the US gig? Will John revert back to some of his strats for future gigs? Has John done a deal with Gibson, perhaps he’ll have his own signature guitar with them soon. We only hope that whatever the reason maybe, that if the Roses go on to record anymore songs that the 60 strat is re-visited together with the chorus and reverb we loved so much.