Thursday, July 5, 2007

B-Side of the Week: Mersey Paradise

Stone Roses
Mersey Paradise (from She Bangs The Drums single)

May 1989. The English first division title has gone to London, and for the first time in seven years, the champions of England isn't a Merseyside team. July 1989. A Manchester band on a mercurial rise to domestic stardom pays homage to the city of Liverpool in what must be the fondest display of affection by a bunch of Mancunians for a neighbour many would describe as nothing short of bitter rivals in numerous ballparks.

Mersey Paradise is the b-side on The Stone Roses' fifth single, She Bangs The Drums, and is far and away a fan favourite and a cult hit in its own right. This deeply loved surrealist jangle takes place on a river bank and meanders to one drowning and ends with another. The motifs: rocks, water, sand, a boy, a girl, bricks, bikes, a rusty oil paints tin can and a man-eating pike. This is art-school cleverness meets Manchester new wave meets British psychedelia.

Of course, Mersey Paradise means something entirely different to me. Mersey Paradise were those seven years when the first division title remained in the clutches of Liverpool and Everton. Mersey Paradise is is seeing the London clubs crash and burn. Mersey Paradise waking up in the morning to this.

The Stone Roses - Mersey Paradise

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