I Am The Resurrection



Down, down you bring me down
I hear you knocking on my door
And I can't sleep at night
Your face it has no place
No room for you inside my house
I need to be alone

Don't waste your words
I don't need anything from you
I don't care where you've been
Or what you plan to do

Turn, turn, I wish you'd learn
There's a time and place for everything
I've got to get it through
Cut loose, 'cause you're no use
I couldn't stand another second
In your company

Don't waste your words
I don't need anything from you
I don't care where you've been
Or what you plan to do

Stone me, why can't you see
You're a no-one, nowhere washed up baby
Who'd look better dead
Your tongue is far too long
I don't like the way it sucks and slurps
Upon my every word

Don't waste your words
I don't need anything from you
I don't care where you've been
Or what you plan to do

I am the resurrection and I am the light
I couldn't ever bring myself
To hate you as I'd like

I am the resurrection and I am the light
I couldn't ever bring myself
To hate you as I'd like


Lyrics by:
Squire / Brown

Music by:
Squire

Written:
1988

Personnel:
John Squire (guitar)
Ian Brown (vocals)
Gary Mounfield (bass)
Alan Wren (drums, backing vocals)

Producer:
John Leckie

Engineer:
Paul Schroeder

Format:
Released April 1992:
I Am The Resurrection (Pan And Scan Radio Version) / I Am The Resurrection (Highly Resurrected Dub) (Silvertone, ORE 40, 7")
I Am The Resurrection (Extended 16:9 Ratio Club Mix) / I Am The Resurrection (Original LP Version) / Fool's Gold (Bottom Won Mix) (Silvertone, ORE T 40, 12", some with colour print of cover artwork)
I Am The Resurrection (Pan And Scan Radio Version) / I Am The Resurrection (5:3 Stoned Out Club Mix) / I Am The Resurrection (Original LP Version) / Fool's Gold (Bottom Won Mix) (Silvertone, ORE CD 40, CD)
I Am The Resurrection (Pan And Scan Radio Version) / I Am The Resurrection (Highly Resurrected Dub) (Silvertone, ORE C 40, cassette)

Released June 1992:
I Am The Resurrection (Pan And Scan Radio Version) / I Am The Resurrection (5:3 Stoned Out Club Mix) / I Am The Resurrection (Original LP Version) / Fool's Gold (Bottom Won Mix) (Alfa-Silvertone, ALCB-545, CD from Japanese Singles Collection boxset)

UK chart details:
I Am The Resurrection entered the charts on 11th April 1992, spending 2 weeks in the charts and reaching a highest position of 33.

Also available on:
The Stone Roses (8.12)
The Complete Stone Roses (3.41)
The Stone Roses (10th Anniversary Edition) (8.13)
The Very Best Of The Stone Roses (8.13)

First live performance:
In early 1988.

Artwork details:
A detail of the Bye Bye Badman artwork, from the Roses' debut LP cover, was used for the I Am The Resurrection cover.

Details:

Where the religious artistic vision of Joy Division was shrouded with introspection and melancholy, the hedonistic 'Madchester' releases ('Hallelujah', 'I Am The Resurrection') would seek to inject an altogether more joyous, self-aggrandizing tome into their employment of biblical language. In this vein, it is unsurprising that Ian at this time was drawn toward the 'I Am' statements of Jesus (the resurrection, the true vine) in the Gospel of John. So too, in his solo career (the bread of life, the good shepherd); even the singer's solo career best of title is an Ali 'I Am'.

I Am The Resurrection was the band's most overt usage of the Bible; while this is 'the Resurrection song', one should note that the Resurrection of Jesus, the epicentre of Christian belief, is a theme investigated repeatedly in the Roses' canon of work. See Your Time Will Come, Going Down, She Bangs The Drums, Waterfall, amongst other tracks. The powerful lyric "I am the resurrection and I am the light" tweaks John's Gospel account ("I am the resurrection and the life") of the death of Lazarus:

I am the resurrection, and the life. That is, the author of both. I am He who will at the last day raise him up; I can, therefore, if I will, raise him up now also. I am the light of the world. Through Him, we are delivered from the power of darkness. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

 

Top left: Ian Brown.
Top right: 'The Raising of Lazarus' (1517 - 19) by Sebastiano del Piombo (c. 1485 - 1547). To men indeed he was dead, but to God he slept. For the Almighty as easily raised him from his grave, as man can raise the slumberer from his bed. Jesus restores Lazarus to life four days after his death, a precursor to His own death and Resurrection. In the background, the Pharisees are depicted plotting Christ's arrest. In the Synoptic Gospels, it is the Clearing of the Temple that finally seals Jesus' fate (Mark 11: 18). In the Gospel of John, who has the Clearing of the Temple in 2: 13, it is the raising of Lazarus. From this point on, and as the fateful Passover Feast draws near, events move quickly, and the Anointing at Bethany (12: 1 - 11) is a symbolic pre-burial exercise.
Bottom: 'The Resurrection' (c. 1460) by Piero della Francesca (c. 1415 - 1492). From now on, what seemed to be the absolute and final end - death - was seen as a new beginning: Resurrection. Jesus dominates the centre of the composition, portrayed in the moment of His Resurrection, while underneath are four sleeping soldiers. The landscape, immersed in the dawn light, has symbolic value: the contrast between the flourishing trees on the right and the bare ones on the left alludes to the renovation of Man through the Resurrection's light. According to tradition, the sleeping soldier in brown armour is a self-portrait of Piero; his head symbolically makes contact with the pole of the Guelph banner carried by Christ.

At the beginning of Chapter 11 in John's Gospel, Jesus states that He will go back to Judea, to the sick Lazarus. His disciples question this, considering that the Jews had tried to stone Him there recently:

From this recollection, and Jesus asking the disciples why they cannot understand His desire to return, comes the composition of the lyric "Stone me, why can't you see". The opening verse of the song derives from Luke 13: 22 - 30, 'The Narrow Door':

How narrow is the door ? The answer is to be found in such passages as John 11: 25 - 26 (see above) and John 14: 6:

An expressed desire by Jesus to be alone (line 6 of the opening verse) is a common occurrence in Scripture. For example, Luke 5: 16 states, "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." I Am The Resurrection applies biblical language in the context of a human relationship, and is described by Squire as "a murderous attack on one individual, I don't want to tell you who it is. It's someone both Ian and I know." There are flashbacks to Eden and the three temptations of Jesus in the rebuking quality of the lyric.

 

Left: In a cringeworthy 'modernisation' of the Passion narrative, I Am The Resurrection was used by the BBC as the climax for the 'Manchester Passion'. This was a public performance of the Passion, in which the last hours of Jesus' life were retold using a backdrop of contemporary Manchester music. The majority of I Am The Resurrection was sung by Peter (played by Nicholas Bailey) after the arrest of Jesus, with the chorus line being sung by Jesus (played by Darren Morfitt). The event took place on the streets of Manchester, airing live on BBC Three on Good Friday, 14th April 2006. Ian Brown was rumoured prior to the play to be performing in some capacity, or appearing, but did not appear. The cast were as follows: Presenter/Pontius Pilate - Keith Allen; Peter - Nicholas Bailey; Judas Iscariot - Tim Booth; Jesus - Darren Morfitt; Mary - Denise Johnson; Barabbas - Chris Bisson; Criminal in van - Bez; Himself - Anthony Wilson. Among the other songs performed were 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' (The Smiths), performed by Judas Iscariot as he betrays Jesus, Cast No Shadow & Wonderwall (Oasis), Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division); Sit Down (James); Blue Monday (New Order) and Hallelujah (Happy Mondays).
Right: 'Jesus' (played by Darren Morfitt) sings I Am The Resurrection at the top of the Town Hall.

I Am The Resurrection originated from Paul McCartney's bassline on 'Taxman' played backwards, which Mani would play at the start of each day in the studio. 'Revolver', on which this Beatles track is to be found, was the first album that Ian Brown ever bought on CD, in 1988:

 

Left: Revolver (August 1966) by The Beatles. The genesis of I Am The Resurrection is to be found on this album. Revolver showcased a number of new stylistic developments which would become more pronounced on later albums. The Beatles' unfolding innovation in the recording studio reaches its apex with the album's final track, 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' This track was the most radical departure from previous Beatles' recordings, with its skeletal bass/drums propulsion enhanced only with tape loops, backwards guitar and Lennon vocal. The malevolent tone of the lyric, "You're a no-one, nowhere washed up baby who'd look better dead", is evocative of 'Run For Your Life': "Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl than to be with another man.", from the Rubber Soul LP. Lennon later admitted to stealing this lyric from 'Baby, Let's Play House' by Elvis. The influence of The Beatles runs, unsurprisingly, throughout the Roses' work. During some of The Stone Roses' 2012 reunion shows, Squire would fluidly drop in riffs of his influences in his performance; in the space of half a minute on Fool's Gold at Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam (12th June 2012), the guitarist gravitated from 'Day Tripper' to 'Le Freak' by Chic (accompanied by a point-to-the-sky Saturday Night Fever disco move from Brown). Squire was perhaps prompted in this direction by compatriot Johnny Marr, who joined Nile Rodgers on stage at the Warehouse Project, Manchester, on 12th November 2011, for a rendition of 'Le Freak'. During the soundcheck at Les Nuits des Fourvières, Lyon (25th June 2012), Ian ran through an a capella version of 'Michelle' by The Beatles, a love ballad from Rubber Soul. The words and style of 'Michelle' have their roots in the popularity of French Left Bank culture during Paul McCartney's Liverpool days; it remains one of the most popular Beatles songs in France.
Right: '#1 Record' (1972) is the debut album by the American group, Big Star.

The song is powered along by an express-train beat. "'I Am The Resurrection' had a Motown kind of beat. It reminded me of 'You’re Ready Now' by Slaughter & The Dogs - (sings) "you’re ready now, you’re ready now" ! Remember that ?" (Ian Brown, Record Collector, 1998). After a series of anticipated choruses, the true chorus is revealed at the lyrical climax, then reiterated. The song then comes to a halt at 5.20, only to resurrect three seconds later for its blistering finale. The coda borrows heavily from 'In The Street' by Big Star, with a dash of Tim Buckley (Buzzin' Fly). The clips on the left are from 'In The Street', while the respective clips on the right are from 'I Am The Resurrection':

 

 

 

In a Guitar Magazine interview from August 1997, Squire speaks about the coda of I Am The Resurrection:

John and Ian offer different accounts regarding the composition of the song:

The following lines, from a Japanese lyric book, were supposedly (it has never been confirmed by a reliable source) dropped from the final version:

 

The bassline from I Am The Resurrection was sampled by MC Tunes vs 808 State on 'Tunes Splits The Atom' (1990). The influence of I Am The Resurrection's coda is strongly evident on 'Keep The Dream Alive' by Oasis, from 'Don't Believe The Truth' (May 2005).

Modal analysis (by Steve Davidson):

This song is in a few different keys ! The key centre for the verse is the B major chord. Now, most guitarists tend to think, "The Key centre is a B major chord, so it's in the key of B major". They then try and use the notes of the B major scale to do any lead work or single note stuff. End result: dodgy notes in particular over the A major chord ! Reason why: Wrong conclusion. You need to assess the whole chord sequence first. And then possibly the melody on any single note playing instrument. If you take the notes from the verse chords B, A and E major, you get this:

B major = B D# F#
A major = A C# E
E major = E G# B

Put these in alphabetical order, like a scale, and you get this.

B C# D# E F# G# A B

This is the B mixolydian scale. It is the 5th mode or rotation of the E major scale.

E.G

E major (Ionian) scale = E F# G# A B C# D# E

B mixolydian scale = B C# D# E F# G# A B

Notice they have the same notes. The mixolydian sound is not actually confirmed until the A major chord, as the song could be initially thought of as being in the Key of B major (Ionian mode). The reason for thinking it could initially be in Ionian mode is because the B major chord is common to both B Ionian and B mixolydian keys. Also the absence of the A or A# note in either the vocal melody or Bass line over the B major chord. Check to see the difference between the 2 scales. You will see they only have one note difference, the A and A#.

B Ionian = B C# D# E F# G# A# B

B Mixolydian = B C# D# E F# G# A B

It isn't until the A major chord which consists of the notes A C# E that swings the tonality towards B mixolydian. The hook riff that takes the song into the bridge is an indicator of a mode change as it uses the notes B, A#, C# and G#. This uses the notes of B Ionian for the last 3 beats of the B major chord before the bridge. The bridge section has the chords G# minor, E major and B major. The Key centre is still the B major chord, so we are still in the B Ionian mode. Later on in the bridge we have the F# major at the end. Again, these all belong to B Ionian mode. On to the chorus. The chords are E major, E minor and B major. The key centre is the B major chord, so we are still in B Ionian mode over the E major chord, we switch to B phrygian dominant mode (fifth mode of E harmonic minor scale) over the E minor chord, and then back to B Ionian for the B major chord. Here are the 2 scale notes:

B Ionian = B C# D# E F# G# A# B

B Phrygian Dominant = B C D# E F# G A B

If you check out the vocal notes Ian Brown sings for the lyric "Resurrecion", you get 2 notes. These are D# and E. Now, the E minor chord would normally belong to the B Aeolian mode, the problem being that the B Aeolian mode has these notes:

B Aeolian = B C# D E F# G A B

You might notice there is no D# note in there. So you're looking for a scale that has a B note, a D# note and be able to construct an E min chord as well. So you could add the notes of that chord Emin = E G B. None of the modes of the major scale work over this one. So you have to check the other scales, i.e., Harmonic and Melodic Minor and their respective modes.

Now for the solo. Again, the key centre is still B. But it changes in and out between B Dorian and B mixolydian. Here are the notes:

B Dorian notes B C# D E F# G# A B

B Mixolydian notes B C# D# E F# G# A B

To give you some more idea of when it is Dorian and when it is Mixolydian, here is a breakdown in terms of the cd times.

Solo start

03:48 - 04:24 (B Dorian)

During the first part of the solo, Mani uses the D# note occasionally which could be said to be from the B Mixolydian mode. However, because of the more frequent occurrence of the D note, this leans things more towards the B Dorian mode. Also, because there are no chords being played here, the tonality is merely implied by the melodic instruments (guitar and bass). So theoretically they could change the mode by altering one note and then change back again. And in this case it sort of does that. Although because of the main tonality being B Dorian, the D# note would be viewed as a passing note or added note to the B Dorian mode.

04:24 - 05:20 (B Mixolydian and B Dorian)

This is my all time favourite bit of guitar playing. In the same token it is also the hardest bit to explain theoretically. This is where it changes between the two modes quite a bit more. There is some more chord playing here. We have a B major chord played by Squire and the notes B and A being played underneath by Mani. This is B Mixolydian because of the D# note in the B major chord. Although whenever Squire comes away from the B chord and plays lead, he tends to play notes from the B Dorian mode.

At 04:48 the chord sequence goes B major, D major/A (this just means a D major chord with an A bass note, and an E major chord). So whenever he plays the B major chord, it is B mixolydian, but when it goes to D major/A and E major, the notes seem to be taken from the B Dorian mode.

After the stop it seems to sit on the B major chord with Mani doing the B and A notes, implying B Mixolyian again.

At 06:01 it shifts back into B Dorian for the lead break. We see the D note pop up all the time by Squire over the B, A and E bass notes by Mani. This implies the B Dorian mode.

At 06:17 it shifts back to B Mixoldian until the end of the song over the chords B, A and E major.

 

Left: I Am The Resurrection CD front cover.
Right: I Am The Resurrection CD back cover.


Back To The Music

Back To The Stone Roses