I Wanna Be Adored

I don't have to sell my soul
He's already in me
I don't need to sell my soul
He's already in me

I wanna be adored

I wanna be adored

I don't have to sell my soul
He's already in me
I don't need to sell my soul
He's already in me

I wanna be adored

I wanna be adored


I wanna be adored

You adore me
You adore me
You adore me
I wanna
I wanna
I wanna be adored
I wanna
I wanna
I wanna be adored
I wanna
I wanna
I wanna be adored
I wanna
I wanna
I gotta be adored

I wanna be adored

Lyrics by:

Music by:
Squire / Brown


John Squire (guitar)
Ian Brown (vocals)
Gary Mounfield (bass)
Alan Wren (drums)

John Leckie

Paul Schroeder

Released November 1989:
I Wanna Be Adored (Edit) / I Wanna Be Adored (LP Version) / Going Down / Simone (Silvertone / BMG, 1301-4-JS, US cassette)
I Wanna Be Adored (Edit) / I Wanna Be Adored (LP Version) / Going Down / Simone (Silvertone / BMG, 1301-1-JD, US 12")
I Wanna Be Adored / Where Angels Play (Silvertone / BMG, 1301-2-JDJ, US CD Promo)

Released 1991:
I Wanna Be Adored (7" Version) / Where Angels Play / I Wanna Be Adored (12" Version) / Sally Cinnamon (Live At The Hacienda) (Silvertone, ZD44994, German CD)

Released September 1991:
I Wanna Be Adored / Where Angels Play / Sally Cinnamon (Live At The Hacienda) (Silvertone, ORE T 31, 12")
I Wanna Be Adored / Where Angels Play / Sally Cinnamon (Live At The Hacienda) (Silvertone, ORE Z 31, 12" with print)
I Wanna Be Adored / Where Angels Play (Silvertone, ORE 31, 7")
I Wanna Be Adored / Where Angels Play (Silvertone, ORE 31, 7" paper cover)
I Wanna Be Adored (7" Version) / Where Angels Play / I Wanna Be Adored (12" Version) / Sally Cinnamon (Live At The Hacienda) (Silvertone, ORE CD 31, CD)
I Wanna Be Adored / Where Angels Play (Silvertone, ORE C 31, cassette)

Released November 1991:
I Wanna Be Adored (12" Version) / Where Angels Play / Sally Cinnamon (Live At The Hacienda) / Fool's Gold (Alfa-Silvertone, ALCB-392, Japanese CD)

Released 1992:
I Wanna Be Adored (7" Version) / Where Angels Play / I Wanna Be Adored (12" Version) / Sally Cinnamon (Live At The Hacienda) (Silvertone, ZD44994, German CD from Maxi collection)

Released 2000:
I Wanna Be Adored (Rabbit In The Moon's Acid Hacienda) / I Wanna Be Adored (Rabbit In The Moon's For The Love Of Acid) / Waterfall (Justin Roberton's Mix) / I Wanna Be Adored (Rabbit In The Moon's Sex, EFX and 909) (Jive Electro, JDAB-42672-1, US 12" promo)

UK chart details:
I Wanna Be Adored entered the charts on 14th September 1991, spending 3 weeks in the charts and reaching a highest position of 20.

Also available on:
The Stone Roses (4.52)
The Complete Stone Roses (3.28)
Garage Flower (3.25)
The Stone Roses (10th Anniversary Edition) (4.51)
The Very Best Of The Stone Roses (4.55)

First live performance:
In 1985

Artwork details:
The I Wanna Be Adored artwork is from 'Sugar' (1988), oil on canvas, 32" x 32"


After mixing the band's third single, Elephant Stone, in October 1988, John Leckie spent a few days in rehearsal with the band in Manchester, before the album sessions commenced at North London's Battery Studios. Here, four tracks were recorded within the space of ten days: I Wanna Be Adored, She Bangs The Drums, Waterfall and This Is The One. Thereafter, the band relocated to Rockfield Studios in Wales, where they would re-record Waterfall, as well as tracking sessions for (Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister, Made Of Stone, Shoot You Down and I Am The Resurrection. Including further recording sessions at Konk Studios in London, and mixing at Battery Studio One and Abbey Road's Studio Two, the debut album took a total of 55 working days to complete, spanning October 1988 to March 1989.

Beginning with a collage of sounds, the first instrument to enter is the bass guitar (0:40). This is followed by two guitars, one of which plays a pentatonic scale riff. The bass drum enters at 1:13, and the main portion of the song begins at 1:30. Performed in the key of G, the song features two main sections: a four bar G-D-G-D-Em chord progression, followed by an eight-bar bridge that shifts from D to C repeatedly. I Wanna Be Adored dates back to 1985, at which time the Roses played it at a much faster pace. The band's first known rehearsal of the song was at Spirit Studios in Chorlton, near Cosgrove Hall. Spirit Studios founder John Breakell gave The Stone Roses free studio time in a period when money was tight for the band. Howard Jones saw The Stone Roses at Spirit Studios for the first time and soon after, the band signed their first recording deal with his Thin Line label. The band also made an important contact there in Steve Adge, who helped run the studios, and was a very well-connected figure within the Manchester music scene. It was Steve who, aware of the band's need of a manager, encouraged Howard to come in to the studios to see them. The Stone Roses used Spirit Studios to make a demo, which was copied on to a hundred cassettes; it featured the first of Squire's cover designs - the band's hand-drawn logo stuck on to a paisley shirt.





Top left: John Leckie, producer of The Stone Roses' debut LP. John Leckie was suggested as producer to The Stone Roses by Geoff Travis (top right), founder of Rough Trade Records. The band had secured a singles deal with Rough Trade to release Elephant Stone, but an album deal was not forthcoming. In attendance at the band's London Dingwalls gig in January 1988 were representatives from both Rough Trade and Zomba. Travis offered the band a two single deal, expressing a preference to see how well these performed in the charts, before any album deal negotiations took place. Zomba's Roddy McKenna instead offered The Stone Roses an eight album deal, and the band opted for this long term contract. Zomba purchased rights to the Elephant Stone single from Rough Trade, and Travis sent Ian Brown a postcard saying, "I think you've made the wrong decision, but I'd still use John Leckie as your producer."
Second row: North London's Battery Studios.
All other photos: Rockfield Studios, Wales.

In an anticipatory deep-earth rumble, we sense the lone pull of a steam train. A disembodied bass line emerges through a thick, parting musical fog of digitally echoed winding guitars, subdued feedback and industrial sounds. With Squire's guitar riff masterfully snaking out of the speakers, Brown's hushed ominous vocal transpires, employing an assured lyrical brevity and delivered in hypnotic reprise. The industrial sounds at the beginning (provided by a keyboard sampler) have been compared by John Leckie to a train arriving at its destination; Squire grew up in Timperley, near the train line straight into Manchester and that ride in made a great impression on him, as he explained to City Life in 2009. "When you go past all the old mills, you start to see the history of Manchester - or you used to anyway, before gentrification. All the broken windows and empty factories." This decaying setting had a bearing on Squire's output as far back as infant school; his mother kept a lot of his work from school and the buildings and cars that he drew were all falling apart and rusting, with weeds growing out of them. I Wanna Be Adored has parallels with 'Felch', the opening track of A Certain Ratio's album, 'To Each...' (1981). 'Shadowplay', from the Joy Division album 'Unknown Pleasures' (1979), is perhaps the strongest influence on the track. In a January 2001 edition of Mojo, Mani cited this as being his favourite album of all time. Ian Brown's first ever gig was Joy Division at Bowdon Vale Club, South Manchester, in March 1979.

Joy Division's influence on Mani can be heard perhaps most strongly on live recordings by The Hungry Socks. Three core members of The Hungry Socks - Mani, Chris Goodwin and Clint Boon - also formed the nucleus of The Mill, who recorded a demo tape, entitled Sounds Awreet To Me !, in Christmas 1984. Billed as 'Eighties Industrial Psychedelia', it features six songs: 'Just As The Curtain Finally Falls'; 'Form A Line'; 'Whiskey In Our Heads'; 'Giving It Some Real Heavy Turkey'; 'Set Fire To The Wick Of A New Day'; 'Russian Mill Worker's Song'. HQ for the band was Clint Boon's dad's factory, where the group would make a racket with power tools and machinery !


Top: Joy Division at Bowdon Vale Club, South Manchester, 14th March 1979. A 16-year-old Ian Brown was amongst the crowd, attending his first ever gig.
Bottom left: Ian Curtis in a live performance of Shadowplay.
Bottom middle: Unknown Pleasures (June 1979) by Joy Division is the band's debut album, produced by Martin Hannett and recorded at Strawberry Studios, Stockport. Arriving as punk music was waning, Unknown Pleasures inhabits an eerie, twilight world. Decay and alienation envelop singer Ian Curtis, whose cavernous, but dispassionate, voice belied the intensity he brought to bear. Rolling drum patterns, thudding bass lines and uncluttered synthesizer combine to create a dank, brooding atmosphere, chillingly supporting the songs' bleak lyrics.
Bottom right: Martin Hannett (1948 - 1991), an original partner in Factory Records with Tony Wilson, would go on to produce 'Garage Flower' for The Stone Roses, and 'Bummed' for the Happy Mondays. Hannett was best known for his production of Joy Division's work, with his trademark sound most apparent on Unknown Pleasures and its dirge-like follow-up, Closer. His production was sparse and eerie, sonically matching frontman Ian Curtis' dark, depressive musings and baritone vocals. As a producer, Hannett was notoriously difficult to work with due to his drug problems and erratic behaviour.

The Stone Roses' debut LP bookends the First Coming of Christ, opening with 'Adoration' ('O Come Let Us Adore Him...', the Adoration of the Magi), and closing with Resurrection. Note the use of first person personal pronoun here: I Wanna Be Adored, I Am The Resurrection. The placing of This Is The One directly prior to I Am The Resurrection signifies the coming of 'The One', as foretold by the harbinger, John the Baptist. Ian does not sing 'I Am The One' (nor is the track titled as such), as the song is structured around the words of John the Baptist about Jesus (Ian did actually throw in the line "I am the one you've waited for" at a gig in Manchester in 1986, giving further hint as to the song's meaning). Second Coming draws upon the Bible just as strongly, opening with Breaking Into Heaven, moving through the apocalyptic Begging You, and arriving at the crucifixion-themed Love Spreads.

I propose that Ian Brown's misty invocation has connection with the three temptations of Jesus by Satan in the desert. Like Adam, Christ (the second Adam) endured temptation only from without, inasmuch as His human nature was free from all concupiscence; but unlike Adam, He withstood the assaults of the Tempter on all points, thereby affording His mystical members a perfect model of resistance to their spiritual enemy, and a permanent source of victorious help (Hebrews 4: 15 - 16). In the first three Gospels (Matthew 4: 1 - 11; Mark 1: 12 - 13; Luke 4: 1 - 13), the narrative of Christ's temptation is placed in immediate connexion with His baptism on the one hand, and with the beginning of His public ministry on the other. The reason of this is clear. The Synoptists naturally regard the baptism of Christ as the external designation of Jesus from above for His Messianic work to be pursued under the guidance of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon Him on this occasion; and they no less naturally regard Christ's sojourn in the desert where He was tempted, as His own immediate preparation for that great work under the guidance of the same Holy Spirit. The narrator of the song rejects any notion of selling his soul, pointing to a greater authoritative power invested within Him by the Father ("He's already in me"), which will crush the head of Satan. Jesus would have been 'selling his soul' to the devil (a theme explored later on Driving South), had He given in to any of the three temptations. Whereas the entrance to the debut LP finds the narrator in battle with Satan, the opening track of its follow-up, Breaking Into Heaven, would instead project a struggle with God. Ian would go on to use one of Jesus' responses to Satan on The Fisherman, in the lyric "Man shall not live by bread alone".


Left: 'Adoration of the Magi' (1634) by Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640).
Right: 'The Temptation of Christ' (1854) by Ary Scheffer (1795 - 1858).

I Wanna Be Adored only became the established live opening number in 1989. While being the ideal choice of album (and concert) opener, it lacked purpose as a single, working best as an introduction, or prelude, for what is to come.

The song features in the 1997 film, 'Welcome to Sarajevo' and (along with Waterfall) on 'Green Street' (2005).

Modal analysis (by Steve Davidson):

Chords for the verse and chorus are G major, D major and E minor. The Key centre (or the chord that makes the song sound finished) is the E minor chord. All these chords belong to the Key of E Aeolian. Here are the notes:

E Aeolian scale (E F# G A B C D E)

For the middle 8 / guitar solo section, the chords are D major and C major. The song's tonal centre shifts towards the D chord instead of the E minor here, so we have a modal change to D mixolydian. Here are the notes:

D Mixolydian scale (D E F# G A B C D)

Note that both the E Aeolian and D Mixolydian scales have the same notes. However, the emphasis is on a different chord at different points in the song. This dictates which mode is being created.


I Wanna Be Adored front and back cover artwork. This is a detail from the top-right of 'Sugar', rotated: "Another detail from the picture used for 'She Bangs The Drums'. That was another Pollock lift, from when he was actually touching the canvas with his brush and making shapes. I've only seen one Pollock, at the Tate in London." (John Squire speaking to Select magazine, November 1997)

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