Made Of Stone



Your knuckles whiten on the wheel
The last thing that your hands will feel
your final flight can't be delayed
No earth just sky it's so serene
Your pink fat lips let go a scream
You fry and melt I love the scene

Sometimes I fantasize
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me
Don't these times fill your eyes
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me
Are you all alone ?
Is anybody home ?

I'm standing warm against the cold
Now that the flames have taken hold
At least you left your life in style

And for as far as I can see*
Tin twisted grills grin back at me
Bad money dies I love the scene

Sometimes I fantasize
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me
Don't these times
Fill your eyes
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me
Are you all alone ?
Is anybody home ?

Sometimes I fantasize
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me
Don't these times
Fill your eyes
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me
Are you all alone ?
Are you made of stone ?


Lyrics by:
Squire / Brown

Music by:
Squire / Brown

Written:
1987

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

Producer:
John Leckie

Engineer:
Paul Schroeder

Format:
Released February 1989:
Made Of Stone / Going Down / Guernica (Silvertone, ORE T 2, 12")
Made Of Stone / Going Down (Silvertone, ORE 2, 7")

Released February 1990:
Elephant Stone / Made Of Stone / She Bangs The Drums / Fools Gold (Silvertone, ZD43632, The UK Singles)

Released March 1990:
Made Of Stone / Going Down / Guernica (Silvertone, ORE T 2, 12" reissue)
Made Of Stone / Going Down (Silvertone, ORE 2, 7" reissue)
Made Of Stone / Going Down / Guernica (Silvertone, ORE CD 2, CD)
Made Of Stone / Going Down / Guernica (Silvertone, ORE CD 2, CD)

Released June 1990:
Elephant Stone (7" Version) / The Hardest Thing In The World & Made Of Stone / Going Down (Silvertone, ORE 1/2, Australian 2 x 7" limited edition poster pack)
Elephant Stone (7" Version) / The Hardest Thing In The World & Made Of Stone / Going Down (Silvertone, CSORE C 1/2, Australian 2 x cassette limited edition poster pack)

Released June 1992:
Made Of Stone / Going Down / Guernica (Alfa-Silvertone, ALCB-540, CD from Japanese Singles Collection boxset)

UK chart details:
Made Of Stone entered the charts on 17th March 1990, spending 4 weeks in the charts and reaching a highest position of 20.

Also available on:
The Stone Roses (4.10)
The Complete Stone Roses (4.11)
The Stone Roses (10th Anniversary Edition) (4.15)
The Very Best Of The Stone Roses (4.18)

First live performance:
In early 1988.

Artwork details:
The Made Of Stone artwork is from 'Cody Calling' (1988), oil on canvas, 61" x 28"

Details:

Transplant William Kent Crescent onto this front cover and Made Of Stone finds its home in a Crash meets High-Rise existence, a projection of symphorophilia on an isolated urban landscape.

This World in Action programme described how the futuristic Le Corbusier-inspired vision of Streets in the Sky had failed residents of post-slum clearances inner-city Manchester, with a particular focus on the Hulme Crescents. It sets the scene for Squire and Brown's arrival in Hulme: "First, to reduce noise and vandalism, families like some of the ones we showed are to be moved from the decks. Instead, single people and students will go to Hulme...". The plan to reduce noise by moving in single people and students is baffling in its naivety. The student overspill of the early 1980s was the very ingredient that would provide this area with its bohemian character and turn the place into party central !

 

 

 

 

Ian Brown grew up in Warrington and moved to Timperley, South Manchester at the age of six. He has lived in various areas, including Chorlton, Didsbury, Withington, Hulme and Salford. Both he and John Squire moved to Hulme in 1981 and the bedsit bohemian air of those times, looking out over the lonely streets and burnt out cars below, seeps through this track. In early 1981, Ian had been staying at his girlfriend's house in Withington. Later that year, they split up, and he moved into William Kent Crescent. In early 1984, he made the short move to Charles Barry Crescent, living in a flat on the top floor (flat number 313; The Fall's drummer, Karl Burns, was at 316). In Hulme, Ian and John befriended Mani, Cressa and The Smiths' Johnny Marr. Brown and Marr met as teenagers and nearly shared a band, but Brown had started working with John Squire by this stage. In 2009, Brown and Marr got together to work on the soundtrack for a mutual friend's TV drama, and Marr would provide support for the reformed Roses in June 2012.

The quintessential track by The Smiths, 'There Is a Light That Never Goes Out', encapsulates the band at their most morbidly romantic; a love song that celebrates the existential transience of human mortality, in which the protagonist fantasizes about fatal collision with oncoming vehicles, so that he and his lover may be cut down in the prime of happiness. Preserving bliss, but only through death. An imploration that the passion they cannot realise in life may be gratified in death, binding passenger and driver together for all eternity in a serendipitous suicide pact. The scenario on Made Of Stone is also on this route that can be traced back to the 'death discs' of the sixties (such as 'Give Us Your Blessings' by The Shangri-Las), but in contrast to this Smiths track, the protagonist on Made Of Stone is a fantasizing voyeur of a female companion meeting her death in flames. That the tin twisted grills are grinning back only serves to emphasise the joy and coldness of the narrator's horrid fantasy. Made Of Stone is considered by many to be influenced by Primal Scream's one minute b-side from their Crystal Crescent single, 'Velocity Girl'; Ian claims that he had never even heard the song however. 'The Sounds of Silence' by Simon & Garfunkel, and 'Paint It Black' by The Rolling Stones - compare the vocal melody on the verses of Made Of Stone to the intro / sitar riff of Paint It Black - are other possible musical influences. Paul Simon's character on 'I Am A Rock' is 'made of stone', in an emotional comparance to a rock. His character has been hardened by the feelings of pain of a previous relationship encounter ("I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died. If I never loved, I never would have cried."), whereas Made Of Stone offers no insight into the character's past. This song of urban decay and destruction contains some of the band's darkest imagery ("Your pink fat lips let go a scream"). The serpentine, sinewy vocal on the verse leads to a chorus which rises and stretches out in a majestic hook-filled uppercut. The horrific scene depicted in the verses ends with the sadistic revelation, "I love the scene". This triggers a musically uplifting chorus in which we learn that this is a fantasy, in which the protagonist's imagination has been fuelled by the dark surroundings he surveys below. Just as 'There Is a Light That Never Goes Out' has tangible elements of James Dean in 'Rebel Without a Cause', Jackson Pollock was perhaps in the mind of the author(s) here; after struggling with alcoholism his entire life, Pollock's career was cut short on 11th August 1956 when he died in a car crash in his Oldsmobile convertible, while driving under the influence of alcohol. One of the passengers, Edith Metzger, was also killed in the accident, which occurred less than a mile from Pollock's home. The other passenger, Pollock's girlfriend Ruth Kligman, survived. Like Bob Dylan's 'It Ain't Me, Babe', the surrealist aspect of the lyric - of figures in stasis ("made of stone"), and melting ("you fry and melt") - conjures up the work of René Magritte (1898 - 1967), e.g., 'Le chant de la violette' ('The song of the violet', 1951) and 'Souvenir de voyage' ('Memory of a voyage', 1952):

 

 

Top left: Crystal Crescent by Primal Scream (May 1986), the cover image of which is taken from Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), a short experimental film directed by wife and husband team, Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid. Alan McGee cites Primal Scream and The Three O'Clock as heavily influencing The Stone Roses' debut LP. The Three O'Clock were an American alternative rock group, associated with the Los Angeles 1980's Paisley Underground scene. Lead singer and bassist, Michael Quercio, is credited with coining the term 'Paisley Underground', to describe a subset of the 1980s L.A. music scene, which included bands such as The Three O'Clock, Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, Green on Red, and The Bangles. Cressa introduced John Squire to the music of The Three O'Clock, and their influence permeates the Roses' debut LP. On the subject of influence, Weirdo by The Charlatans is a 'Madchester-ed' Made Of Stone.
Top right: Being and Nothingness (1943) by Jean-Paul Sartre.
Second row (left): J. G. Ballard. Squire would create an artwork in 2003, entitled 'Strange Feeling', bearing the names of three of his artistic and literary influences: Damien Hirst, Francis Bacon and J. G. Ballard. Ballard's vividly-drawn imaginary worlds and intuitive grasp on the choreography of mediatised reality have equipped lyricists with the descriptive tools to critique modernity. Joy Division's work notably had bleak, dystopian Ballardian overtones - the opening track of their Closer LP takes its title from Ballard's 1970 book, The Atrocity Exhibition.
Second row (right): The protagonists of Ballard's 1973 novel, Crash become sexually aroused by staging and participating in real car-crashes. The story is told through the eyes of narrator James Ballard, named after the author himself, but it centers on the sinister figure of Dr. Robert Vaughan, a "former TV-scientist, turned nightmare angel of the expressways". Ballard meets Vaughan after being involved in a car accident himself near London Airport. Gathering around Vaughan is a group of alienated people, all of them former crash-victims, who follow him in his pursuit to re-enact the crashes of celebrities, and experience what the narrator calls "a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology". Vaughan's ultimate fantasy is to die in a head-on collision with movie star Elizabeth Taylor.
Third row: In 1995, John Squire created an artistic work entitled 'Driving South', (wood glue, sand, toy cars and bitumen on plywood, 24" x 24"), a toy car crash pile-up, which featured in the Australian / Japanese tour guide published that year. This Squire piece has echoes of the three miles of charred bodies and vehicular carnage of the Highway of Death. A destructive streak is identifiable in Squire's art; pictures that his mum kept from primary school showed dilapidation and decay - houses that were broken down, cars that were rusted.
Fourth row: 'Le Chant de la violette' ('The song of the violet', 1951) by René Magritte.
Bottom: 'Souvenir de voyage' ('Memory of a voyage', 1952) by René Magritte.

Made Of Stone, like other songs in the Roses catalogue, has a strong element of existentialism (In a Melody Maker feature from 1989, the band list 'The Fall' and 'A Happy Death' by Albert Camus among their reading material). Existentialism is a unilateral, philosophical movement that views the individual, the self, the individual's experience, and the uniqueness therein as the only reality. Existentialists believe in sheer freedom and accept the consequences and ramifications of their actions wholly. The philosophy of existentialism disavows belief in surroundings through distrust of reality. In this schema, the only things you can be certain of are your own thoughts and experience, an effective detachment from reality. Existentialists prefer subjectivity, and view general existence as arcane, believing that they are isolated entities in an indifferent and often ambiguous universe. According to Sartre, "A human is no more than a series of undertakings." Existentialist works by Nietzsche and Camus were among Ian Brown's reading material in Strangeways jail:

What is considered to be 'The Bible of Existentialism', 'Being and Nothingness' by Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980), is one of the most significant philosophical works of the twentieth century. Sartre, a key figure in Paris in 1968, in this work explores the opposition between objectivity and human consciousness, with Sartre proposing that consciousness - and thus, human - is essentially free. Therefore, any attempt by an individual or a philosophical theory to believe otherwise is a form of "bad faith", a refusal to recognize what one is, namely, a being who is both facticity and transcendence:

This work by Sartre projects the corrupt philosophy that humans are born without essence and therefore, existence precedes essence; humans have to create their own essence by way of choice. Ironically, the freedom of human consciousness is experienced by humans as a burden ("Man is condemned to be free"). Human projects, therefore, consist in the impossible attempt to become a free consciousness, such as when a person tries to become an intellectual or a parent or to play any other determinate social role. Because the impossibility of this attempt to become a conscious thing does not prevent humans from being irresistibly drawn to undertake it, Sartre declares that "man is a useless passion." In Made Of Stone, the question is posed to the listener 'Are you all alone ? Are you made of stone ?'. To do nothing is to embrace 'nothingness'; to take action is to embrace 'being' and begin to become your true self. Ian's response is to 'fantasize', a common response to existential pain in Sartre's works and a step along the path of self-realisation, since it transcends and is therefore not bound by what is real. Made Of Stone should be set in the context of works such as 'Being and Nothingness' and 'Iron in the Soul', the third volume of Sartre's 'Roads to Freedom' Trilogy.

The Late Show, a British television arts magazine programme (1989 - 1995) broadcast on BBC Two on weeknights at 11.15pm, immediately after Newsnight, was a seemingly strange choice of show for the band to perform. It was to provide them with their most infamous moment on television. In assessing how to cement their own place in television folklore, the Roses would have recognized that it was impossible to surpass the vulgarity of the Sex Pistols' profanity-laced TV appearance on Bill Grundy's 'Today' programme in 1976, and thus perhaps delved further back into music history for inspiration. The Late Show performance in November 1989 came to an abrupt halt after a power cut; evidence strongly points towards this being intentional. During the afternoon rehearsals, there had been problems with the automatic cut-out switch, triggered by the band's volume. At the point of power failure, Reni's smirking and giggling has a certain conspiratorial feel, and even prior to this, the band's actions look very staged, as if they are anticipating that something untoward is due to occur. Just as presenter Tracey MacLeod is introducing the band, a disinterested Ian Brown can be seen in the background chewing his nails and wiping his hand on his trousers, a laddish gesture on what the band no doubt perceived to be a stuffy 'high brow' arts programme. The band get through one verse of Made Of Stone and tentatively build into the chorus, just as the guitar and bass cut out. Reni snaps his fingers, whipping his hand towards Squire, who throws back the same 'wicked' hand gesture. Ian ducks down, looking to see if he is on the tv monitor, before incessantly stalking Tracey MacLeod as she tries to recover the situation by introducing the next segment of the show. Notice that he didn't once swear. The performance - what there was of it - has precedent in that of The Jimi Hendrix Experience on the 'Happening for Lulu show'. Following 'Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)', the band begin to perform a very loose version of the scheduled song, 'Hey Joe', then Hendrix says, "Why don't I stop playing this rubbish and dedicate a song to the uh Cream..." (who had just broken up), then launches into one of Cream's songs, 'Sunshine Of Your Love'. These two performances have striking parallels, with Hendrix and Brown attempting to create havoc in the BBC studios. Both artists were intent on not playing their scheduled songs in full, Hendrix by changing to an unscheduled number to avoid having to do a duet on Hey Joe with Lulu, who was waiting expectantly in the wings; the Roses by causing a power cut one verse in. Both Hendrix and Brown were intent on making life extremely difficult for the presenters; note Hendrix's screeching feedback while Lulu is reading the autocue introducing them, and Brown's "Amateurs !" heckling while Tracey MacLeod attempts to read an autocue. One distinct difference, however, was that Hendrix approached Lulu after the show and made an apology of sorts. I imagine Tracey MacLeod is still waiting for an apology from the Roses to this day...

 

 

Top left: The Stone Roses' curtailed performance on The Late Show was, fittingly, the last time the band ever played live on TV.
Top right: "What's happened ? Hey, que pasa ?" ... Ian Brown hijacks Tracey MacLeod's autocue. This no-nonsense punk mentality would continue in Ian's solo years. When Ian was interrupted by T4's Steve Jones while answering a question on Martial Arts, he threatened the presenter, "Do you want knocking out from here, or do you want me to get up there and do it ?", bringing the interview to an abrupt finish.
Bottom left: The Jimi Hendrix Experience on the 'Happening for Lulu show', 1969.
Bottom right: The infamous Sex Pistols interview with Bill Grundy, 1976. Shaun Ryder looked no further than aping this Sex Pistols appearance for his own infamous TV moment. Ryder appeared on early evening Channel 4 programme, TFI Friday, and cursed several times when being interviewed by Chris Evans. Following this interview on the show, it was deemed that he was not allowed to be interviewed live on any subsequent appearances on the show, for fear he may repeat his actions. However, for a 'Stars in Their Eyes' skit on his next appearance, Ryder performed (as Johnny Rotten) the Sex Pistols' 'Pretty Vacant' and seized his moment. The performance was transmitted live, as it was not an interview, and Ryder shouted the f-word several times. Subsequently, Ryder has been barred from appearing live on any Channel 4 programme - he is the only person listed by name in the Channel 4 transmission guidebook. In the wake of Ryder's antics, TFI Friday was then forced to go out pre-recorded.

Made Of Stone was used during some road trip scenes in the 1997 American movie, 'Heaven or Vegas'.

Modal analysis (by Steve Davidson):

The verse chords here are E minor, D major, C major and B major. All these chords except B major belong to the Key of E Aeolian (6th mode of the G major scale ). The B major chord belongs to the Key of E Harmonic Minor. Here are the notes to both scales:

E Aeolian E F# G A B C D E

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

The chorus changes to the relative major key which is G major. This is also known as the Ionian mode, so we have a modal change also. The chorus chords are G major, D major and C major. Here are the G Ionian scale notes.

G A B C D E F# G

Notice that these are the same notes as the E Aeolian mode. The instrumental and solo sections use the same chord sequences as the verses, so they would be in E Aeolian over the E minor, D major and C major chords, and then E harmonic minor over the B major chord. However, in the main guitar solo, Squire uses some double stops at the 14th fret on the B and G strings. This could be seen as momentarily shifting the mode to E Dorian over the E minor chord. It returns to E Aeolian for the D major and the C major. E Dorian notes:

E F# G A B C# D E

The second time through the same chord sequence, Squire uses the same double stops mentioned above over the C major chord. These notes of the double stops and the notes of the C major chord don't fit into a normal scale. C major chord notes: C E G. Double stop notes E&B, C#&A, B&G. The key centre is still E Aeolian because of the C major chord, so this would have to be viewed as the E Aeolian mode with an extra note.

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

So the extra note is C# and over the B chord the double stops are used giving the notes B&G and C#&A. This would be the E Harmonic minor scale with an extra note, again the C#.

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

There is then an instrumental verse. Chords are the same as the verse ones. Then the chorus returns to G Ionian and then back to E Aeolian for the ending.

 

Made Of Stone front and back cover artwork. "There's a full figure in that one, again accidental. I tried recreating the effect, controlling the line, but it didn't work. It's like the outline you get on sport logos." (John Squire speaking to Select magazine, November 1997). The Made of Stone artwork, entitled 'Cody Calling', was lost/stolen en-route to Liam Gallagher as a gift. The painting takes its title from Pollock's birthplace (Cody, Wyoming). In 1989, John Squire pollocked a toaster with a Cody Calling design, later featuring at exhibitions of his art.


* Or "And for as far as eye can see".


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