Ian Brown - Sister Rose ( Polydor)
Ah, this is such a great song, the stand-out track on Ian Brown's excellent album The World Is Yours. Steve and Paul are co-writers on this one, and it's pure bliss, a gorgeous blend of cinematic strings and rock suss. One of the coolest tracks you'll hear this year.
The three versions on the CD single all vary from the album mix. The Steve Fitzmaurice Single Mix is not a million miles from the original; some vocal echo and importantly, slightly more prominence given to Steve's guitar, plus some subtle changes to the drum sound (including tom toms) being the main differences. The vocal echo gives the track a slightly longer running time than the album mix.
Version two, featuring Pharoahe Monch, is best described as the rapping track. Similar to the Steve Fitzmaurice mix, it retains the Cook 'n' Jones punch, but throws in a rap which begins "I'm addicted to pain", before telling us that Sister Rose is "more addictive than cut coke." The additional mid-song vocal action lengthens the running time by a further 30 seconds.
The last version on the CD is a scratch-fest. Starkey Bant announces "A remix... the remix of a remix!" The orchestration takes a definite back seat and the drums are treated to a synthetic sound. Steve's guitar is still present, but the beat is the over-riding driving force. Starkey Bant throws in a vocal break of his own, growling "Sister Rose" in his deepest, meanest voice. Oh, and there is an explosion tucked in as well. This is the longest of the three versions, pushing the running time to just over five minutes.
Two videos are included, including Sister Rose, but these don't feature the Pistols duo in action.
The 7" picture disc boasts the Japanese version, and that is exactly what it is. Ian sings the entire song in Japanese (well, I'm convinced). The mix sounds the same as the album version of the song. It's well worth a listen due to the fact that Ian sings it straight, not as a mickey take.
A Cook 'n' Jones masterpiece, with a little help from King Monkey.
by Phil Singleton
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