The History of the Stone Roses
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The History of the Stone Roses

A history of the Stone Roses from their formation in the mid eighties to the acrimonious split and resurrection.

The Stone Roses

Source: Last FM

With the recent reformation of the Stone Roses, perhaps now is a good time to take a look back at their glorious history, from the release of their seminal debut work, their very troubled second coming and the equally acrimonious split.

The core of the group has always been lead singer Ian Brown and chief song-writer and guitarist John Squire. The duo knew each other through their attendance of Altincham Grammar School in Manchester and formed their first group together as far back as 1980, a punk band called The Patrol.

Like many a young band the energy quickly dissipated and the group promptly fell apart. A few other bands came and went, as well as a few different lineups before a core group was settled on and the name the Stone Roses agreed. It would take until May 1984 before the final lineup to be arranged - for the next couple of years at least - when the group, needing a drummer, auditioned and accepted Alan "Reni" Wren. A few months down the line and the Roses were ready for their first gig, playing support to Pete Townshend at the Moonlight Club in London.

The press were not long in catching on to their potential and a positive notice in Sounds magazine in January 1985 was the first of many.  They were already recording and writing at this point and a live session on Piccadilly Radio in March would signal the true potential of the group when they performed the, not yet, iconic track i Wanna Be Adored.

The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses live in Cambridge         Source: The Guardian

It was not to be an overnight success for the Roses, though. An early attempt at recording their debut album was shelved as there sound began to change and develop.  In 1987 they released a limited run of Sally Cinnamon which sold out its 1,00 copy run but failed to give the group the profile jump they desired.

Bassist Pete Garner had had enough at this point and was eventually replaced Gary Mounfield who would become known to the world as Mani. The decision to go with Mani would prove crucial, as Brown later revealed, "straight away everything fell into place."

Between 1988 and '89 the group started recording their debut album in Battery Studios and Konk Studios in London and Rockfield Studios in Wales produced by John Leckie. The initial singles off the album failed to trouble the charts in any meaningful way and when the album was released to mixed reviews it seemed the band might never emerge from the shadows of their sixties supergroup influences.

However, over the next year singles like She Bangs the Drums, their first top 40 hit and, in particular, Fools Gold - initially the B-side to What the World is Waiting For cemented their reputation as one of the most exciting new groups in British music.

Around 27,000 people attended their gig in Spike Island in May 1990 - thousands more would later claim to have been  there - in a show that has since become an iconic event for the baggy movement of the time.  When their single One Love reached number two in the British charts, their highest position yet, it seemed the band were destined to become one of the biggest and best groups in the world.

Alas, it was to be their last official release for four years. They became embroiled in a legal wrangle with their label Silvertone as they tried to terminate their five year deal and jump ship to a major label. The dispute was settled in May 1991 and the band then signed with Geffen Records securing themselves a one million pound advance in the process.

Now they had to set about regaining all that lost momentum from the protrated legal issues. Spending about 347 ten hour days on their next record was probably not the best idea. The album Second Coming finally saw the light of day in December 1994, and inevitably was to prove something of a disappointment. When Reni left the group in March 1995 it seemed all was not right in the band. John Squire's departure a year later proved its death knell, even if they did struggle on for a few months more. Ian Brown and Mani dissolved the group in October 1996, leaving behind a small but brilliant body of work and seemingly limitless unfulfilled potential.

With Ian Brown having a successful solo career and Squire's reticence to return to the music industry it seemed to group would never return and make good on all that potential.

Stone Roses Press Conference

All four Stone Roses reunited in the Soho Hotel, London         Soure: NME

Well, that was until a press conference at a Soho Hotel In London on October 18 2011, where the group announced they were to play two gigs in Manchester in 2012 to be followed, afterwards by a world tour.

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Comments (2)
Ranked #4 in Music & Musicians

Very cool discussion. Thanks for posting.

Have not heard these guys in ages, great job! : )