The Stone Roses, one of the greatest bands from Britain's Madchester scene in the 1980s and '90s, are reuniting for a summer 2012 tour and are working on new material for a possible album, with hits that could re-create the glory of stunners like Fools Gold, I Wanna Be Adored, Bye Bye Birdman, and I Am the Resurrection.
At an Oct. 18 press conference at London's Soho Hotel, vocalist and frontman Ian Brown announced that the band would have two homecoming gigs at Heaton Park on June 29-30 before launching a world tour. the band also revealed that they were working on new material, to be played during the shows and possibly made into a brand-new album. Tickets for the first two gigs go on sale the morning of Oct. 21.
The band broke up in 1996 following a protracted court battle with Silverstone Records and the falling out between Brown and guitarist John Squire. Following Squire's and Reni's exits from the band, The Stone Roses fell apart, dissolving after a critically panned performance and a lacklustre second album.
Rumors of a reunion have been in the works since the moment the band split, but an actual reconciliation seemed unlikely, and many of the younger generation don't know who The Stone Roses are after fifteen years without records. Brown continually refused to meet with Squire, who he said sold him out by leaving, and Squire himself made a piece of art in 2009 with the words: I have no desire whatsoever to desecrate the grave of seminal Madchester pop group The Stone Roses.
Now, however, the band is back, and with a fresh outlook on the group's future. At the funeral of bassist Mani's mother, Squire and Brown had an emotional reconciliation, and now the reunion is looking to be less a rehash than a revolution.
There's no one in the world, Brown said at the press conference, gesturing to his Stone Roses bandmates, can play like these three together. It's an old thing that bands don't do anymore. Calling the current music scene boring, bland, and corporate, with nobody saying anything, According to The Guardian, Brown feels that the band's style is magical... so we're gonna bring that out and ride that as long as we can.
Fans are likely to go along for that ride, as bands like Pulp and the Specials also make comebacks. The biggest challenge will likely be adjusting middle-aged fingers and vocal chords to the heightened expectations of their fans. The best way to capitalize on their reunion after fifteen years apart will be a new album, which Brown says is possible but not guaranteed. We hope so, Brown said, adding: We'll ride this until the wheels come off, like we did last time.
So Who Are The Stone Roses? 15 Things to Know:
15. Brown and Squire, childhood friends, were compared to John Lennon and Paul McCartney when the band made its debut in 1989 with eponymous album The Stone Roses.
14. In 2006, NME named the band's debut album the greatest British album ever made.
13. For those who argue the band is selling out, look to The Stone Roses' legacy with press conferences. The odd piece of incisive home-spun philosophy from Brown, reporter John Robb fumed, complete silence from John Squire, witty banter from Reni, and Mani spouting off if he let his guard drop. The group often made headlines for refusing to say anything, at least to reporters' faces.
12. Bye Bye Birdman, one of the greatest songs from the debut album, was inspired by the French Mai student riots of 1968.
11. One of the best moments in the song I Am the Resurrection is the false coda. Mani, however, says the addition was completely unplanned, added in the studio on a whim.
10. After leaving Guns n' Roses in 1996, guitarist Slash offered to replace Squire to stop The Stone Roses from breaking up. The group rejected the offer.
9. John Squire is also a talented artist. His Jackson Pollock-inspired artwork was featured on the cover of all of the albums and singles.
8. The Stone Roses were great friend with another Madchester band, The Happy Mondays, even swapping nicknames for each other. Ian Brown was known as Mean Boy for his trademark stare, and Monday bassist Paul Ryder was called Big Arm.
7. This is the One, the entrance song used by Machester United for their home games, was written under duress. Producer Martin Hannett locked the band in a room, saying he wouldn't let them out until they wrote another song.
6. Fools Gold is perhaps The Stone Roses' best-known and best-loved song, has multiple parents. It was built around a loop from Funky Drummer, a well-known James Brown song, but John Squire insists the riff was also inspired by Johnny Cash's rockabilly plucking sound. The lyrics to Fools Gold were inspired by the Humphrey Bogart film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
5. On Aug. 12, 1989, The Stone Roses played their biggest and most successful gig at Blackpool's Empress Ballroom, but it was also the night that they learned one of Mani's best friends had killed himsefl after being arrested for drug possession. Everything we did after, the bassist has said, was tinged with sadness.
4. Their particular movement, called Madchester, was a blend of alternative, psychedelic, and dance music, a legacy bridging pop, rock, and punk in the '80s and '90s.
3. I am the Resurrection owes its creation to an unknown enemy. John Squire said it was a murderous attack on one individual to NME, adding that I don't want to tell you who it is.
2. No playlist for The Stone Roses is complete without Waterfall, Love Spreads, Mersey Paradise, and Made of Stone.
1. The Stone Roses launched during the second summer of love, a period from the late '80s to the mid '90s bent on recapturing the psychedelic sounds and anarchists vibes of the '60s and '70s. Fans flocked by the thousands to baggy Woodstock at Spike Island in 1990 just to hear The Roses, rumored (and confirmed) to have been stoned through most of their recordings, play something live.