The Stone Roses enjoyed most of their success in the late eighties and early nineties. They were definitely the most influential and important band to come out of this era. They are certainly one of the best and most interesting bands ever to grace the world's music scene. The British public highlighted this when they recently voted their debut album (The Stone Roses) as the second best album ever. This is one of the highest honours a Rock band could ever hope to achieve.
The Stone Roses were formed in Manchester in 1984. The original Roses line up consisted of Ian Brown(vocals) John Squire(Lead Guitar) Andy Couzens(Bass) Alan Wren "Reni"(Drums) and Pete Garner(Rhythm Guitar). This line up churned out the Roses first two singles. So Young/Tell Me (1985) was the Roses first single, it is a very "Rocky" sound which the lads dismissed as "Angst- ridden Rock." Ian has yet to realise that his accent can sound as cool as anyone else's and he hasn't developed his hushed tone of voice which makes him so unique. Sally Cinnamon(1987) was the first song to be released by the Roses after Pete Garner had left. This record showed signs of what was to come from this band. This song also proved that the Stone Roses had mastered the art of the three minute pop song.
After Sally Cinnamon Gary Mounfield "Mani" replaced Couzins on Bass and the new familiar lineup released Elephant Stone(1988). This song showed the Roses "trippy" "funky"side and widened the hems of a generation. It also showed Reni's dextrous drumming talents. Made of Stone(1989) was the first single to be released by the band from their new album. This song was released just prior to the new album.The new album The Stone Roses(1989) was acclaimed by critics across the country. Its variety of moods and tempos appealed to everyone and it stayed in the UK album charts for over a year. Their touring of the Manchester club and pub circuit had finally paid off. Another successful single from the album followed in the form of She bangs the Drums(1989). Then the Stone Roses pulled off a classic live performance at the Blackpool Empress Ballroom (which is available on video). It now seemed as if the world was their oyster.
Fools Gold/What the World Is Waiting For(1989) was the highest point in the Roses' career. This showed the best of the Stone Roses and the "baggy" movement that the Roses had introduced was in full swing. This song exhibited the full force of the Stone Roses rhythm section. Then the group decided they were big enough to host their own festival, Spike Island was the location. This was a former toxic waste dump and contained toxic dust which contaminated many of the spectators. The club DJs who were playing before the Roses failed to impress the 30,000 strong crowd and the Roses performance which followed was nothing special but was still a good performance. Many people were disappointed but Spike Island was still the starting point for the nineties and paved the direction of British music. One Love(1990) was The Stone Roses forthcoming single and was widely expected to reach number one. Unfortunately it only reached number four and was slated by the critics. The song is obviously brilliant and Squire was able to show everyone the peak of his talent, Reni again took his drumming to new levels. This was the last single of new Stone Roses material for four years due to a lengthy court battle in which they managed to extract themselves from their record label Silverstone. The critics had now decided to payback the Stone Roses for their cold, uninterested interview style. This was to be the first of bout of bad luck which was to befall the Stone Roses. During their absence I Wanna Be Adored, Waterfall and I Am The Resurrection were released in 1991 from the album and a B-side From She Bangs The Drums called Standing Here was also released as a single. Sightings of the Stone Roses were becoming as famous as sightings of Elvis in provincial chip shops.
In 1994 The Stone Roses had now signed to the label Geffen and their new album was keenly anticipated by the public. Titled The Second Coming the album took fourteen months to produce and was a heavier record than its predecessor. John's Led Zeppelin influences were plain to see and the other band members were unhappy that John had turned down the rhythm sections in the songs so he could layer the songs with his mammoth guitar solos. Mani later described it as "His (John's) Led Zeppelin fantasy" The Roses comeback single was Love Spreads(1994) which entered the charts in the top five and the album followed it into the top 5. Critics were again unimpressed. Looking at this album you can see that it is not as good as the debut album but is a classic in a different style with Ten Storey Love Song, Breaking into Heaven and Love Spreads as its high points.
Disaster again followed the Roses after Reni left for reasons unknown to the public. He reportedly had a bust up with John but family responsibilities or his own heroin addiction could have forced him to leave. He was replaced by Robbie Maddix who never looked like properly filling Reni's shoes. The Stone Roses limped on, then John announced to the world that he was leaving. He hadn't discussed this properly with the rest of the band. Ian Brown hasn't spoken to his childhood friend since. He blames John's cocaine abuse for the Roses downfall. He was replaced by Aziz Ibrahim. Then The Stone Roses were finally finished after a disastrous Reading Festival performance, with the Roses a shadow of their former selves (without Reni and John). They reportedly played their worst ever gig. Ian's voice was particularly stretched and he was struggling to keep in tune, consequently they were made a fool of by the music press and it was to be their last gig.