A brief history of the band
Ian Brown (Vocals) and John Squire (Guitar) are joined by Mani (Bass) and
Remi (Drums) to form the Stone Roses.They were, and are, wholly in
control of their own idea of themselves.
When Mancunians grew increasingly provincial about their music scene, Brown
shouted back during one concert what has become, in England at least,
a classic rock quote:
Oddly, The Stone Roses debuted in a series of shows in Sweden after a chance
meeting with a neophyte promoter. They quit their day jobs 12 months
earlier when they realized they had something worthwhile. Then came the
legendary, and illegal, warehouse gigs. The band would often go on stage
four in the morning for the thousand or so fans who had moved on in their
round-the-clock partying after the Hacienda nightclub closed. An
underground scene developed and they were its favorite band.
"So Young" (1985) was their first single, "Sally Cinnamon" (1987) their
next. But it was "Elephant Stone" (1988), produced by John Leckie (XTC)
with Mani on bass, which broke them into the Top 10 of the U.K. indie charts.
The single "Made Of Stone" was released just prior to the April 1989
launch of The Stone Roses, on which the song was also heard. The album
(which included "I Wanna Be Adored") shot to the top of the charts and
other singles followed: the Top 40 "She Bangs The Drums" and the Top 10
"Fools Gold," the best-selling independent label single of the year. The
singles from the album were ranked among the top four of the year by NME,
which also named The Stone Roses the Band of the Year.
The Stone Roses, the U.K.'s best-selling indie album of 1989, was named
the Best Album of the Year in Sounds and one of the Top 20 albums of the
decade by the readers of Melody Maker. More than 300,000 copies were sold
in the U.K. (where platinum certification is 200,000) and nearly as
many in the U.S. Despite the lack of an American tour, it stayed near the
top of the U.S. college/alternative charts for several months. The band
Europe and Japan however, where they were accosted with Beatles-like adoration.
In early 1990, a new, non-album single, "One Love," again reached the Top
10. But thanks to the ensuing legal difficulties and recording delays,
would be the last the public would hear from The Stone Roses other than
in a courtroom until 1995. (A problematic collection of B-sides of singles,
Turns Into Stone, was released in 1992.)
From the start, The Stone Roses have been a contradiction in terms, right
from their very name with its connotations of hard and soft. They say they
sacked their first bassist because he didn't like the Beatles. The Sex
Pistols said they sacked theirs because he did. Yet The Stone Roses could
well be the offspring of a marriage between those two bands. Compelling
and defiant, innocent and worldly, lascivious and laconic, sincere and
sarcastic, The Stone Roses are both translucent and opaque.
If theirs was a contrived image of all-things-to-all-people, it might be
subject to scrutiny. But they suffer no self-analysis, no introspection.
never believed what's been written about them, only what they believe about
themselves. Without a shred of Angst or self-deception, they are who they
are. Armed with a dry, deadpan sense of humor, they take their lives in
stride. As a certain group of neighboring Liverpudlians once replied to
their success, "It's the trousers."
The only existential constant for The Stone Roses is that they live for
the moment, hope for the best and encourage others to make their lives
living too. It's not live fast, die young, they say, it's live fast, die
old. For The Stone Roses, every performance, every album, is played like
it was their
first--and their last.