The Stone Roses were formed in Manchester in 1983, around singer Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire. Drummer and backing vocalist Reni (Alan Wren) signed up in 1984, while Mani (Gary Mounfield) joined in 1987 on bass. Despite a scant discography, the band are loved. Their 1989 debut album was a pivotal influence on Brit-pop, with its acoustic guitars and harmonies reminiscent of The Byrds, while they’re not lacking in confidence, with song titles like ‘I Am The Resurrection’, and Brown’s vocals are very English. Their tight rhythm section was able to incorporate dance beats into songs like ‘Fools Gold’.
But more than most acts, The Stone Roses are defined by a single album – their 1989 debut album is often ranked highly in best of all time lists, but it was five years before its followup emerged. Second Coming featured a 1970s stadium rock style, at odds with the Brit-pop that they spawned, and it was messy and over-long despite a few great individual tracks. The Stone Roses career never recovered – Reni and Squire left the band, although they reunited in 2011 for live performances and have released several singles.
In the tradition of English bands, The Stone Roses have worthwhile non-album material, particularly songs like ‘Sally Cinnamon’ that led up to their debut, and their 1989-1990 singles. This material is covered on compilations like The Complete Stones Roses, or on the deluxe reissue of their debut. The Stone Roses debut is a great album that belongs in every rock fan’s collection, and there are other songs in their catalogue worth seeking out.
Ten Favourite Stone Roses Songs
I Wanna Be Adored
This Is The One
Breaking Into Heaven
I Am The Resurrection
What The World Is Waiting For
Ten Storey Love Song
Where Angels Play