The 3rd Coming???

It seems to happen every year but once again the rumours of a Stone roses reunion are flying around. The legendary Manchester band haven’t been together since the mid nineties and there has never been a desire to reform from any of the group. So why now? Cynics will point to a big pay-day which the band didn’t receive in their heighday despite their talent. Fans will hope there is a desire to recapture their past glory and try to give mainstream music the kick it needs. Despite thousands of fans praying that the latest rumours are true, are the Roses correct to reform?
Their reputation and almost cult following has largely been based on their triumphant debut album. Often topping polls for the greatest album of all time, it has the perfect formula, constantly building to a crescendo but never reaching it. Always maintaining a solid groove, the album is most certainly of its era yet timeless at the same time. In every song you can hear the “Madchester” vibe yet there is so much more going from the rumbling base of I Wanna be Adored, to the anthemic Made of Stone. This album has managed to retain its’ following from 1989 and continues to gather lovers with every passing year, hence the appetite of the public to see the band once more or in some cases for the first time.
Basically the Roses defined an era, and also set the foundations for the next. At the time of their downfall, Britpop had come to the fore with a vast number of its  leading bands hugely influenced by the Roses. Critics regularly slate Oasis for stealing their style and image from the Beatles. Maybe this assumption is true when you think of Oasis, Heathen Chemistry onwards, but not in their early days. Listen to Definitely Maybe and its demo’s and B sides and you will hear a band who worship at the altar of the Stone Roses. Liam styled himself on Roses frontman, Ian Brown and Noel tried to recreate the euphoric tone of guitarist John Squire. Indeed both Gallagher brothers have admitted on numerous occasions that the Roses were the reason they were in a band (I’ll let you decide if this is a good thing!).
Undeniably there is a case for the Roses to play again. They never managed to fully recreate their glorious period of 1989-1991 due to a series of court wranglings which dragged on for two years, preventing them from recording. They lost momentum just when they were lining up America and the record companies believed they had the new Beatles in their midst. Such was the hype following “that” album, major US label Geffen rescued them from their contract with Silvertone records and paid each member bonuses of £1million upon signing. However the damage was done.
The large gap between recording caused a divide between the 4 members that would never be resolved. Geffen believed they were getting the greatest band in the world but instead they were getting four individuals, whose personalities and tastes had grown apart as well as each having a devolping drug habit. This coupled with their arrogance led to very poor reviews for their follow-up album, The Second Coming.
In places it shimmers like the Roses of old but there are far too many styles going on for it to be coherent. Not long after its release the spine of the band was shattered. Drummer Reni (Alan Wren) left the group and taking with him the rhythm and fluid style of playing that led Pete Townsend to describe him as the best drummer he’d seen since Keith Moon. Nevertheless, the band plowed on replacing Reni and going on tour. What followed were a series of poor shows which only heightened the friction between Brown and Squire. Eventually Squire would walk out and leave Brown and Mani as the only two original members. Those two along with a random group of musicians would take to the stage during the headline slot of the 1996 Reading festival, playing arguably the worst headline set in festival history.
Critics will use Reading to beat away any notion of a Roses reunion, however the masses deserve the chance to witness the original four, line up again on the big stage. It seems that this afternoon their reunion will be announced although there is reason to doubt. For years publications such as the NME have chosen lulls in Indie music to try to stir the idea that the Roses will reform, with Brown, Squire and Mani all rebuffing time and time again. However there is optimism for this particular rumour. Brown and Squire met each other for the first time in 16 years in April this year, and Reni has actually said something. He sent a cryptic message to NME, which in true Roses style was sent to confuse the press. His involvement added to all the comments from sources close to them members has built anticipation amongst fans. Surely they can’t disappoint now?

2 Responses

  1. This is very exciting yet I can’t help but be cynical towards this. Perhaps The Stone Roses should embrace what they have achieved without risking their success…? Who knows, if their music will be anything like Brown’s solo work then maybe this pessimism is required. Great article.

  2. Let’s just hope Squire still knows how to play! Lucky them though, managed to get a nice 13million in their pockets after the tickets they sold today, hopefully they will live upto the high expectations everyone has for them… only time will tell!

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