The Stone Roses in 2017

Stone Roses “split” – again

The Stone Roses have seemingly split up again, dashing any lingering hopes of a third album from the Madchester legends.

Despite the widely held belief that the band would be heading back to the studio following their three summer shows in Belfast, London and Glasgow, Ian Brown closed Saturday’s Hampden Park gig with the ominous message “Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy that it happened.” Although no official confirmation has come from the band regarding their future plans, many fans have taken this as a sign that the band has come to an end.

Formed way back in 1983, the Stone Roses came to prominence in 1989 as figureheads of the emerging indie-dance crossover (or “baggy”) movement, famously appearing alongside their contemporaries Happy Mondays on a November 1989 edition of Top of the Pops to promote their first top ten hit Fools Gold. The single spent a total of thirty weeks on the UK chart, returning to the listings with additional remixes in 1992, 1995 and 1999. Their self-titled début album entered the chart in May 1989 and has spent a total of 180 on the chart to date (it’s still there today at #39). While the band fought to free themselves from their record deal with indie label Silvertone – and the label shamelessly milked the band’s catalogue for all it was worth in the meantime – there was a gap of more than five years before their long awaited second album The Second Coming finally emerged in 1994. Despite including their biggest hit single, the #2 success Love Spreads, the band began to fall apart with the departure of drummer Reni in 1995, followed by guitarist John Squire a year later. Reduced to just singer Ian Brown, bassist Mani and a variety of session musicians including former Simply Red guitarist Aziz Ibrahim, the band split in October 1996.

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After the band’s break-up Brown went on to enjoy a reasonably successful solo career, Squire formed the Seahorses and Mani joined Primal Scream, but despite the lukewarm reception to the band’s mid-90s exploits, clamour for a reunion began to build. Various rumours surfaced and were dashed until the original line-up finally reunited in 2011 for a tour. The band’s reunion was documented in a film Made of Stone in 2013 and hopes for a third album remained high, fuelled by the release of two new singles All For One and Beautiful Thing in 2016. Following Brown’s comments at Saturday’s concert, it now seems unlikely that any more new material will be forthcoming – for the foreseeable future, at least.