Shane Meadows on stage filming the Stone Roses
Shane Meadows on stage filming the Stone Roses
Shane Meadows on stage filming the Stone Roses
Shane Meadows on stage filming the Stone Roses

The Stone Roses always operated under the own rules and no-one elses.

This was the band who were delivered the world on a plate and walked away with their heads held up high. The Second Coming came out when they were ready and, despite being a big album, missed the band’s own boat which had been hijacked by Oasis.

But did it matter?

The Second Coming stood the test of time and the Stone Roses remained untarnished.

All the best bands appear out of the fog. On their own terms. When THEY are ready.

The worst bands dance to the tune of the music biz and the lawyers.

So what is going on with the Stone Roses? it’s been three years since that great comeback. That perfect moment when they reappeared like King Arthur’s Knights, played a series of stunning shows and then disappeared again. At the time there was talk of record deals and albums and the band nodded and smiled in that time honoured way of never quite committing to anything.

Since then information has been scarce. Now and then a Stone Roses appears in town and conversation is had, the Stone Roses have not disappeared as people. They have just reemerged in normal life beyond the showbiz curve.

There was talk early on of new material, ‘great psychedelic pop’ Ian Brown told me. It probably still exists- fragments of genius that are tantalisingly hanging in the air. They probably did put a few shifts in to make something but then real life got in the way in the best possible way. There were families to look after, Mani had twins, days became weeks and weeks became months. At least these are partly genuine and human reasons for not recording releasing stuff so far.


There is probably a perfectionist streak running through the band as well. Some of them may want to just go in and record- make an album in  a week, knowing that the innate genius of the whole group would be bound to turn out something brilliant and some of the band may want to work on the details, get this thing perfect melodically and musically- neither method is wrong or right- people work in different ways. Maybe they will never find this perfection and surely no fan wants a half assed record.


There is also the expectation and the pressure and there is the perfect legend to preserve which like their mentors the Clash, the Pistols or the Beatles they will want to maintain. None of those bands spoiled it by coming back with the wrong record, they realised that sometimes silence is golden. the Stone Roses MUST never be average.

Timing in rock n roll is everything…in some ways never releasing another album but never confirming it or denying it and riding off into the sunset is a great finish for this band that always so brilliantly delay with mystique BUT the Roses don’t feel finished, they didn’t sound tired and short of breath on those comeback gigs. We know there is still plenty in the motor but we respect their artistic stubbornness and wait to see what 2015 brings…they could be starting to rehearse again soon and the whole may flow from there…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Wouldn’t break my heart if no further work was forthcoming, don’t feel entitled to any – but I would say, thank you for the reunion, gents & whatever future mischief they get up to? Bless ’em !! <3

  2. admirable sentiments John but not sure The Clash are the best example.If ever a band came back with the wrong record it was Clash 2 with Cut The Crap…….

  3. Definitely see a new album the silence is deafening,mani would be back in the scream and Brown would be back to his solo career if they split,odds are for a sudden release like bowie did catch people off guard,interestingly the band Doves tweeted a picture of there rehearsal studio recently which had Reni’s drum kit in the background odd they did that ,cryptic clue maybe.

  4. ‘Cut The Crap’ wasn’t really a Clash album. It was Bernie Rhodes up his own arse, with Joe and Paul WITH some other lads. No Mick or Topper, no Clash…

    Lennon always said that it would have to be all four members for a Beatles reunion to work (and I don’t include that ‘Free As A Bird’ crap!). If all of The Roses are involved, who knows what they could achieve?

  5. I think the delay is probably a combination of perfectionism and the usual roses slow recording pace. Not that I’m complaining. Second coming was well worth the wait. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Roses came back with a bang and headed a revival of British guitar music. Here’s hoping!

  6. Great words John robb as always. The Roses disciple bar none. The Roses have nothing to prove first and foremost as you say. But one thing not mentioned is that being in a band can be boring as fuck. And the Roses are just normal lads not fucking business men like Sting and Eric Clapton and Phil Collins. I used to love being tucked away in a recording studio making demos with my best friends but the gigs and the tours can be dull. I reckon Reni and John especially just hated it and fair play they regrouped cos they deserved their pay day retrospectively but they probably just still want to do what most of us want to do. Live a life and not be part of music industry bollocks and their legacy is already intact. The best 4 musicians that made the seminal record we all still talk about and the one that changed all our lives for good. Peace man

  7. well said everyone, still have faith that they will deliver, a perfect record, i also believe they have un finished busniess they should have released the second album in 1990-1991, after glasgow green, understandable court cases got in the way, that is why i love turns into stone as it is the closest we ever got to that great lost album, they will unleash a beast of an album after summer. keep the faith.

  8. 2015 will be over in three and a half months. So unless they do a Bowie and surprise everyone I can’t see anything surfacing.
    Maybe we’ll have to wait for the third one as long as we waited for the second one? I hope not…

  9. The agreement was if everyone wasn’t into it then don’t do it. There’s been sessions but nothing put to tape. Perfectionists? Nope, just wanted twelve good songs to get down. Too many “in the knowers” ignoring the fact that the webs never been the direct line from HQ. Someone said 2015, then Shane started going on about new music. Fact was stuff left off second coming was being practiced to see if the juices would flow again. Did they? Who knows. Wales was busy in April but no one was looking in the wilds. It’s easy to not be seen if no ones really looking.


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