The Stone Roses’ Legal Troubles That Broke Ian Brown And John Squire’s Spirits

They say that the music industry is a battlefield, and the Stone Roses were no strangers to the hardships it can bring. As an influential British rock band of the late 1980s and early 1990s, their rise to fame was overshadowed by a series of unfortunate events that ultimately crippled their success. This is a tale of two talented musicians, Ian Brown and John Squire, and their fight to survive in a world that often seemed to be working against them.

The story of the Stone Roses started in Manchester, where childhood friends Ian Brown and John Squire bonded over their shared love of music. After years of jamming together and honing their skills, they formed the Stone Roses in 1983, along with bassist Pete Garner and drummer Alan ‘Reni’ Wren. The band’s unique blend of rock, funk, and psychedelia made them stand out from their contemporaries, and they soon built a loyal following in their hometown.

Their debut record, released in 1989, was a self-titled masterpiece that would go on to define the Madchester sound. The album was critically acclaimed, and tracks like ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ and ‘She Bangs the Drums’ became instant classics. It seemed like the Stone Roses were poised for greatness, but little did they know that the road ahead was riddled with obstacles.

Following the release of their debut album, the Stone Roses found themselves embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with their record label, Silvertone Records. The dispute centered around the band’s desire to sign with a larger label, while Silvertone insisted they fulfill their contractual obligations. This legal wrangling kept the band tied up in court for years, preventing them from capitalizing on their newfound fame and recording new music.

The Stone Roses’ dispute with the record label halted their wish to release new music for an extended period. This not only stunted their creative growth but also hindered their momentum. The delay cost them valuable time when they could have been solidifying their status in the music industry, allowing other bands to fill the void and capture the attention of their fans.

During this tumultuous time, the band faced other setbacks as well. They were plagued by lineup changes, with bassist Pete Garner leaving the band and being replaced by Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield. While Mani proved to be a great addition, the transition period took time and energy away from focusing on their music.

Additionally, their much-hyped 1990 Spike Island concert, meant to be a triumphant celebration of their success, was marred by poor sound quality and a lackluster performance, which tarnished their reputation. The fallout from the concert caused some fans to question the band’s ability to deliver on the hype generated by their debut album.

When the Stone Roses finally emerged from their legal battle, they released their long-awaited second album, ‘Second Coming,’ in 1994. However, the album received mixed reviews and failed to live up to the success of their debut. Disillusioned and exhausted, the band began to fracture, with drummer Reni leaving in 1995 and guitarist John Squire departing in 1996. By the end of the decade, the Stone Roses had disbanded, leaving fans to wonder what might have been.

Besides the abovementioned setbacks, following the massive success of their debut, the pressure to produce a worthy follow-up, coupled with creative differences within the band, caused tension between the members. This strained environment made it difficult for the group to work together effectively and ultimately impacted the quality of their second record.

Furthermore, as the Stone Roses dealt with their mishaps, the music industry continued to evolve. By the time ‘Second Coming’ was released, the Britpop movement was in full swing, and bands like Oasis and Blur dominated the scene. The Stone Roses’ prolonged absence allowed these new acts to gain a foothold in the industry, making it difficult for them to reclaim their position at the top.

In 2011, the Stone Roses announced a surprise reunion, reigniting the hopes of their devoted fan base. The band played a series of shows, including a massive gig at Manchester’s Heaton Park, and even released new music in 2016. However, tensions between Ian Brown and John Squire once again surfaced, and the band announced their second disbandment in 2017.