The rumors are true. Manchester's own Stone Roses have reunited and are planning a 2012 tour, Beginning with a series of hometown shows set to take place next June. The classic lineup of members Ian Brown (vocals), John Squire (guitar), Gary “Mani” Mounfield (bass) and Alan “Reni” Wren (drums) have not performed together for over 15 years.
The band split up in 1996, and though rumors of their potential reformation have trickled out over the years, every one of the former members have consistently denied the possibility. As recently as April of this year, reports of a reconciliation were spurred on by rumors of an "emotional reunion" of Ian Brown and John Squire reportedly taking place at the funeral of Gary Mounfield's mother. Responding to the report, Mounfield said:
"Two old friends meeting up after 15 years to pay their respects to my mother does not constitute the reformation of The Stone Roses. Please fuck off and leave it alone. It isn't true and isn't happening."
The Stone Roses first came to prominence in the mid-1980's as part of a revival of the Manchester music scene that also spawned influential bands like The Happy Mondays, James and Inspiral Carpets. Dubbed "Madchester", their musical styles combined elements of rock, punk, funk and dance music to critical acclaim and massive commercial success, at least in the UK. They released their self-titled debut album in 1989 to rave reviews and its status as an instant classic has remained unchanged. Popular UK music magazine NME voted it the "Best British Album" of all time in 2006.
A steady stream of hits followed their debut, including the tracks "She Bangs The Drums", "I Wanna Be Adored" and "I Am The Resurrection", but tensions grew among band members. They completed just one more album, "Second Coming", before disbanding in 1996 after a disastrous tour that featured only two of the original members. The outing was widely derided by the UK music press for featuring shoddy musicianship. An NME reporter commented that Brown's vocals were "so off-key it was excruciating to have to listen."
While never gaining much commercial traction beyond the confines of their home country, The Stone Roses remain an influential band. Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis are loyal fans. Liam was particularly ecstatic, gushing (via his twitter account) after hearing news of the reunion,"Stone roses getting back together not been this happy since my kids were born…"