Fools Gold was released as a double A Side along with What the World is Waiting For in November 1989
It went on to be one of the bands biggest hits, spent 14 weeks in the top 75 and peaked at number 8
“Fools Gold” and “What the World Is Waiting For” were recorded at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall during the late summer of 1989, with additional vocal and guitar parts recorded later at London’s Battery Studios, during the autumn of 1989. The tracks had been worked on for four months, and the intention was to put “What the World Is Waiting For” as the A side; however, when Roddy Mckenna, Silvertone’s A&R man, heard “Fools Gold” he urged the band to use that as the A-side. The band were not completely convinced, and it was agreed, instead, to release the two tracks as a double A-side.
“Fools Gold” has been described as a Madchester and dance-rock song. The dance-oriented song showcased the rhythm section of Mani on bass and Reni on percussion. Ian Brown stated the song was written over “The Funky Drummer” by James Brown, which Reni had to learn the beat from. John Squire also plays guitar with various wah-wah pedal effects. Ian Brown sings the vocals in a whispered delivery. He would also perform with this technique for the track “Something’s Burning”. The bassline was inspired by “Know How” by Young MC, which is a sample from the Shaft theme song, performed by Isaac Hayes. The lyrics reference Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” and Marquis de Sade. The verses were inspired by John Huston’s 1948 film adaptation of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
The single was promoted with a music video, showing The Stone Roses performing outdoors and walking across the volcanic landscape of Lanzarote, Canary Islands, as depicted in this design.
The cover art was a painting by John Squire, “Double Dorsal Dopplegänger”, which was later exhibited at Squire’s 2004 art exhibition.
The band’s appearance on the same November Top of the Pops as the Happy Mondays, who performed “Hallelujah” from the Madchester Rave on E.P., is regarded as a “cultural high-water mark”, exposing the emerging Madchester scene to a wider audience, and popularizing a new dance-oriented music genre, baggy.
Although a non-album double A-sided single, both tracks have appeared on the compilation albums Turns into Stone, The Complete Stone Roses and The Very Best of The Stone Roses. Both tracks have also appeared on some reissued editions of their debut album The Stone Roses, although Fools Gold has appeared more often than What The World Is Waiting For.
In May 2007, NME magazine placed “Fools Gold” at number 32 in its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever.
This design celebrates the 30th anniversary of this epic track
Another must have tee for any Roses fan