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Ian Brown

Ian Brown
Ian Brown in 2010
Background information
Birth name Ian George Brown
Born (1963-02-20) 20 February 1963
Warrington, England[1]
Genres Alternative rock, madchester, indie rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, percussion, keyboards, harmonica, guitar, bass guitar, drums, bongos
Years active 1980–1996, 1998–present
Labels Polydor/Fiction Records (UK)
Interscope, E1 Music (US)
Associated acts The Stone Roses, the Patrol, Waterfont

Ian George Brown (born 20 February 1963) is an English musician. He was the lead singer of the alternative rock band the Stone Roses from their formation in 1983 until they broke up in 1996. Following the split he began a solo career, releasing six studio albums, a greatest hits compilation, a remix album and 17 singles. He has performed solo shows in 45 countries. He returned to singing for the Stone Roses on October 19, 2011. On October 20, he put out a statement to say that although he had reunited with the band, it did not spell the end of his solo endeavours.


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • The Stone Roses 1.2
    • Solo career 1.3
  • Awards and achievements 2
  • Discography 3
    • Albums 3.1
      • Studio 3.1.1
      • Remixes 3.1.2
      • Compilations 3.1.3
    • Singles 3.2
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Early life

Brown was born in joiner and his mother Jeane worked as a receptionist in a paper factory.[3] He then moved with his family, including a brother and sister, to Timperley, Altrincham.[4][5][6][7][8] He attended Park Road County Primary Infant and Junior School and then Altrincham Grammar School for Boys.[8]

Brown's interest in music was inspired by the punk movement, specifically the bands Sex Pistols, the Clash and Manchester band Slaughter & the Dogs.[9] Brown and original Stone Roses bassist Pete Garner attended the recording of the Clash single "Bankrobber" in Manchester.[10]

The Stone Roses

Brown's music career began in 1980, playing bass guitar in a band with John Squire and Simon Wolstencroft.[11] They eventually became the Patrol, with Andy Couzens on vocals. The band soon split up, with Brown selling his bass to buy a scooter.[12] Brown moved to Hulme, and attended northern soul "all-nighters" across Northern England in the early 1980s as the scene faded. Around this time, Brown met soul legend Geno Washington, who told him, "You should be a star".[13] In 1983 Brown joined the Waterfront, the band that would evolve into the Stone Roses, as co-vocalist.[14]

The Stone Roses rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their debut album voted the best British album of all time in 2004.[15] The band's second album, Second Coming, received a mixed reaction, and after several changes of line-up, the band split up in October 1996.

On 17 October 2011, Brown alluded to a Stone Roses reunion via text message, saying: "We are going to rule the world again. It's happening."[16] On the following day, a reunion was announced for the band with performances planned for June 2012 in Manchester.[17][18] In a press conference interview, the members of the Stone Roses have said that a new album is planned.[19]

On 2 December 2011 Ian Brown and John Squire performed together live for the first time since 1995. They joined Mick Jones from the Clash, the Farm and Pete Wylie at the Manchester Ritz in a concert in aid of the Justice for Hillsborough campaign. They performed "Elizabeth My Dear" as a duo before being joined by Mick Jones and the Farm for renditions of the Clash’s "Bankrobber" and "Armagideon Time" with Ian Brown taking on lead vocals for the three songs.

The Stone Roses reunited in 2011 and went on a Reunion Tour in 2012.

Solo career

After a break from music in Morocco, Brown established his solo career with the debut solo single "My Star", which was released in the UK on 12 January 1998.[20] The debut album Unfinished Monkey Business followed on 2 February 1998. The album was produced and financed by Brown, and featured ex-Roses members Mani, Nigel Ipinson, Aziz Ibrahim and Robbie Maddix.[21] The album sold over 300,000 copies.[22]

Brown toured in summer 1998 with a band that included Ibrahim, Inder Mathura (percussion), Simon Moore (drums) and Sylvan Richardson (bass), including performances at the Glastonbury Festival and the V Festival.[23] Brown was arrested after a flight back from his live show in Paris, and later sentenced to four months in prison for using threatening behaviour towards an airline stewardess and captain, a charge which he denied, causing his tour to be rescheduled.[24][25] His bandmate Aziz Ibrahim condemned the sentence, saying that Brown was "just being cheeky".[26] While in Strangeways Prison, Brown wrote the lyrics for "Free My Way", "So Many Soldiers", and "Set My Baby Free".[27] He was released on parole after two months.

His second album, Golden Greats, was released by Polydor Records 1999. It featured more electronic instrumentation and earned critical acclaim. For his third studio album, Music of the Spheres, Brown sought outside production help for the first time, hiring the services of songwriter and producer Dave McCracken who would go on to become a regular collaborator. He toured the US for the first time as a solo artist in support of the album.[28]

Brown's fourth solo album, Solarized, was released in the UK on 13 September 2004, and was the first to be released under the revived Polydor imprint Fiction Records. When his new Fiction A&R Jim Chancellor was asked in HitQuarters what contribution he makes to Brown's records he said, "There's not as much to do. Ian is very much the master of his own records."[29]

Since the break-up of the Stone Roses in 1996, Brown has released six solo albums and fourteen UK Top 40 singles.[30] He has sold out seven UK tours, and appeared three times at the Glastonbury Festival, including headlining the Other Stage in 2005.[31] He has appeared five times at V Festival since 1998 along with regular appearances at T in the Park and Oxegen festivals, and played the Move festival in 2002 at Old Trafford Cricket Ground [32] as well as two tours of Australia in 2006 and 2008.

Ian Brown at the Witnness festival in Ireland in 2002

Brown had a cameo role in the 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'.[33]

For the 2005-06 season, Brown was the shirt sponsor of London Commercial Division football team Chiswick Homefields, the players wearing an 'IB – The Greatest' logo on their chests.[34] Brown is a lifelong supporter of Manchester United and is a season ticket holder.[35]

At the 2006 NME awards, Brown was presented with the "Godlike Genius" award and in 2007 was given the Q "Legend" Award.[36][37]

In September 2007, Brown released his fifth studio album, The World is Yours. The album represented a more political approach in his music, particularly the anti-war track "Illegal Attacks", which featured Sinéad O'Connor. The album also featured former Smiths' bassist Andy Rourke and Paul Ryder of Happy Mondays.[38] and Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols.

My Way, his sixth solo album, was released in September 2009.[39] It was recorded at London's Battery Studios with producer Dave McCracken; the first single, "Stellify", was released 21 September 2009. Brown played Manchester Arena for the 3rd time in December 2009 and in 2010 made his 3rd appearance in Moscow and 2nd in Beijing, China since turning solo in 1998 Brown has played shows in 45 countries.

Brown has collaborated several times with UNKLE, appearing on "Be There" in 1999 and on "Reign" on the 2003 album Never, Never, Land, which was also released as a single.[40]

Awards and achievements

Ian Brown has won several awards and magazine polls in his career, in recognition of his work as a solo artist and his work with the Stone Roses. The awards he has won are as follows:

The Stone Roses
  • 1997 The Stone Roses reached No. 5 in The Guardian's 100 Best Albums Ever poll
  • 1998 The Stone Roses reached No. 4 in Q magazine's 100 Best Albums Ever poll
  • 2004 The Stone Roses reached No. 1 in The Observer's 100 Best British Albums Ever poll
  • 2006 The Stone Roses reached No. 1 in the NME writers 100 Best British Albums Ever poll
  • 2006 The Stone Roses reached No. 7 in NME fans 100 Best Albums Ever poll


In the UK Ian Brown as a Solo Artist and with the Stone Roses has sold a certified 2.08 million albums.



Year Title UK[30] IRL[46] Certification
1998 Unfinished Monkey Business 4 UK: Gold
1999 Golden Greats 14 UK: Gold
2001 Music of the Spheres 3 6 UK: Gold
2004 Solarized 7 14 UK: Gold
2007 The World Is Yours 4 7 UK: Silver
2009 My Way 8 13 UK: Silver


Year Title UK IRL Certification
2002 Remixes of the Spheres 87 -


Year Title UK[30] IRL[46] Certification
2004 Under the Influence -
2005 The Greatest 5 13 UK: Platinum
2005 The Greatest Promos -


Year Title UK
1998 "My Star" 5 9 Unfinished Monkey Business
"Corpses" 14 26
"Can't See Me" 21
1999 "Be There" (UNKLE featuring Ian Brown) 8 22 Psyence Fiction
"Love Like a Fountain" 23 Golden Greats
2000 "Dolphins Were Monkeys" 5 28
"Golden Gaze" 29 50
"Thriller" "Golden Gaze"
2001 "F.E.A.R." (Certified Silver in the UK on 22 July 2013) 13 19 Music of the Spheres
2002 "Whispers" 33
2004 "Keep What Ya Got" 18 29 Solarized
"Reign" (UNKLE featuring Ian Brown) 40 Never, Never, Land
2005 "Time Is My Everything" 15 29 Solarized
"All Ablaze" 20 32 The Greatest
2007 "Illegal Attacks" (Ian Brown featuring Sinéad O'Connor) 16 32 The World Is Yours
"Sister Rose" 87
2009 "Stellify" 31 42 My Way
"Just Like You"


  1. ^ Larkin
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Robb, p. 13
  4. ^ "Ian Brown – Celebrity fans – Interviews". FourFourTwo. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Simon Hattenstone (22 September 2005). "Simon Hattenstone meets Ian Brown | Music". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Music (7 April 2011). "The Stone Roses: a potted history". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Timperley, a historical part of Cheshire | Living Edge". 3 February 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Robb, p. 14-19
  9. ^ Robb, p. 20-21
  10. ^ Robb, p. 30
  11. ^ Robb, p. 31
  12. ^ Robb, p. 48-49
  13. ^ Robb, p. 70
  14. ^ Robb, p. 71
  15. ^ "Stone Roses 'top British album'", BBC, 20 June 2004, retrieved 12 August 2011
  16. ^ "'"Ian Brown on the Stone Roses reunion: 'It's happening. NME. UK. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "The Stone Roses confirm reunion and two homecoming shows for 2012". NME. UK. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Stone Roses reunion praised by Liam Gallagher, Mark Ronson". Digital Spy. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Stone Roses Reunion Tour and New Album is Happening". Spacelab. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Robb, p. 380
  21. ^ Robb, p. 383
  22. ^ Robb, p. 386
  23. ^ Robb, p. 387
  24. ^ "Former Stone Roses singer jailed for air rage", BBC, 23 October 1998, retrieved 12 August 2011
  25. ^ "Ex-Stone Roses star goes back to jail", BBC, 2 November 1998, retrieved 12 August 2011
  26. ^ "Aziz: 'Ian was Made an Example of'", NME, 10 October 1998, retrieved 12 August 2011
  27. ^ Robb, p. 390
  28. ^ "Ian Brown Returns to North America with Golden Greats", VH1, 18 May 2000, retrieved 12 August 2011
  29. ^ "Interview With Jim Chancellor".  
  30. ^ a b c d "Ian Brown", Chart Stats, retrieved 12 August 2011
  31. ^ "Glasto 2005 ends in style", BBC, 27 June 2005, retrieved 12 August 2011
  32. ^ "Northern Jam", NME, 13 July 2002, retrieved 12 August 2011
  33. ^ "Potter man to work with Ian Brown?", RTÉ, 26 August 2004, retrieved 12 August 2011
  34. ^ "Ian Brown gets shirty – Chiswick Homefields FC",, 17 September 2005, retrieved 12 August 2011
  35. ^ Bainbridge, Luke (1 February 2009). "My sporting life: Ian Brown". The Guardian (London). 
  36. ^ a b "Ian Brown declared Godlike Genius | News". NME. UK. 31 January 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  37. ^ a b "Ian Brown – Legend", Q Awards, retrieved 12 August 2011
  38. ^ "Ian Brown chases Paul McCartney for new album", NME, 6 January 2007, retrieved 12 August 2011
  39. ^ Lee, Ann (2009) "Ian Brown does epic rock his way", Metro, 28 September 2009, retrieved 12 August 2011
  40. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (2003) "UNKLE, Never, Never, Land", The Guardian, 12 September 2003, retrieved 14 August 2011
  41. ^ "New award for pop princess Kylie",, 25 February 2002, retrieved 14 August 2011
  42. ^ "Brit nominations: Hit or miss?", BBC, 8 March 2000, retrieved 12 August 2011
  43. ^ "Gorillaz lead Brit Awards race", BBC, 15 January 2002, retrieved 12 August 2011
  44. ^ Edwards, Fiona (2006) "Kaiser Chiefs take three Brit Awards",, 16 February 2006, retrieved 12 August 2011
  45. ^ Singh, Anita (2009) "Duffy, Coldplay and Neil Diamond on the Brit Awards nominations list", Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2009, retrieved 12 August 2011
  46. ^ a b c "[2]",, retrieved 16 February 2014
  47. ^ "Ian Brown", Official Charts Company, retrieved 12 August 2011
  48. ^ "Irish Chart History 1962–present". Retrieved 2014-02-16. 


  • Larkin, Colin (ed.) (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0231-3
  • Robb, John (2001) The Stone Roses and the Resurrection of British Pop, Random House, ISBN 0-09-187887-X

External links

  • Official website
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