Rarely has a band been so lauded for so little actual musical output.
With The Stone Roses it's all about their debut - The Stone Roses - which somehow, magically, chimed with the times back when it was made in 1998. Though true that its blend of classic 60s-influenced guitar pop was strangely out of fashion at the time of release, when mixed in with the druggy 'Madchester' scene that they helped spawn the album became a slow-rolling classic that now features in every best-of-the-era list and rather too many best-of-all-time lists. But the fact that it 'only' has about five outright classics on it is neither here nor there. Those songs are timeless, with the result that The Stone Roses became the modern byword for a band that gets famous for never being able to live up to their first full-length recording.
Their second album, the modestly-titled Second Coming, finally arrived to infinite hype in 1992 and was generally seen as a crushing disappointment. The heavy Jimmy Page-esque riffs so loved by John Squire were at odds with the previous lightness of touch, and despite the odd moment of satisfaction ('Ten Storey Love Song' might've squeezed onto the first album; 'Love Spreads' had a gutsy, churning appeal) the record remains pretty much unloved by all except the most idolatrous.
And that was pretty much that. Ian Brown carved himself a decent solo career as a kind of urban stoner prophet and professional Manc. John Squire couldn't make a go of The Seahorses or his own abortive solo career, but found respect as a visual artist. Mani joined Primal Scream and somehow survived. Reni largely disappeared from view (something of a shame, given his talent). The Stones Roses reformed in 2011 for some memorable celebratory gigs, playing to fans old and slightly less old. But any new music they've managed to produce in recent years has been pretty much laughed out of town.