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"Fools Gold"/"What the World Is Waiting For" is a non-album double A-side by The Stone Roses. It was released in the UK, U.S., Mexico, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Spain. "Fools Gold" and "What the World Is Waiting For" are also available on the compilation Turns Into Stone. "Fools Gold" is also available as the final track on the US release of their eponymously titled debut album, as well as the Very Best of The Stone Roses compilation.

"Fools Gold" became the band's biggest commercial hit at the time. It was their first single to reach the top ten of the UK Singles Chart and stayed in the Top 75 for fourteen weeks, peaking at number eight.

Recording[edit source | editbeta]Edit

"Fools Gold" and "What the World Is Waiting For" were recorded at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall, 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'sA&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.[4]

The dance-oriented song showcased the rhythm section of Mani on bass and Reni on percussion. The main drum beat is a one-bar loop originally taken from "Hot Pants – I'm Coming, I'm Coming, I'm Coming" sung by Bobby Byrd with John "Jabo" Starks on drums and produced by James Brown, released on Brownstone Records in 1972. Producer John Leckie stated that the same drum loop was also used on "What the World Is Waiting For", as well as the band's follow-up single, "One Love".[5]

John Squire also plays guitar with various wah-wah pedal effectsIan 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. Singer Ian Brown said The verses were inspired by [1948 (Humphrey Bogart) film] The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre film adaptation. In the film the friends go up a mountain looking for gold. But as they go on, they start turning on one another.

Release[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The single was released in 1989 and entered the UK top ten. It was promoted with a music video, showing The Stone Roses performing outdoors and walking across the volcanic landscape of LanzaroteCanary Islands. The cover art was a painting by John Squire, "Double Dorsal Dopplegänger",[6] 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.,[7] is regarded as a "cultural high-water mark", exposing the emerging Madchesterscene to a wider audience, and popularizing a new dance-oriented music genre, baggy.[8]

Reception[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In May 2007, NME magazine placed "Fools Gold" at number 32 in its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever.

In 2009, listeners of the Australian radio station Triple J voted "Fool's Gold" #76 in the Triple J Hottest 100 Of All Time.

Use as a sample[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Run-D.M.C. sampled the bassline and drum beat of "Fools Gold" for their hit "What's It All About?" in 1990. Ian Brown eventually met Reverend Run in 1999 and in an interview with Q magazine, Ian recalled their meeting: "I met Reverend Run and said to him 'You may not know me but you sampled us years ago' and then he did the riff from Fools Gold! Surreal!"
  • "Fools Gold" was "mashed-up" with "If Your Girl Only Knew" by Aaliyah for the bootleg "If Only Your Girlfriend Was Stoned".
  • A "Fools Gold" sample is used in the 1990 Bananarama song "Only Your Love".
  • It was also used by Wretch 32 in his song "Unorthodox", which features Example.

Grooverider's Mix[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In 1999, drum and bass DJ Grooverider remixed the song for the 1999 re-release remix CD. The remix peaked at #25 on the UK Singles Chart, and has often been described as one of the best of the many remixes of songs by The Stone Roses. It has also been featured on many chillout CDs.

Use in film and computer games[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Track listing[edit source | editbeta]Edit

1989 release[edit source | editbeta]Edit

7" [Silvertone ORE 13]
  1. "Fools Gold 4.15" – 4:15
  2. "What the World Is Waiting For" – 3:55
12" [Silvertone ORE T 13]
  1. "Fools Gold 9.53" – 9:53
  2. "What the World Is Waiting For" – 3:55
CD [Silvertone ORE CD 13] and CS [Silvertone ORE C 13]
  1. "Fools Gold 9.53" – 9:53
  2. "What the World Is Waiting For" – 3:55
  3. "Fools Gold 4.15" – 4:15

1990 re-release[edit source | editbeta]Edit

12" (gold vinyl) [Silvertone 1315-1-JD] (USA release)
  1. "Fools Gold 9.53" – 9:53
  2. "What the World Is Waiting For" – 3:55
  3. "Fools Gold 4.15" – 4:15

1992 re-release[edit source | editbeta]Edit

12" [Silvertone ORE T 13]
  1. "Fools Gold 9.53" – 9:53
  2. "What the World Is Waiting For" – 3:55
CD 1 [Silvertone ORE CD 13]
  1. "Fools Gold 9.53" – 9:53
  2. "What the World Is Waiting For" – 3:55
  3. "Fools Gold 4.15" – 4:15
CD 2 [Silvertone ORE CD Z 13]
  1. "Fools Gold" (The Top Won Mix!) – 10:03
  2. "Fools Gold" (The Bottom Won Mix!) – 7:00
CS [Silvertone ORE C 13]
  1. "Fools Gold 4.15" – 4:15
  2. "What the World Is Waiting For" – 3:55

1995 re-release (Fools Gold '95)[edit source | editbeta]Edit

12" [Silvertone ORE T 71]
  1. "Fools Gold 9.53" – 9:53
  2. "Fools Gold" (The Tall Paul Remix) – 7:21
  3. "Fools Gold" (Cricklewood Ballroom Mix) – 4:16
CD [Silvertone ORE CD 71]
  1. "Fools Gold 4.15" – 4:15
  2. "Fools Gold 9.53" – 9:53
  3. "Fools Gold" (The Tall Paul Remix) – 7:21
  4. "Fools Gold" (Cricklewood Ballroom Mix) – 4:16
CS [Silvertone ORE C 71]
  1. "Fools Gold 4.15" – 4:15
  2. "Fools Gold" (The Tall Paul Remix) – 7:21

1999 re-release[edit source | editbeta]Edit

12" [Jive Electro 01241-42579-1] (USA release)
  1. "Fools Gold" (Grooverider's Mix) – 6:37
  2. "Fools Gold" (Rabbit in the Moon's Straight Beat Pyrite Dub) – 7:35
  3. "Fools Gold" (Rabbit in the Moon's Message to the Majors – Extended) – 9:42
12" [Jive Electro 0523092] (UK release)
  1. "Fools Gold" (Grooverider's Mix) – 6:36
  2. "She Bangs the Drums" (Kiss My Arse Mix) – 4:02
  3. "Fools Gold" (Rabbit in the Moon's Message to the Majors) – 8:24
CD [Jive Electro 0523092] (UK release)
  1. "Fools Gold" (Grooverider's Mix – Edit) – 4:30
  2. "Fools Gold" (Rabbit in the Moon's Message to the Majors) – 8:24
  3. "She Bangs the Drums" (Kiss My Arse Mix) – 4:02
CD [Jive Electro 0523362] (European release)
  1. "Fools Gold" (Rabbit in the Moon's Message to the Majors – Edit) – 4:43
  2. "Fools Gold" (Grooverider's Mix – Edit) – 4:30
  3. "Fools Gold" (Rabbit in the Moon's Message To the Majors) – 8:24
  4. "She Bangs the Drums" (Kiss My Arse Mix) – 4:02
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