“Fools Gold“/”What the World Is Waiting For” is a non-album double A-side by The Stone Roses. 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.
The song 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.
“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’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.
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”.
John Squire also shone on guitar with its various wah-wah pedal effects. Finally, Ian Brown sang the vocals in a unique 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.
Content pulled from Wikipedia