Oasis is a rock band originally formed in Manchester, England. The band is led by principal songwriter and lead guitarist Noel Gallagher and his younger brother lead
vocalist/songwriter Liam Gallagher,
who are the only remaining original band members. It should be noted that on
certain tracks, Noel handles lead vocals. Musically and lyrically, they cite
bands such as the British Invasion
bands like The Beatles, Slade,
T.Rex and The Kinks amongst their extensive
to the success of their critically acclaimed debut album, Definitely Maybe, and its 19 million
selling follow-up (What's
The Story) Morning Glory?, coupled with a supposed rivalry
with contemporary band Blur, Oasis became one of the most
successful and prominent British bands of the mid-90s and one of the leaders of
the Britpop movement. The Gallagher brothers
featured regularly in tabloid newspaper
stories, and cultivated a reputation as both bad boys and the band of the
people. At the height of their fame, their 1997 third album Be Here Now reached number one in
the UK charts and also became the fastest-selling album in chart history, with
almost half a million copies sold on the first day alone.
survived the loss of founding members and sustaining support from their loyal
fan base, Oasis has managed to
outlast many of their Britpop contemporaries. Suede, Pulp and some other peer groups have split
up, or record only infrequently, while Oasis maintain a regular schedule of
releases and touring to popular acclaim. Their latest album, Don't Believe
The Truth, released in 2005, was a moderate critical and
evolved from an earlier band called The Rain, who took their name from a 1966 Beatles' B-side. The Rain was comprised of Paul
"Guigsy" McGuigan (bass guitar), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar),
Tony McCarroll (drums)
and Chris Hutton (vocals). When McGuigan
invited school friend Liam Gallagher
to join the group, Gallagher accepted, and quickly pushed for the band's name
to be changed to Oasis.
first played live in August of 1991, at the Boardwalk club in Manchester. Noel Gallagher, who had recently returned
from touring America
as a roadie for the Inspiral Carpets, came to watch his younger
brother play. A few months later he was invited to join the band. Although he
had been critical of them, he agreed, with the provision that he would become
the band's sole songwriter and leader, and that they would commit to an earnest
pursuit of commercial success.
gained a loyal and vocal following on the local Manchester gig circuit and in 1992,
Noel contacted Tony Griffiths
of The Real People
(who he had met when the latter performed as the opening act for the Inspiral
Carpets), asking him if Oasis could use their studio in Liverpool to produce a professional
sounding demo which they could then send to record companies. The resulting
tape, known as the Live Demonstration
tape, would form the basis for Oasis' first album. Ten cassette copies of Live Demonstration were sent out with
a J-card insert depicting a swirling Union Jack and the now famous Oasis logo
designed by Tony French but
no response was received.
a limited white label release of their song "Columbia", the commercial singles
and "Shakermaker" were released in the
spring of 1994. Both
gained national radio airplay and were Top 40 hits in the United Kingdom.
August 1994, their polished and melodic single "Live Forever," made the UK Top Ten and
brought the band a measure of fame. Also around this time the band was involved
in a high-profile incident on a ferry off the coast of
the Netherlands. Liam Gallagher and McGuigan
were arrested for fighting, whilst Arthurs and McCarroll were detained for
alleged shoplifting. All four were subsequently
refused entry to the Netherlands,
and this incident became the first of many tabloid stories on the band. The
publicity helped their debut album, Definitely Maybe (a phrase allegedly
often uttered by Noel during recording), enter the charts at number one in
hit singles quickly followed. The October 1994 single "Cigarettes
& Alcohol" reached number seven in the UK charts. The EP Whatever
was released in December 1994, peaking at Number Three in the UK charts and
foreshadowing the band's move toward a mellower sound on the following album.
soon had their first UK
number one with "Some Might Say",
the first single from their second album (and the only track on the second
album to feature McCarroll), in late April 1995. At the same time, drummer Tony McCarroll was ousted from the band.
McCarroll was replaced with quiet Londoner Alan White,
formerly of Starclub and younger brother of renowned
studio percussionist Steve White.
White made his debut for the band at a Top of the Pops performance of Some Might Say.
a softer sound led to mixed reviews, Oasis's second album, (What's
the Story) Morning Glory? became the second largest selling
album of all-time in the UK.
The album also went on to sell over 18 million copies worldwide and spawned two
further hit singles, "Wonderwall"
and "Don't Look Back
In Anger", which reached numbers two and one respectively. The
album's opening track "Hello", with its sing-along chant, was a
common feature of Oasis's live performances. It features a sample from Gary Glitter's 1973 Top 10 hit "Hello, Hello, I'm
Back Again". It also contained their hit, "Champagne Supernova"
- featuring guitar playing and back vocals by Paul Weller - which received
widespread critical acclaim and peaked at number 20 on the US charts. Despite not being
released in the UK,
it received significant airplay and remains one of the band's most popular
songs to this day.
September 1995, bassist Paul McGuigan briefly left the band, citing nervous
exhaustion. He was replaced by Scott McLeod, formerly of The Ya-Yas, who
featured on some of the tour dates as well as in the "Wonderwall"
video before leaving abruptly whilst on tour in the USA. In order to complete the tour,
McGuigan was successfully convinced to return to the band.
spent the end of 1996 and the first quarter of 1997 recording their third album. Be Here Now was released in August
1997, the band choosing to launch it on a Thursday rather than the traditional
Monday. Preceded by the UK Number One single "D'You Know What I
Mean", the album was perhaps their most anticipated effort, and
as such became the subject of considerable media attention.
Be Here Now
ultimately outsold Definitely Maybe
worldwide but could not match the sales of (What's the Story) Morning Glory. Although early media reviews
were positive, once the hype had died down, the album was criticized for being
bloated and derivative with most of the critics focused on the extensive length
of several songs, the heavier sound, and overproduction.
a Yellow Submarine-inspired
video for their fourth UK number one, "All Around The
World", and the conclusion of the Be Here Now tour, the group decided to stay clear of each other
and kept a low profile throughout 1998, although a compilation of popular
B-sides, The Masterplan, was released in
early 1999 the band returned to action to begin work on their fourth album.
First details were announced in February with Mark "Spike" Stent
revealed to be taking a co-producing role. Recording sessions began in the
south of France in April, with everything believed
to be have been going to plan. Behind the scenes, however, things were not
going well and the shock departure of founding member Paul "Bonehead"
Arthurs was announced in August. This departure was reported at the time as
amicable, with Noel stating that Arthurs wanted to spend more time with his
family. Arthurs' statement clarified his leaving as "to concentrate on
other things". Oasis fans were given a further shock days later, as the
departure of bassist Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan was announced. McGuigan
said later that the departure of his close friend triggered his own.
now three-piece Oasis chose to continue recording the album, with Noel
Gallagher re-recording most of Arthurs' and McGuigan's guitar parts. The hunt
was also on for replacements for Arthurs and McGuigan, with such names as Bernard Butler, Johnny Marr, John Squire, David Potts and Steve Cradock all rumored to be contenders
to fill the positions. The first new member to be announced was new lead/rhythm
guitarist Colin "Gem" Archer formerly of Heavy Stereo, who later claimed to have
been approached by Noel Gallagher only a couple of days after Arthurs'
departure was publicly announced. A week later, Oasis' new bassist was announced
as Andy Bell,
former guitarist/songwriter of "Ride" and "Hurricane". Bell
had never played bass before and he was obliged to learn to play it, along with
a handful of Oasis' back catalog of songs, in preparation for a scheduled
tour of America
in December 1999.
the death of Creation Records, Oasis formed their own label, Big Brother,
named after Noel, as a subsidiary label of the Sony Music
Entertainment group, except in the UK and Ireland, where is it is semi-independent.
fourth album, Standing
on the Shoulder of Giants, was released in February 2000 to good first-week sales.
However, the album was met with lukewarm reviews and seen as a significant
departure from their traditional sound, with a more experimental, psychedelic
sound, as Noel was influenced by George Harrison's forays into Indian and
folk music and his own quitting of taking cocaine. The departure of Guigsy
mid-way through the album's recording led to many of the tracks needing to be
re-recorded. As a result, the completed work, whilst interesting, sounds more
like a loose-fitting mish-mash of styles rather than the coherently
album featured a new "Oasis"-logo designed by Gem Archer and was the
first where Liam Gallagher debuted with a song - "Little James". As
of now, Standing is among the
band's lowest-selling albums worldwide, although it did spawn another UK number
one with "Go Let It Out".
2001 the band were kept busy with work on
their new album and live shows around the world. They began in January with a
short South American festival tour before returning back to England to start work on their fifth
studio album. In May, the band went off to North America
to take part in a month-long co-headlining tour, entitled the 'Tour of
Brotherly Love', with The Black Crowes.
Alan White missed the tour as he was suffering from a condition called
Hypermobile Thumb, which causes the thumb to seize up from time to time. His
replacement was his older brother Steve.
Heathen Chemistry, their first album with new members Andy Bell and
Gem Archer, was released in July 2002. The
record retained an experimental flavor from the previous one, but also borrowed
heavily from British rock music of the 60s
and 70s with heavy Lennon-esque influence by
Liam, who was rapidly growing as a capable songwriter creating the gentle
acoustic ballad and subsequent top single "Songbird". Heathen Chemistry was also a much
more balanced recording process for the band, with all of the members, apart
from White, penning songs. This new working method ultimately gave the record a
more relaxed feel compared to past efforts. Johnny Marr provided additional
guitar as well as backup vocals on a couple of songs, and while critics gave Heathen Chemistry lukewarm reviews,
it was commercially successful. Around this time, Liam also provided vocals for
the title track of the 2003 albums Scorpio Rising and Death in Vegas.
work started in December 2003,
with producers of Death in Vegas
for their next album, touted for September 2004 release to coincide with the
Definitely Maybe ten-year
anniversary. However, problems loomed ahead, when in January 2004, longtime drummer and member
Alan White, who had played on most of Oasis' material made his exit out the
sessions continued with Proud Mary
drummer Terry Kirkbride,
brought in to temporarily take over drums, before the band asked Zak Starkey - drummer of The Who and Johnny Marr and son of The Beatles' drummer
Ringo Starr - to join them. He performed on
all Oasis' touring dates on the subsequent world tour, as well as all of the
promo videos for the singles.
June 2004, Oasis headlined the Glastonbury
Festival for the second time in their career, with Starkey on drums,
and performed a greatest hits set which also included two new songs - Gem
Archer's "A Bell Will Ring" and Liam's "The Meaning of
September 2004, the band released Definitely
Maybe: The DVD commemorating the tenth anniversary of their debut
album's release. The DVD contains an enhanced audio version of the album, four
hours of live footage, and interviews with band members and the production
team. The tour passed without many major incidents and is the most successful
one for the band for more than a decade.
May 2005, after three years and three scrapped
recording sessions, the band released their sixth studio album, Don't Believe
the Truth. It followed the path of Heathen Chemistry as being a collaborative project again, rather
than a Noel-written album. Also it was the band's first album in a decade not
to feature drumming of Alan White, but of their newest addition - Zak Starkey.
The album was generally hailed as the band's best record since (What's The Story) Morning Glory? by
fans and critics alike, spawning two UK
number-one singles with "Lyla" and "The
Importance of Being Idle" (the band's seventh and eighth number-one
singles, respectively), while "Let There Be Love" entered at number
two. Oasis picked two awards at the Q Awards: one - a
special People's Choice Award and the second for Don't Believe the Truth as Best Album. Following in the
footsteps of the previous five studio albums, Don't Believe the Truth also entered the UK album charts at number one. The
sleeve of the new album was also more understated than earlier designs,
subsequently emanating a different tone compared to the band's previous albums
and it also featured the logo from their first albums. Andy Bell has likened
the album to Forever Changes by Love, Highway 61
Revisited by Bob Dylan and Revolver
by The Beatles, though there are permeating influences from The Kinks and The Rolling Stones.
Zak Starkey due to go on tour with The Who in the summer of 2006 with dates
possibly running into 2007, his future with Oasis still needs to be fully
confirmed. In interviews conducted in March 2006, Noel revealed that Zak is
likely to continue his dual roles with both Oasis and The Who. He told the Toronto Sun that he is "definitely
going to record on the next (Oasis) record and definitely going to be out on
the road, if he wants to.
releasing their next album, the band have to negotiate a new recording contract
as with the release of Don't Believe
the Truth, they fulfilled the six-album deal with Sony that they signed
in 1993. Before the release of the album, it was speculated, that the band will
sign a three-album deal. Following Noel's comments whilst accepting the
"Best Music DVD" award at the NME Awards in London in February 2005, speculation grew that they
were seeking to work once again with former Creation boss Alan McGee on a new
label, albeit one with major backing.
recording of Oasis' next album is expected to begin after Zak Starkey's
commitments with The Who are over with, probably sometime in early 2007. Noel
Gallagher has claimed that part of it will consist of songs that were written
before the release of Don't Believe the
Truth but weren't included on the record as the songs didn't fit the
feel of the album. Noel said the band has eleven songs ready for the previous
sessions. Possible new songs include the much hyped "Stop the Clocks" and the Liam-penned
"The Boy With the
Blues" - touted for a new EP this summer that never materialized.
He has also said that working with Dave Sardy again is a strong possibility and
that he hoped the recording of the new album wouldn't take as long as the last