Oasis

  • British Alt Rock band formed in 1991 from Manchester England. Their main line-up in the 90s was Liam Gallagher (lead vocals), Noel Gallagher (guitar, keyboards, bass, vocals, songwriting), Paul Arthurs (rhythm guitar, keyboards), and Paul McGuigan (bass guitar). Tony McCarroll was the drummer in the early years, replaced by Alan White.
  • McGuigan, McCarroll and Arthurs were in a band named The Rain in the late 80s. They were unhappy with the vocalist that they were using, so Arthurs invited Liam Gallagher to audition, and they brought him into the band. Gallagher suggested that the band change its name to Oasis, inspired by a concert poster for another band that he had in his bedroom that listed a tour stop at the Oasis Leisure Center.
  • They played their first gig at a nightclub in Manchester England in August 1991. Gallagher’s older brother Noel attended the show. While Noel did not think that they sounded particularly good, he saw an opportunity to use the band as an outlet for the many songs that he had written. Noel approached the band and asked if he could join, with the understanding that he would be the sole songwriter and leader. They agreed, and the band was complete.
  • They toured for a year and made a demo tape. Their break came in May 1993, when the owner of a record company heard them perform at a show in Scotland. Oasis was offered a recording contract, which they signed. Their debut single, Supersonic, was released in April 1994, followed by Shakermaker, and then Live Forever. Their debut album with these songs, Definitely Maybe, was released in August, and one more song – Cigarettes and Alcohol, was released later in the year. On the UK charts, each song peaked higher than the previous song, with Cigarettes and Alcohol making it to #7, and the album ended up on top of the UK charts – just like all 7 of their studio albums. Initially, they were less popular in the U.S., though as they gained popularity, much of their earlier music sold, so the album is certified platinum in the U.S.
  • Their second album, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, was their worldwide breakthrough. Released in 1995, it reached #4 in the U.S., and was certified 4x platinum. It has sold over 22 million copies worldwide. Their 2 biggest hits are from this album – Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova were both #1 on the U.S. Alternative Songs chart. Another song, Don’t Look Back In Anger, was #1 in the UK, and #10 on the Alternative Songs chart.
  • The Gallagher’s were known to have strong personalities, and as they became more successful, fighting within the band became more common. During their tour in 1996, both brothers periodically quit the tour due to tension, only to quickly reconcile. By the end of the year, they were recording their next album, Be Here Now, which was released in the summer of 1997. When released, sales during the first week set a sales record for the most album sold in British history. Three songs were hits in the U.S. – D’You Know What I Mean, All Around The World, and Don’t Go Away were top 15 Alternative Song hits.
  • While working on their next album, both Arthurs and McGuigan were fired from the band. The album was completed by Noel handling the guitar and bass parts on the album, and then they found replacements for the subsequent tour. Standing on the Shoulder of Giants was released in 2000. While popular in the UK, it did not sell well in the U.S., with only 1 song, Go Let It Out, making the Alternative chart.
  • Their next 2 albums, Heathen Chemistry in 2002 and Don’t Believe the Truth in 2005, again were popular in the UK, but not so much elsewhere. They managed through plenty of turbulence during this time, with White leaving the band, and scuffles while on tour. They continued to be popular in concert – their 2005-2006 tour played in front of 3.2 million people in 26 countries.
  • Oasis released their final album, Dig Out Your Soul, in 2008. Worldwide sales were under 2 million for the first time, and the singles did not chart very highly, even in the UK. By 2009, the brothers were fighting constantly, and after a concert was cancelled in August due to continued conflict, Noel quit the band. They have not recorded or performed since. At the Brit Award ceremony in 2010, Oasis won the award for Best Brit Album in the Last 30 Years, for (What’s the Story) Morning Glory. Only Liam accepted the award, thanking everyone except his brother, and then threw the microphone and award into the audience while leaving the stage.
  • In retrospect, Oasis remains a huge influence in British music today, and they were one of the most acclaimed British bands of the 90s. Alt Rock from the 90s is a genre that I enjoy greatly, and Oasis certainly were players. Enjoy the video to Wonderwall. 

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