Legends as we know them tend to start early. They pick up a guitar in their childhood and it all evolves from there.
No different from this tradition is Noel Gallagher. He picked up his first guitar at the ripe age of 12. Unfortunately though, his childhood wasn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows, as he had a lot of problems within his family.
The Gallagher family hailed from Manchester.
Noel found himself as a black sheep of sorts, described by his brother Liam as the “weirdo in the family” down to his frequent daydreams and his reclusive, lonely nature. Both he and his older brother Paul were often beaten by their father, which Noel has addressed in Oasis: Supersonic, a documentary based on the famous group.
His mother eventually divorced her husband and took the three brothers to raise them as a single mother, away from their abuser.
Their troubled past brought problems with them, though.
Their school life became troubled, they would very frequently truant and even get involved with the police. Gallagher would actually make sure to visit his mother while she worked in the school canteen before going about his usual troublemaking.
He actually got expelled from school at 15. Just around a year later, he was arrested and put on probation for robbing a corner shop.
During probation, he was able to explore his musical passion further with a guitar he was gifted by his mother. Gallagher met Graham Lambert of the Inspiral Carpets in May of 1988. Thanks to this meeting, Gallagher would attend the band’s shows more, and even tried to audition as their vocalist when their previous was leaving. While he didn’t get the position, he was brought on as a roadie for the band at age 21.
In 1991, Gallagher returned from a tour in America with the Inspiral Carpets. Returning home, he’d see that Liam had become a singer with a small local band, The Rain. However, attending one of their shows, he was massively disappointed by their sound.
He initially refused Liam’s offer to become the group’s manager, instead proposing that he would join the band and take complete creative control, becoming the one and only songwriter.
From then, the band became Oasis.
“Definitely Maybe” released in 1994 and quickly became the fastest selling debut album in the UK’s musical history at the time. However, things didn’t go so smoothly on tour.
Gallagher had his first leave of Oasis during the 1994 American tour, thanks to having a fight with Liam after a disastrous show in Los Angeles, in which Liam changed some lyrics on the fly to offend both their American audience and specifically, Gallagher.
This was just a glimpse of the inner conflict that Oasis, specifically the Gallagher brothers, would face.
Still, Oasis went on to release their second studio album, “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”, to more massive success, which included the huge singles “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. This was the record that propelled Oasis into stardom.
With stardom came drug abuse and the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, which led Gallagher into having panic attacks until he dropped the drugs a year or so later.
“Be Here Now” became a very highly anticipated album, thanks to the worldwide success of the previous two albums. It once again broke UK charts to the point of becoming the next best-selling album upon release.
But, it wouldn’t be Oasis without more issues between a certain two members.
Liam refused to make two important stage appearances, and heckled Gallagher during the MTV Unplugged performance despite insisting he couldn’t go due to a sore throat. When Liam returned for the MTV Video Music Awards performance, he purposely sang off-key as well as spitting during the performance.
Gallagher once again left, frustrated with Liam’s attitude again. He told that he didn’t want to be in the band, with the way he was being treated.
The group united again for the release of “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants”, which was the first Oasis album that featured a song written by Liam, being “Little James”. While it still performed very well in the UK, it was the first album in the discography that experienced a slump in sales in the US.
It was during the tour to support this record that Alan White’s arm seized up due to a bad case of tendinitis, so the band spent the night drinking instead. Drinking never goes well with the Gallagher brothers together, causing them to have another fight and once again, Gallagher left the band until they returned to the UK, when he took part in shows again.
Once again, “Heathen Chemistry” released to immediate critical success in the UK, and a shortage of sales in the US. The album suffered thanks to being leaked three months before it released, as well as tensions remaining between the Gallaghers when Liam needed to record his vocals after the instrumentation was finished and didn’t lift a finger to it for over 3 months.
“Don’t Believe the Truth” was another much more collaborative Oasis album, in which every band member had their say and involvement in the writing rather than Gallagher taking the lead. As a result, Gallagher really enjoyed the product. It was probably the least problematic Oasis album in terms of tours and recording.
“Dig Out Your Soul” was the seventh and last record Oasis would release before they split up for good. Gallagher wrote most of the songs, but Liam wrote three of them as well as Gem Archer and Andy Bell contributing one each.
It led to another world tour, which went well until September of 2008, where a member of the concert’s audience ran onstage and assaulted Gallagher. It canceled plenty of show dates to come due to Gallagher suffering three broken ribs from the attack.
But when they picked the tour back up in Manchester, what started as two technical failures ended in a free concert with a massive success and a huge crowd of happy fans.
However, this marked their last successful performance together as a band.
Liam had contracted laryngitis, forcing Oasis to cancel their V Festival gig in August of 2009. The band were set to perform at Rock en Seine around a week later near Paris, however it was suddenly announced that Oasis were not going to be present for the performance.
Two hours passed.
Noel Gallagher issued a statement, “It is with some sadness and great relief...I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer.”
The remaining Oasis members remained together and continued as Beady Eye for a few more years, while Gallagher would go on to launch a solo career.
After the breakdown of Oasis, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds were formed. In 2011 they released their debut album, the self titled “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds”. Gallagher recruited former Oasis member Mike Rowe, as well as the producer of the old band, Dave Sardy. He also recruited The Lemon Trees members Jeremy Stacey and Lenny Castro, as well as guest performances from the Crouch End Festival Chorus and The Wired Strings.
The album features “Stop the Clocks”, which was an unreleased Oasis track that Gallagher recycled for his solo career. “The Death of You and Me” acted as the lead single for the album, “The Good Rebel” being featured on its B-side.
Gallagher started touring just a week after the release of the debut album. He stated that he was very pleased with the album’s turnout, and was excited to be able to play it for people.
Before the next full album was recorded, Gallagher first released an EP.
“Songs from the Great White North” released in 2012 as a Record Store Day special release. This release features the B-Sides of the band’s first four singles. “Shoot a Hole into the Sun” is a nearly 8 minute track and is the last track on the EP.
Gallagher teased another album for his solo career in the summer of 2013. He told that his previous album had some tracks left over, and that he just needed his band and producers to be ready for the job.
During production, it was revealed by producer Mark Coyle that Gallagher had written something between 50 and 60 tracks for the new album and they were in the process of picking out what would appear on the album.
The lead single released for the album was “In the Heat of the Moment”, and “Ballad of the Mighty I” features a particularly exciting collaboration with guitarist Johnny Marr, which released as the second single. “Riverman” was the third and final single to release, but this particular album spawned an impressive number of music videos.
Two months before the third album was released, the horrible terrorist attack occured in Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande performance. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds performed as the headliners of “We Are Manchester”, a benefit concert that was held to reopen the stadium.
Who Built The Moon? Released in November of 2017, produced by David Holmes. The album held the same sort of sound Gallagher had shown off with the last two albums, however progressed their sound further and experimented with a psychedelic style. It debuted at number 1 in UK charts, and became Gallagher’s 10th consecutive album to reach number 1.
The album was already in production at the same time as Chasing Yesterday, and even throughout the Chasing Yesterday World Tour. Singles released from the album included “Holy Mountain”, “It’s a Beautiful World”, “She Taught Me How to Fly” and “If Love Is the Law”, the second of which featuring the B-Side track “God Saves Us All”, which was a demo track recorded by Oasis when Oasis were still together.
Throughout his musical career, Gallagher has made a name as an extremely successful songwriter, being involved in writing around 10 number 1 singles in UK charts, 8 of which being written by him alone. Despite their difficult and strained relationship, Liam praises Noel as “the greatest songwriter of all time”.
Gallagher’s career is still going, and still strong. His talented songwriting just makes every hint at a release all the more exciting!