Oasis set out with the simple aim of becoming the biggest band in the World and they made it!
Initially called Rain, the band was formed by Liam Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, Paul McGuigan and Tony McCarroll in 1991 - one of a host of bands to come from the Manchester music scene. A name change was to follow with the introduction of Noel Gallagher to the line-up. Previously working as a roadie for fellow Mancunians Inspiral Carpets, it was their tour poster that inspired them to become Oasis.
Signed to Creation Records by Alan McGee after seeing them play live, they released their first single “Supersonic” in 1994, this was quickly followed by “Shakermaker”, “Live Forever”, which became the band’s first Top 10 UK hit, and “Cigarettes and Alcohol”. All were taken from the August 1994 album “Definitely Maybe” giving Oasis the honour of having the UK’s fastest selling debut album. It has gone on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide.
The pressure of touring and recording had already begun to take its toll on the band particularly on the strained relationship between the Gallagher brothers. The release of “Some Might Say” was Oasis’ first UK Number One single and the final one by the band’s original line up, with drummer Tony McCarroll leaving shortly after following more band disagreements. McCarroll's place in the group was taken by Alan White.
1995 saw Oasis headline the Glastonbury Festival before releasing their second album “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory”. Three other singles from the album were to follow in the UK with “Don’t Look Back In Anger” also reaching the No.1 spot and “Roll With It” and “Wonderwall” making it to No. 2. Although not released as a single in the UK “Champagne Supernova” also received commercial and critical success (and featured Paul Weller on guitar and backing vocals). “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory” is Oasis’ best selling album with over 22 million copies being sold worldwide and sees it taking the No.5 spot in the Best Selling UK Album Chart (beating the likes of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and the classic Pink Floyd record “The Dark Side of the Moon”.
The mid-1990s was also the height of BritPop showcasing the best of Britain and it’s music and typified by the likes of The Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets and Happy Mondays. At the forefront of the media’s interest though was the battle between Oasis and Blur with Blur’s “Country House” just pipping the Oasis release of “Roll With It” to the UK’s No.1 single during August 1995.
In the wake of their worldwide commercial studio success, Oasis performed live to mass audiences at their beloved Maine Road in April 1996 before taking to the stage at Knebworth House in August of that year. The record breaking concerts saw them playing on two consecutive nights to a sell out crowd of over 125,000 each night.
“Be Here Now” was the third Oasis album released in August 1997. Following their previous success it’s release sparked huge interest from both fans and the media alike and with sales rocketing in the first week, it gave the band another UK Number One album and single with “D’You Know What I Mean?”.
An album of B-Sides entitled “The Masterplan” and featuring some unsung Oasis classics such as “Talk Tonight”, “Stay Young” and “Half The World Away” (which was also used as the theme music on the UK TV series “The Royal Family”).
1999 saw the tensions within the band coming to a head. First to depart was guitarist Paul Arthurs who was later replaced by Colin “Gem” Archer with the bassist position being filled by Andy Bell. It was also around this time that Creation Records folded and prompted Oasis to form their own “Big Brother” label. The first album to be released on this label was “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants”, the band’s fourth studio LP (and the first to feature a song by Liam Gallagher “Little James”). Again it was initially received well and sales saw the album reach the UK Number 1 spot in its first week of release, however mixed media reviews meant the album gained the unenviable title of having the lowest sales of all their records.
The release of the 2001 Oasis album “Heathen Chemistry” saw a departure from the usual solo songwriting of Noel Gallagher with contributions from other band members. It featured the first single not written by Noel, “Songbird” instead being penned by brother Liam. Although the album was received with mixed reviews, it still gave Oasis another UK Number 1 record. The same was true of their next two studio albums with both “Don’t Believe The Truth” and “Dig Out Your Soul”.
2009 saw the tensions within the band come to a head with Noel issuing the following statement on the Oasis website: “ It’s with some sadness and great relief to tell you that 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”.
Although no longer a recording act, Oasis still entered the 2010 Guinness Book of Records and were bestowed with the honour of the “Longest Top 10 UK Chart Run by a Group” with 22 successive UK Top 10 Hits.
With Noel’s departure, Oasis became Beady Eye and they went on to release two studio albums “Different Gear, Still Speeding” and “BE” until they too disbanded in 2014.
Noel Gallagher went on to form his own band Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds to date releasing four albums - the self titled “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds” in 2011, “Chasing Yesterday” in 2015 and “Who Built The Moon” in 2017. 2021 saw the release of “Back the Way We Came Volume 1 (2011-2021)” a selection of greatest hits plus two tracks that were previously unreleased. All four records reaching the top spot in the UK album charts.
After the demise of Beady Eye, Liam Gallagher also embarked on a solo career releasing the “As You Were” and “Why Me? Why Not?” LP’s. His appeal had also transcended the Oasis days and again both records made it to No.1 in the UK Album charts.
With both “Definitely Maybe” and “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory” now being bought by a new generation, Oasis are as cool today as they have ever been.