Be Here Now is the third studio album by English rock band Oasis, released in August 1997. The album was highly anticipated by both music critics and fans after the band's worldwide success with their 1994 debut Definitely Maybe and its 1995 follow-up (What's the Story) Morning Glory?. Be Here Nows pre-release build up led to considerable hype within both the music and mainstream press. At that point, Oasis were at the height of their fame, and Be Here Now became the United Kingdom's fastest selling album to date, selling over 420,000 units on the first day of release, and over one million within two weeks. As of 2008, the album has sold eight million copies worldwide.
Oasis' management company Ignition were aware of the dangers of overexposure, and before its release sought to control the media's access to the album. Ignition's campaign included limiting pre-release radio airplay, and requesting that journalists sign gag agreements. These tactics resulted in the alienation of members of both the music and mainstream media, as well as many industry personnel connected with the band. Ignition's attempts to limit pre-release access served to fuel large scale speculation and publicity within the British music scene.
Although initial reviews were positive, retrospectively the album is viewed by much of the music press, the public, and by most members of the band as over-indulgent and bloated.Cameron, Keith. "Last Orders". Q, June 2007. In 2007, Q magazine, having given the album a five-star rave review on its release, described the fact that Be Here Now is often thought of as "a disastrous, overblown folly—the moment when Oasis, their judgement clouded by drugs and blanket adulation, ran aground on their own sky-high self-belief.""". Q. Retrieved on 23 June 2007. The album's producer Owen Morris said of the recording sessions: "The only reason anyone was there was the money. Noel had decided Liam was a shit singer. Liam had decided he hated Noel's songs Massive amounts of drugs. Big fights. Bad vibes. Shit recordings."
By the summer of 1996, Oasis were widely considered to be, as Noel Gallagher put it, "the biggest band in the world." According to the guitarist, Oasis were "bigger than, dare I say it, fucking God." The huge commercial success of the band's two previous albums had resulted in media frenzy and an ubiquity in the mainstream press that was in danger of leading to a backlash against Oasis.Thompson, Stephen. "". The Onion A.V. Club, 29 March 2002. Retrieved on 3 July 2007. Oasis members were by then being invited to functions at 10 Downing Street by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom"". BBC News. Retrieved on 7 July 2007. and holidaying with Johnny Depp and Kate Moss in Mick Jagger's villa in Mustique. During their last stay on the island, Noel wrote the majority of the songs that would make up Oasis's third album.Harris (2004), p. 333. He had suffered from writer's block during the previous winter, and has since admitted he wrote only a single guitar riff in the six months following the release of (What's the Story) Morning Glory?. After a few weeks "idling", he disciplined himself to a routine of songwriting where he would go "into this room in the morning, come out for lunch, go back in, come out for dinner, go back in, then go to bed."Sutcliffe, Phil. "'Piece of piss!': The Oasis Diaries". Q. September 1997. Noel has later said about the album "...most of the songs were written before I even got a record deal, I went away and wrote the lyrics in about two weeks."Oasis story — Mono — All Music TV (Italy) - broadcasted 26 October 2008
In August 1996, the band performed two concerts before crowds of 250,000 at Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, while more than 2,500,000 fans had applied for tickets."". Knebworth Estates, 2001. Retrieved on 23 June 2007. The dates were to be the zenith of Oasis's popularity, and both the music press and the band realised it would not be possible for the band to equal the event. By this time however, there was much instability and internal conflict emerging between the band members. On 23 August 1996, Liam refused to sing for an MTV Unplugged performance at London's Royal Festival Hall, pleading a sore throat. Though he did attend the concert, he spent the evening heckling Noel from the upper level balcony. Four days later, Liam declined to participate in the first leg of an American tour, complaining that he needed to buy a house with his then girlfriend Patsy Kensit. He re-joined the band a few days after for a key concert at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York, but intentionally sang off-key and spat beer and saliva during the performance.Strauss, Neil. "". New York Times, 6 September 1996. Retrieved on 23 June 2007. The following day, The Sun led with the front page headline "America sickened by obscene Liam's spitting rampage." Amongst much internal bickering, the tour continued—with Liam—to Charlotte, North Carolina, where Noel finally lost his patience with his brother and announced he was leaving the band. He later admitted "If the truth be known, I didn't want to be there anyway. I wasn't prepared to be in the band if people were being like that to each other." Although Noel rejoined Oasis a few weeks later, the band's management and handlers were worried. With an album's worth of songs already demoed, the general feeling among the Gallaghers was that they should record as soon as possible. Their manager, Marcus Russell, said in 2007 that "in retrospect, we went in the studio too quickly. The smart move would have been to take the rest of the year off. But at the time it seemed like the right thing to do. If you're a band and you've got a dozen songs you think are great, why not go and do it."
Recording and production
The sessions for Be Here Now began on 7 October 1996 at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London."". oasisinet.com. Retrieved on 23 June 2007. The album's producer Owen Morris described the first week of recording as "fucking awful", and suggested to Noel that they abandon the session: "He just shrugged and said it would be all right. So on we went." Liam was under heavy tabloid focus at the time, and on 9 November 1996 was arrested and cautioned for cocaine possession following a bender at the Q Awards. A media frenzy ensued, and the band's management made the decision to move to a studio less readily accessible to paparazzi.
Abbey Rd Studios.jpgalt=thumbBe Here Now was recorded at Abbey Road Studios
The Suns showbiz editor Dominic Mohan recalled of the period: "We had quite a few Oasis contacts on the payroll. I don't know whether any were drug dealers, but there was always a few dodgy characters about." Oasis's official photographer Jill Furmanovsky felt the media's focus, and was preyed upon by tabloid journalists living in the flat upstairs from her: "They thought I had the band hiding in my flat." In paranoia, Oasis cut themselves off from their wider circle. According to Creation publicist Johnny Hopkins: "People were being edged out of the circle around Oasis. People who knew them before they were famous rather than because they were famous." Hopkins likened the situation to a medieval court, complete with kings, courtiers and jesters. As he explained, "nce you're in that situation you lose sight of reality."
On 11 November 1996, Oasis relocated the sessions to the rural Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey. Though the band reconvened with more energy, the early recordings were compromised by the drug intake of all involved. In 2007, Morris remembered that "in the first week, someone tried to score an ounce of weed, but instead got an ounce of cocaine. Which kind of summed it up." Noel was not present during any of Liam's vocal track recordings, typifying the high drama surrounding the sessions. Morris thought that the new material was weak, but when he voiced his opinion to Noel he was cut down: " I just carried on shovelling drugs up my nose." Noel, wanting to make the album as dense and "colossal" feeling as possible, layered multiple guitar tracks on several of the songs. In many instances he dubbed ten channels with identical guitar parts, in an effort to create a sonic volume. Alan McGee, owner of Oasis's label Creation Records, visited the studio during the mixing stage; he said, "I used to go down to the studio, and there was so much cocaine getting done at that point ... Owen was out of control, and he was the one in charge of it. The music was just fucking loud."
As with Oasis' previous two albums, the songs on Be Here Now are generally anthemic. The structures are traditional,Du Noyer, Paul. "Oasis: Be Here Now". Q, October 2000. and largely follow the typical verse – chorus – verse – chorus – middle eight – chorus format of guitar-based rock music. Reviewing for Nude as the News, Jonathan Cohen noted that the album is "virtually interchangeable with 1994's Definitely Maybe or its blockbuster sequel, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?",Cohen, Jonathan. "". Nude As The News. Retrieved on 26 June 2007. while Noel had previously remarked that he would make three albums in this generic style. Yet the songs on Be Here Now differ in that they are longer than previous releases; an extended coda brings "D'You Know What I Mean?" to almost eight minutes, while "All Around The World" contains three key changes and lasts for a full nine minutes. The tracks are more layered and intricate than before, and each contains multiple guitar overdubs.Southall, Nick. "". Stylus Magazine, 31 May 2005. Retrieved on 30 June 2007. While Morris had previously stripped away layers of overdubs on the band's debut Definitely Maybe, during the production of Be Here Now he "seemed to gleefully encourage" such excess; "My Big Mouth" has an estimated thirty tracks of guitar overdubbed onto the song.Harris (2004), p. 334. A Rolling Stone review described the guitar lines as composed of "elementary riffs.""". Rolling Stone, 16 December 1997. Retrieved on 26 June 2007. There was some experimentation: "D'You Know What I Mean?" contains a slowed down loop from N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton",Lester, Paul. "Oasis: Be Here Now". Uncut, September 1997. while "Magic Pie" features psychedelically arranged vocal harmonies and a mellotron. According to Noel, "All I did was run my elbows across the keys and this mad jazz came out and everyone laughed."Sutcliffe, Phil. "'Of course, me and Liam had a row about it...'" Q, September 1997. The album's production is dominated by top-end high frequency tones, and according to Uncut's Paul Lester, its use of treble is reminiscent of both late 1980s Creation Records bands such as My Bloody Valentine, and The Stooges' famously under-produced Raw Power.
The vocal melodies continue Noel's preference for "massed-rank sing-alongs", although Du Noyer concedes that not all are of the "pub-trashing idiot kind" of previous releases. At the time of release, Qs Phil Sutcliffe summarised the lyrics of Be Here Now as a mixture of "hookline optimism, a swarm of Beatles and other ’60s references, a gruff love song to Meg, and further tangled expressions of his inability/unwillingness to express profound emotions."
The lyrics were elsewhere described as " the gamut from insightful to insipid", although Du Noyer admitted that Noel is " something of a closet philosopher...and often romantic to the point of big girl's blousedom." While the tracks "Don't Go Away" and "The Girl In The Dirty Shirt" were described as unabashedly sentimental, Du Noyer went on to observe that "there is compassion and sensitivity in these tracks that is not the work of oafs." Du Noyer conceded that Noel often tied himself up in "cosmic knots", but added that Gallagher had "written words that sound simple and true, and are therefore poetic without trying to be." Lester read song titles such as "Stand By Me" and "Don't Go Away" as a series of demands, both to members of his private life and his public audience.
Du Noyer praised Liam's vocal contributions and described his "Northern punk whine" as "the most distinctive individual style of our time." Lester alluded to Liam as Noel's "mouthpiece", although he qualified that Liam is the "voice of every working-class boy with half a yen to break out and make it big."
When Alan McGee, Creation's publicist Johnny Hopkins, and marketing executive Emma Greengrass first heard Be Here Now at Noel Gallagher's house, each had their doubts about its artistic value, but kept their doubts to themselves. One Creation employee recalled "a lot of nodding of heads, a lot of slapping of backs."Cavanagh (2000), p. 518. McGee later admitted to having strong misgivings at first: "I heard it in the studio and I remember saying 'We'll only sell seven million copies'...I thought it was too confrontational." However, in an interview with the music press a few days later he predicted the album would sell twenty million copies. McGee's hyperbole alarmed both Oasis and their management company Ignition, and both immediately excluded him from involvement in the release campaign. Ignition's strategy from that point on centred around an effort to suppress all publicity, and withheld access to both music and information from anybody not directly involved with the album's release. Fearful of the dangers of over-hype and bootlegging, their aim was to present the record as a "regular, everyday collection of tunes." To this end they planned a modest marketing budget, to be spent on subdued promotional activities such as street posters and music press adverts, while avoiding mainstream instruments such as billboard and TV advertising. According to Greengrass "We want to keep it low key. We want to keep control of the whole mad thing."Cavanagh (2000), p. 519.
However, the extent that Ignition were willing to go to control access to the album generated more hype than could normally have been expected, and served to alienate members of both the print and broadcast media, as well as most Creation staff members. When "D'You Know What I Mean?" was planned as the first single, Ignition decided on a late release to radio so as to avoid too much advance exposure. However, three stations broke the embargo, and Ignition panicked. According to Greengrass: "we’d been in these bloody bunker meetings for six months or something, and our plot was blown. 'Shit, it's a nightmare'."Cavanagh (2000), p. 521. BBC Radio 1 received a CD containing three songs ten days before the album's release, on condition that disc jockey Steve Lamacq talked over the tracks to prevent illegal copies being made by listeners. The day after Lamacq previewed the album on his show, he received a phone call from Ignition informing him that he would not be able to preview further tracks because he didn't speak enough over the songs. Lamacq said, "I had to go on the air the next night and say, 'Sorry, but we're not getting any more tracks.' It was just absurd."Harris (2004), p. 336. According to Creation's head of marketing John Andrews, " made people despise Oasis within Creation. You had this Oasis camp that was like 'I'm sorry, you're not allowed come into the office between the following hours. You're not allowed mention the word Oasis.' It was like a fascist state." One employee recalled an incident "when somebody came round to check our phones because they thought The Sun had tapped them."
When Hopkins began to circulate cassette copies of the album to the music press a few weeks later, he required that each journalist sign a contract containing a clause requiring that the cassette recipient, according to Select journalist Mark Perry, "not discuss the album with anyone—including your partner at home. It basically said don't talk to your girlfriend about it when you're at home in bed."Cavanagh (2000), p. 520. The Mail on Sunday wrote of Russell " has a mind like a steel trap and the organisational skills of Winston Churchill." Reflecting in 1999, Greengrass admitted: "In retrospect a lot of the things we did were ridiculous. We sit in meetings today and we're like 'It's on the Internet. It's in Camden Market. Whatever'. I think we've learned our lesson."Cavanagh (2000), p. 523. According to Perry: "It seemed, particularly once you heard the album, that this was cocaine grandeur of just the most ludicrous degree. I remember listening to "All Around the World" and laughing—actually quite pleasurably—because it seemed so ridiculous. You just thought: Christ, there is so much coke being done here."
Stocks Hotel.jpgalt=thumbThe 18th-century mansion Stocks House provided the cover photo
The cover image to Be Here Now was shot in April 1997 at Stocks House in Hertfordshire, the former home of Victor Lownes, the head of the Playboy Clubs in the UK until 1981. It features the band standing outside the hotel surrounded by assorted props. At the centre of the image is a Rolls Royce floating in a swimming pool. The photographer Michael Spencer Johns said the original concept involved shooting each band member in various locations around the world, but when the cost proved prohibitive, the shoot was relocated to Stocks House. Spencer remarked that the shoot "degenerated into chaos", adding that "by 8 pm, everyone was in the bar, there were schoolkids all over the set, and the lighting crew couldn't start the generator. It was Alice in Wonderland meets Apocalypse Now." Despite various meanings people have tried to read into the selection of the cover props, Johns said Gallagher simply selected items from the BBC props store he thought would look good in the picture. Two of the props that had considered thought in their inclusion were the inflatable globe (intended as a homage to the sleeve of Definitely Maybe) and the Rolls Royce, which was suggested by Arthurs."'It was like Apocalypse Now.' The story behind Be Here Now's sleeve". Q, June 2007 The release date in each region was commemorated on the calendar pictured on the sleeve; Harris said the dating " fans to believe that to buy a copy on the day it appeared was to participate in some kind of historical event."
Be Here Now was released in the UK on 21 August 1997. The release date had been brought forward out of Ignition's fear that import copies of the album from the United States would arrive in Britain before that country's designated street date.Harris (2004), p. 341. Worrying that TV news cameras would interview queuing fans at a traditional midnight opening session, Ignition forced retailers to sign contracts pledging not to sell the record earlier than eight a.m. However, when the album did go on sale, the cameras showed up regardless, just in time to record the initially slow trade. It was not until lunch time that sales picked up. By the end of the first day of release, Be Here Now sold over 350,000 units and by the end of business on Saturday of that week sales had reached 696,000, making it the fastest-selling album in British history.Harris (2004), p. 342. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard charts in the United States, but its first week sales of 152,000—below expected sales of 400,000 copies—were considered a disappointment."". RollingStone.com, 9 October 1997. Retrieved on 7 June 2007.
Contemporaneous reviews of Be Here Now were, in John Harris's words, unanimous with "truly amazing praise." According to Harris, "To find an album that had attracted gushing notices in such profusion, one had to go back thirty years, to the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."Harris (2004), p. 339. While Q magazine described the album as "cocaine set to music", most early reviews praised the record's length, volume and ambition. Reviews in the British music press for Oasis' previous album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? had been generally negative. When it went on to become, in the words of Select editor Alexis Petridis, "this huge kind of Zeitgeist defining record" the music press was "baffled".Brennan, Marc A. "" (PDF). Proceedings Musical In-Between-Ness: The Proceedings of the 8th IASPM Australia — New Zealand Conference, (2002). pp. 76-81. Realising they had gotten it wrong the last time, Petridis believes the initial glowing reviews were a concession to public opinion.
By the end of 1997, Be Here Now had sold eight million units worldwide. However, the sales volume was largely gained in the first two weeks of release, and once the album was released to UK radio stations the turnover tapered off. Buyers realised that the album was not another (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, and by 1999, Melody Maker reported that it was the album most sold to second-hand record stores. In the 2003 John Dower-directed documentary Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop, music critic Jon Savage pinpointed Be Here Now as the moment where the Britpop movement ended. Savage said that while the album "isn't the great disaster that everybody says", he noted that "t was supposed to be the big, big triumphal record" of the period.Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop. Passion Pictures, 2004. Q expressed similar sentiments, writing, "So colossally did Be Here Now fall short of expectations that it killed Britpop and ushered in an era of more ambitious, less overblown music". Irish Times journalist Brian Boyd wrote: "Bloated and over-heated (much like the band themselves at the time), the album has all that dreadful braggadocio that is so characteristic of a cocaine user."Boyd, Brian. "". Irish Times, 2007. Retrieved on 23 June 2007. Reflecting in 2007, Garry Mulholland admitted, "the fact that nothing could have lived up to the fevered expectations that surrounded its release doesn't change the facts. The third Oasis album is a loud, lumbering noise signifying nothing."
The Gallagher brothers hold differing opinions about the album. As early as July 1997, Noel was "talking down" Be Here Now in the music press, describing the production as "bland", and remarking that some of the tracks were "fucking shit". In Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop, he dismissed the album, and blamed its faults on drugs and the band's indifference during recording. He suggested that the people unsatisfied with the record simply sell it. In contrast, Noel noted that his brother "thinks it fucking rocks." In the same documentary, Liam defended the record, and said that "at that time we thought it was fucking great, and I still think it's great. It just wasn't Morning Glory." In 2006, Liam said of Noel, "If he didn't like the record that much, he shouldn't have put the fucking record out in the first place...I don't know what's up with him but it's a top record, man, and I'm proud of it—it's just a little bit long.""". NME.com, 24 November 2006. Retrieved on 27 June 2007.
*Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs – rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar
*Liam Gallagher – vocals
*Noel Gallagher – lead guitar, vocals
*Paul McGuigan – bass guitar
*Alan White – drums, percussion
* Mark Coyle – backwards parts on "D'You Know What I Mean?"
* Johnny Depp – slide guitar on "Fade In-Out"
* Mark Feltham – harmonica on "All Around the World"
* Mike Rowe – keyboards
* Cavanagh, David. The Creation Records Story: My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry for the Prize. London: Virgin Books, 2000. ISBN 0-7535-0645-9.
* Harris, John. Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock. London: Da Capo Press, 2004. ISBN 0-306-81367-X
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Oasis were an English rock band that formed in Manchester in 1991. Originally known as The Rain, the group was formed by Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan (bass guitar) and Tony McCarroll (drums, percussion), who were soon joined by Liam's older brother Noel Gallagher (lead guitar and vocals). They have had eight UK number-one singles and eight UK number-one albums, and won fifteen NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards and six BRIT Awards, including one in 2007 for outstanding contribution to music and one for the best album of the last 30 years as voted by the BBC Radio 2 listeners; they have been nominated for three Grammy Awards. As of 2009, the band have sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide. Also the band was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 for “Longest Top 10 UK Chart Run By A Group” after an unprecedented run of 22 successive Top 10 hits in the UK. The band also holds the Guinness World Record for being the "Most Successful Act of the Last Decade" in the UK between the years 1995 and 2005, spending 765 weeks in the Top 75 singles and albums charts.. Retrieved 4 May 2010.. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
Its members were signed to independent record label Creation Records and afterwards released their record-setting debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994. The following year, the band recorded (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) with their new drummer Alan White in the midst of rivalry with Britpop peers Blur in the charts. The Gallagher brothers featured regularly in tabloid newspapers for their sibling disputes and wild lifestyles. In 1997, Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now, and although it became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history, the album's popularity tapered off quickly. The band lost members Paul McGuigan and Paul Arthurs as they went on to record and release Standing on the Shoulder of Giants in 2000 and were replaced by Gem Archer and Andy Bell who joined the group for the tour in support of Giants. The band found renewed success and popularity starting with 2005's Don't Believe the Truth.. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
In August 2009, Noel Gallagher announced his departure from the band after a backstage altercation with Liam before a festival appearance., BBC News, 29 August 2009 The band, comprising the remaining members of Oasis and led by Liam Gallagher, decided to continue working together under the name Beady Eye.
Formation and first years: 1991–1994
Oasis evolved from an earlier band called The Rain, composed of Paul McGuigan (bass guitar), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Tony McCarroll (drums) and Chris Hutton (vocals). Unsatisfied with Hutton, Arthurs auditioned acquaintance Liam Gallagher as a replacement. Liam suggested that the band name be changed to Oasis. This change was inspired by an Inspiral Carpets tour poster that hung in the Gallagher brothers' bedroom. One of the venues the poster listed was the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon.Harris, John. Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock. Da Capo Press, 2004. ISBN 0-306-81367-X, pg. 124–25
Oasis played their first ever live gig on 18 August 1991 at the Boardwalk club in Manchester. Liam's brother Noel Gallagher, who was a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, went with the band to watch his younger brother's band play. Whilst Noel and his friends did not think Oasis sounded particularly spectacular, he did begin to consider the possibility of using his brother's group as a possible outlet for a series of songs he'd been writing for several years. Noel approached the group about joining with the proviso that he would become the band's sole songwriter and leader, and that they would commit to an earnest pursuit of commercial success. "He had loads of stuff written," Arthurs recalled. "When he walked in, we were a band making a racket with four tunes. All of a sudden, there were loads of ideas."Harris, pg. 125–26 Oasis under Noel Gallagher crafted a musical approach that relied on simplicity, with Arthurs and McGuigan restricted to playing barred chords and root bass notes; McCarroll playing basic rhythms, and the band's amplifiers turned up to create distortion, Oasis created a sound "so devoid of finesse and complexity that it came out sounding pretty much unstoppable."Harris, pg. 127–28
After over a year of live shows, rehearsals and a recording of a proper demo (known as the Live Demonstration tape), the band's big break came in May 1993 when they were spotted by Creation Records co-owner Alan McGee. Oasis were invited to play a gig at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut club in Glasgow, Scotland, by a band called Sister Lovers, who shared their rehearsal rooms. Oasis, along with a group of friends, found the money to hire a van and make the journey to Glasgow. When they arrived, they were refused entry to the club as they were not on that night's set list, which reportedly caused the band to bully their way in (although both the band and McGee have given contradicting statements about how they actually managed to get into the club on that night).VH1 Behind the Music, VH1, 2000 They were given the opening slot and impressed McGee, who was there to see 18 Wheeler, one of his own bands, that night. McGee was so impressed by what he saw he signed the band to Creation four days later.Harris, pg. 129 Due to problems securing an American contract, Oasis ended up signing a worldwide contract with Sony, which in turn licensed Oasis to Creation in the UK.Harris, pg. 131
Following a limited white label release of the demo of their song "Columbia", their first single, "Supersonic", was released in April 1994, reaching number 31 in the charts.Harris, pg. 149 The release was followed by "Shakermaker". This song would become the subject of a plagiarism suit, with Oasis paying $500,000 in damages. Their third single, "Live Forever", was their first to enter the top ten of the UK charts. After troubled recording and mixing sessions, their debut album, Definitely Maybe, was released in September 1994, entering the charts at number one, and at the time becoming the fastest selling debut album in the UK.Harris, pg. 178
The best part of a year of constant live performances and recordings, along with a hedonistic lifestyle, were taking their toll on the band. This behaviour culminated during a gig in Los Angeles in September 1994 where Liam was under the influence of crystal meth, leading to an inept performance during which he made offensive remarks about American audiences and assaulted Noel with a tambourine.Moran, Caitlin (2009) "", The Times, 4 September 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2010. The incident upset Noel to such an extent that he temporarily quit the band immediately after and flew to San Francisco (it was from this incident that the song "Talk Tonight" was written). He was tracked down by Creation's Tim Abbot and they made a trip to Las Vegas. Once there, Gallagher was persuaded to continue with the band. He reconciled with his brother and the tour resumed in Minneapolis.Harris, pg. 189 The group followed up the fourth single from Definitely Maybe, "Cigarettes & Alcohol", with the Christmas single "Whatever", which entered the British charts at number three.Harris, pg. 213 This song would later carry a co-writer's credit for Neil Innes, who sued and also won damages.Bunbury, Stephanie (2003) "", The Age, 30 March 2003. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
Britpop & Knebworth: 1994–1998
oasis 1997.jpgthumbOasis, 1997. L-R: Alan White, Paul McGuigan, Noel Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, and Liam Gallagher.
Oasis had their first UK number one single in April 1995 with "Some Might Say". At the same time, drummer Tony McCarroll was ousted from the band. McCarroll said, on leaving Oasis, that he was "unlawfully expelled from the partnership" for what he called a "personality clash" with the brothers. The Gallaghers, on the other hand, doubted McCarroll's musical ability, with Noel saying: "I like Tony as a geezer but he wouldn't have been able to drum the new songs".. Retrieved 3 February 2008.. Retrieved 3 February 2008. McCarroll was replaced by Alan White, formerly of Starclub and younger brother of renowned studio percussionist Steve White, whom Paul Weller recommended to Noel. White made his debut for the band at a Top of the Pops performance of "Some Might Say". Oasis began recording material for their second album in May of that year in Rockfield Studios near Monmouth.Harris, pg. 226 The band, by this point, had recorded the concert that would see release in August as Live by the Sea.
During this period, the British press seized upon a supposed rivalry between Oasis and Britpop band Blur. Previously, Oasis did not associate themselves with the Britpop movement and were not invited to perform on the BBC's "Britpop Now" programme introduced by Blur singer Damon Albarn. On 14 August 1995, Blur and Oasis released new singles on the same day, setting up "The Battle of Britpop" that dominated the national news. Blur's "Country House" outsold Oasis' "Roll with It" 274,000 copies to 216,000 during the week.Harris, pg. 235 Oasis' management came up with several reasons for this, claiming "Country House" sold more because it was less expensive (£1.99 vs £3.99) and because there were two different versions of "Country House" with different B-sides forcing serious fans to buy two copies.Harris, pg. 233 An alternative explanation given at the time by Creation was that there were problems associated with the barcode on the "Roll With It" single case, which did not record all sales.Author unknown. "Cockney revels". NME. 26 August 1995. Noel Gallagher told The Observer in September that he hoped Damon Albarn and Alex James of Blur would "catch AIDS and die", which caused a media furore."Noel Gallagher in Blur Aids outburst". Melody Maker. 23 September 1995. He subsequently apologised for this in a formal letter to various publications.Harris, pg. 251
Bassist Paul McGuigan briefly left the band in September 1995, 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 while on tour in the USA. McLeod later contacted Noel Gallagher claiming he felt he had made the wrong decision. Gallagher curtly replied "I think you have too. Good luck signing on", referring to the Jobseeker's Allowance.. Retrieved 9 March 2008. To complete the tour, McGuigan was successfully convinced to return to the band.
Although a softer sound led to mixed reviews, Oasis' second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was a commercial success, becoming the third largest selling album of all time in the UK with over four million copies sold.. Retrieved 9 March 2008. The album spawned two further hit singles "Wonderwall" and "Don't Look Back in Anger", which also reached numbers two and one respectively. It also contained the non-UK single "Champagne Supernova" — featuring guitar playing and backing vocals by Paul Weller — that received widespread critical acclaim and peaked at number one on the US modern rock chart.
The group played their first headline outdoor concerts at Maine Road Football Ground, Manchester on 27 April and 28 April 1996. Highlights from the second night featured on the video ...There and Then, released later the same year. As their career reached its zenith, Oasis performed back-to-back concerts at Knebworth on 10 August and 11 August. The band sold out both shows within minutes. The audience of 250,000 people over two nights (2.5 million people applied for tickets, and 375,000 were actually sold, meaning the possibility of 53 sold out nights),Harris, pg. 298–99 was at the time a record-breaking number for an outdoor concert held in the UK, and to this day the largest demand for a show in British history.
The rest of the month proved to be difficult for the group. Oasis were due to record an episode of MTV Unplugged at the Royal Festival Hall but Liam pulled out, citing a sore throat. He watched the performance from a balcony with cold beer and cigarettes, heckling Noel's singing between songs. Four days later the group left for a tour of American arenas but Liam refused to go; the band decided to continue the tour with Noel on vocals.Harris, pg. 310 Liam rejoined the tour on 30 August, but a few weeks later Noel flew home without the band, who followed on another flight.Harris, pg. 312 This event prompted media speculation that the group were splitting up. The brothers soon reconciled and decided to complete the tour.Harris, pg. 313
Oasis spent the end of 1996 and the first quarter of 1997 at Abbey Road Studios in London and Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey recording their third album. Quarrels between the Gallagher brothers plagued the recording sessions. Be Here Now was released in August 1997. Preceded by the UK number one single "D'You Know What I Mean?", the album was their most anticipated effort, and as such became the subject of considerable media attention. By the end of the first day of release, Be Here Now sold over 350,000 units and by the end of business on Saturday of that week sales had reached 696,000, making it the fastest-selling album in British history.Harris, pg. 342. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard charts in the United States, but its first week sales of 152,000—below expected sales of 400,000 copies—were considered a disappointment.. Retrieved 9 March 2008. Although early media reviews were positive, once the hype had died down, the album was criticised for being bloated and derivative with most of the critics focused on the extensive length of several songs, the heavier sound, and overproduction.
By this time the Britpop movement was in decline, and the band had failed to meet expectations with their third album. After the conclusion of the Be Here Now Tour in early 1998, amidst much media criticism the group kept a low profile. Later in the year, Oasis released a compilation album of fourteen B-sides, entitled The Masterplan. "The really interesting stuff from around that period is the B-sides. There's a lot more inspired music on the B-sides than there is on Be Here Now itself, I think", related Noel in an interview in 2008.. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
Transitional period: 1999–2004
In early 1999, the band began work on their fourth studio album. First details were announced in February with Mark "Spike" Stent revealed to be taking a co-producing role. 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".. Retrieved 9 March 2008. However, Noel has since offered a contradicting version: that a series of violations of Noel's "no drink or drugs" policy (imposed by Noel so that Liam could sing properly) for the album's sessions resulted in a confrontation between the two. Two weeks later the departure of bassist Paul McGuigan was announced. The Gallagher brothers held a press conference shortly thereafter where they assured reporters that "the future of Oasis is secure. The story and the glory will go on.". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
GemArcher.jpgthumbleftuprightGuitarist Gem Archer performing at an Oasis concert.
The now three-piece Oasis chose to continue recording the album, with Noel Gallagher re-recording most of Arthurs' guitar and McGuigan's bass parts. After the completion of the recording sessions, the band began searching for replacement members. 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.. Retrieved 14 December 2007. The band were rehearsing with David Potts, but he quickly resigned, and they brought in Andy Bell, former guitarist/songwriter of Ride and Hurricane #1 as their new bassist. Bell had never played bass before and had to learn to play it, along with a handful of songs from Oasis' back catalogue, in preparation for a scheduled tour of America in December 1999.
With the folding of Creation Records, Oasis formed their own label, Big Brother, which released all of Oasis' subsequent records in the UK and Ireland. Oasis' fourth album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, was released in February 2000 to good first-week sales. It peaked at number one on the British charts and number 24 on the Billboard charts. retrieved on 15 December 2007. retrieved on 15 December 2007 Three singles were released from the album: "Go Let It Out", "Who Feels Love?" and "Sunday Morning Call", all of which were top five UK singles. retrieved on 15 December 2007 With the departure of the founding members, the band made several small changes to their image and sound. The cover featured a new "Oasis" logo, designed by Gem Archer, and the album was also the first Oasis release to include a song written by Liam Gallagher, entitled "Little James". The songs also had more experimental, psychedelic influences.. Written by Stephen Thomas Erlewine. Retrieved on 15 December 2007. The album received only lukewarm reviews and, as of now, Standing is the band's lowest selling studio album.This text has been derived from Oasis (band) on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0