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Information On Band Members Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Andy Bell, Gem Archer, Alan White, Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs, Paul 'Guigs' McGuigan, Tony McCarrol, Zak Starkey & Chris Sharrock.
Oasis were are an English rock band that formed in Manchester in 1991. Originally known as "The Rain", the group was formed by Liam Gallagher (vocals), Paul Arthurs (guitar), Paul McGuigan (bass) and Tony McCarroll (drums), who were soon joined by Liam's older brother Noel Gallagher (guitar and vocals). Oasis have sold over 50 million records worldwide, have had eight UK number-one singles and have collected 15 NME Awards, 5 Brit Awards, 9 Q awards and 4 MTV Europe awards. In February 2007, Oasis received the BRIT Award for outstanding contribution to music. The Gallagher brothers are the band's leading songwriters and the only continual members. The present lineup is completed by guitarist Gem Archer and bassist Andy Bell, as well as unofficial drummer Chris Sharrock.
The band initially gained prominence performing on the Manchester club circuit. They were signed to independent record label Creation Records and afterwards released their 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. At the height of their fame, Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now (1997), which was the fastest-selling album in UK chart history. The band lost two long-time members Paul McGuigan and Paul Arthurs between recording and releasing Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (2000) and Heathen Chemistry (2002) and went on to record Don't Believe the Truth (2005) and Dig Out Your Soul (2008).
Formation and first years: 1991–1994
Oasis are a rock and roll band who 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 which hung in the Gallagher brother's bedroom. One of the venues the poster listed was the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon. Oasis played its first live gig in August 1991 at the Boardwalk club in Manchester. Noel Gallagher, who was a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, went with the band to watch his younger brother's band play. Whilst Noel Gallagher 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." 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, respectively; McCarroll playing basic rhythms, and the band's amplifiers turned up as to create distortion, Oasis created a sound "so devoid of finesse and complexity that it came out sounding pretty much unstoppable."
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 six-hour 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 Alan McGee have given contradicting statements about how they actually managed to get into the club on that night). 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. 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.
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. The release was followed by "Shakermaker", their third single, "Live Forever", was their first to enter the Top 10 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.
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. This 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. The group followed up the fourth single from Definitely Maybe, "Cigarettes and Alcohol", with the Christmas single EP "Whatever" which entered the British charts at number three. .
The Battle of the Britpop and height of fame: 1995–1998
Oasis had their first UK number one in April 1995 with "Some Might Say", the first single from their second album. 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”. McCarroll was replaced by Londoner 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.
During this period, the English 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 the 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. 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. 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.
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". In order 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. 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 1 on the US modern rock charts. The group played their first headline outdoor concerts at Maine Road Football Ground, Manchester on 27 April and 28 April. 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 1996. The band sold out both shows within minutes; 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), at the time a record-breaking number for an outdoor concert held in the UK, and to this today the largest demand for a show in British
The next month proved to be difficult for the group. In August, Oasis was 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. Liam rejoined the tour on 30 August, but a few weeks later Noel flew home without the band, who followed on another flight. This event prompted media speculation that the group was splitting up. The brothers soon reconciled and decided to complete the tour.
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. Be Here Now was released in August 1997. 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. 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. 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. 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.
The Britpop movement was over and the band failed to meet expectations with Be Here Now. After the conclusion of the disastrous Be Here Now tour, amidst huge media criticism the group decided to stay clear of each other and kept a low profile throughout 1998. That year Oasis released The Masterplan, a compilation album of 14 B-sides, released in November. "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.
Lineup changes and fall in popularity: 1999–2000
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".
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."
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. The band was 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. Three singles were released from the album: "Go Let It Out", "Who Feels Love?" and "Sunday Morning Call", all of which were top 5 UK singles. 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. The album received only lukewarm reviews and, as of now, Standing is the band's lowest selling studio album.
To support the record the band staged an eventful world tour. While touring in Barcelona in 2000, Oasis were forced to cancel a gig when Alan White's arm seized up, and the band spent the night drinking instead. Liam made a derogatory comment about Noel, causing a scuffle. Following this, Noel declared he was quitting touring overseas altogether, and Oasis were supposed to finish the tour without him. Noel eventually returned for the Irish and British legs of the tour, which included two major shows at Wembley Stadium. A live album of the first show, called Familiar to Millions, was released in late 2000 to mixed reviews.
Transitional years: 2001–2004
Throughout 2001, Oasis split time between sessions for their fifth studio album and live shows around the world. Some gigs included the month-long Tour of Brotherly Love with The Black Crowes and Spacehog and a show in Paris supporting Neil Young. The album, Heathen Chemistry, Oasis' first album with new members Andy Bell and Gem Archer, was released in July 2002. The album reached number one in the UK and number 23 in US, although critics gave it mixed reviews. There were four singles released from the album: "The Hindu Times", "Stop Crying Your Heart Out", "Little by Little/She Is Love", and the Liam-penned "Songbird", Oasis' first single not written by Noel. The record blended the band's sonic experiments from their last albums, but also went for a more basic rock sound. Heathen Chemistry was a much more balanced recording process for the band, with all of the members, apart from White, penning songs.
After the album's release, the band embarked on a successful world tour that was once again filled with incidents. In late summer 2002, whilst the band was on tour in the US, Noel, Bell and touring keyboardist Jay Darlington were involved in a car accident in Indianapolis. While none of the band members sustained any major injuries, some shows were cancelled as a result. In December 2002, the latter half of the German leg of the band's European tour had to be postponed after Liam Gallagher, Alan White and three other members of the band's entourage were arrested after a violent brawl at a Munich nightclub. Liam lost two front teeth and kicked a police officer in the ribs, while Alan suffered minor head injuries after getting hit with an ashtray. The band finished their tour in April 2003 after returning to those postponed dates.
Oasis began recording a sixth album in late December 2003 with producers Death in Vegas at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall. The album was originally planned for a September 2004 release to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the release of Definitely Maybe. However, long-time drummer Alan White, who at this time had played on nearly all of the band's material, left the band in early January 2004. White was replaced by Zak Starkey, drummer of The Who and the son of Beatles' Ringo Starr. Though Starkey performed on studio recordings and toured with the band, he was not officially a member and the band was a four-piece for the first time in their career. Starkey played publicly for the first time at Poole Lighthouse.
A few days later, Oasis, with Starkey, headlined the Glastonbury Festival for the second time in their career and performed a greatest hits set, which included two new songs — Gem Archer's "A Bell Will Ring" and Liam Gallagher's "The Meaning of Soul". The performance received negative reviews, with NME calling it a "disaster." The BBC's Tom Bishop called Oasis' set "lacklustre and uneventful... prompting a mixed reception from fans", mainly because of Liam's uninspired singing and Starkey's lack of experience with the band's material.
Resurgence in popularity: 2005-2008
After much turbulence, the band's sixth album was finally recorded in Los Angeles-based Capitol Studios from October to December the same year. Producer Dave Sardy took over the lead producing role from Noel, who decided to step back from these duties after a decade of producing leadership over the band. In May 2005, after three years and as many scrapped recording sessions, the band released their sixth studio album, Don't Believe the Truth, fulfilling their contract with Sony BMG. It followed the path of Heathen Chemistry as being a collaborative project again, rather than a Noel-written album. The album was the first in a decade not to feature drumming by Alan White, marking the recording debut of Zak Starkey. The record was generally hailed as the band's best effort since Morning Glory by fans and critics alike, spawning two UK number one singles: "Lyla" and "The Importance of Being Idle", whilst "Let There Be Love" entered at number two. Oasis picked up 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 Oasis' previous five albums, Don't Believe the Truth also entered the UK album charts at number one.
In May 2005, the band's new line-up embarked on a large scale world tour. Beginning on 10 May 2005 at the London Astoria, and finishing on 31 March 2006 in front of a sold out gig in Mexico City, Oasis played more live shows than at any time since the Definitely Maybe tour, visiting 26 countries and headlining 110 shows. The tour passed without any major incidents and was the band's most successful in more than a decade. The tour included sold out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden and LA's Hollywood Bowl. A rockumentary film made during the tour, entitled Lord Don't Slow Me Down was released in October 2007. A second DVD included live footage from an Oasis gig in Manchester from 2 July 2005.
Oasis released a compilation double album entitled Stop the Clocks in 2006, featuring what the band considers to be their "definitive" songs. Though the band didn't want to release a compilation, their expired contract with Sony Music forced a release against their wishes. So, the band chose to be involved, "otherwise it would be shit" as Noel said later in an interview. During November 2006, Noel and Gem, backed by drummer Terry Kirkbride, began a short tour to promote Stop the Clocks. They played around a dozen shows in various countries around the world.
The band received the BRIT Award for outstanding contribution to music in February 2007, playing several of their most famous songs afterwards. Oasis released their first ever digital-only release, "Lord Don't Slow Me Down", in October 2007. The song debuted at number 10 in the U.K singles charts.
The band's resurgence in popularity since the success of Don't Believe The Truth was highlighted in February 2008 when, in a poll to find the 50 greatest British albums of the last 50 years conducted by Q Magazine and HMV, two Oasis albums were voted first and second (Definitely Maybe and (What's The Story) Morning Glory? respectively). Two other albums by the band appeared in the list - Don't Believe The Truth came in at no.14, and the album that has previously been heavily criticised by some of the media, Be Here Now, made the list at No.22.
In May 2008, Zak Starkey left the band after recording the band's seventh studio album and becoming full-fledged member during the sessions. He was replaced by former Robbie Williams, The Icicle Works, The La's, World Party and The Lightning Seeds drummer Chris Sharrock on their tour.
Dig Out Your Soul: 2008-Present
In May 2008, Zak Starkey left the band after recording the band's seventh studio album and becoming full-fledged member during the sessions. He was replaced by former La's and Robbie Williams drummer Chris Sharrock on their tour.
In June 2008, the band re-signed with Sony BMG for a three-album deal. Oasis recorded for a couple of months in 2007 between July and September -- completing work on two new songs and demoing the rest. They took a two-month break, because of the birth of Noel's son. The band re-entered the studio on 5 November 2007 and finished recording around March 2008 with producer Dave Sardy. The first single from the record was "The Shock of the Lightning" written by Noel Gallagher, and it was released on 29 September 2008.
Dig Out Your Soul, the band's seventh studio album, was released on the 6th October and went to Number 1 in the UK and number 5 on the Billboard 200. The band's again-new lineup started touring for a projected 18-month long tour, with support from Kasabian, The Enemy and The Prodigy. Noel Gallagher has stated that after the tour, he'd "like [them] to go off and do [their] own projects", adding "it would be interesting to see what comes out. See how the four parts make up the whole."
Conversely, Noel has also stated that he's written and demoed the group's follow up to Dig Out Your Soul. Mentioning songs "I Want to Live in a Dream in My Record Machine" and "Come on It's Alright" as potentially being included on the album. Noel stated that there would be thematic unity, likening it to Neil Young's Greendale and compared the sound of the material to "mid-era Kinks," saying that it will sound vastly different than the material from Dig Out Your Soul. Though no time-table was given, Noel still plans on releasing a solo album "...hopefully sooner rather than later" as well.
On February 25, 2009, Oasis received the NME Award for Best British Band of 2009.
“Oasis will become the premier gilt-edged rock ‘n’ rollers of the age; they will irreversibly change the way you walk and talk, the way you dress… the future’s assured. The past is gone. This is now. Listen. That’s the story.” (NME 1995)
“I consider Noel to be the finest songwriter of his generation.” (George Martin)
‘Time Flies’ is the complete singles collection celebrating the work of Oasis from start to finish. Released on 14th June through Big Brother Recordings, the songs that comprise this album span fifteen glorious years walked tall alongside a staggering seven consecutive number one albums. 1994’s ‘Definitely Maybe’, 1995’s ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’, 1997’s ‘Be Here Now’, 2000’s ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’, 2002’s ‘Heathen Chemistry’, 2005’s ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’ and their last from 2008, ‘Dig Out Your Soul’. Starting with their irresistible debut, ‘Supersonic’ and finishing with their very last release, ‘Falling Down’, the album features all 26 singles - 23 Top Tens including 8 No.1's. A deluxe version of ‘Time Flies’ features all 36 videos ever made (all previously unreleased) including versions made for the UK and America, as well as the last ever recorded Oasis live show from The Roundhouse in London on the 21st July 2009.
April 1994 it begins. Effortlessly, the classic singles, ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Shakermaker’ provided a tangible feeling that something was happening; then came ‘Live Forever’, where we saw a young Liam Gallagher nailed to a chair in that bizarre video and somehow the notion that one of ours could again excite, incite and not to mention, sell millions of records was very real. They virtually reignited an ailing industry and revitalised the global music scene. They did this by becoming “the most complete pop group on the planet”. They knew it too; as Noel Gallagher, the band’s principal songwriter, simply explained, “We’re not arrogant, we just believe we’re the greatest band in the World.” His younger brother who went on to become one of the ‘greatest frontmen of all time’, once remarked, “There’s Elvis and me. I couldn’t say which of the two is best.” Oasis owned attitude, and noise and confusion often followed. Early on, Noel said, “All I know is that the gigs are selling out and we’re probably gonna get in loads more trouble on this tour…”
It was this kind of self belief and ambition that flung the world open to Oasis. From their landmark 'arrival' performance at T in the Park in 1994 to the now legendary gigs at Maine Road, a weekend of history-making at Knebworth, world famous venues that included sell out shows at Madison Square Gardens and the Hollywood Bowl, and stadiums from Wembley to River Plate, Argentina and beyond, as well as just about every single festival here and abroad, Oasis rapidly grew but never lost their high cool. How many bands manage that - and why? Undoubtedly, millions identified, aspired, shared the dream of the boys from Burnage making very, very good. Their outspokenness and the very real relationship of Noel and Liam kept us enthralled and amused. At times, it provided real drama, but nevertheless the humanity shone through more often than not.
So what is there left to say about the greatest rock 'n' roll band of our time? These could be the best days of our lives. And they were. And they still are. Oasis entertained on every level. At every concert tens of thousands united to sing along to, be moved by, be energised by and reminisce with this incredible set list - a definitive chronicle of a generation, national anthems, a series of musical lunar landings. Remember whose eyes you were looking into when you first heard ‘Wonderwall’? Who had their arm around you during ‘Don't Look Back In Anger’? Who did you steal a glance from during ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’? Mosh with to 'Lyla'? Who did you want to ‘Live Forever’ with? And why did it all work so well, for so long, all around the world, for so many people? For a time, they did change the way we walked, we talked, the way we dressed. For Oasis it was always so simple. Liam Gallagher comments, “I’m totally proud of everything we’ve done… I liked the crazy times and the not so crazy, I liked it all, man.” And Noel Gallagher sums it up by saying, “The fact that we kept it together for so long is testament to our love of the music. It’s from the heart.”
TIMES FLIES… 1994 - 2009
Roll With It
Stop Crying Your Heart Out
Cigarettes & Alcohol
Don’t Look Back In Anger
The Hindu Times
Stand By Me
Lord Don’t Slow Me Down
All Around The World
Some Might Say
The Importance of Being Idle
D’You Know What I Mean?
Let There Be Love
Go Let It Out
Who Feels Love?
Little By Little
The Shock Of The Lightning
She Is Love
I’m Outta Time
Visit www.oasisinet.com for more details
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