Oasis With frequent headlines surrounding the Gallagher’s and “fracas”, usually involving broken bottles and someone’s face, it is sometimes hard to believe that the Manchester born and bred brothers are in fact not only in their 40’s but also millionaires. Growing up on the rough streets of a downtrodden Manchester suburb, Noel was quickly infiltrated into the world of crime and drugs and at age 12 was given 6 months probation for robbing a newsagents and suspected burglary of a house. It was after this incident that he began to see music as a release and a way to escape his problematic life, and started focussing properly on learning to play guitar. Younger brother Liam did not fully see the appeal of a music career until later when influenced by an Inspiral Carpets gig, who Noel proceeded to be a guitar technician for. In 1991 after touring the world with them, he was informed that Liam had joined a band, originally “the Rain” but later “Oasis”. Noel returned from his travels and was put as lead guitarist, seeing the potential in his little brother’s venture. After 1993 the band seemed to find relatively overnight success. After a gig at Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Club, Allan McGee of Creation Records offered them a contract four days after seeing them. Although this sparked a bidding war of many worthy contenders such as Ignition and Mother, founded by U2, it seemed that the band had found a home with Creation and signed the contract a few months later as well as a global contract with Sony. With the relatively small release “Columbia” came instant popularity, with BBC Radio 1 putting it straight onto their playlist. The label viewed the boys as diamonds in the rough, and their permanent fighting, drinking and drug taking only added to their appeal. Their next single “Supersonic” was another Radio 1 favourite and lead to them being secured for festival line-ups such as Glastonbury. Subsequent single “Live Forever”, still a favourite with indie kids and working class heroes alike, reached the Top 10 and made a debut album highly anticipated by fans and critics alike. With the turbulent relationship of the Gallagher brothers causing permanent fights and tension within the band recording was difficult, however in September 1994 “Definitely Maybe” was released, becoming the fastest selling debut album in the history of the UK charts and entered straight at number 1. After this the band went on a series of worldwide tours, but with Liam’s drug habit becoming worse it was increasingly difficult to perform with him. During a performance in LA Liam assaulted Noel with a tambourine, barely able to sing due to his intoxication on crystal meth. Noel immediately quit and left for San Francisco, unable to be in the same city as his brother. Later he was persuaded to rejoin and the tour continued, however this was not to be the last of explosive fights and break ups with the brothers. With a fourth single release of “Cigarettes and Alcohol”, a performance favourite, Oasis were closely watched for a second album, as well as an emerging Brit Pop battle with fellow band Blur, who Noel was reported to say he wished would “catch AIDS and die”. In 1995, “(Whats the Story) Morning Glory?” was released containing hit singles “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, causing a surge in support and resulting in sellout concert performances at Knebworth. The band then began recording their next album “Be Here Now”, heralded by number 1 single “D’you Know What I Mean”, in the revered Abbey Road Studios, however sales and a tour were a chronic disappointment to the band. Later they released a compilation of B-Sides, “the Masterplan”, in an effort to remind critics what they could in fact achieve. The band went through many changes after this period of time including member replacements and a strict no drink or drugs policy when recording. They also made a monumental decision to start their own label, Big Brother, and leave Creation, which ultimately led to the fall of the label already on it’s knees. On Big Brother they released their fourth album, “Standing On the Shoulders of Giants” which reached number 1 as well as containing three top 5 UK singles, although ultimately failing to convince that Oasis were still the force to be reckoned with that they had been, linked to the increasingly ravaging use of drugs by Liam, which after release of Heathen Chemistry in 2002 caused him to be arrested in Germany and fined 40, 000 quid. Going on to headline Glastonbury that year, it looked as though Oasis were finally regaining the popularity they had somewhat lost. They began recording and released “Don’t Believe the Truth” in 2005, with number 1 “Lyla” staying in the top 10 for weeks and subsequent singles “The Importance of Being Idle” and “Let There Be Love” also entering at number 1 and 2. The tour supporting the album was critical for this comeback and certainly didn’t fail please eager fans. In 2008 Sony made a three album contract with Oasis, clearly noting their new found appeal, and the first single “the Shock of the Lightning” once again hit the number 1 spot the Gallagher brothers had so frequently in their lifetimes seen, culminating in the NME Award for Best British Band of 2009. From origins as petty thieves, it would seem Oasis have stolen the hearts of Britain permanently, and they won’t give them back without a fight.
Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Andy Bell, Gem Archer, Zak Starkey