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O   A   S   I   S

The Britpop band Oasis rose from obscurity to become the most popular U.K.-based rock band of the mid-1990s. Formed in Manchester in 1991 as the Rain by Liam Gallagher (vocals), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Paul "Guigs" McGuigan (bass) and Tony McCaroll (drums), the group soon fell under the leadership of Liam's older brother Noel Gallagher (vocals/songwriting), a former roadie for the Inspiral Carpets, who renamed the band Oasis. After extensive private rehearsals, Oasis recorded a demo, which Noel Gallagher passed on to contacts at Creation Records, who quickly signed the group. Oasis' first few U.K. singles, released in spring/summer 1994, were increasingly successful; by the time the group's debut album, Definitely Maybe, came out in the fall of 1994, it debuted at No. 1 in Britain, selling millions of copies. In the U.S. Definitely Maybe went gold over the next year, reaching the charts on the strength of MTV singles such as "Live Forever" and "Supersonic."

Though Oasis was instantly popular after only one album, tensions within the band threatened to prematurely end its career -- the Gallagher brothers fought openly, the group launched press attacks against fellow Britpop stars Blur, and drummer Tony McCaroll suddenly quit Oasis in early 1995 after getting into a bar brawl with Liam Gallagher. (He was later replaced by Alan White.) Despite the turmoil, Oasis pulled through their difficulties successfully, returning in late 1995 with (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, which debuted at No. 1 in the U.K. and became the second-best selling album in British history. When Oasis performed at Knebworth in the summer of 1996, it was reportedly the biggest outdoor event ever held in Britain. Morning Glory? also reached the U.S. Top 10 thanks to alternative airplay of its single "Wonderwall."

Oasis' third studio album, Be Here Now, came out in 1997, followed by a worldwide tour.

In November 1998, the band released their fourth album on Epic, The Masterplan, a 14-track collection of previously unreleased (in the U.S.) B-sides.

In the Spring of 1994 an unknown band from Manchester released their first single. By the end of the year they had reached the top ten no less than five times, enjoyed sell-out tours of Britain, Japan and Europe, created a storm in the usually musically-indifferent USA and seen their first album, Definitely Maybe, become the fastest selling debut of all time. Volatile, compelling, celebratory, hedonistic but totally honest, Oasis were truly the first musical stars to emerge for two decades.

When the hits - and awards - kept on coming, the world began to take Oasis seriously as a musical force, especially as sales of their multi-platinum second album, (What's The Story) Morning Glory, showed no signs of abating.

Further confirmation of their star status came with the staging of their ambitious sell-out shows : Earl Court, Maine Road, Loch Lomond and finally, Knebworth which made history as the biggest gig ever. In 1996 it was declared : Oasis were bigger than The Beatles. But as persistent media attention turned into tabloid soap opera, doubts were raised about their future. In Autumn 1996, when they cancelled tours of America, Europe and Japan, the news was given press precedence over world events. Rumors of their split were relayed around the globe.

As usual, commentators had jumped the gun. Three years constant, grueling world tours had taken their toll and Oasis had simply recognised the need to chill out rather than burn out. Ensconced in the studio recording their third album, Oasis started getting on again with what they do best - making music. If it did anything at all to the band, last year's short lived panic attack revived their all-conquering sense of purpose.

And the result - Be Here Now - due for release on 21 August 1997 and which will have the biggest pre-sales in this country of any album for the last decade, easily overtaking the likes of Michael Jackson, U2 and Pink Floyd, with guestimates of eventual sales hovering around the the 20 million mark. Taken from the album, D'you Know What I mean - the first Oasis single for more than a year - went straight to Number One, selling a cool 160,000 on its day of release on 7 July 1997 and becoming the year's biggest selling single four days later. Not to mention 13 sell-out dates including a '95 topping 3 nights at Earls Court.

Oasis are back and instantly other bands fade into the shadows! The Nineties belong to them, just as the Sixties belong to the Beatles and the Stones.

In 1990 oasis was just a dream of every young rock musician. Paul Arthurs, Paul McGuigan and Chris Hutton formed a band called "The Rain". Tony McCarroll soon replaced the drum machine which was originally used. They sacked Hutton, and brought in the Tazmanian Devil known as Liam Gallagher. Guigsy said: "Me and Bonehead had this band. It wasn't really a band, actually: it was just 3 geezers and a drum machine, trying to fucking do something. The geezer we had as a singer was a twat, basically - so we sacked him. He was a twat. Swung his microphone round and all that. His favorite ever bands were New Order and Joy Division but he didn't have any of their records." At that stage they were singing cover versions of songs like "Wild Thing." Although Liam had never done any serious singing before he said that he was able to shout. And if he could shout, well then he could sing.

One of the first things they did was change their name to "oasis". The true story about where the name came from is: Noel had been working as a roadie for the "Inspiral Carpets" and they had played a gig at a leisure centre in Swindon called "The Swindon Oasis". Liam saw a poster advertising this gig on Noels bedroom wall and thought "oasis" was a good name for his group and so the legend of oasis was born.

They played their first gig in the Boardwalk in Manchester on 18 August 1991. Liams older brother Noel, heard his brother was in a band, so he just had to go and see for himself. The next Sunday, Noel went along to the bands rehearsals. Guigsy said: "after about half an hour he said 'I'll go and get my guitar.' Then he came down and said 'Your tunes are shit. I'll show you some tunes.' After hearing Noels songs the rest of the band knew they could make it big if they practiced enough. From then on they reheared up to seven days a week. Their first gig together with Noel, Liam, Bonehead, Guigs and Tony was at the Boardwalk in Manchester on 15 January 1992.
Noel had also previously been working on a building site. According to himself he injured himself on the building site and went to work in the hut where they give out the nuts, bolts and screws to the other builders. Luckily for him no one ever came in to him and he just sat down with his acoustic guitar and started writing songs. It was on this building site that many of the songs on definitely maybe were written. Tracks such as "See The Sun" and "Strange Thing" were part of the bands original material along with more familiar songs like "Columbia" and "Bring It On Down."

From early 1992 onwards they played gigs around Manchester and Liverpool in venues such as the Boardwalk in Manchester and the Krazy House in Liverpool. On Monday 31 May 1993 the band whose practice room they shared (The Sister Lovers), were playing a gig in Scotland and asked oasis to come up with them. The band got a bus and charged their mates to come along to pay for the trip and oasis would guarantee them a good night out in return for their money. When they got there the management in King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (272a St. Vincent Street) in Glasgow wouldn't give them any time on stage. Noel says that he pointed out that there were only two men on the door and about twenty of his mates willing to smash the place up if they didn't get on stage. For some reason the management agreed to let them play.

Alan McGee the boss of Creation Records was in Glasgow that night but according to Noel had missed his train home to London. Journalist Paulo Hewitt says he was there to see another of his bands, 18 Wheeler who were playing in King Tuts. He was amused to hear that a band had threatened to smash the place up if they didn't get on the stage. As soon as he heard them play he was instantly impressed with the singers voice and the "outrageous guitar solo" played by the lead guitarist. By the time they finished their set with "I Am The Walrus" Alan had made up his mind to sign up the band. As soon as they came off stage he went up to the band and asked them the name of their band. They said it was Oasis. Alan then asked if they had a record deal. They said no and then Alan McGee of Creation Records gave Oasis their big break. He was drunk at the time but he claims that he knew oasis were really good and when he played back the demo the next day he knew he was totally correct

Oasis began when three Manchester lads formed a band. Tony, the drummer, Paul, the bassist and Bonehead, the guitarist recruited a new singer, Liam, who had a brother Noel who came along for the odd jam. Not put off by having seen the band play a ‘dodgy’ gig at the Boardwalk, Noel offered his songs to the band during a rehearsal one day and they never looked back!

Depending on which brother you believe, they either named themselves after a well-known high street clothes shop or just something they saw on a poster. More importantly, their common aim was to carry on their love for original bands, like the Beatles. Post-1980 music was a subject with which the band had a healthy disagreement, except that they all appreciated the Roses and wanted to keep their early demos very close to their chests.


After almost two years of touring around their home town of Manchester, they still had no deal and no money. With nothing else to do they made a last minute decision to go to Glasgow and support a friend’s band. When the promoter tried to send them on their way the boys threatened to burn the club down. Not surprisingly they ended up playing. This was where the whole story began. A key audience member, Alan McGee of Creation Records, took them under his wing straight away and they secured a record deal on the strength of one performance.

After the success of their ‘bottom of the bill’ gig in Glasgow, Oasis were soon discussing everything from music to cars with Creation officials. Before they know it, a contract is being drawn up and other possible deals are appearing too, including one from the U2-owned Mother Records who are willing to double McGee’s offer, but there’s no chance of them signing to anyone but "the greatest record company in the world."

The beauty of their story is that it is simple - ‘three steps to pop stardom.’ First stage - a demo is passed onto Johnny Marr. Second stage - they went to Glasgow’s King Tut’s one night with a fellow Manchester band and went on stage as their support after a threatening to smash the place up if they didn’t get their own way. The boss of Creation Records, Alan McGee was in the audience and signed them on the spot. The third stage - they decided to start all over again with their first album - Definitely Maybe - by producing it themselves.

"He just came up to us and said, ‘I want to sign your band.’ I thought that it was someone taking the piss. He doesn’t know to this day why he signed the band. And he’ll tell you that himself. It got him in the stomach and he knew he had to have us."



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