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"The funny thing is, that mouthing off three years ago about how we were gonna be the biggest band in the world, we actually went and done it. And it was a piece of piss."—Noel Gallagher, circa 1995
Oasis were a British Alternative Rock band strongly associated with the '90s Britpop movement, along with their archnemeses Blur. The band was established (initially as The Rain) in 1991 by vocalist Liam Gallagher, guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, bassist Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan and drummer Tony McCarroll; to little success, until Noel Gallagher, Liam's older brother, came out of the blue and took total control of the band – which nobody protested, for he and his songs were just that good. Led by the older Gallagher, the band went on to achieve stellar success in the mid-'90s and onward: the zenith being "the Battle of Britpop" with rival band Blur, and the album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? shifting over 4.6m copies in the UK to currently rank as the country's fourth-highest seller of all time. As the Britpop trend died out towards the turn of the millennium, Oasis survived and prospered into the new century: managing in total to produce seven studio albums (all UK Number Ones), go 14 years without missing the Top 5 with a 'proper' single, and ultimately sell over 70 million album copies worldwide. They finally imploded in 2009, after one bust-up too many between the Gallagher brothers led to Noel's departure. Prior to this, they'd also gone through some less terminal lineup changes:
- McCarroll was kicked out and replaced by Alan White as drummer (not that Alan White) in 1995.
- Bonehead and Guigsy left in 1999. After recording subsequent album Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants as a three-piece, guitarist Colin "Gem" Archer and bassist Andy Bell (no, not that Andy Bell) were brought in.
- White left the band in 2004. He was unofficially replaced by Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey, who played in the studio and live with the band but was never an official member. Before the recording of Dig Out Your Soul, Starkey was replaced by Chris Sharrock, former drummer for The Icicle Works.
The band were known for their over-the-top rock and roll attitude and perennial fixation on The Beatles, which many times eclipsed their musical aspects; Noel Gallagher was also known to "borrow" musical snippets and riffs from older songs, which didn't help the case. The Gallagher brothers were infamous for their fistfights, rude remarks, and most importantly, quarrelling amongst themselves; Noel was particularly known for his entertaining wit and antics during interviews. Musically speaking, Oasis were defined largely by Noel's status as a Promoted Fanboy, and can be pretty much summed up as classic British pop/rock (The Beatles, The Who, T. Rex, etc.) updated with more modern influences (The Stone Roses) and played with a wall-of-sound approach indebted to Punk Rock and Shoegazing.
Oasis's future would finally come into critical doubt, after the best part of 20 years marked by internal squabbling and irregular rifts of greater or lesser severity, in August 2009 when Noel – who wrote most of their singles and best known tracks, and decided their artistic directions – announced his departure. The rest of the band were ambiguous as to whether they would carry on, until Liam Gallagher announced a split in late 2009; he later announced that they would "continue the project" in 2010, albeit perhaps with a different name. This came to pass, as some time after the breakup Liam and the rest of the band reconvened under the name Beady Eye, releasing their 'debut' album Different Gear, Still Speeding in February 2011. Noel came out of hiding more belatedly, confirming that he's going onto a solo career under the name Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds; his debut album under this moniker was released in October 2011, and eclipsed his former bandmates' effort by flying straight to UK Number One.
- Definitely Maybe (1994)
- (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)
- Be Here Now (1997)
- Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (2000)
- Heathen Chemistry (2002)
- Don't Believe the Truth (2005)
- Dig Out Your Soul (2008)
Some would include their B-sides collection, 1998's The Masterplan; Oasis had the rare distinction, at least in their early years, of producing numerous B-sides to singles that became as well-loved as their 'proper' songs, hence this compilation.
Not to be confused with the indie game named Oasis.
Oasis provided examples of:
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle - Liam needs some time in the sunsheeyine.
- These are crazy days but they make Liam Sheeyine.
- Liam could wait for a lifetime, to spend his days in the sunsheeyine.
- Album Title Drop - Noel Gallagher didn't like naming albums after songs, so working them quietly into the lyrics instead was a common practice. A subversion is "Morning Glory", from (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, in which the remainder of the album title is sung in the chorus.
- Also, the track "To Be Where There's Life" goes "Dig out your soul, here we go".
- Aloof Big Brother - Noel is considered this to Liam Gallagher. Especially when the band split and the two released the debuts their own projects (High Flying Birds and Beady Eye), where many liked to invoke this trope.
- Ascended Fanboy - Of The Beatles. Liam even said he's Lennon reincarnated (even though he was born in 1972...)
- Anime Theme Song - "Falling Down".
- Attention Whore - The brothers, to some people. Or perhaps a lot.
- Audience Participation Song - "Don't Look Back in Anger", "Half The World Away". "Wonderwall" could count, but the others are more effective in this.
- The Band Minus the Face - Beady Eye, after Noel's departure.
- Bigger Than Jesus - In The Nineties, music periodical The New Music Express (NME) spoofed the band's thrall to The Beatles and their tendency to plagiarize with a fictitious interview in which Noel Gallagher claimed to be "bigger than God." Just one year later, in Real Life, Noel Gallagher made exactly the same claim, though the entire point to John Lennon's original remarks in 1966 seemed completely lost on him.
- Black Sheep Hit - "Wonderwall" is their best-known song.
- Canon Dis Continuity - Be Here Now, to Noel Gallagher and many fans. With the only exception being the ballad "Don't Go Away", which was one of the band's biggest hits in America.
- Creator Backlash:
- Both Be Here Now and the song "Roll With It" for Noel Gallagher.
- And the band name 'Oasis' for Liam Gallagher. (who also refuses to play Oasis songs with Beady Eye)
- Later, Noel finally disowned Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, conventionally seen as their lowest point, as a mistake.
- Cain and Abel: The Gallagher brothers are notorious for their disagreements with each other.
- Stories are known to include the phrase "And we both looked at the cricket bat and I knew, if he got there first, he was gonna kill me". Rivalry indeed.
- Cluster F-Bomb - The interviews.
- Epic Rocking - "Champagne Supernova" and "All Around the World" (most of Be Here Now also qualifies).
- Garfunkel - Anyone without the surname Gallagher. Although during their heyday in the mid 90s, Noel once stated that Bonehead would go up to people in the street and enquire to them if they knew who he was, and each time being told by the person with a look of bewilderment that he was Bonehead of course, meaning that for a time at least, the other members weren't those other guys. And from Heathen Chemistry onward (specially because Noel had a hard time writing the songs for the previous record), Gem and Andy would provide at least one song per album .
- A Good Name for a Rock Band - Liam Gallagher liked the word "Oasis" for its "resonance of imagery."
- And then years later he said the name is 'shitty'.
- Greatest Hits Album - Taking until over twelve years into the band's hitmaking career, with 2006's end-of-record-contract Stop the Clocks – and even then this doesn't feature all the hits, being Noel Gallagher's personal selection: on the sole basis that he didn't want a Greatest Hits Album while the band were still active, but if he didn't involve himself then Executive Meddling would result in a substandard compilation.
- The situation was rectified eventually, post-split, by 2010's two-disc singles collection Time Flies...1994-2009, containing all the band's 27 A-Sides.
- Hot-Blooded - The Gallaghers.
- I Am the Band - Oasis is Noel/Liam Gallagher. Without both of them, the band simply weren't Oasis as shown by Liam and co starting a new band without Noel. The exact same thing would most likely have happened if Liam had been in Noel's position too.
- Instrumentals - "The Swamp Song", "A Quick Peep" and hidden track "The Cage"
- Jerkass - The Gallaghers again, Liam especially.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold - Thanks to his moments of self-deprecation and forgiving attitude, Noel skirts the line.
- Line-of-Sight Name - On the album names Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (a mispelling - it's shoulders - of the Isaac Newton quote on the side of two pound coins), and Heathen Chemistry (a T-shirt Noel saw). Possibly other instances exist.
- Loudness War - The success of Morning Glory? (a very loud album, BTW) is accused of starting this.
- Lyrical Dissonance - Arguably "Married with Children."
- Non-Appearing Title - "Digsy's Dinner" and "The Hindu Times" just to name two.
- Power Ballad - It's been said that the Oasis rule of thumb is "for every rock out, there must be a heartbreaking follow-up."
- Ret Canon - Noel stopped playing the original version of "Wonderwall" and started using Ryan Adams' version until Liam basically forced him to stop. Which form is better is more or less Flame Bait, so don't discuss it here.
- Revival by Commercialization - Inverted somehow: "Shakermaker" ripped off a Coca Cola jingle and the band was sued. They then confessed that "[they] drink Pepsi now."
- And then parodied by the Oasis tribute band No Way Sis, who covered the Coca Cola jingle in Oasis' style.
- Then, quite amazingly Coca-Cola used "Whatever" in the 125th anniversary commercials.
- The New Rock and Roll: Noel blames computer games for knife crime in Britain.
- He was, at the very least, somewhat mis-quoted about this.
- Ode to Intoxication: "Cigarettes & Alcohol"
- Pachelbel's Canon Progression: "Whatever" and "Don't Look Back in Anger" both use a common variant.
- Rockstar Song - "Rock 'N' Roll Star," among others.
- Rockumentary - Lord Don't Slow Me Down
- Sampling - "Hello" begins with the intro to "Wonderwall," which ended abruptly.
- Self-Deprecation - They began selling 'Quoasis' t-shirts when their rivals Blur compared them to Status Quo.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll
- Silly Love Songs - Deconstructed, "Married with Children."
- Singing Voice Dissonance - Noel's singing voice is notably less Mancunian than Liam's.
- Small Name, Big Ego - Both Gallaghers, Noel mostly. Especially in the early days where their fame was considerably less and their ego considerably more pronounced.
- Noel's reputation got better as of late, as the rock 'n' roll world steadily moves away from the '90s and pangs of nostalgia began to set in.
- Spiritual Successor: Beady Eye and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.
- Song of Song Titles - Oh so many.
- Take That: "Live Forever" was written in response to the song "I Hate Myself and Want To Die"; although Noel Gallagher admired Kurt Cobain, he found the song too depressing for his tastes:
"At the time . . . it was written in the middle of Grunge and all that, and I remember Nirvana had a tune called 'I Hate Myself and Want to Die', and I was like . . . 'Well, I'm not fucking having that.' As much as I fucking like him [Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain] and all that shit, I'm not having that. I can't have people like that coming over here, on smack, fucking saying that they hate themselves and they wanna die. That's fucking rubbish. Kids don't need to be hearing that nonsense.
- Completely Missing the Point: The title "I Hate Myself and Want to Die" was taken from Cobain's deadpan response to a journalist who asked him how he was feeling. The lyrics are about how ridiculous it is to whine about stupid things. Then Kurt Cobain shot himself, which rather diminished the humor.
- Three Chords and the Truth - Not as stripped-down as some other examples, but they deliberately used simple musical formulas on Definitely Maybe, though they eventually moved on to more complex compositions.
- The Something Song - "The Swamp Song"
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "All Around the World" begins with several verses and choruses in B, hops up to C for a couple of choruses (but only one in the music video), and then concludes in D for the final twenty- or thirty-ish chorus repetitions. (Some sheet music transcriptions of the song also notate a few bars as being in A: the "It's gonna be OK" repeats between the C and D choruses.) Noel Gallagher commented, possibly with tongue in cheek: "Imagine how much better 'Hey Jude' would have been with three key changes towards the end!"
- Vitriolic Best Buds - The Gallagher brothers--except the "best buds" bit is uncertain.
- Since they often can't be in the same room together (for fear of the inevitable fist fight), they do always say how much they love each other. They just don't like each other.
- Vocal Tag Team - Though Liam is the only singer in Definitely Maybe, after Noel sung "Don't Look Back in Anger" it was progressing toward this.
- In a one-song basis, it's done most famously in "Acquiesce", where Liam sings the verse and Noel the chorus.
- Word Salad Lyrics - A lot. Noel Gallagher admitted he doesn't understand many of them.
- Some day you will find me/Caught beneath the landsliiiiiiiiide/In a champagne supernova in the skyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy...
- An excerpt of this song has something that frequently enters "worst lyric ever" lists ("slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball...")
- Some day you will find me/Caught beneath the landsliiiiiiiiide/In a champagne supernova in the skyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy...