Oasis' lineup back in 1992
"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.
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
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. Discography:
- 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.
- 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".
- There's also the song "Be Here Now" off Be Here Now, which had a Non-Appearing Title.
- 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 1971 and Lennon died in 1980).
- Animated Music Video: "The Masterplan"
- 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", "Lyla". "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.
- Breakup Breakout: Noel outshined his former bandmates by reaching #1 with his solo debut album.
- 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.
- This eventually led to the demise of the band, as the brothers simply could not stand each other any longer.
- Call Back / Book Ends: Single B-side "Those Swollen Hand Blues" begins with the same sound effect "Mucky Fingers" ends with, only in reverse.
- Canon Discontinuity: 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.
- Childhood Friends: One of their highly praised B-Sides, "D'yer Wanna Be a Spaceman?", is an acoustic ballad about two childhood friends who reunite, one of them having lost his past enthusiasm due to newfound adult responsibilities.
- 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.
- Arguably, Liam was this to Noel, considering that Liam rarely played an instrument that wasn't the tambourine and Noel was the primary Songwriter (even though Liam penned a few B-sides as well as the singles "Songbird" and "I'm Outta Time").
- 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.
- Hidden Track: "The Cage", an instrumental track at the end of Heathen Chemistry.
- 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 company 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". "Fucking In The Bushes" might also qualify - the only vocals are samples from a documentary film.
- Jerk Ass: The Gallaghers again, Liam especially.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Thanks to his moments of self-deprecation (see the trope below) 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). Even the band's name is this, coming from a poster advertising their gig at The Swindon Oasis leisure centre.
- Loudness War: The success of Morning Glory? (a very loud album, BTW) is accused of starting this.
- All their albums, really. Even Definitely Maybe is very loud by 1994 standards and clips to a certain extent. Morning Glory? and pretty much all their albums after are even worse.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Arguably "Married with Children."
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of their songs fall between 1 and 6:
- 1: "Wonderwall," "Songbird,"
- 2: "Little By Little," "Don't Look Back In Anger"
- 3: "Live Forever," "Don't Go Away,"
- 4: "Some Might Say," "Champagne Supernova," "Supersonic,"
- 5: "Cigarettes and Alcohol," "Lyla,"
- 6: "Morning Glory," "D'you Know What I Mean," "The Shock of the Lightning"
- Non-Appearing Title: "Digsy's Dinner" and "The Hindu Times" just to name two.
- No Title: Two tracks on Morning Glory have just blanks where the titles should be. They are both excerpts from "Swamp Song".
- 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.
- The New Rock & 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".
- "Morning Glory" has a few not-very-subtle cocaine references, and it's not the only example in their discography.
- 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.
- "Hello" begins with the intro to "Wonderwall," which ends abruptly.
- "Fuckin' In The Bushes" contains samples from Murray Lerner's film Message To Love-Isle Of Wight 1970.
- "I'm Outta Time" contains a clip of a John Lennon interview.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll
- Silly Love Songs: Deconstructed, "Married with Children."
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Noel's singing voice is notably less Mancunian than Liam's.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Both Liam and Noel. It usually seems like the only time they're not swearing is in their song lyrics (with a few odd exceptions).
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Noel's lyrics frequently lean on the idealistic side.
- "Live Forever" has an extremely optimistic chorus of "You and I are gonna live forever".
- "Supersonic" states that "You need to Be Yourself / You can't be no one else".
- "D'Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman?" has a verse that says, "If you wanna be a spaceman / It's still not too late".
- 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.
- Something Blues: "Those Swollen Hand Blues".
- The Something Song: "The Swamp Song".
- Song Of Song Titles: Oh so many.
- Soprano and Gravel: Liam's gritty voice vs. Noel's higher and cleaner voice.
- Start My Own: Both brothers after the demise of Oasis. Liam even accused Noel of breaking up the band on purpose just so he could release a solo album.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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...")
- The lyrics of "Shakermaker" were written by watching TV and literally writing down whatever happened to be on. Unsurprisingly, this would later on get them into legal trouble.