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Oasis

Oasis

Fact Sheet

Country  England, UK
Years active1991-
Oasis is the name of a Britpop group from Manchester, England. Oasis were one of the most successful British bands of the 1990s; the band formed in 1991.

The original band members were as follows:

  • Liam Gallagher - Vocals
  • Noel Gallagher - Lead Guitar
  • Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs - Rhythm Guitar
  • Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan - Bass
  • Tony McCaroll - Drums
As of 2004 Gem Archer, Andy Bell, Zak Starkey have replaced Arthurs, McGuigan and McCaroll respectively. Throughout their most successful period, Alan White was on drums.

Early years and breakthrough

After several years of playing to small club gigs Oasis was signed up to Creation Records by producer Alan McGee in 1993. The band released its first singles, "Supersonic" and "Shakermaker," in the spring of 1994. Both became top 40 hits in the United Kingdom and attracted much attention.

Later that year the breakthrough came with the single "Live Forever," which was a major hit in Britain. It reached the top 10 and spent a year on the chart. Soon after, Oasis released its first album, Definitely Maybe, which became the biggest selling debut album in British history, entering the charts at number one. It later became a major hit throughout the world, with Oasis gaining recognition in the United States.

Britpop and the height of fame

In 1995 Oasis released its second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory, which became a worldwide success. In Britain, it became the fastest selling-album since Michael Jackson's Bad. On the eve of the album's release, drummer Tony McCaroll left the band and was replaced by Alan White. The album also made the members of Oasis international stars. However, the stormy relationship between the Gallagher brothers became the subject of newspaper gossip columns and tabloids.

The media also steadily built up a rivalry between Oasis and fellow "Britpop" luminaries Blur. Though the rivalry was mostly fictional, it did no harm in raising the profile of both bands. In August 1995 Blur and Oasis released the first single from each of their new albums on the same day. Perhaps because it was more aggressively priced (99p vs 1.99), Blur's Country House won the day over Roll with It 274,000 copies to 216,000. In the long run however What's the Story (Morning Glory) hugely outsold Blur's album (The Great Escape) and has come to epitomise the Britpop era.

The album spawned three other hit singles "Some Might Say," "Wonderwall," and "Don't Look Back in Anger," all of which reached either #1 or #2 in the British charts.

Now at the zenith of their popularity, Oasis performed back-to-back concerts at Knebworth Park on the 10th and 11th August 1996. Sell-out crowds on both days, totalling 250,000 people, ensured that the concert was the largest in British history at that time (Robbie Williams sold out three consecutive nights at the same venue in 2003 to break the record). The concert, supported by The Prodigy, the Chemical Brothers and the Manic Street Preachers amongst others, was voted the third "greatest gig" of all time by readers of Q magazine in 2004, behind Radiohead's surprise appearance at Glastonbury in 1997 and Nirvana's visit to the Reading Festival in 1992.

Later years

In 1997 Oasis released its third album Be Here Now launched by the hit single "D'You Know What I Mean". This album, although a huge success, was less well-received than the band's previous albums. A backlash set in, with some critics labelling the music "derivative" and "samey." The album failed to sell as well as their previous albums.

Oasis dropped out of the limelight for a couple of years. In 1999, while Oasis was recording its fourth album, guitarist Paul Arthurs left the band. Two new members, Andy Bell (formerly of Ride) and Gem Archer, joined. With the demise of Creation as an independent entity, Oasis formed their own label, Big Brother, within the Sony group, to release their records in the UK. Oasis's fourth album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, was released in 2000 to very poor reviews. Their fifth album, Heathen Chemistry was released in 2003. It was more positively receieved.

The band released The Masterplan, a collection of some of the most popular b-sides in 1998. In 2000, they toured Britain, culminating in a massive Wembley show. They released an album of songs performed throughout these gigs, called Familiar to Millions.

In January of 2004, the drummer Alan White left the band on request from its other members. In September of 2004, the band is scheduled to release a DVD, titled Definitely Maybe - The DVD. The DVD will contain the Definitely Maybe album, 4 hours of band-footage, and a documentary about the band. This DVD is released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Oasis' debut album, Definitely Maybe. The band is currently working on their sixth album.