It was five years ago today: The first album from Oasis

This week in 1994, an expectant music press got their hands on Definitely Maybe, the debut album by Oasis. The five Mancunians had been telling anyone who'd listen how great they were since the beginning of the year. On hearing the album, the critics conceded that they were right.

The band's formation and rise to prominence is something of a music-business legend. Liam Gallagher, inspired by the sulky swagger of the Stone Roses' Ian Brown, joined Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan and Tony McCarroll in a band in 1991. Liam's big brother, a roadie with the Inspiral Carpets, came back from a tour and saw them play. Noel, inspired by the guitar greatness of Johnny Marr, took over, wrote their songs and bought their gear.

In May 1993, Alan McGee, Creation supremo, saw the band threaten to smash up King Tut's in Glasgow if they didn't get to play; when they did, it was a blistering set. He signed them on the spot. Two singles - "Supersonic" and "Shakermaker" - appeared in the charts in early 1994, and the band quickly built up a next-big-thing reputation on the live circuit.

By the time "Live Forever" went in at No 10 in August, the band had also built up a tabloid-friendly reputation for drinking, drug-taking and hotel-trashing. Liam and Noel swore at and fought with each other, more often than not mid-gig.

But the critics knew this was part of the package. "It's their much- vaunted 'attitude' that has bolstered Oasis with the confidence to make [Definitely Maybe]," said NME. The album's 12 songs shone "like so much crystal cut-glass among the debris of the nation's hotel rooms," said Vox. "The sale able sibling hatred ... obscures their collective gift: superheated, brazen guitar married to wonderfully daft and striking lyrics delivered with guttersnipe self-possession" (Q). Melody Maker placed the album at "the exact point where pop meets rock, Revolver meets Exile on Main Street, the lightness of the Roses meets the heaviness of the Mondays".

Even the broadsheets forgave the arrogance and blatant influences: "As an uncomplicated celebration of youthful brio, this ... takes some beating" (Times); "A classic, world-beating guitar band" (Independent); "Pretty good" (Telegraph).

Definitely Maybe was the fastest-selling debut ever, and beat the heavily promoted Three Tenors to No 1. Since then, the band have rarely been out of the news: Liam and Noel's rows with Blur and other Britpoppers; Liam and Noel's rows with each other; Liam's rows with photographers, punters and Patsy Kensit; Noel's rows with other artists' copyright lawyers.

But their commercial clout is undisputed. (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) broke the band in the US and the release of the big-budget Be Here Now (1997) caused queues outside record stores here. Both albums were multi-million sellers. In 1996, 250,000 tickets for two Knebworth concerts sold out in eight hours - but there were subsequent complaints about the shows' organisation and overcrowding. Another ticket-buying frenzy preceded their Earl's Court shows in 1997.

Since then, the band have disappeared - musically, at least - and Bonehead left last week. Their fourth album is now being remixed, but the indulgence of the music press has ceased. Next year, the public will have the final say.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman
film
News
Top Gear presenter James May appears to be struggling with his new-found free time
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kendrick Lamar at the Made in America Festival in Los Angeles last summer
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Marley & Me' with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Hamm (right) and John Slattery in the final series of Mad Men
tv
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor