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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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.

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable