Oasis put a spin on their latest release Oasis go bananas

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While Beatlemania seemed to consist mainly of teenage girls crushing policemen and knocking their hats off, this month's Oasismania will be characterised by a carefully co-ordinated public relations plan that involves a television documentary, teasing out radio play and keeping fans hanging on to the last minute to get their hands on the new album, Be Here Now.

The band's record company, Creation, has taken the unusual step of making sure the record is heard first in stores, rather on the radio, by limiting the number of tracks that can be played on air.

Instead, from today, fans will be able to hear the whole album in Virgin Megastores for 10 days, before it goes on sale on 21 August. Virgin is even keeping its shops open late tonight to play the album for the first time.

Then, from the beginning of next week, the remainder of the album will be released to radio stations, to generate a second wave of hype.

This will be followed on Wednesday, 20 August, by the airing on BBC 1 of an exclusive documentary about the band. Oasis: Right Here Now will show the group returning to Manchester, and they will play a number of songs from the new album.

After what is, in effect, an extended advertisement for the album, Be Here Now will go on sale the following morning. Creation has told record stores they cannot open at midnight to sell the album because this would disadvantage smaller, independent record shops.

The timing of the release, a Thursday, is unusual because it gives the album only a few days on sale before the weekly charts are compiled, but no one is predicting it will be anything other than an instant number one.

Instead, the release date was timed because Creation Records has its eye on a much bigger prize: the world. Across the world, and crucially, in the United States, Be Here Now will go on sale on the same date.

A Creation spokeswoman claimed yesterday that the PR for the album's release was nothing out of the ordinary. "There's TV, there's radio play and there's press interviews and reviews. It's totally standard."

But few who have reviewed the album have treated it as standard. The Observer put its review of the album on its front page this week, and the album has been almost universally praised.

Only songwriter Noel Gallagher, the album's driving creative force, seems to be keeping a sense of perspective, describing it as "the same old pub rock bollocks".