Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Developed from an earlier group, the Rain, the band originally consisted of Liam Gallagher (lead vocals, tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan (bass guitar) and Tony McCarroll (drums). Upon returning to Manchester, Liam's older brother, Noel Gallagher (lead guitar, vocals) joined as a fifth member, which formed the band's core and settled line-up. During the course of their existence, they had various line-up changes, though the Gallagher brothers remained as the staple members until the group's demise.
Oasis signed to independent record label Creation Records in 1993 and released their record-setting debut album Definitely Maybe (1994). The following year the band recorded (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) with drummer Alan White, in the midst of a chart rivalry with Britpop peers Blur. (What's the Story) Morning Glory? became one of the best-selling albums of all time, selling over 22 million copies worldwide, and the Gallagher brothers were featured regularly in tabloid newspapers for their sibling disputes and wild lifestyles. In 1996, Oasis performed two nights at Knebworth for an audience of 125,000 each night, which were at the time the largest outdoor concerts in UK history. 2.5 million people applied for tickets, which remains the highest demand for a show in British history. In 1997, Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now (1997); although it was the fastest-selling album in UK chart history, and went on to sell 8 million copies, its popularity tapered off quickly.
McGuigan and Arthurs left Oasis in 1999 as the band released Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (2000). They were replaced by former Heavy Stereo guitarist/frontman Gem Archer and former Ride guitarist/frontman Andy Bell. Their fifth studio album Heathen Chemistry was released in 2002. In 2004, White left, leaving them as a four-piece, with the addition of the Who drummer Zak Starkey as an unofficial recording and touring fifth member. They found renewed success and popularity with Don't Believe the Truth (2005). Following the recording of the band's seventh album Dig Out Your Soul in May 2008, Starkey departed from the band. Chris Sharrock was recruited as a touring member, and Oasis did their last tour as a collective band. During the tour the Gallagher brothers' deteriorating relationship led to Noel Gallagher announcing his departure in August 2009, after a backstage altercation with Liam. The rest of the band, led by Liam, decided to continue, under the name Beady Eye, until their breakup in 2014. Noel formed a solo project, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Following the breakup of Beady Eye, Liam began a solo career, Bell reunited with former band Ride, while Archer and Sharrock became members of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Oasis have had eight UK number-one singles and eight UK number-one albums. They have won 17 NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards and six Brit Awards, including one in 2007 for Outstanding Contribution to Music and one for the Best Album of the Last 30 Years–for (What's the Story) Morning Glory?–as voted by BBC Radio 2 listeners; (What's the Story) Morning Glory? is also the fifth best-selling album in UK chart history, and was the UK's biggest-selling album of the 1990s. They have been nominated for two Grammy Awards. As of 2009, Oasis have sold over 75 million records worldwide. The band were listed in the Guinness World Records book in 2010 for "Longest Top 10 UK Chart Run by a Group" after an unprecedented run of 22 top 10 hits in the UK. The band also holds the Guinness World Record for the most successful act in the UK between the years 1995 and 2005, spending 765 weeks in the top 75 singles and albums charts.
1991–1993: Formation and early years
Oasis evolved from an earlier group, the Rain, composed of bassist Paul McGuigan, guitarist Paul Arthurs, drummer Tony McCarroll and Chris Hutton on vocals. Unsatisfied with Hutton, Arthurs invited and auditioned acquaintance Liam Gallagher as a replacement. Liam suggested that the band name be changed to Oasis, inspired by an Inspiral Carpets tour poster in the Gallagher brothers' bedroom which listed the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon as a venue.
Oasis played their first gig on 18 August 1991 at the Boardwalk club in Manchester. Liam's brother Noel Gallagher, a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, went with the band to watch his younger brother's band play. Whilst Noel and his friends did not think Oasis sounded particularly spectacular, he began to consider the possibility of using his brother's group as a possible outlet for a series of songs he had been writing for several years. Noel approached the group about joining with the proviso that he would become the band's sole songwriter and leader, and that they would commit to an earnest pursuit of commercial success. "He had loads of stuff written," Arthurs recalled. "When he walked in, we were a band making a racket with four tunes. All of a sudden, there were loads of ideas." Under Noel, Oasis crafted a musical approach that relied on simplicity: with Arthurs and McGuigan restricted to playing barre chords and root bass notes, McCarroll playing basic rhythms, and the band's amplifiers turned up to create distortion, Oasis created a sound "so devoid of finesse and complexity that it came out sounding pretty much unstoppable."
1993–1995: Breakthrough with Definitely Maybe
After over a year of live shows, rehearsals and a recording of a demo, the Live Demonstration tape, Oasis's big break came in May 1993 when they were spotted by Creation Records co-owner Alan McGee. Oasis were invited to play a gig at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut club in Glasgow, Scotland, by Sister Lovers, who shared their rehearsal rooms. Oasis, along with a group of friends, hired a van and made the journey to Glasgow. When they arrived, they were refused entry as they were not on that night's set list; the band and McGee have given contradicting statements about how they managed to get into the club. They were given the opening slot and impressed McGee, who was there to see 18 Wheeler, one of his own bands. McGee offered them a recording contract; however, they did not sign until several months later. Due to problems securing an American contract, Oasis signed a worldwide contract with Sony, which in turn licensed Oasis to Creation in the UK. Following a limited white label release of the demo of their song "Columbia", Oasis went on a UK tour to promote the release of their first single, "Supersonic", playing venues such as the Tunbridge Wells Forum, a converted public toilet. Supersonic was released in April 1994, reaching number 31 in the charts. The release was followed by "Shakermaker", which became the subject of a plagiarism suit, with Oasis paying $500,000 in damages. Their third single, "Live Forever", was their first to enter the top ten of the UK charts. After troubled recording and mixing sessions, Oasis's debut album, Definitely Maybe, was released on 29 August 1994, entering the charts at number one within a week of its release, and at the time becoming the fastest selling debut album in the UK.
Nearly a year of constant live performances and recordings, along with a hedonistic lifestyle, were taking their toll on the band. This behaviour culminated during a gig in Los Angeles in September 1994, leading to an inept performance by Liam during which he made offensive remarks about American audiences and hit Noel with a tambourine. The incident upset Noel to such an extent he temporarily quit the band and flew to San Francisco (it was from this incident the song "Talk Tonight" was written). He was tracked down by Creation's Tim Abbot and they made a trip to Las Vegas. Once there, the elder Gallagher was persuaded to continue with the band. He reconciled with Liam and the tour resumed in Minneapolis. The group followed up with the fourth single from Definitely Maybe, "Cigarettes & Alcohol", and the Christmas single "Whatever", issued in December 1994 which entered the British charts at number three.
1995–1996: (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, international success, and peak popularity
Oasis had their first UK number one single in April 1995 with "Some Might Say". At the same time, drummer Tony McCarroll was ousted from the band. McCarroll said, on leaving Oasis, that he was "unlawfully expelled from the partnership" for what he called a "personality clash" with the brothers. The Gallaghers, on the other hand, doubted McCarroll's musical ability, with Noel saying: "I like Tony as a geezer but he wouldn't have been able to drum the new songs". McCarroll was replaced by Alan White, formerly of Starclub and younger brother of renowned studio percussionist Steve White and recommended to Noel by Paul Weller. White made his debut for the band at a Top of the Pops performance of "Some Might Say". Oasis began recording material for their second album in May of that year in Rockfield Studios near Monmouth. The band, by this point, had recorded the concert that would see release in August as Live by the Sea.
During this period, the British press seized upon a supposed rivalry between Oasis and Britpop band Blur. Previously, Oasis did not associate themselves with the Britpop movement and were not invited to perform on the BBC's Britpop Now programme introduced by Blur singer Damon Albarn. On 14 August 1995, Blur and Oasis released singles on the same day, setting up the "Battle of Britpop" that dominated the national news. Blur's "Country House" outsold Oasis' "Roll with It" 274,000 copies to 216,000 during the week. Oasis' management came up with several reasons for this, claiming "Country House" sold more because it was less expensive (£1.99 vs £3.99) and because there were two different versions of "Country House" with different B-sides, forcing serious fans to buy two copies. An alternative explanation given at the time by Creation was that there were problems associated with the barcode on the "Roll with It" single case, which did not record all sales. Noel Gallagher told The Observer in September that he hoped members of Blur would "catch AIDS and die", which caused a media furore. He apologised in a formal letter to various publications.
McGuigan briefly left the band in September 1995, citing nervous exhaustion. He was replaced by Scott McLeod, formerly of the Ya Ya's, who was featured on some of the tour dates as well as in the "Wonderwall" video before leaving abruptly while on tour in the US. McLeod contacted Noel Gallagher claiming he felt he had made the wrong decision. Gallagher replied: "I think you have too. Good luck signing on." To complete the tour, McGuigan was convinced to return to the band.
Although a softer sound initially led to mixed reviews, Oasis' second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was a worldwide commercial success, selling over four million copies and becoming the fifth-best-selling album in UK chart history. By 2008, it had sold up to 22 million units worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. The album spawned two further hit singles, "Wonderwall" and "Don't Look Back in Anger", which reached numbers two and one respectively. It also contained the non-UK single "Champagne Supernova", which featured guitar and backing vocals by Paul Weller, and received widespread critical acclaim. The song reached number one on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. In November 1995, Oasis played on back-to-back nights at Earls Court in London, the biggest ever indoor gigs in Europe at the time.
On 27 and 28 April 1996, the group played their first headline outdoor concerts, at Maine Road football stadium, home of Manchester City F.C., of whom the Gallagher brothers have been fans since childhood. Highlights from the second night featured on the video ...There and Then, released later the same year (along with footage from their Earls Court gigs). As their career reached its zenith, Oasis performed to 80,000 people over two nights at Balloch Country Park at Loch Lomond in Scotland on 3 and 4 August, before back-to-back concerts at Knebworth House on 10 and 11 August. The band sold out both shows within minutes. The audience of 125,000 people each night (2.5 million people applied for tickets, and 250,000 were actually sold, meaning the possibility of 20 sold out nights), was a record-breaking number for an outdoor concert held in the UK at the time, and remains the largest demand for a show in British history. In total, it meant the band had played to more than a third of a million people within the space of a week.
Oasis were due to record an episode of MTV Unplugged at the Royal Festival Hall but Liam pulled out, citing a sore throat. He watched the performance from a balcony with beer and cigarettes, heckling Noel's singing between songs. Four days later the group left for a tour of American arenas but Liam refused to go; the band decided to continue the tour with Noel on vocals. Liam rejoined the tour on 30 August, and on 4 September 1996, Oasis performed "Champagne Supernova" at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Liam made gestures at Noel during his guitar solo, then spat beer all over the stage before storming off. A few weeks later Noel flew home without the band, who followed on another flight. This event prompted media speculation that the group were splitting up. The brothers soon reconciled and decided to complete the tour.
1996–1998: Be Here Now and The Masterplan
Oasis spent the end of 1996 and the first quarter of 1997 at Abbey Road Studios in London and Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey recording their third album. Quarrels between the Gallagher brothers plagued the recording sessions. Be Here Now was released in August 1997. Preceded by the UK number one single "D'You Know What I Mean?", the album was their most anticipated effort, and as such became the subject of considerable media attention. By the end of the first day of release, Be Here Now had sold 424,000 units and by the end of business on Saturday of that week sales had reached 696,000, making it the fastest-selling album in British history. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 in the US, but its first week sales of 152,000—below expected sales of 400,000 copies—were considered a disappointment.
By this time, Britpop was in decline, and the band had failed to meet expectations with their third album. After the conclusion of the Be Here Now Tour in early 1998, amidst much media criticism, the group kept a low profile. Later in the year, Oasis released a compilation album of fourteen B-sides, The Masterplan. "The really interesting stuff from around that period is the B-sides. There's a lot more inspired music on the B-sides than there is on Be Here Now itself, I think," said Noel in an interview in 2008.
1999–2000: Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
In early 1999, the band began work on their fourth studio album. First details were announced in February, with Mark Stent revealed to be taking a co-producing role. Things were not going well and the shock departure of founding member Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs was announced in August. This departure was reported at the time as amicable, with Noel stating that Arthurs wanted to spend more time with his family. Arthurs' statement clarified his leaving as "to concentrate on other things". However, Noel has since offered a contradicting version: that a series of violations of Noel's "no drink or drugs" policy (imposed by Noel so that Liam could sing properly) for the album's sessions resulted in a confrontation between the two. Two weeks later the departure of bassist Paul McGuigan was announced. The Gallagher brothers held a press conference shortly thereafter, in which they assured reporters that "the future of Oasis is secure. The story and the glory will go on."
The now three-piece Oasis chose to continue recording the album, with Noel Gallagher re-recording most of Arthurs' guitar and McGuigan's bass parts. After the completion of the recording sessions, the band began searching for replacement members. The first new member to be announced was new lead/rhythm guitarist Colin "Gem" Archer, formerly of Heavy Stereo, who later claimed to have been approached by Noel Gallagher only a couple of days after Arthurs' departure was publicly announced. Finding a replacement bassist took more time and effort: the band were rehearsing with David Potts, but he quickly resigned, and they brought in Andy Bell, former guitarist/songwriter of Ride and Hurricane#1 as their new bassist. Bell had never played bass before and had to learn to play it (with Noel since saying that Liam said, "If he can play the guitar, he can play the fookin' bass"), along with a handful of songs from Oasis' back catalogue, in preparation for a scheduled tour of America in December 1999.
With the folding of Creation Records, Oasis formed their own label, Big Brother, which released all of Oasis' subsequent records in the UK and Ireland. Oasis' fourth album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, was released in February 2000 to good first-week sales. It reached number one on the British charts and peaked at number 24 on the Billboard charts. Four singles were released from the album: "Go Let It Out", "Who Feels Love?", "Sunday Morning Call" and "Where Did It All Go Wrong?", which the first three were top five UK singles. The "Go Let It Out" video was shot before Bell joined the group and therefore featured the unusual line-up of Liam on rhythm guitar, Archer on lead guitar and Noel on bass. With the departure of the founding members, the band made several small changes to their image and sound. The cover featured a new "Oasis" logo, designed by Gem Archer, and the album was also the first Oasis release to include a song written by Liam Gallagher, entitled "Little James". The songs also had more experimental, psychedelic influences. Standing on the Shoulder of Giants received lukewarm reviews and is the band's lowest selling studio album.
To support the record the band staged an eventful world tour. While touring in Barcelona in 2000, Oasis were forced to cancel a gig when an attack of tendinitis caused Alan White's arm to seize up, and the band spent the night drinking instead. After a row between the two brothers, Noel declared he was quitting touring overseas altogether, and Oasis were supposed to finish the tour without him. Noel eventually returned for the Irish and British legs of the tour, which included two major shows at Wembley Stadium. A live album of the first show, called Familiar to Millions, was released in late 2000 to mixed reviews.
2001–2003: Heathen Chemistry
Throughout 2001, Oasis split time between sessions for their fifth studio album and live shows around the world. Gigs included the month-long Tour of Brotherly Love with the Black Crowes and Spacehog and a show in Paris supporting Neil Young. The album, Heathen Chemistry, Oasis' first album with new members Andy Bell and Gem Archer, was released in July 2002. The album reached number 1 in the UK and number 23 in the US, although critics gave it mixed reviews. There were four singles released from the album: "The Hindu Times", "Stop Crying Your Heart Out", "Little by Little/She Is Love" which were written by Noel, and "Songbird", written by Liam and the first single not to be written by Noel. The record blended the band's sonic experiments from their last albums, but also went for a more basic rock sound. The recording of Heathen Chemistry was much more balanced for the band, with all of the members, apart from White, writing songs. Johnny Marr provided additional guitar as well as backup vocals on a couple of songs.
After the album's release, the band embarked on a successful world tour that was once again filled with incidents. In late summer 2002, while the band were on tour in the US, Noel, Bell and touring keyboardist Jay Darlington were involved in a car accident in Indianapolis. While none of the band members sustained any major injuries, some shows were cancelled as a result. In December 2002, the latter half of the German leg of the band's European tour had to be postponed after Liam Gallagher, Alan White and three other members of the band's entourage were arrested after a violent brawl at a Munich nightclub. The band had been drinking heavily and tests showed that Liam had used cocaine. Liam lost two front teeth and kicked a police officer in the ribs, while Alan suffered minor head injuries after getting hit with an ashtray. Two years later Liam was fined around £40,000. The band finished their tour in March 2003 after returning to those postponed dates.
2004–2006: Don't Believe the Truth
Liam Gallagher said Oasis began recording a sixth album in late December 2003 with producers Death in Vegas at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall. The album was originally planned for a September 2004 release, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the release of Definitely Maybe. However, long-time drummer Alan White, who at this time had played on nearly all of the band's material, left the band in early January 2004. At the time, his brother Steve White stated on his own website that "the spirit of being in a band was kicked out of him" and he wanted to be with his girlfriend. White was replaced by Zak Starkey, drummer of the Who and the son of the Beatles' Ringo Starr. Though Starkey performed on studio recordings and toured with the band, he was not officially a member and the band were a four-piece for the first time in their career. Starkey played publicly for the first time at Poole Lighthouse.
A few days later, Oasis, with Starkey, headlined the Glastonbury Festival for the second time in their career and performed a largely greatest hits set, which included two new songs — Gem Archer's "A Bell Will Ring" and Liam Gallagher's "The Meaning of Soul". The performance received negative reviews, with NME calling it a "disaster." The BBC's Tom Bishop called Oasis' set "lacklustre and uneventful ... prompting a mixed reception from fans", mainly because of Liam's uninspired singing and Starkey's lack of experience with the band's material.
After much turbulence, the band's sixth album was finally recorded in Los Angeles-based Capitol Studios from October to December the same year. Producer Dave Sardy took over the lead producing role from Noel, who decided to step back from these duties after a decade of producing leadership over the band. In May 2005, after three years and as many scrapped recording sessions, the band released their sixth studio album, Don't Believe the Truth, fulfilling their contract with Sony BMG. It followed the path of Heathen Chemistry as being a collaborative project again, rather than a Noel-written album. The album was the first in a decade not to feature drumming by Alan White, marking the recording debut of Starkey. The record was generally hailed as the band's best effort since Morning Glory by fans and critics alike, spawning two UK number one singles: "Lyla" and "The Importance of Being Idle", whilst "Let There Be Love" entered at number 2. Oasis picked up two awards at the Q Awards: one People's Choice Award and the second for Don't Believe the Truth as Best Album. Following in the footsteps of Oasis' previous five albums, Don't Believe the Truth also entered the UK album charts at number one. To date the album has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide.
In May 2005, the band's new line-up embarked on a large scale world tour. Beginning on 10 May 2005 at the London Astoria, and finishing on 31 March 2006 in front of a sold-out gig in Mexico City, Oasis played more live shows than at any time since the Definitely Maybe Tour, visiting 26 countries and headlining 113 shows for over 3.2 million people. The tour passed without any major incidents and was the band's most successful in more than a decade. The tour included sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden and LA's Hollywood Bowl. A rockumentary film made during the tour, entitled Lord Don't Slow Me Down directed by Dick Carruthers was released in October 2007. A second DVD included live footage from an Oasis gig in Manchester from 2 July 2005.
Oasis released a compilation double album entitled Stop the Clocks in 2006, featuring what the band considers to be their "definitive" songs. The band received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in February 2007, playing several of their most famous songs afterwards. Oasis released their first ever digital-only release, "Lord Don't Slow Me Down", in October 2007. The song debuted at number ten in the UK singles chart.
2007–2009: Dig Out Your Soul
The band's resurgence in popularity since the success of Don't Believe the Truth was highlighted in February 2008 when, in a poll to find the fifty greatest British albums of the last fifty years conducted by Q magazine and HMV, two Oasis albums were voted first and second (Definitely Maybe and (What's The Story) Morning Glory? respectively). Two other albums by the band appeared in the list – Don't Believe The Truth came in at number fourteen, and the album that has previously been heavily criticised by some of the media, Be Here Now, made the list at No.22.
Oasis recorded for a couple of months in 2007 – between July and September — completing work on two new songs and demoing the rest. They then took a two-month break because of the birth of Noel's son. The band re-entered the studio on 5 November 2007 and finished recording around March 2008 with producer Dave Sardy. In May 2008, Zak Starkey left the band after recording Dig Out Your Soul, the band's seventh studio album. He was replaced by former Icicle Works drummer Chris Sharrock on their tour but Chris was not an official member of the band and Oasis remained as a four-piece. The first single from the record was "The Shock of the Lightning" written by Noel Gallagher, and was pre-released on 29 September 2008. Dig Out Your Soul, the band's seventh studio album, was released on 6 October and went to number one in the UK and number five on the Billboard 200. The band started touring for a projected 18-month-long tour expected to last till September 2009, with support from Kasabian, the Enemy and Twisted Wheel. On 7 September 2008, while performing at Virgin Festival in Toronto, a member of the audience ran on stage and physically assaulted Noel. Noel suffered three broken and dislodged ribs as a result from the attack, and the group had to cancel several shows while he recovered. In June 2008, the band re-signed with Sony BMG for a three-album deal.
On 25 February 2009, Oasis received the NME Award for Best British Band of 2009, as well as Best Blog for Noel's 'Tales from the Middle of Nowhere'. On 4 June 2009, Oasis played the first of three concerts at Manchester's Heaton Park and after having to leave the stage twice due to a generator failure, came on the third time to declare the gig was now a free concert; it delighted the 70,000 ticket holders, 20,000 of whom claimed the refund. The band's two following gigs at the venue, on 6 and 7 June, proved a great success, with fans turning out in the thousands despite the changeable weather and first night's sound issues.
2009–present: Split and aftermath
After Liam contracted laryngitis, Oasis cancelled a gig at V Festival in Chelmsford on 23 August 2009. Noel made a statement saying the gig was cancelled due to Liam having "a hangover". Liam sued Noel, and demanded an apology, stating: "The truth is I had laryngitis, which Noel was made fully aware of that morning, diagnosed by a doctor." Noel issued an apology and the lawsuit was dropped. Tension between the brothers rose and a fight between them in a backstage area on 28 August 2009 reportedly resulted in Liam throwing a plum and wielding Noel's guitar like an axe. The group's manager announced the cancellation of their concert at the Rock en Seine festival near Paris just minutes before it was about to begin, along with the cancellation of the last date at I-Day Festival and a statement that the group "does not exist anymore". Two hours later, a statement from Noel appeared on the band's website:
On 16 February 2010, Oasis won Best British Album of the Last 30 Years – for (What's the Story) Morning Glory? – at the 2010 Brit Awards. Liam collected the award alone before presenting his speech, which thanked Bonehead, McGuigan and Alan White but not Noel. Liam threw his microphone and the band's award into the crowd. On 15 March 2010, Liam defended his actions at the awards ceremony, saying: "I'm sick of it all being about me and Noel, the last couple of months has pretty much been all about me and him so I thought it was only right to mention the other lads who played on the album and the best fans in the world, and "I thought [throwing the award] was a nice gesture to give this to the fans, obviously it was misinterpreted as per usual."
Time Flies... 1994–2009, a compilation of singles, was released on 14 June 2010. On 6 July 2011, Absolute Radio uploaded a video to YouTube where Noel Gallagher speaks about the night Oasis ended. Noel states within this video: "If I had my time again I would have gone back and done the gig. I'd have done that gig and I'd have done the next gig and we'd have all gone away and we could have probably discussed it. We may never have split up."
On 26 February 2014, Noel via the band's official website announced that the first three studio albums would be reissued, remastered and re-released throughout the remainder of 2014 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Definitely Maybe. A remastered 3-disc version of Definitely Maybe was released on 19 May 2014.
A documentary titled Oasis: Supersonic was released on 26 October 2016, which tells the story of Oasis from their beginnings to the height of their fame during the summer of 1996. Produced by the same team behind the Academy Award-winning biopic Amy, Oasis: Supersonic features up close and personal footage, as well as never before seen archive material and interviews with the band.
Oasis were most heavily influenced by the Beatles, an influence that was frequently labelled as an "obsession" by British media. In addition, members of Oasis have cited the Stone Roses, U2, Bee Gees, T. Rex, Sex Pistols, Slade, Small Faces, the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Stooges, the La's, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, the Kinks, the Jam, Pink Floyd, the Verve, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Nirvana, the Velvet Underground and the Smiths as an influence or inspiration.
Legal battles over songwriter credits
Legal action has been taken against Noel Gallagher and Oasis for plagiarism on three occasions. The first was the case of Neil Innes (formerly of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and the Rutles) suing to prove the Oasis song "Whatever" borrowed from his song "How Sweet to Be an Idiot". Innes was eventually awarded royalties and a co-writer credit. Noel Gallagher claimed in 2010 that the plagiarism was unintentional and he was unaware of the similarities until informed of Innes's legal case. In the second incident, Oasis were sued by Coca-Cola and forced to pay $500,000 in damages to the New Seekers after it was alleged that the Oasis song "Shakermaker" had lifted words and melody from "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing". When asked about the incident, Noel Gallagher joked "Now we all drink Pepsi." On the third and final occasion, when promotional copies of (What's the Story) Morning Glory? were originally distributed, they contained a previously unreleased bonus song called "Step Out". This promotional CD was quickly withdrawn and replaced with a version that omitted the controversial song, which was allegedly similar to the Stevie Wonder song "Uptight (Everything's Alright)". "Step Out" later reappeared as the B-side to "Don't Look Back in Anger", albeit now listing "Wonder, et. al" as co-writers.
On the flip side, the 2003 song "Life Got Cold" by UK girl band Girls Aloud received attention due to similarities between the guitar riff and melody of the song and that of the Oasis song "Wonderwall". A BBC review stated "part of the chorus sounds like it is going to turn into 'Wonderwall' by Oasis." A source told The Sun that Girls Aloud "are all big Oasis fans so I'm sure they won't mind comparisons with their classic love song." Warner/Chappell Music has since credited Noel Gallagher as co-songwriter.
Legacy and influence
Despite parting ways in 2009, Oasis remain hugely influential in British music and culture, and are now recognised as one of the biggest and most acclaimed bands of the 1990s. With their record breaking sales, concerts, sibling disputes, and their high-profile chart battle with Britpop rivals Blur, Oasis were a major part of 1990s UK pop culture, an era dubbed Cool Britannia. As an example of their influence, a handful of late 1990s Britpop bands have been heavily compared to Oasis, such as Ocean Colour Scene and Kula Shaker. The British music press has termed these bands as "Noelrock". Many bands and artists have cited Oasis as an influence or inspiration, including Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Deafheaven, the Killers, Alvvays, Maroon 5, Coldplay, the Strokes and Ryan Adams.
In 2007, Oasis were one of the four featured artists in the seventh episode of the BBC/VH1 series Seven Ages of Rock – an episode focusing on British indie rock – along with Britpop peers Blur in addition to the Smiths and the Stone Roses.
- Noel Gallagher – lead and rhythm guitars, backing and lead vocals, keyboards, bass, drums (1991–2009)
- Liam Gallagher – lead and backing vocals, tambourine, acoustic guitar (1991–2009)
- Gem Archer – rhythm and lead guitars, keyboards, harmonica, backing vocals (1999–2009)
- Andy Bell – bass, keyboards, rhythm and lead guitars (1999–2009)
- Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs – rhythm guitars, keyboards, bass (1991–1999)
- Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan – bass (1991–1999)
- Tony McCarroll – drums and percussion (1991–1995)
- Alan White – drums and percussion (1995–2004)
Awards and nominations
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- "Oasis annule son concert à Rock-en-Seine et se sépare". Le Parisien. France. 29 August 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "Oasis annonce la fin du groupe rock". Ouest France. 29 August 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "Oasis – Liam Gallagher renames Oasis". Contactmusic.com. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- “GRAMMY Award Results for Oasis”. Grammy.com. Retrieved 9 September 2019
- "Some might say Oasis are still world beaters after Slane gig". The Belfast Telegraph. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- "Oasis, Coldplay & Take That enter Guinness World Records 2010 Book – Guinness World Records Blog post". Community.guinnessworldrecords.com. Archived from the original on 24 January 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
- "Oasis receive Outstanding Brit Award". NME.COM. 19 October 2006. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Archived 25 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- Harris, John. Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock. Da Capo Press, 2004. ISBN 0-306-81367-X, pg. 124–25
- Harris, pg. 125–26
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- VH1 Behind the Music, VH1, 2000
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Media related to Oasis (band) (category) at Wikimedia Commons Oasis – Wikipedia book
- Official website