We Celebrate The 20th Anniversary of "Definitely Maybe" A Month Early!



Twenty years ago next month, Oasis released their debut album, Definitely Maybe, and changed the world.
Well, they changed England, at least.  We in America stood with a sort of slack-jawed bemusement because, quite frankly, we heard the derivative influences, the blatant rip off of the Coca-Cola song, and didn't get what all the fuss was about.

The first time I saw Oasis, Liam was a no-show.  Noel and the band seemed almost relieved by his absence and let loose with a show that revealed another side of the band - one still capable of elevating the room.
 
Oh, I'm aware of Liam's magnetism, but that the rest of the band chose to stick with him instead of Noel when they split says it all, really.  Beady Eye may have Liam and the last-known members of Oasis, but they're far from being Oasis, far from being as BIG as Oasis, and far from ever making anyone forget who really wrote "Live Forever", "Shakermaker", and "Rock & Roll Star", to name just a few.  They tour relentlessly, playing rooms Oasis would have considered beneath them.  I can see why Liam's doing it, too. He's literally out to prove that he was Oasis all along.

We were there, though.

We knew Liam was the spoiled brat younger brother of the former Inspiral Carpets roadie who sheepishly showed up with a suitcase of songs one day and BLAMMO!  Noel was out their slogging equipment around.  Liam has never had a job, but he was put on this earth to sing Noel's songs about working class struggles, broken dreams, and having to build hope out of nothing.  With Liam's swagger and naivete gave Noel's songs the kick they needed and the rest, as tey say, is history.



Definitely Maybe was a defiant ray of sunshine that bobbed and weaved its way through concrete clouds to rain down upon an entire nation of kids who were starved for real rock & roll.  The Stone Roses put out one great album, had the kids all to themselves for one shining moment, but they couldn't repeat it, or top it, and choked.  In the five years they stood like frozen deer in the headlights of rock stardom, Oasis stole every last bit of their thunder.  They stormed the bastille, drank all the booze, shagged all the women, and left the place in ruins, just like all great rock stars did before them.

The Stone Roses biggest mistake was taking five years to finish Second Coming and then releasing the half-hearted, going-through-the-motions follow-up mere months after Oasis' Definitely Maybe had changed the whole game.

"In my mind, my dreams are real," Liam sang on "Rock & Roll Star", thereby announcing to the world that, for this moment, it was the band's world and we were just living in it.  That's what all great bands do and, looking back, The Stone Roses said one thing ("I Wanna Be Adored"), but their body language seemed to say another ("Aw shucks, me a rock star?").

Being in America at the time, it was incredible watching Oasis-mania (for lack of a better term) sweep across the UK like a runaway brush fire.  WHOOSH!  It was that fast.  One day, we'd never heard of them, the next they were all over every page of every issue of NME and Melody Maker and Smash Hits and...

Taking a critical look back at Definitely Maybe, there are at least seven bonafied money-makers on the album; the first six tunes and "Cigarettes And Alcohol", but even a tossed-off tune like "Digsy's Dinner" would have been the stand out track on anybody else's album.  In fact, bands that had been big before Oasis, like Ride, soon found themselves emulating the band's sound in hopes of not being swept away by the wave of similar-sounding guitar bands that were now popping up like dandelions: Sleeper, Marion, Supergrass, and Cast, among others.

While Oasis definitely maybe had a great second album in them, which they would release a mere year later under the title (What's The Story) Morning Glory?, for one amazing year, the first one was all that mattered.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

No comments:

Post a Comment

Instagram