As I live and breathe, has it really been 25 years since Oasis unleashed the classic Definitely Maybe?!
I can still remember the first time I heard “Live Forever” late one night as the music video unexpectedly burst onto my television screen. My reaction was strong and immediate. Little did I know that I had just witnessed the new rebirth of Britpop, nor did it prepare me for the Gallagher brothers’ infamous sibling rivalry sideshow that still continues today.
Liam and Noel Gallagher led Oasis to the top of the charts with amped up guitar riffs and irresistible hooks. Oasis’ debut album was armed with a stack of heavy hitting anthems including: “Supersonic,” “Shakermaker,” “Cigarettes & Alcohol,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” plus the now legendary “Live Forever,” all of which helped Oasis become ‘The Greatest Band on Earth’ in the mid-1990s.
Now, 25 years to the day of its original release, people most definitely look back upon Oasis’ seminal debut with high regards. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Definitely Maybe has been released as a commemorative picture disc and limited-edition silver colored double LP. Definitely Maybe will surely live on forever as new generations will indubitably look back in wonder at the legendary legacy Oasis left behind. There’s no maybe about it.
It’s a new year and that means thrilling new musical projects are on the horizon for 2018. The past year gave us quite a few gems including new releases from Tori Amos, Beck, Eminem, The Killers, U2, Guardians of the Galaxy 2’sAwesome Mix Vol. 2 and the first proper solo effort from Liam Gallagher before 2017 ultimately concluding with holiday gifts from Sia, Tom Chaplin and Gwen Stefani.
As we proceed into 2018, we have several exciting items waiting in the wings such as new albums from Florence + the Machine, Father John Misty, Justin Timberlake, MGMT, The 1975 and a new remake of A Star Is Born, containing new music from Lady Gaga. There’s also U2’s highly anticipated Experience + Innocence Tour, so 2018 sounds as if it will be engrossing.
Cheers to a great new year and happy listening to all.
Once upon a time two brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher, ruled the world with their legendary rock band Oasis. The brothers Gallagher, along with their merry cohorts, crash landed upon American shores in the mid-1990s with their landmark debut album Definitely Maybe. Born with a voracious lust for life and overconfident pomposity, Liam and Noel could have easily been mistaken for the real life versions of Beavis and Butthead. After all, the feuding siblings’ humorous witticisms and pointless banter actually landed on the charts with their infamous interview recording “Wibbling Rivalry.”
After successfully conquering the United States with their anthemic Britpop hits “Live Forever,” “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova,” the Gallagher brothers seemed determined to record an album which sounded as gargantuan as their enormous egos. Late in the summer of 1997, Oasis unleashed their keenly awaited follow-up the multi-platinum (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? Initial reactions seemed to indicate fans were ‘mad fer it’ as the group’s third album, Be Here Now was quickly consumed by the public, selling in excess of 350,000 copies on its first day of release. Despite its initial warm reception, Be Here Now is historically remembered as the beginning of the end of Oasis’ worldwide reign. Although touted by many as “the last, great Oasis album,” Be Here Now is full of infectious hooks, sing-a-long choruses, and big, sloppy guitar riffs, all of which beautifully demonstrate the band’s florid illusions of world domination.
While certainly not Noel Gallagher’s strongest effort lyrically, Oasis’ third album more than aptly says what it says very melodically. Despite its shortcomings, the album triumphs as an over-the-top cataclysmic summation of the visceral bravado projected by Liam and Noel. It proudly revels in its arrogant bombast, while concurrently being excessive, brash, nonsensical and semi-psychedelic, all of which are the exact reasons it is equally loved and loathed. While overly long and dripping with delusional grandeur, it’s 71 minutes is flooded with fist pumping anthems and catchy hooks custom made to fill a stadium. From its massive opener “D’You Know What I Mean,” to the exceedingly tuneful “Stand by Me,” Be Here Now doggedly beguiles by combining nearly symphonic melodies (“Don’t Go Away”) with an intense electric guitar crunchiness (“My Big Mouth”). Each of the album’s magnanimous tracks seethe with a seriously intense insincerity, which continues to be recalled as a distinguishing component within Oasis’ everlasting legacy. And don’t bother trying to deny the irrepressible smile that creeps across your face during the 9-minute opus “All Around the World” as you wickedly imagine Noel insisting the track was to be needlessly extended just to torment Liam during the recording process.
The newly remastered three-disc deluxe edition of Be Here Now makes it worthwhile to revisit this historically divisive album, as it includes the much sought after Mustique demos. Over the years, these mythic recordings have reached legendary status amongst throngs of Oasis fanatics. Also included are the era’s B-sides, and several rarities including a cover of the Beatles’ “Help! (Live in L.A.).” This set is beautifully housed within a case bound book with rare photos and extensive liner notes. A super deluxe limited edition will be released in November, which will include the album on double heavyweight vinyl, an exclusive 7-inch of early demo versions of “Stand by Me” and “Going Nowhere,” the Mustique Demo white label LP, a promo only CD of “D’You Know What I Mean? (NG’s 2016 Rethink),” a 52-page coffee table book, embossed key ring, and a set of four postcards.
Watch Noel Gallagher discuss the making of Be Here Now below:
Though it definitely appears as if the Gallagher brothers’ sibling rivalry won’t be making way for an Oasis reunion anytime in the near future, fans of Noel and Liam’s heyday have something to celebrate. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the band’s debut album, a deluxe remastered version of Definitely Maybe will be released on May 19th.
Throughout 2014, deluxe versions of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory and Be Here Now will follow as well. The recordings are sourced from the original masters, which have been remastered by Ian Cooper at Metropolis. The three albums will be released chronologically with B-sides and rarities from the band’s archives in super deluxe, standard, and triple CD casebook editions. Additional details and items can be found at the newly updated Oasis website.
While fans initially took to Twitter and Facebook to voice their disappointment regarding no official band reunion, maybe these anniversary reissues, which capture the epitome of the band’s creative zenith, will be enough to keep devoted Oasis heads’ dashed hopes alive. Definitely. Maybe.
Poor Liam Gallagher. It must be hard always being compared to big brother Noel, especially with a massive ego his musical abilities commonly fail to validate. It remains puzzling why the remaining members of Oasis chose to stay in Liam’s camp while alienating themselves from Noel after years of what seemed to be a mutual admiration society. With that said, Beady Eye manages to proficiently deliver a noteworthy follow-up to its 2011 debut.
Although assuredly destined to get lost in the Noel vs. Liam rhetoric, Beady Eye’s sophomore effort, BE, is a rather impressive musical statement in its own right. Surprisingly cohesive despite its lack of obvious theme or concept, the bombastic set begins with the wrathful pulsing of the horn drenched opener “Flick of the Finger,” then unpredictably switches gears into the mid-tempo trippiness of “Soul Love.”
Co-producing with Dave Sitek (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio) seemed to breathe new life and bring forth a cock-sure confidence that was sorely missing on the band’s mostly forgettable Different Gear, Still Speeding. BE at times is as melodic, if not as lyrically cerebral, as anything Oasis created during its heyday.
Although not as heady or atmospheric as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, BE greatly benefits from Dave Sitek’s production style, which suits Liam’s nasal, English yawp like a glove. But perhaps the most evident distinction between the two most recent Gallagher brothers’ releases is that BE audaciously rocks full steam ahead, whereas the former mildly meanders along like the tepid aspirations of a mellowed out, aging rock star.
At times BE can be guilty of sounding like an album of Oasis leftovers recorded by a John Lennon impersonator, but at its best (“Second Bite of the Apple,” “Iz Rite,” “Start Anew”) the album displays glimpses of unquestionable greatness. BE is not only a gigantic leap forward from Beady Eye’s first full-length release, but boldly sounds like a musical declaration of independence.