Oasis RIP: 15 years in pictures and videos
Oasis's debut album Definitely Maybe was released just over 15 years ago on 30 August 1994.
Like everything contrary in the world of Oasis, Noel Gallagher quit the band on 28 August 2009 – two days before what could have been a celebratory landmark.
The details of the Gallagher brothers' latest bust-up will no doubt emerge in weeks to come, but no Oasis fan can say they didn't see a final split coming.
In February 2009 Noel Gallagher admitted: "I haven't spoken to my brother for two years."
And later added, with his usual wit, "He's the angriest man you'll ever meet. He's like a man with a fork in a world of soup."
Only a few weeks ago, Liam shot back: "I don't give a fuck. It takes a lot more than blood to be my brother."
Sure enough, another fight ensued – about something, anything. And Noel left Oasis. Again.
But this time, with Noel Gallagher 42 years old, it's likely to be final.
"Liam's like a man with a fork in a world of soup" Noel Gallagher
Why? It's not just another fall-out with Liam this time. In his statement on the official Oasis website, Noel tellingly says "the lack of support and understanding from my management and bandmates has left me with no other option than to get me cape and seek pastures new."
A familiar familial bust-up with Liam is one thing. For Noel to take issue with hired-hand bandmates and management – the latter shepherding Oasis from the beginning – is another.
Noel and Liam's all-too-public bickering has gotten tiresome of late. It was once funny. When you're in your early 40s – as Noel has obviously decided – it's just not even fun.
So Oasis are over. The band continuing in any meaningful form without Noel Gallagher is inconceivable.
So goodbye Oasis. Love them or hate them, they were the biggest British rock band of the last 20 years.
Remember them via the MR team's handpicked selection of Oasis pictures, videos, and tunes. Here's a salute to 15 years of noise and confusion.
Next page: Oasis in 1994
Oasis with original drummer Tony McCarroll (bottom right).Image © Steve Jennings/Corbis
Tony McCarroll was fired after 1994's Definitely Maybe. "He wouldn't have been able to drum the new songs," explained Noel Gallagher. (Rumours persist that it is Noel playing the drums on much of Definitely Maybe.)
Fab fact? When McCarroll sued Oasis over his dismissal, he hired the same lawyer as drummer Pete Best did when Best sued The Beatles.
Inexplicably relegated to b-side status then given a mellow makeover for charity on 1995's The Help Album, this Pistols-meets-Wham!* rocker sees Noel's wistful lyric meet the cynicism of Liam's sneer head on. As subtle as a brick through your window, this is the everything-on-11 version of Oasis that people initially fell in love with.
* Yes, the verse melody really does sound like Freedom. Genius steals, etc..
Next page: glory
New drummer Alan White (second left) joins. Liam Gallagher is clearly in the band only for his good looks.Image © Karen Mason Blair/Corbis
In 1995 Morning Glory goes ballistic and Oasis score their first Number 1 (Some Might Say). The promo video shoot for that song is cancelled because - guess what? - Liam doesn't turn up.
But who cares when belting tunes abound?
Some Might Say was glorious. Watch Some Might Say live here. The opening chords recall T Rex, you'd swear John and Paul had a hand in the writing the rest of Some Might Say. Refreshing as a spring breeze, this was Oasis's first Number 1 single, and rightly so. Here they are on live-music TV prog, The White Room. "And the singer's turned up!" marvels host Mark Radcliffe.
"What's an acquiesce?" Liam reportedly said on hearing Noel's latest song. Another astonishingly strong b-side, from when Noel Gallagher had anthems stuffed in his back pocket. Oh, the irony of those lyrics now...
Next page: Noel leaves... for the second time
Noel Gallagher fronts Oasis in '96 while Liam goes house-hunting. Image © Reuters/Corbis
Noel Gallagher had walked out of Oasis on their 1994 US tour. Come 1996, trouble spilled over again. Liam refused to fly to America at the last minute before that year's US tour, claiming he needed time to buy a house. When he did join up with the band, things deteriorated quickly. Noel again left and flew home alone (below).
Noel Gallagher quits for the second time, 1996.Image: Murray Andrew/Corbis Sygma
Next page: the decline begins
Liam Gallagher, part chimp, 1996. Image © Mitchell Gerber/Corbis
1997's Be Here Now was over-long, over-produced, over-arrogant and over-drugged. But behind the bluster, Noel Gallagher still had some great songs. This acoustic version of Stand By Me stands up for itself.
Even so, things were getting messy. Bonehead (rhythm guitar) and Guigsy (bass) exited and by the time a new album arived Noel Gallagher had become daft enough to leave his best songs off albums.
This is audio-only, but Let's All Make Believe is a must-hear if you don't know it. It's another Oasis b-side (to the vastly inferior Go Let It Out) that should/could have been massive. Plus: Noel writing these twisted words - for Liam to sing - borders on genius. Yes?
Next page: Oasis are outta time
The charming Liam Gallagher greets the Norwegian press, 2000.Image © Heiko Junge/epa/Corbis
The 'noughties' were distinctly 'meh' for Oasis. Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants, Heathen Chemistry and Don't Believe The Truth were 'solid' albums at best, and a far cry from early years. And Noel Gallagher temporarily walked out again (in 2000) after Liam questioned the legitimacy of Noel's daughter in another backstage row.
Meanwhile, Liam's live voice seemed to deteriorate with every show. The live album Familiar To Millions is a sorry representation of how spellbinding an Oasis gig could be.
Noel Gallagher doesn't believe the truth, Mountain View, USA, 2005.Image © Tim Mosenfelder/Corbis
Yet, the musicianship certainly got better. Andy Bell was possibly the most naturally-talented guitar player in Oasis, and he plays bass. Gem Archer clearly provided a foil for Noel's ideas. And Noel's guitar collection got better. But did that matter?
Next page: the shocking end
2008's album Dig Out Your Soul was a brief revival.
The Shock Of The Lightning was arguably Oasis's finest single for a decade. The problem? Gigs.
When any band's lead singer is no longer the best singer in the band, trouble looms. I'm Outta Time croaks Liam on the same 2009 tour. Ouch.
Still, Gallagher senior still knows that nostalgia pushes buttons.
With added vocals by a choir and the audience, this is Don't Look Back In Anger bigger than you've ever heard.
Is this what Noel Gallagher's solo albums will sound like?
Farewell then, Oasis. An amazing band on their day, but one who possibly went on too long.
But whose solo album are you most looking forward to now, Noel's or Liam's?
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