With the 20th anniversary edition release of Oasis’ debut album Definitely Maybe on Friday, and rumours of a band reunion hitting the headlines again recently, music streaming service Napster has put together it’s top ten facts about Oasis’ debut album Definitely Maybe.
1. After the gigantic buzz around their first release ‘Columbia’, Oasis’ first attempt to record their debut album was a total disaster. The sessions at Monmouth Studios in Wales, produced by guitarist Noel Gallagher’s friend Dave Bachelor, dismally failed to capture their live charisma.
2. Marcus Russell was the person who eventually nailed Oasis’ sound. After a second attempt at recording (at Sawmills Studio in Cornwall) had proved no good, Russell, who Noel knew through Johnny Marr, took the master tapes away and, using tricks he’d learnt from reading about Phil Spector and Bowie producer Tony Visconti, pushed the band’s thrusting sound to the fore.
3. The album’s first single was ‘Supersonic’ in April 1994. It only reached No.31 in the UK charts but, paradoxically, went on to sell over 200,000 copies as the band blew up.
4. Noel Gallagher was accused of ripping off George Harrison’s 1971 chart-topper ‘My Sweet Lord’ with his guitar solo on ‘Supersonic’, an accusation he has always vigorously denied.
5. The art work for ‘Definitely Maybe’ is all about Noel’s fandom. An image of songwriter Burt Bacharach, regularly cited as an influence, is by the sofa on the left, and footballer Rodney Marsh is by the fireplace. The latter, an apt ‘70s champagne playboy, played for Noel’s beloved Manchester City.
6. While recording finished in the spring, ‘Definitely Maybe ‘ wasn’t released until the end of August, by which time public excitement surrounding the band was massive, resulting in it becoming the fastest-selling debut album of all time, shifting 86,000 in its first week and going on to sell over 14 million copies.
7. ‘Slide Away’ was written on a guitar that Noel Gallagher was given by Johnny Marr of The Smiths about his fractious relationship with his long term girlfriend, whom he split up with shortly before the album was released.
8. The single ‘Shakermaker’ saw Oasis forced to give Coca Cola $500,000. The fizzy drinks giant successfully sued the band for their song’s similarity to the 1971 TV ad song ‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)’, a number that the New Seekers took to the top of the charts.
9. Creation label boss Alan McGee claimed that ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ was “one of the greatest social statements of the past 25 years”. While it’s undoubtedly a corking song, in hindsight he may have exaggerated a little.
10. In March this year Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, now of Beady Eye, took to Twitter to mock the new 20th anniversary ‘Chasing The Sun’ edition, asking, “How can you remaster something that’s already mastered? Don’t buy into it. Let it be.”
Ian Greaves from Napster UK said: “Signed to Creation Records, which in 1994 was a relatively small but exciting independent label, nothing could have quite prepared them for the incredible success of Oasis’ debut album. Definitely Maybe went straight to number 1 in the UK albums charts and became the fastest selling debut album of all time in the UK. It positioned the band as one of the leading players in the famous Britpop movement of the nineties and went on to inspire artists such as The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs and many more. Twenty years on and the songs still sound just as great – whatever Liam says, Oasis fans are used to his wilful obtuseness and will likely still enjoy the extras that come with the re-release. Highlights include an early version of ‘Rock’n’Roll Star’ recorded in Liverpool in 1993, a demo called ‘Strange Thing’ and multiple live cuts, including ‘Sad Song’ which was originally on the vinyl version of the album.”
Napster is a premium subscription digital music service. Owned and operated by U.S.-based Rhapsody International Inc., Napster combines the iconic history of one of the most recognisable digital music brands in the world with the vast experience and technological platform of the first subscription music service,
Now available in 32 countries, Rhapsody and Napster are among fastest growing global streaming music services. They recently announced they have grown the total paid global subscriber base by 63 percent year over year. In the first quarter of this year, Napster and Rhapsody are adding an average of 8,000 paid subscribers per day and today, there are more than 1.7 million global subscribers to Napster and Rhapsody.
Napster offers one of the world’s most comprehensive online music collections and provides access to your music anywhere, via hundreds of devices. Rhapsody, Napster, and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc. For more information, visit www.napster.com