Nearly Perfect Albums – #49

Definitely Maybe – Oasis

Rock N Roll Star – Oasis (1994, Creation Records)

The first time I heard ‘Definitely Maybe’ I was sold.  I listened to it again on repeat just to make sure.  Yup, utterly sold.  From the era defining first line of ‘Rock N Roll Star’

Live my life in the city, there’s no easy way out

and its reverb heavy guitars and the way Liam frankly snarls all over it in a way, that we came to realise and adore, only he could (despite many trying, failing and vanishing).  I was sold on the way the drums sounded on ‘Columbia, I was sold on the way that Noel’s guitar playing sounded like nothing, absolutely nothing, that I had ever heard before (face facts Johnnys Marr and Squire).  I was even sold on the frankly ridiculous lyrics about “living under waterfalls” and the soppy, drippy sentiment that ran though songs like ‘Slide Away’, but most of all I was sold on the fact that ‘Live Forever’ was one of the greatest songs ever written.

Live Forever – Oasis (1994, Creation Records)

In 1994, Definitely Maybe’ was pretty much everything and right there and then, it, Noel, and (especially) Liam convinced me that the only life for me was that of being a rock star that had a seemingly endless supply of cigarettes and alcohol and a girl with whom I could literally live forever.

Cigarettes and Alcohol – Oasis (1994, Creation Records)

I saw Oasis live pretty early on into their career, not at the Water Rats or the 100 Club but at a fairly large London venue when the secret was out, and they were about six months away from being the greatest band on the planet (for three years at least).  I remember being fairly close to the front and being totally mesmerised by Liam.  By the way he stood so close to the microphone that he looked like he was going to headbutt it.  You know that look, arms behind the back, chin stuck out, swaggering back and forward with a stare that told you it doesn’t matter a jot what he was singing, it was how he was singing it that mattered and for a while at least, he was totally 100% spot on.

Columbia – Oasis (1994, Creation Records)

Of course, there are nowadays about a million reasons to lampoon Oasis, the fact that every album they did after say, 1997, was rubbish, watered down post Beatles slop.  The fact that Liam became a bit of a knobhead, that fact that Noel shat all his legacy into a rather large dustbin when he formed the High Flying Birds (and whilst I’m on the subject Liam did an even bigger dump of his legacy with Beady Eye).  The fact that they are (probably) singlehandedly to blame for the rise and almost total takeover of guitar music by mindless bloke rock designed to cater solely for men who drink in Wetherspoons pubs and think that Next is height of fashion. Like I said, a lot of reasons.

But. There are several million more reasons to love Oasis – Every Oasis single and album up to 1997 at the very least should be a mainstay in any music catalogue and to be honest you are all kidding yourselves if you think anything different, you loved them when they mattered.  Admit it.

I’ll take you back up to the top of this piece and the thing I said about being sold by the soppy drippy sentiment of a song like ‘Slide Away’.  ‘Slide Away’, with the possible exception of ‘Live Forever’ is the greatest moment of Oasis’s entire career and it was their ability back then to firstly write songs like this and then go on stage and get Liam to deliver it, that made ‘Definitely Maybe’ so essential in the first place. 

Slide Away – Oasis (1994, Creation Records)

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