Monday, August 4, 2014

definitely maybe

Oasis made it happen with sibling rivalry and pugilist punk pop possibilities on this audacious initiation.  The group started out as The Rain with Paul McGuigan on bass, Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs on guitar, Tony McCarroll  on drums, and Chris Hutton on vocals.  Arthurs admits:   "We had fuck all else to do.  It was either get in a band, or get drunk every night."      Liam Gallagher was brought in by Arthurs to replace Hutton and suggested the name of the group be changed to Oasis, inspired by the name of one of the clubs listed on a tour poster for Inspiral Carpets that his brother Noel had hung in the bedroom they had shared.  

At the time, Noel Gallagher was on tour with Inspiral Carpets as a roadie.  He heard about his brother's new band and made it back for the first gig:    "I told our kid the band was shite, but he definitely had something as a frontman. Then I said "You either let me write the songs and we go for superstardom or else you stay here in Manchester for the rest of your lives like sad cunts.'" 

Thusly injoined, the band spent more than a year working on their sound and learning Noel's songs.  Arthurs recalls:  "He had loads of stuff written.  When he walked in, we were a band making a racket with four tunes. All of a sudden, there were loads of ideas."

They recorded a demo tape 'Live Demonstration' and were able to get a deal with Creation Records' Alan McGee after opening for Sister Lovers at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut club in Glasgow, Scotland.  Noel demures:   "[McGee] didn't jump onstage. We didn't threaten to burn the place down. He pulled me as soon as we came offstage and asked if we wanted a record deal, and we said, 'Who with?' and he said, 'Creation,' so we said yes. It was agreed that we were going to sign that night, but we didn't sign until two or three months later."

'Definitely Maybe' was recorded with Liam Gallagher on vocals and tambourine;  Noel Gallagher on lead guitar, backing vocals, and piano;   Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs on rhythm guitar and piano;   Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan on bass;  and Tony McCarroll on drums;   with Anthony Griffiths on backing vocals on "Supersonic".    The sessions began at Monnow Valley Studio, near Monmouth with producer Dave Batchelor; but the band was not happy with the resulting sound and tried to rerecord the songs live at Sawmills Studio in Cornwall with producers Noel Gallagher and Mark Coyle layering on guitar tracks later.  The sound was still not working and engineer/producer Owen Morris was brought in to rework the tracks and do the final mix.  

'Definitely Maybe' went to number fifty-eight in the US, thirty-four in Japan, twenty-six in Germany, twenty-five in Switzerland, twenty-three in Australia, twenty in France, four in Sweden, and number one in Ireland and the UK, where it became the fastest selling debut album of all time and made the band rock and roll stars. 

Their sound was a brash blend of the Beatles, the Sex Pistols, T-Rex, the Jam, and the Who.  Noel considers:  "Pete Townshend's the only guy that I can relate to, because he wrote all the songs and all the words and sang backing vocals, and he gave 'em to somebody else to sing 'em, and that's exactly what I do. And we particularly don't get on with our lead singers ... Liam's young, he's on a complete trip and he's all fucking mouth at the moment, and that winds me up. He's a genius frontman, he was born to do this and that's something I can't be. But he also wishes he was me, always has done. His fans come up to him after shows and I hear him giving all this gobshite, and I think, 'Shut up you twat, I babysat for you.' You see, our kid wants to be remembered like Sid Vicious, while I just want to be a great songwriter. He thinks I'm boring and soft and he can't understand that you change...Liam's naive and volatile but he is gonna be like me soon. He's gonna have to get chilled out, take some drugs, and suss things out first though, because at the moment he hasn't a clue what it's all about...The lads get bored, get drunk, start brawling and do the rooms. I go off and write music, because nothing else matters to me." 

Liam says:    "So he's five years older than me. What the fuck does he mean? In body maybe he is, but in mind I know he's talking shite, so don't gimme none of this brotherly love bollocks. I'm ageless and he's a twat. He knows nothing about me and my life. He thinks he does. All I know is he writes songs and I sing them, he's a sad twat you wants to jam with a lot of old men and I'm not. I know I can't write songs like he can, but I'm Liam, son of Margaret, and I have my own things to say. I do write my own songs but I never show them to him ... It's just me and me brother having arguments in a band.  If we weren't in a band, we'd be havin' it in the house. If we had a greengrocers, Gallagher's Greengrocers, we'd argue over which way we set out the apples or the fuckin' pears...I'm on fire inside. I'm just getting to know myself, and there's things I don't like. Parts of me are evil, parts of me are good, but I'm locked up in chains so I can't get it all out." He slams his wrists together, pretending his hands are cuffed. "But I opened the door in my head, threw the key away and let it all in: madness, badness, evilness, goodness, beautifulness ... It's like that Guinness advert, my head -- a universe in a glass ... I think it's good being a bit dangerous. There's a few more kids going out going, 'Fuck it, I can have what I want out of life,' and that means literally anything."



Live Forever

Cigarettes and Alcohol

'Definitely Maybe'
full album:

All songs written and composed by Noel Gallagher.

00:00 Rock 'n' Roll Star
05:22 Shakermaker
10:31 Live Forever
15:07 Up in the Sky
19:37 Columbia
25:53 Supersonic
30:37 Bring It on Down
34:55 Cigarettes & Alcohol
39:44 Digsy's Dinner
42:15 Slide Away
48:51 Married with Children

live on MTV 120 Minutes 1994

Rock 'n' Roll Star 
Live Forever

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