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"In my mind my dreams are real, are you concerned about how I feel? Tonight I'm a rock n roll star". Rock 'n' Roll Star was the opening track to 1994's smash hit debut triumph Definitely Maybe and defined the era known as 'Brit Pop' which effectively replaced the grunge era. Oasis - featuring the original line-up of Noel and Liam Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, Paul McGuigan and Tony McCarroll - were about to take the world by storm. The album was released on Scottish music mogul Alan McGee's Creation Records Label (home to Primal Scream amongst others). McGee famously signed Oasis on the spot after a gig at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow attended by only a handful of people. The Manchester band were delighted to secure a record deal and then embarked upon a journey to get their live sound down on record. It proved extremely difficult to take the raw energy of the band's live performances and nail it to vinyl. Initially the task was given to Dave Batchelor but the band were unhappy so Noel Gallagher had a go which also proved fruitless. The album was eventually successfully produced and mixed by Owen Morris and went on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide. In 2006 Definitely Maybe was voted the 'Greatest Album of All Time" by readers of NME.
The band released Columbia in 1993 as a taster for rock journos and radio stations. It was an unexpected hit, with BBC Radio 1 playing the track repeatedly over a two week period. Definitely Maybe spawned four singles, starting with Supersonic - released on 11th April 1994 - which peaked at #31 on the British Singles Chart. The next single to be released was Shakermaker which fared much better, reaching #11 and earning the band their first appearance on the BBC's Top of the Pops. Shakermaker also featured the fantastic B-Side D'yer Wanna Be a Spaceman? Oasis were creating a massive buzz on the UK music scene and beyond. Guitar based indie rock was king and other bands were starting to emerge Ocean Colour Scene, Cast, Manic Street Preachers, Blur, Stereophonics to name but a few...
Next up was Live Forever - undoubtedly the stand out track on the album - which gave the band their first top 10 hit record. Live Forever was written as an answer of sorts to Nirvana's I Hate Myself and Want to Die. The difference in outlooks between Oasis and Kurt Cobain are best stated by Noel Gallagher himself:
"Seems to me that here was a guy [Kurt Cobain] who had everything, and was miserable about it. And we had fuck-all, and I still thought that getting up in the morning was the greatest fuckin' thing ever, 'cause you didn't know where you'd end up at night. And we didn't have a pot to piss in, but it was fucking great, man".
Britpop was the crest of a wave, everything was going to be better man! We had youth, we had great music, what could possibly go wrong? Well, the 90s ended with Blair, Bush and Coldplay but for a while at least, everything was ''fuckin' sound mate''.
The final single to be released from the album was Cigarettes & Alcohol which peaked at #7. The song 'borrowed' its main riff from T-Rex and also featured a live cover of Beatles classic I Am the Walrus from that legendary gig at Tuts.
Other notable songs from the album include the perfect Slide Away, the insightful, angry Married With Children and fun Digsy's Dinner.
Definitely Maybe is the album that defined a musical era and inspired a generation.
"You and I we're gonna live forever".
Did You Know?
Definitely Maybe was the UK's fast-selling debut album of all time selling over 86,000 copies in its first week of release
Bass player Paul McGuigan ultimately did not feature on any of the tracks on the album as Noel Gallagher re-recorded all of his parts when trying to get the sound of the album right
Coca Cola sued Oasis for $500,000 successfully claiming that 2nd single Shakermaker sounded too similar to their 1971 advert featuring the New Seekers - I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing