Oasis are an English rock band, formed in Manchester in 1991. Led by lead guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher and his younger brother, lead vocalist and songwriter Liam Gallagher, they are one of the most successful and prominent English groups to emerge during the 1990s Britpop movement, with over 60 million in album sales worldwide and eight UK number one singles. The Gallagher brothers are the only remaining original band members. The present line-up is completed by rhythm/lead guitarist Gem Archer and bass guitarist Andy Bell. Drummer Zak Starkey, the son of Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr, is a semi-official member.
Musically and lyrically, Oasis cite British Invasion bands such as The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks as their major influences. They also cite The Stone Roses, The Sex Pistols, The La’s, Led Zeppelin and T.Rex as other key influences.
With the success of their critically acclaimed debut album, Definitely Maybe, and its equally successful follow-up, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, coupled with a rivalry with their contemporary Blur, Oasis attained fame in the mid-1990s, and became one of the leaders of the Britpop movement. The Gallagher brothers featured regularly in tabloid newspaper stories, and cultivated a reputation as both bad boys and a band of the people.
At the height of their fame, their 1997 third album, Be Here Now, reached #1 in the UK charts, #2 in the U.S. and also became the fastest-selling album in chart history, with almost half a million copies sold on the first day alone. The album, however, was poorly received by the critics and later disowned by Noel and resulted in an immediate fall in popularity. However, despite the loss of founding members and sustaining support from their loyal fan base, Oasis have managed to outlast many of their Britpop contemporaries, over a decade after they appeared on the scene.
In early 1999, the band began work on their fourth studio album. First details were announced in February with Mark “Spike” Stent revealed to be taking a co-producing role. Things were not going well and the shock departure of founding member Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs was announced in August. Two weeks later the departure of bassist Paul McGuigan was announced. The Gallagher brothers held a press conference shortly thereafter where they assured reporters that “the future of Oasis is secure. The story and the glory will go on.
With the folding of Creation Records, Oasis formed their own label, Big Brother, which released all of Oasis’ subsequent records in the UK and Ireland. Oasis’ fourth album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, was released in February 2000 to good first-week sales. It peaked at number one on the British charts and number 24 on the Billboard charts.
Throughout 2001, Oasis split time between sessions for their fifth studio album and live shows around the world. Oasis’ first album with new members Andy Bell and Gem Archer, was released in July 2002. The album reached number 1 in the UK and number 23 in US, although critics gave it mixed reviews.
After much turbulence, the band’s sixth album was finally recorded in Los Angeles-based Capitol Studios from October to December the same year. Producer Dave Sardy took over the lead producing role from Noel, who decided to step back from these duties after a decade of producing leadership over the band. In May 2005, after three years and as many scrapped recording sessions, the band released their sixth studio album, Don’t Believe the Truth, fulfilling their contract with Sony BMG. It followed the path of Heathen Chemistry as being a collaborative project again, rather than a Noel-written album.
In June 2008, the band re-signed with Sony BMG for a three-album deal. Oasis recorded for a couple of months in 2007 between July and September—completing work on two new songs and demoing the rest. They took a two-month break, because of the birth of Noel’s son. The band re-entered the studio on 5 November 2007 and finished recording around March 2008 with producer Dave Sardy. The first single from the record was “The Shock of the Lightning”
On 25 February 2009, Oasis received the NME Award for Best British Band of 2009 as well as best blog for Noel’s ‘Tales from the Middle of Nowhere’.
In August 2009, Noel Gallagher announced his departure from the band. Liam Gallagher initially stated that Oasis were “done”, but later in February 2010 announced that the remaining members of the band would continue to record music, and did not rule out the possibility of retaining the Oasis name. However, Liam and other former members of the band are instead continuing under the name Beady Eye and Noel has formed Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Liam Gallagher — Vocals
Noel Gallagher — Guitar, Vocals
Gem Archer — Rhythm Guitar
Andy Bell — Bass
Zak Starkey — Drums