They were the band of the 90s, the figureheads of Britpop, lauded by politicians and loathed by the hotel chains whose rooms they regularly trashed.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Oasis’s first No1 single, Some Might Say, from the decade’s biggest selling album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, which celebrates its own quarter of a century anniversary in October.
Some Might Say marked the start of Oasis’s ascent to chart dominance.
It has been 11 years since the iconic Manchester band split up
(Image: Getty Images)
They have continued their fisticuffs digitally with barbed comments and naked aggression on Twitter.
But singer Liam, 47, has never shied away from wanting Oasis to make a comeback. Last month, he even claimed the band would reform with or without Noel, 52, for a free NHS concert before announcing his own solo one in October at London’s O2.
With the publication of a new book – Some Might Say: The Definitive Story of Oasis – the man who discovered them, Alan McGee, admitted he thought they’d last like the Rolling Stones and be as big as The Beatles.
The Scot said: “The one thing that me, Liam and Noel have all got in common is that we thought it was never going to end.
“It only really lasted for three or four years, the amazing part. The rest of it was just ‘rock band doing good.’ The really amazing part – we never thought it was going to end. We thought it was the Beatles. In my head I thought it was the Stones and the Beatles. Take your pick. It was never going to end.”
The history of Oasis is immersed in Scotland.
They were discovered in Scotland, were steered to chart-topping glory by a Scot, signposted how big they were going to be at T in the Park in 1994 and Noel’s solo career began at Glasgow’s Barrowland later that year when Liam couldn’t perform.
And in 1996, they played the biggest Scottish gig of the decade at Balloch in front of 80,000, teeing up their two-day stint at Knebworth the following week.
And while their May 31, 1993, gig has gone down in Scottish music folklore as the moment McGee saw them and signed them, the Scot admitted he was only sure he’d done the right thing when he listened to the demo they gave him.
Alan McGee, pictured alongside Noel Gallagher, was the first man to sign the band in the early-90s
He said: “After the gig, Noel gave me that and I said, ‘I don’t need it, I’m gonna sign you. I saw that gig, I know what’s good.’ Which was kind of brave.
“I was still drinking and taking drugs at that time, so I was pretty hammered when I saw Oasis. So, I was thinking, ‘Maybe I got that wrong.’
“I put on the tape and the thing that grabbed me and what really made me love them was Columbia. I love Happy Mondays, to this day, I think they’re the most important band to come out of Manchester, and it reminded me of them. At that point I didn’t have the Mondays. I thought, ‘Great, you’ve got a really good-looking singer, sounds a bit like the Mondays. I have to have that.’”
The legend of that night has built up over time. A quick potted history sees the Manchester group invited to play a support gig with Sister Lovers at King Tut’s in Glasgow. It was Oasis’s 13th gig and fate would have it that McGee – head of Creation Records who was the manager behind Primal Scream and The Jesus and Mary Chain – was also there. The band allegedly fought their way to the stage. Or not. Whatever happened, McGee signed them.
He became their champion, giving them the foothold in the charts which they went on to dominate.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of chart-topping hit Some Might Say
(Image: Daily Record)
McGee put his money on the table and after the first attempt to record debut album Definitely Maybe by Dave Batchelor in Wales didn’t work out, he roped in sound engineer Mark Coyle and Owen Morris at England’s Sawmill Studios. McGee takes credit: “If I hadn’t have said it’s not good enough, f*** knows what would have happened.
“Noel would have put it out because he didn’t understand the business at that point, he thought there’d be a second chance. There ain’t a second chance baby, this is it. This is the chance. The music business pays attention for five seconds. You’ve got to be good. I pulled the record and made them record it again.”
In July 1994, it was obvious how big Oasis were going to be when they played the King Tut’s tent at the inaugural T in the Park.
While the gig has also become part of Scottish music folklore, it nearly didn’t happen after the band’s van broke down and Noel began playing frisbee across the motorway.
Simon Mason, known as The Cat in the Hat, had joined their entourage. He said: “Noel and Phil (Smith, pal and band DJ) decide it would be a perfect time for a game of frisbee. They proceed to have a game of frisbee across the motorway, with six lanes of f****** traffic. I’m sitting in the van going, ‘I’m going to jail.’ It went for a while, but thankfully the AA turned up.”
Once they’d got to Strathclyde Park, the band realised how big they had become. Mason added: “It was a phenomenal gig. We could have walked outside of that tent after that gig and there could have been a nuclear war, and no one would have given a f***.”
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In December that year, the band were back in Glasgow to play the Barrowland but Liam lost his voice and stormed off stage. To placate the baying crowd, Noel finished the gig playing acoustically.
It was the first time he had sung lead vocals, and paved the way for his solo career.
Perhaps with so much of their history embedded in Scotland, Oasis’s next chapter could sprout here. Definitely maybe.
● Some Might Say: The Definitive Story of Oasis by is out now.