Last updated: 07/14/2012 11:00:00 AM
The very first time Oasis played together they promised they were going to be the best, that they'd never settle for the dull thud of mediocrity. And then they set about proving it. Right from the off, they resisted the security of the obvious, of doing things the way they were supposed to. They never sent a demo to a record company, knew that supreme self-confidence and a host of classic songs would be enough to curve destiny their way. When Creation Records supremo Alan McGee saw them at a club gig in Glasgow they had no manager, no agent, and no money. Just greatness. He signed them on the spot. An unsuspecting world was about to be blown away.
On April 11th 1994, Oasis released their debut single, 'Supersonic', an elegantly noisy pop celebration. By now their live shows were being talked of as something very special and they'd built an extensive, committed fan base. A trio of classic singles, 'Shakermaker', 'Live Forever' and 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' further emphasised Oasis' soaringly assured power. Their increasingly growing audience began to wonder what they ever did without them.
More live shows followed, including a triumphant New York debut and promoters soon got used to the band breaking all records, exceeding even the wildest expectations.
With the release of their debut album, 'Definitely Maybe', it was time to rewrite the record books once again. The album was the fastest selling debut in British history, entering the charts, unsurprisingly, at number one. It's still in the UK top twenty after a staggering eighteen months, going way past triple platinum and perhaps more impressively has sold well over one million copies outside the UK.
They crowned 1994 with their No.3 Xmas single 'Whatever', swept the readers' and writer's polls in the music press, and were, unsurprisingly, winners at the BRIT Awards. Barely a year between their first single and the stratospheric. Not bad going.
In 1995 the reputation of Oasis' live shows sky-rocketed. All around the world gigs sold out in under half an hour, and telephone exchanges from Dublin to Detroit blew up through the sheer weight of calls for tickets. Furthermore they headlined Glastonbury, played two nights in a colossal tent on Irvine Beach, Scotland, and staged the two biggest ever indoor gigs in Europe, at a specially-expanded Earls Court. So loud were the latter that serious earth tremors were reported in the Kensington and Chelsea areas. The shows themselves were astounding, emotional, and proof, if any was needed, that Oasis were undoubtedly the biggest and best band in the country.
On record, too, the band had progressed, in April 'Some Might Say' provided them with their first No. 1 single, selling over 300,000 copies. The follow-up 'Roll With It' reached 400,000, and 'Wonderwall' is Platinum (600,000) and rising after 12 weeks in the Top Ten, and inspired an almost instant cover version by Mike Flowers.
Their second album '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?' went straight in at No. 1, and became the fastest-selling album since Michael Jackson's 'Bad' in 1987. By the end of 1995 it was certified 6 times Platinum, and, apart from Robson & Jerome, by far the biggest-selling album of the year. This success is being mirrored world-wide, with the album hitting No. 1 in France, Sweden, Ireland and New Zealand, as well as reaching gold in most other countries.
If last year was magnificent, their future looks better still. Edging into 1996 , there's 4 BRAT Awards, 6 BRIT nominations, and 'Don't Look Back In Anger' their ninth single in less than 2 years. Significantly, at time of writing '...Morning Glory?' had just jumped to No. 5 in the US Billboard charts.
How much more do they want? How much have you got'?