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Friday, June 18, 2010
Alan McGee thinks Oasis will be back in five years
The man who discovered Oasis says they will reform. Alan McGee signed the band in 1993 after seeing them at King Tut's in Glasgow.
With his record label Creation, he steered them to becoming the UK's biggest band of the Nineties.
But almost a year ago, brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher's fraught relationship splintered and the band split.
This week, Oasis release what is, for the moment, their final album.
Time Flies...1994-2009 brings together, for the first time, all 27 singles from their seven consecutive No.1 studio albums.
It is the final bow in a career that suddenly came to an end last August when Noel quit the band, saying he couldn't work with his younger brother "a day longer".
But McGee reckons they will bury the hatchet at some point. He said: "I think come another five years, they will look at each other and go, 'There's £200million on the table - do you want to do 100 shows?'
"It's money - but ultimately they are brothers and it doesn't matter what they want to say about each other because they love each other.
"I know they love each other because I know them.
"They might be annoyed with each other from time to time - but they definitely love each other."
While many felt the brothers should just have taken a little time out, McGee likes the fact they went out on a high and didn't become the next Rolling Stones.
He said: "They could have gone on and on and on making money live like the Stones.
"Oasis would have inherited the big live rock act from them.
"Not even the Stones will be touring when they are 80, I'm sure.
"But there's something to be said for killing something when it's still vibrant and good.
"And the last album was still pretty good."
Now Oasis fans are waiting for the next chapter.
Noel is pursuing a solo career, while Liam has formed a new band, Beady Eye, with the rest of the final Oasis line-up. It's back to square one.
In the early Nineties, Liam replaced original singer Chris Hutton in Manchester group The Rain, a band that included Paul McGuigan (bass guitar), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar) and Tony McCarroll (drums).
They changed their name to Oasis and Noel, a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, also joined.
No one took much interest at first. In May 1993, they were invited to play King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow by the band Sister Lovers, who shared their rehearsal space.
As fate would have it, McGee was in the audience. He was the boss of Creation, the label behind three of Scotland's greatest bands: Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
He was there to see one of his own bands, 18 Wheeler but was so impressed by Oasis that he offered them a record deal.
Recalling that night, Noel said: "When he (McGee) signed us that night in Glasgow, we played this song called Bring It On Down. He really liked it because it was like the Sex Pistols and he wanted it to be the first single.
"We went to Liverpool to record it and a couple of other tracks. For some reason it just wasn't happening. We had just signed the deal and got to the last night and couldn't go back with nothing.
"It was horrible. We didn't want to be like one of those flaky bands. While everyone else was having their dinner I went into a backroom and wrote Supersonic and wrote a complete stream of consciousness.
"I literally made each line up as I went. I came back and showed the drummer how it went. Bonehead wrote the chords out, wrote the lyrics out for Liam. I still think of all the 27 singles, it's my favourite."
Supersonic is one of the greatest debuts and statements of intent by a British rock band - yet even after it was recorded, it wasn't an automatic choice for the band's debut single.
McGee told The Razz: "I always wanted Bring It On Down as the first single. I knew Oasis were the revolution. I just never realised it was going to be as big as it was.
"I thought Bring It On Down would herald the new revolution. But it wasn't made a single because they couldn't get the record right. Then at 1am, Noel looked at me and said let's put Supersonic out. We knew Supersonic was amazing but we thought it was an album track.
"When he said it, it suddenly made sense. It was a decision made on a sixpence. That was the start of Oasis - and what a way to start. 'You need to be yourself, you can't be no one else.'"
Supersonic was released in April 1994 but only got to No.31.
Take That were No.1 with the aptly titled Everything Changes.
That year would be dominated by Wet Wet Wet's 15-week stay at the top with Love Is All Around and No1s by Whigfield and Pato Banton.
While Suede and Blur kicked off the UK's fightback against American grunge it was Oasis who became the kings of what became Britpop.
Third single Live Forever was the band's first top-10 hit. It became an anthem to the hedonistic Nineties.
Noel grinned: "If there were any doubters after Supersonic and Shakermaker about us being some post-Manchester bunch of lunatics, that was the song that people went, 'That's actually a classic.'"
Debut album Definitely Maybe was released in September 1994 and went straight to No.1. At the time, it became the fastest-selling British debut album.
Overnight, Oasis became the UK's biggest band. Noel removed McCarroll as the drummer - the first of many changes that would leave the Gallaghers as the only remaining original members.
They headlined Glastonbury in 1995 and the first single from their second album Some Might Say, released in 1995, became their first No.1.
No wonder their biggest rivals Blur then tried to steal the Oasis thunder by changing the release day of their single Country House to go up against Oasis's Roll With It. Blur won that particular battle of Britpop - reaching the top slot - but they lost the war.
Oasis's second album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, released in October 1995, sold 346,000 copies in its first week. It went straight to No.1 and stayed there for 10 weeks. It also reached No.4 in the US and has since sold 14 million copies.
Second single Wonderwall missed out on the No.1 spot but became their biggest-selling single, shifting more than a million copies.
Next single Don't Look Back In Anger was their second chart-topper.
In 1996, they played to 250,000 people over two nights at Knebworth - but an incredible 2.6million applied for tickets, the biggest demand for a UK concert ever.
In Scotland, they played to 80,000 people over two nights at Balloch.
Oasis were at their peak. When third album Be Here Now came out in 1997, they sold 350,000 copies in the first day and 696,000 copies in a week - making it the fastest-selling album in British history. It also reached No.2 in America.
McGee remembers the times fondly: "At the height of it, we had seven per cent of the British market - which is pretty huge.
"We were so lucky to find them. They were an incredible band with the right management and record company."
Would they have been as big if they'd signed to a major, or any label other than Creation? McGee said: "It was the right time, right place and right set of people. I don't think I was particularly important compared to anyone else.
"I played a role. I was no genius. I was part of a football team that played well and won."
Later albums had some good songs but Oasis would never again reach the creative peak of those first two.
As for the future, McGee said not to discount what Liam could achieve with Beady Eye, adding: "Noel is an incredible songwriter and Liam has grown into being a good songwriter.
"It's a good move artistically - but there are a few Oasis tours left before either one croaks it."
Via L4E source: dailyrecord.co.uk
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