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Oasis - Biography

The band formed in 1991

A photo of Oasis © MIKE CLARKE
Updated: November 15, 2023
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Fronting the most controversial rock group to come out of Britain since The Sex Pistols, brother-duo Noel and Liam Gallagher have made as many headlines with their private lives as their band, Oasis, has with its music. From humble beginnings - playing in front of just 40 people at a Manchester club in 1991 - they went on to fill the world's largest stadiums.

Early career

It has been a colourful journey. Their meteoric rise to fame has been marked by stories of in-band fighting, cancelled concerts, failed marriages, drug addiction, mediocre record reviews, and acid insults. The Gallaghers' big break came in 1993 when Creation Records label boss Alan McGee happened on the band in Glasgow and immediately offered them a contract. In August of 1994, their first album Definitely Maybe was released to cracking reviews, although a succession of rows had hindered its completion. Oasis's second album, (What's The Story) Morning Glory, lodged itself firmly at the top of the charts in October 1995 and went on to become one of the defining records of the Nineties. 

Personal life 

As living together was something the two brothers could never quite seem to manage, they went their separate ways a couple of years later when Noel married long-term girlfriend Meg Mathews and Liam said "I do" with serial rock wife Patsy Kensit. Although both relationships produced children, they never looked likely to last and the brothers didn't surprise anyone when their respective marriages broke up barely three years later. Soon after his split from Patsy, Liam started seeing All Saints star Nicole Appleton. They welcomed a baby boy, Gene, in July 2001 and announced their engagement in September 2002. They finally tied the knot on Valentine's Day six years later, in a low-key registry office ceremony in London. 

Music career

The future of the band was looking shaky around the time of their third and fourth albums, 1997's Be Here Now and 2000's Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants, which both received less than complimentary reviews. The brothers were the only original members of Oasis now that former bandmates Tony McCarroll, Bonehead et al have taken early retirement from the music business. Having hired a new line-up of musicians in 2000, the band seemed ready to take on the world again. But in May that year, following a concert in Paris, Noel walked out again and the brothers communicated solely through hurled insults in the press. However, by 2002 they had put their differences behind them and released Heathen Chemistry to widespread critical acclaim. The band followed up the hit album in 2005 with Don't Believe The Truth -which became their best-selling and best-received album in a decade. The following year they released a greatest hits album titled Stop The Clocks, and were honoured in 2007 with a Brit Award for outstanding contribution to music. Two years later, shockwaves erupted through the music world with the sudden announcement that Noel had left the band following a pre-gig bust-up, again in Paris. He said intolerable "violent and verbal intimidation" towards family and friends and a "lack of support" from management and bandmates had forced him to quit. But label boss Alan McGee predicted a reunion tour in five years' time. "They love each other. When people love each other, they'll always make peace," he said.

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