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Oasis Biography

Oasis were an English rock band that formed in Manchester in 1991. Originally known as The Rain, the group was formed by Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan (bass guitar) and Tony McCarroll (drums, percussion), who were soon joined by Liam's older brother Noel Gallagher (lead guitar and vocals). They have had eight UK number-one singles and eight UK number-one albums, and won fifteen NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards and six BRIT Awards, including one in 2007 for outstanding contribution to music and one for the best album of the last 30 years as voted by the BBC Radio 2 listeners; they have been nominated for three Grammy Awards. As of 2009, the band have sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide. Also the band was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 for “Longest Top 10 UK Chart Run By A Group” after an unprecedented run of 22 successive Top 10 hits in the UK.  The band also holds the Guinness World Record for being the "Most Successful Act of the Last Decade" in the UK between the years 1995 and 2005, spending 765 weeks in the Top 75 singles and albums charts.

Its members were signed to independent record label Creation Records and afterwards released their record-setting debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994. The following year, the band recorded (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) with their new drummer Alan White in the midst of rivalry with Britpop peers Blur in the charts. The Gallagher brothers featured regularly in tabloid newspapers for their sibling disputes and wild lifestyles. In 1997, Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now, and although it became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history, the album's popularity tapered off quickly. The band lost members Paul McGuigan and Paul Arthurs as they went on to record and release Standing on the Shoulder of Giants in 2000 and were replaced by Gem Archer and Andy Bell who joined the group for the tour in support of Giants. The band found renewed success and popularity starting with 2005's Don't Believe the Truth through 2008's Dig Out Your Soul and their supporting tours.

In August 2009, Noel Gallagher announced his departure from the band after a backstage altercation with Liam before a festival appearance. Liam Gallagher stated that the remaining members of the band would continue to record music, but ruled out the possibility of continuing as Oasis in February 2010, instead forming a new band called Beady Eye.

Oasis evolved from an earlier band called The Rain, composed of Paul McGuigan (bass guitar), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Tony McCarroll (drums) and Chris Hutton  (vocals). Unsatisfied with Hutton, Arthurs auditioned acquaintance Liam Gallagher as a replacement. Liam suggested that the band name be changed to Oasis. This change was inspired by an Inspiral Carpets tour poster that hung in the Gallagher brothers' bedroom. One of the venues the poster listed was the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon. Oasis played their first live gig in August 1991 at the Boardwalk club in Manchester. Noel Gallagher, who was a roadie  for Inspiral Carpets, went with the band to watch his younger brother's band play. Whilst Noel Gallagher and his friends did not think Oasis sounded particularly spectacular, he did begin to consider the possibility of using his brother's group as a possible outlet for a series of songs he'd been writing for several years. Noel approached the group about joining with the proviso that he would become the band's sole songwriter and leader, and that they would commit to an earnest pursuit of commercial success. "He had loads of stuff written," Arthurs recalled. "When he walked in, we were a band making a racket with four tunes. All of a sudden, there were loads of ideas."  Oasis under Noel Gallagher crafted a musical approach that relied on simplicity, with Arthurs and McGuigan restricted to playing barred chords and root bass notes, respectively; McCarroll playing basic rhythms, and the band's amplifiers turned up as to create distortion, Oasis created a sound "so devoid of finesse and complexity that it came out sounding pretty much unstoppable." Critic, Nat Houghton, claims that "The rivalry between Blur and Oasis is not a religion, you can like both!"

After over a year of live shows, rehearsals and a recording of a proper demo (known as the Live Demonstration tape), the band's big break came in May 1993 when they were spotted by Creation Records co-owner Alan McGee. Oasis were invited to play a gig at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut club in Glasgow, Scotland, by a band called Sister Lovers, who shared their rehearsal rooms. Oasis, along with a group of friends, found the money to hire a van and make the six-hour journey to Glasgow. When they arrived, they were refused entry to the club as they were not on that night's set list, which reportedly caused the band to bully their way in (although both the band and McGee have given contradicting statements about how they actually managed to get into the club on that night). They were given the opening slot and impressed McGee, who was there to see 18 Wheeler, one of his own bands, that night. McGee was so impressed by what he saw he signed the band to Creation four days later. Due to problems securing an American contract, Oasis ended up signing a worldwide contract with Sony, which in turn licensed Oasis to Creation in the UK.

Oasis were most heavily influenced by The Beatles. This influence was frequently labelled as an "obsession" by the British media.

Musically and lyrically, they have also cited bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces, Bob Dylan, T. Rex, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Slade, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, The La's, The Smiths and The Stone Roses as their major influences.

Another of Oasis' influences has led to legal action: Neil Innes (ex of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and The Rutles) sued after the song "Whatever" borrowed from his "How Sweet To Be An Idiot". He was awarded royalties and a co-writer credit. Noel Gallagher claimed in 2010 that the plagiarism was unintentional and he was unaware of the similarities until informed of Innes' legal case. Oasis were also sued by Coca Cola and forced to change lyrics after it was alleged that the song "Shakermaker" lifted words and melody from "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing". When promotional copies of (What's the Story) Morning Glory? were originally distributed, they contained a song called "Step Out". The promotional CD was quickly withdrawn and replaced with a version that omitted the controversial song, which was allegedly similar to the Stevie Wonder song "Uptight (Everything's Alright)". The song later appeared as the B-side to "Don't Look Back in Anger", albeit now listing "Wonder, et. al" as cowriters. The initial promotional CD of the album featuring "Step Out" is now a collectors item.

Several bands and artists have cited Oasis as an influence or inspiration, including Arctic Monkeys, Jet, Twisted Wheel, Weezer, The Killers, Coldplay, The Coral, Glasvegas, Sum 41, Ricky, The Libertines, The Enemy, Ryan Adams, The Rifles, The Pigeon Detectives, Kasabian, and Robbie Williams. No Way Sis were a cover band from Glasgow who had a top 40 hit in the UK with "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" a cover of the New Seekers song sung in the manner of Oasis. The Japanese band Little by Little derived their name from the Oasis song of the same name.


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