10 Fun Facts About Oasis' 'Definitely Maybe'
by Kevin Marston | May 23, 2014
On the heels of the 20th anniversary of Brit rock hooligans Oasis' debut album, Definitely Maybe, the band has released a remastered deluxe edition that includes various demos, mixes and live cuts (and, for good measure, a live cover of "I Am the Walrus”). Here, we celebrate the release with 10 fun facts about the album.
After the buzz around their first single, "Columbia," Oasis' first attempt to record their debut album was a total disaster. The sessions at Monnow Valley Studio in Wales — produced by guitarist Noel Gallagher's friend Dave Batchelor — failed to capture their live charisma.
Owen Morris was the recording engineer/producer who eventually nailed Oasis' sound. After a second attempt at recording (at Sawmills Studio in Cornwall) proved no good, Morris was brought in and told to do, in his words, "literally, whatever you want." His techniques, among which included stripping away Noel Gallagher's numerous guitar overdubs, proved quite successful, as Morris went on to produce their subsequent two albums (Whats the Story) Morning Glory? and Be Here Now.
The album's first single, "Supersonic," was released in April 1994. It reached only No. 31 in the U.K. charts but went on to sell over 200,000 copies as the band blew up.
Noel Gallagher was accused of ripping off George Harrison's 1971 chart-topper "My Sweet Lord" with his guitar solo on "Supersonic," an accusation he has always vigorously denied.
The artwork for Definitely Maybe revolves around Noel's fandom. An image of songwriter Burt Bacharach, regularly cited as an influence, is by the sofa on the left, and footballer Rodney Marsh — who played for Noel's beloved Manchester City — is by the fireplace.
Though recording of the album finished in spring 1994, Definitely Maybe wasn't released until the end of August, by which time public excitement surrounding the band was massive. The album went on to become the fastest-selling debut album of all time in the U.K., shifting 86,000 in its first week and going on to sell over 5 million copies.
"Slide Away" was written on a guitar that Noel Gallagher was given by Johnny Marr. The song is about Noel’s fractious relationship with his then-girlfriend, with whom he split shortly before the album was released.
Thanks to the single "Shakermaker," Oasis was forced to give Coca-Cola $500,000. The soda giant successfully sued the band for their song's similarity to the 1971 TV ad song "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)," a number that the New Seekers took to the top of the charts.
Creation label boss Alan McGee claimed that "Cigarettes & Alcohol" was "one of the greatest social statements of the past 25 years." We wonder if he still agrees with that declaration.
In March this year, Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, now of Beady Eye, took to Twitter to mock the new 20th anniversary edition, asking, "How can you remaster something that's already mastered? Don't buy into it. Let it be."
If you choose to, you're free to enjoy this brand-new edition of Definitely Maybe, right here on Rhapsody. We won't tell Liam.