No Oasis documentary movie could be complete without the following.
Any Oasis fans who happened to see the powerful documentary film Amy earlier this year will have been delighted by the news that the team behind it is to make a piece about the Mancunian Britpop legends.
Asif Kapadia, who directed the Winehouse doc, is taking a production role on the as-yet-untitled project, with the rest of his team assisted director Mat Whitecross, himself having made the fictional Stone Roses-centred movie Spike Island and the Ian Dury biopic Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll.
With “unprecedented access” granted to the Oasis archives, we can hope for a ton of unreleased footage and music as the film-makers chart the entire history of the group. However, here are ten milestones in Oasis’ history that should definitely be included.
Oasis in 1994
Formerly known as The Rain, Liam Gallagher first joined the group having watched The Stone Roses play live in 1990. Ejecting vocalist Chris Hutton and replacing him with Liam, Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs (guitar), Paul McGuigan (bass) and Tony McCarroll (drums), Oasis played their first gig at the Boardwalk in Manchester in August 1991.
Watched by Liam’s older brother Noel, then a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, the elder sibling began to think of the group as a vehicle for a batch of songs he had been working on for years. Joining up with the proviso that he would be the sole songwriter and the group’s de facto leader, the first line-up of Oasis was complete.
Spotted by Alan McGee
Creation record label supremo Alan McGee was so impressed by the group when he saw them at Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut supporting 18 Wheeler, one of his own bands, that he offered Noel Gallagher a recording contract at the bar right then and there.
Noel quits and rejoins
Laying down a pattern of volatility based on the Gallaghers’ fractious relationship, Noel quit the group’s first ever American tour in September 1994, after Liam threw a tambourine at him at a Los Angeles gig. Storming off to San Francisco, Noel was recognised at a bar in the city by a female fan and persuaded to rejoin after a soul-searching conversation. This incident was later immortalised in the B-side ‘Talk Tonight’.
Battle of Britpop
The point at which Britpop reached maximum hysteria and public exposure, a chart battle between Oasis and their rivals Blur, who had been exchanging tit-for-tat insults with each other through the media for a year, was engineered by various industry figures in August 1995. Oasis released their single ‘Roll With It’ on the same day as Blur unleashed ‘Country House’, which was won by the latter.
Blur may have won that battle, but it soon became clear that Oasis had won the war. (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? became one of the biggest-selling albums in British history, while Blur’s The Great Escape was ridiculed as the Gallaghers captured the imagination of the British public as time went on. Culminating in…
The commercial zenith of Oasis’ career, the band organised two enormous outdoor gigs at Knebworth Park in rural Hertfordshire in August 1996. They played to 250,000 each night – but incredibly, had they chosen to satisfy demand for every person who had rang the box office hotline, they could have played to the same number each night for 53 nights in a row. To this day, the figure of 2.5 million is the largest demand for a show in British history.
Be Here Now
What goes up must come down, as Oasis’ third album burst the bubble that they had helped create in the first place. Critically slaughtered and absurdly overblown, Be Here Now arrived in an unprecedented flurry of anticipation but now serves as a lesson in the deadly art of media hype. Following the conclusion of the accompanying tour in mid-1998, the band went to ground to plot their next move.
Bonehead and McGuigan quit
During recording sessions for Standing On the Shoulder of Giants, founding members Bonehead and McGuigan quit the group in late 1999 within two weeks of each other, and the first iteration of Oasis was no more.
The band wasted no time in picking themselves up and dusting themselves down, however. Gem Archer, formerly of Heavy Stereo, joined on guitar, and Andy Bell, of Ride and Hurricane #1, filled in on bass before the year was out, and a new-look logo was unveiled.
Fight in Munich
All seemed to be going well in late 2002 for Oasis. They had partially salvaged their reputation in the studio with Heathen Chemistry that year, and had embarked on a sell-out tour of Europe.
Everything came shuddering to a halt in classic Oasis style, however, when Liam, drummer Alan White and three other members of the group’s entourage were arrested after a violent brawl at a bar in Munich in December, in which Liam lost two front teeth and White was hit over the head with an ashtray. The tour was postponed, and the group had again hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.
White quit a little over a year later and was replaced, much to the derision of the band’s critics, with Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey, who filled in for Oasis’ disastrous headline performance at Glastonbury in 2004.
Don't Believe The Truth
Where 2004 had been something of an ‘annus horribilis’ for Oasis, 2005 brought redemption. Don’t Believe The Truth, their sixth studio album, received warm critical reviews and the group’s healthiest sales since their Britpop peak, and suddenly the Gallaghers were on a winning streak.
A huge, 10-month world tour to support the record passed without incident, and the group’s seventh album, Dig Out Your Soul, released in 2008, carried on the good work. It couldn’t last, however…
While nearing the end of their biggest world tour yet, an endurance-testing 18 months long, things fell apart for Oasis once more, for good this time. A week after they had cancelled a headline appearance at V Festival due to Liam’s laryngitis, tension grew between the Gallaghers that exploded in a fight backstage at the Rock en Seine festival in Paris.
Liam reportedly broke Noel’s guitar and threw it over a fence, also casting aspersions over the fatherhood of Noel’s daughter Anais. The gig was cancelled, and two hours afterwards Noel announced the end of Oasis via their website.