Oasis
Definitely Maybe


5.0
classic

Review

by Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (139 Reviews)
January 1st, 2014 | 31 replies | 1,855 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You and I are gonna live forever…

Oasis burst onto the scene with Definitely Maybe in 1994 with all the confidence of a band that had been dominating British rock ‘n’ roll for years. They had perhaps the two most arrogantly assured frontmen in pop history with brothers Noel and Liam; the former writing the lyrics, the latter doing most of the singing and generally portraying all the clichés of a ‘rock star’ in his public behaviour. They emerged from a Manchester scene that had begun to dry up after the Happy Mondays had bummed out and the Stone Roses failed amongst personal and legal troubles to release a second LP quick enough to enable ‘Madchester’ to flourish for any longer. Oasis, or The Rain as they were previously, were dithering Stone Roses wannabes before the elder Gallagher joined and soon became ringleader, whipping the lads into shape with his experience and wealth of songs built up from his time working as a roadie for Inspiral Carpets.

Their practice sessions and extensive touring became regimented and Oasis quickly began gathering a fan base with their powerful live shows featuring walls of guitar noise cranked to 11 and an unforgettable front man. They eventually captured the attention of Alan McGee who signed the boys to Creation Records, sent them to record their debut, and the second attempt at such an endeavour led to Definitely Maybe. The album roars out from the speakers with massive walls of guitars demolishing anything in its way including the bass and drums, a production choice which works well for the band’s sound. ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ could not be a more appropriate opener, with cannonballing guitars and the sneering vocals of a working class lout believing his dream of becoming a rock star, at least for a night. In many ways it encapsulates all the best of Oasis – cocksure attitude, life affirming urban lyrics and massive guitars. ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ works in much the same way, with its pilfered T-Rex riff and wonderfully snotty vocals about succumbing to intoxication because there is apparently little else worth doing if your life is centred around finding a life-sapping dead end job. It is utter confidence, and if Liam’s vocals do not sweep you up then its punk-does-glam-rock fizz and walls of guitar surely will.

The much derided point of Noel Gallagher’s ‘borrowing’ of riffs and ideas, to put it politely, is certainly a tangible claim, yet it only ends up making Oasis a sharper and more instantly powerful band. For example, if Noel never decided to twist ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ into the lyrically demented rock ‘n’ roll funfair of ‘ShakerMaker’ then a great song would be denied the right to life due to some skewed vision of how rock and pop works. Each generation of musicians is inspired by and takes things from the past, it is how music pushes ever forward, and no one knows this better than Noel Gallagher; his band may be Beatles rip-offs but what pop group isn’t in some derivative way or another? Oasis wear the badge of British rock history proudly and cockily shrug off any criticisms with titanium-clad rock songs that captured a mass audience’s attention and ensured they wouldn’t be forgotten soon.

The likes of ‘Live Forever’ and ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ instantly became written into the British pop psyche because the lyrics connected with the listeners lives and the music was unforgiving. 20 years on the album still sounds powerful and timeless – such are the benefits of ruthlessly plucking the best bits from many great British bands such as the Sex Pistols, Rolling Stones, Slade, The Smiths, and of course, The Beatles. ‘Live Forever’ is still as life-affirming and lush as it was in 1994; ‘Supersonic’ and ‘ShakerMaker’ are still nonsensically fun; ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ and ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ still fire up drunken northern dance floors with their rollicking guitars; and ‘Slide Away’ is still a soaring gem. Definitely Maybe is Oasis at their best: raw rock and roll power, life affirming lyrics, and perhaps for the first and last time in their career, not a single duff track, even if the comical outtake ‘Digsy’s Dinner’ or the slightly less memorable ‘Bring It On Down’ don’t shine quite as bright because the tracks that surround them are so colossal in sound and impact – so they were in 1994, so they still are today.



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user ratings (994)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 1st 2014



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm gonna be reviewing the Oasis discography, seems like a good time to do so with it being 20 years
since their debut.

Feedback welcome : )

zakalwe
January 1st 2014



4796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

20 years! Weep.
Good review dude but I'm sure I've seen it somewhere before.

Digging: Giant Sand - Ramp

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 1st 2014



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks but i wrote the review the other day and posted it here and nowhere else so i'm pretty sure it's mine!

zakalwe
January 1st 2014



4796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Apologies it was the fact that this is coming up to it's 20th anniversary that put me into a déjà vu time warp. Jesus time flies and I feel old. Never known a band to have had such a massive impact in Britain.
Best days of our lives.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 1st 2014



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No problem : ) I was very young when Oasis where at their peak but it's obvious how much of an impact they have given i hear their songs still played and adored when i go out to pubs/clubs.

Crawl
January 1st 2014



1377 Comments


Sweet, another full discography! I liked your Cure and Bowie reviews. Can't wait for your review of Morning Glory.

Digging: Manchester Orchestra - Cope

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 1st 2014



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks man, i've got the Morning Glory one written already, will drop it in a day or 2 once this
review's had a little airtime : )

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 1st 2014



5609 Comments


Kudos Tom for doing the whole Oasis discog, although I'm a die-hard metalhead for the most part, I've always been wondering what albums to check from this band.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 1st 2014



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is their best imo, its follow-up is a close contender and was massively successful but this
is Oasis at their prime - the most consistent, vital and enduring thing they did.

Ryus
January 1st 2014



1371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've always felt that Oasis is nothing very unique or special, just a very good rock band who can bang out some awesome tunes. This is their best though

Gyromania
January 1st 2014



14631 Comments


haven't heard this one. might check it out

DrHouseSchuldiner
January 1st 2014



5605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Their best,band is so dam overrated tho

WarmInTheWinter
January 1st 2014



78 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Meh, I had to neg. You're a good writer, but I can't help but disagree with your view on Oasis' "borrowing". Yes, every musician is influenced by others, but they still offer variety. Their not necessarily inspired by the past songs themselves but the way in which they're written. That's my problem with Oasis. They don't just sound like older music, they're literally playing older music (For the most part. They have some good material). It's just blatant theft and I think they deserve every lawsuit and criticism that came with it.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 1st 2014



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You're supposed to neg for a lack of writing quality, not based on your opinion of the album itself - that's what the rating system is for :-/

Gyromania
January 1st 2014



14631 Comments


blatant theft? lol that's a little elitist and just generally a very weird criticism. there are a lot of bands that sound very much like their contemporaries, or lift liberally from the past, what of it? most of the stuff we love today is indebted to the past. moreover, you realize you just said you voted that this review was poorly written because you disagree with his view, right?

Gyromania
January 1st 2014



14631 Comments


You're supposed to neg for a lack of writing quality, not based on your opinion of the album itself - that's what the rating system is for :-/

i wouldn't take a neg seriously if the person negging is doing so because they can't stand divergent opinions

BigPleb
January 1st 2014



28208 Comments


Hard 5.

tommygun
January 1st 2014



21345 Comments


yay a new major tom discog

pos ofc

Futures
January 1st 2014



3303 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I need to check this out because Morning Glory rules.

Digging: Jimmy Eat World - Static Prevails

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 1st 2014



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks tommygun



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