REWIND: As Definitely Maybe turns 24, JOE looks back at a definite classic 5 years ago

REWIND: As Definitely Maybe turns 24, JOE looks back at a definite classic

Definitely classic.

Since the release of their debut album in August 1994, Oasis have had an inescapable influence on modern culture.


Oasis have undergone over twenty years of tumult, line-up shuffles and fraternal fisticuffs in the public eye. Meanwhile, the whole process has been punctuated by some of the finest songs of the past two decades.

Oasis are the quintessential English rock and roll band. Rebellious, harsh, working-class musicians committed to little else in life besides the music. Definitely Maybe is how they introduced themselves to the world, and what an introduction it was.

The album was written against a backdrop of a world consumed by grunge. Noel Gallagher, the band's chief lyricist and notably more stable Gallagher brother, explicitly said that he 'wasn't having' the suicidal themes of grunge, and that kids deserved more positive music to listen to.

It was from this attitude, tinged with Northern grit and a deep love for music that had seemingly had its day, that one of the most important albums of the last 30 years was born.


Here are our five favourite tracks.

5) Married With Children

Clip via OasisVEVO


'Married With Children' is the most stripped back track on the album but is possibly Liam’s finest vocal moment on the whole record. The album's closer proved Oasis had gears, that they didn’t have to rely solely on wailing psychedelic gee-tar solos and vocal histrionics to make an emotional connection with the listener.

It was sober, thoughtful, minimalistic – quite un-Oasis and unexpected. Still brilliant.

4) Supersonic


Clip via OasisVEVO

As far as subjective appreciation of music goes, there is no way to reason that Oasis are superior to Blur or vice versa.

When it comes to measuring influence, there is no debate to be had at all. No Oasis means no Kasabian, no The Kooks, no Arctic Monkeys. With one single, Oasis set the pace for the following decades of British rock music and that single was 'Supersonic'.

3) Cigarettes & Alcohol


Clip via Oasis

Lyrically, Oasis never spent much time messing about. Achieving stardom and shirking his working class upbringing was very much on Noel Gallagher's mind when he was writing Definitely Maybe, and the glamorous indie rock 'n roll of 'Cigarettes & Alcohol' perfectly captured what Oasis were trying to be.

Drug-using, boozing guitar players whose riffs would have made a lot more sense on a T. Rex track than during the advent of grunge.

This song also features a pronunciation of 'Sunshine' so iconic that it provided Soccer AM with 30% of their jokes for about 15 years.

2) Slide Away

Clip via OasisVEVO

'Slide Away' is the album's penultimate track and perhaps the most 'Oasis' song ever written. Echoes of the six-minute belter could be heard years later on singles like 'Little By Little' and 'Let There Be Love'. Liam's plea of 'Let me be the one' while the music takes a turn for the minor is a historic moment of rock and roll melancholy.

'Slide Away' strongly suggested that Oasis were destined to be a band with a legacy, and boy did destiny deliver.

1) Live Forever

Clip via Oasis

John Lennon was 24 when he wrote 'In My Life', one of The Beatles' most poignant and powerful songs. Noel Gallagher is surely proud that he achieved something similar with 'Live Forever'. As the third track on the album, 'Live Forever' followed the classic rock bluster of the first two songs with something more contemplative.

The lyrics loop over and over and the song ends with Liam ditching the falsetto to half-mumble, half-howl 'Gonna live forever' before Noel closes the track with a bluesy riff. Guitarist Paul Arthurs says that the song has no definite resolve, that it feels like it can go on forever, reflecting the aspirations of immortality expressed in the lyrics.

Music executive Alan McGee describes Noel Gallagher's first performance of 'Live Forever' to the group as "probably the single greatest moment I've ever experienced with them."

And God knows there must have been a fair few of those.