international news ~ re-released vinyl, 90's nostalgia & the never ending magnitude of five lads from burnage

Yesterday, for the first time in five years (has it only been five years? Feels longer!) Manchester rock band Oasis's official online presence was resurrected for news beyond the feuding Gallagher brothers individual projects. No, no. This was more than Beady Eye's or High Flying Birds. This was the real thing and leading with only a picture of former bassist and cult hero Guigsy beside the almighty Noel with the words; '26th February, 9am' above them. You may remember Liam's Beady Eye implored similar tactics when announcing their Festival slots last year, playing on the words of their most recent record, 'Where will you BE?'. Some might say this was a genius piece of advertising, of which Oasis simply wanted to pay homage too. Could it really be true? Could the original Oasis line-up ever really grace the stages of the world to blow away a brand new generation? In our hearts, Oasis fanatics (myself included) are deliriously optimistic. When you immerse yourself in a musical history of 'living life in the sunshine(eeeeee)' and all the love and hope that is wrapped within this carefree attitude, you can't help but religiously cling to any hope that one day Noel and Liam will see sense and take on the world one last time. At times though, we must put our hearts to one side and look at the facts. 9am came and went. The obligatory website crash went off as expected and XFM radio hyped up the pressure more with their talks of 'their biggest announcement in years', which it was, but only because there has been literally nothing to announce since 2009. Then, finally, the moment arrived. Twenty years on from the release of Oasis's debut album 'Definitely Maybe' the band are to re-release this, along with it's three Brit-pop successor's, ('What's The Story (Morning Glory)?' and 'Be Here Now') on remastered vinyl, complete with live tracks, unreleased b-sides and covers from their respected periods. A nation sighs. There were rumors of Glastonbury and/or a reunion show in Manchester. Yet, it was not to be. The question on the minds of every Manc-loving, parka wearing, 90's consumed music affection-ado is, can it ever happen? Simply put, yes it can. None of the original band members have gone the way of the dodo and all five remained, in some capacity, involved with music. Where are they now though? And would they ever do it?

  • Tony McCarroll - The original Oasis drummer was famously described by Noel as being 'not very good' and as a result it was reported that Noel played all the drums on Definitely Maybe as Tony struggled to master them in the recording process. (Noel gaining drumming experience of course through his time with the Inspiral Carpets) Tony is, however, well loved by the Oasis fan base and wrote himself into the musical history books when he agreed to be the member of the band buried alive in the 'Live Forever' music video. Later, this would prove eerily symbolic, as Tony was the first member of the band to be sacked, right before the recording of 'What's The Story'. A founding member of Oasis's original carnation as The Rain, he later wrote a book called 'The Truth: My Life As Oasis's Drummer' and has been seen drumming for various underground bands in Manchester since. His last gig with the band? Performing 'Some Might Say' on Top Of The Pops.  
  • Would he be open to a reunion? - Yes, but only if he was on good terms with Noel again. After a few bust-up's on the road involving Creation legend Alan McGee, £1,000 pounds worth of unpaid dues and Noel's old trick of forgetting his long term mate's name in interviews, there may be one too many bridges burnt between Oasis and Tony McCarroll.

  • Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan - Famously shy, the unassuming bassist liked to simply keep his head down and get on with his job. Again, Noel took charge of the other half of Oasis's rhythm section aswell back in 1994, recording all of 'Definitely Maybe's bass lines himself. Unlike McCarroll, this never seemed to bother the indifferent Guigsy, who was simply happy to be along for the ride. The founding bass player remained with the band through the Brit-pop years and, arguably their best three albums, leaving in 1999 due to 'stress'. Things apparently broke down between himself and the band when he stopped responding to Noel's phonecalls, the breakdown in communication signalling the end of an era. Guigsy will always have his place in Oasis history as he was the one who asked Liam to join The Rain after previous frontman Chris Hutton threw the towel in, thus setting in motion the chain of events that would lead to one of the greatest bands in the world. 
  • Would he be up to a reunion? - Yes, particularly because Noel never held it against him when he stopped returning his phonecalls in 1999. Last known to be DJing around the clubs and pubs of Manchester, the lifelong Man City fan may relish another chance to take on the world again.

  • Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs - The eccentric rhythm guitarist gave Oasis their driving, full anthemic sound. Songs like 'Columbia' and 'Underneath The Sky' were only able to flourish and grow through Arthurs loud and powerful grounding. Through his classic Epiphone's sweet tones and down to earth persona, 'Bone' was the living embodiment of the working class rockstar and loved by band and audience alike. The subject of What's The Story's gloriously drunken vinyl bonus track, 'Bonehead's Bank Holiday', (where he travels to Spain for a holiday, meets a girl called 'Avaline' (cheeky!) and finally reaches the conclusion that he should have just stayed in England) the Manc legend also plays piano on 'Don't Look Back In Anger' and pretended to play Cello in the assembled orchestra for a Top Of The Pops performance of 'Whatever'.
  •  Would he be up for a reunion? - Perhaps, but it may take some convincing. Bonehead has since continued his musical adventures in some style, firstly through the band Parlour Flames and currently with singer songwriter Alex Lipinski as 'The Phoney's and The Freaks', an act getting more and more popular with each new release. Add to that the excitement surrounding his young son's band 'The Croon's and Bonehead may decide he has too much on his plate to relive the glory years.

  • Liam Gallagher - The voice and sneer of a generation, Liam has a claim to being one of the greatest fronmen of all time. With his carefree stance, trademark parkas and undeniable charisma, every teenager in the 1990's wanted to be him and twenty years on, this is still the case. His aggressive stage presence, no nonsense attitude and at times, moving and fragile vocals gave Oasis the edge to back up Noel's poetic verse and stadium shaking anthems. Without Liam, there couldn't have been an Oasis and thankfully, Noel knew that. He wrote 'Songbird' in 2002 for his then fiance Nicole Appleton, a rare glimpse at the delicate soul beneath the bravado.
  • Would he be up for a reunion? - He's already said that he would be bang up for it and even went as far to suggest 2015 (the anniversary of "Whats The Story...") may be the right time, as him and his brother will both 'have grown up a bit" by then. Not one for hanging around, the frontman immediately formed Beady Eye in the wake of Oasis's split and has enjoyed moderate success through the release of   'Different Gear, Still Speeding' and it's follow up 'BE', former Oasis members Andy Bell and Gem Archer also siding with the younger Gallagher and joining his band. With a soulful, psychedelic vibe, Beady Eye is arguably where Oasis were heading around the 'Dig Out Your Soul' final phases of the band, but without Noel's masterclass behind the project, Beady Eye can never be Oasis. Liam seems to know that. Not even his clothing line, 'Pretty Green' would be likely to distract him from an Oasis reunion.

  • Noel Gallagher - Simply put, Noel is almost certainly the greatest songwriter of his generation. Is he the greatest songwriter of all time? In this journalists humble opinion, yes he is. And then some. Away from the mainstream success of the Wonderwall's of this world (a beautiful song, tainted by it's own brilliance, as millions of aspiring songwriters rattle out the chords at every opportunity) you have the Carpe Diem grit of 'Supersonic', the tear educing brilliance of 'Champagne Supernova' and the sheer brilliance of 'Whatever', a piece of classical music molded into the perfect Brit-pop song. These are simply three examples, of which millions could be given. His balance between introspective wisdom and piledriving energy has and will continue to capture generations for years to come. Through Noel's words and Liam's attitude, Oasis will Live Forever.
  • Will he be up for a reunion? - You have to believe he will be. Though still revered and indeed worshiped on tour with his High Flying Birds, Noel knows that the people still want Oasis and deep down, he will too. He's simply enjoying being his own boss for a while and after twenty years of being in a band with Liam Gallagher, you can understand why. Noel knows that the power is in his hands and as such, is in no rush. This is a rare time in his life where he can relax, enjoy playing when and where he feels like playing and not have the financial burden of trying to make sure the next album doesn't flop.Noel may take a few more years out first, but you can be assured of this. When the Chief decides to get the old gang back together, it will happen.

'Because we need eachother, we believe in one another and I know we're going to uncover, what's sleeping in our souls"
- "Acquiesce" 

So in the meantime, buy Definitely Maybe on vinyl, crank it up loud and celebrate one of the greatest rock and roll records of all time. They'll be back soon enough and when they are, you'll have to make sure you know every lyric.

Taylor Johnson.

(Left to Right - Tony McCarroll, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Paul 'Guigsy McGuigan, Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs - 1994)

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