Oasis Exhibit to Open Alongside Their 'Definitely, Maybe' Re-release, Despite Gallagher Bros' Attitude
If you've ever been around a male aged 18-35 in possession of an acoustic guitar, chances are you've heard (slash, still know all the words to) Oasis's "Wonderwall." Of course, that ubiquitous group-sing anthem is but one of the band's many standouts in a career that spanned 18 years and eight albums — a career we're bound to be hearing a lot (like, a lot) about in the coming months: Plans have been announced to re-release Oasis's first three albums — (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Be Here Now, and their debut Definitely, Maybe — sometime later this year, with a confirmed date for Definitely, Maybe on May 19th. The reissues promise to be rife with megafan fodder; this upcoming release alone boasts behind the scenes rehearsal footage, acoustic tracks, and a copy of the band's original demo tape. And, to top it all off, today The Guardian announced that an Oasis-centric exhibition, titled "Chasing the Sun: Oasis 1993-1997," will open on April 11th at the Londonewcastle Project Space in Shoreditch, featuring rare photographs and memorabilia from the era these three albums were recorded.
While there's no question that Definitely, Maybe deserves plenty of accolades — a 7x platinum chart-topper, it was named one of Rolling Stone 's "100 Greatest Debut Albums of All Time" and remains a landmark in 90s British-boy sound — the extent of the upcoming Oasis fanfare still remains questionable. Sure, the exhibit is opening on the 20th anniversary to the day of the band's first single release, "Supersonic," and who doesn't love a good milestone — but the fact remains that, guys, it's only been 20 years. Having a retrospective exhibition for a band that was still touring in 2009 seems a little hasty, if not absurd (perhaps absurdly hasty?). No matter how much you love Oasis, the immediacy of their active-to-ancient-history turnaround has got to make you roll your eyes just a little at the ever inward-spiraling nature of our comically short cultural attention span, in which we can, say, talk about "vintage Miley Cyrus" or celebrate The Spice Girls as "retro."
More important, perhaps, is the fact that the former band members don't seem particularly invested in any of this — and in fact, ever-ornery lead singer Liam Gallagher appears to be actively opposed. As he recently all-caps ranted on Twitter:
He also took time to poke fun at the very idea of "behind the scenes, in-depth history"-type materials, sharing one of the less savory pieces of founding bandmate Paul "Bonehead" Arthur's past:
"I’m proud of everything that we ever did. I mean, some songs are pretty shit, and there’s a couple of periods you’d rather forget, but I think on the whole… I think we made three great albums and four good ones, which is not bad out of eight. Kind of a 50 percent record. That’s pretty good, I think."
Pretty good indeed. And despite Liam's anti-reissue guff, he did drop a subtle hint at his own brand of reverence a few days earlier, tweeting some lyrics from "Supersonic":
... the implication being (dare I attempt to parse) that rock 'n' roll may be dead now, but back in 1994, it was alive and kicking and most definitely on Definitely, Maybe.
So, in the midst of all this celebratory brouhaha, will the group be getting back together at all to promote their "pretty good" career? According to Noel, that's going to be a firm no:
"It’s like, if you’ve seen [Oasis], then good for you. If you didn’t, then that’s fucking tough shit. I’ve never seen the Beatles. So there you go."
Hey, I mean, it could be much worse: Damon Albarn, frontman of Oasis's infamous rival band Blur, went on Kimmel last night to promote the latest single off his forthcoming solo LP: "Mr. Tembo," a jangly, ukulele-infused smooth-jam about a baby elephant the singer met while in Tanzania that makes Phil Collins's Tarzan soundtrack seem edgy. So we can all rest assured, whatever the Gallagher brothers may be up to these days, at least it's not that.