On August 29, 1994, "Definitely Maybe", the debut album of "Oasis", was released.
Beyond being one of the great debut albums of the 1990s (and no doubt there were quite a few), this album has huge historical significance, as it is one of the albums that led the wave of re-emergence of English bands, whose presence דstarted to fade from on the second half of the 1980s.
It should be remembered that from the late 80s and especially the early 90s the Alternative and Grunge ruled the music world and led the musical revolution that pushed alternative and underground music into the mainstream. This process is mainly concentrated in North America, which at the time was a fertile ground that produced a series of masterpiece albums by bands that had only recently been considered outcasts in mainstream media.
The history of music in the modern age shows that the pendulum of control in the music market moves over the years between the two sides of the ocean as each time the control shifts from one side to the other. The blues that came out of America and influenced British rock bands in the 60s, the British invasion of the US that fertilizes new American rock bands, the "Beach Boys" that fed and pushed the Beatles and vice versa, and the American proto-punk that influenced the punk revolution in Britain, Heavy Metal born in England and Thrash Metal that has risen on the other side of the ocean. Whoever examines the degree of influence and control over the years will find that during the three decades from the 1960s onwards it was quite balanced, even with a slight advantage to the English market, at least in our opinion. But, in the second half of the '80s, the British were losing ground while the North American grip on the music market was intensively growing, when in the early 1990s it becomes almost complete.
Here in our humble opinion the reviewed album changed the picture and becomes one of the leaders in the resurgence of British bands. As soon as it was released, the album jumps straight to number one in the UK and becomes one of the best-selling debut albums in the United Kingdom. It shoots "Oasis" straight to the pinnacle of British Rock music as it triggers and ignites an entire country in an unparalleled hysteria that was not known since the days of "the Beatles".
But more than that, not only is this album the start of the UK revolution, but it has sold over 8 million copies worldwide and managed to penetrate the US market as well, marking the beginning of the dizzying success of "Oasis" on the other side of the ocean as well. Just for comparison, Suede's debut album, which was released about a year earlier and is considered one of the first Britpop albums, sold only 100,000 copies in the UK.
To be honest, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, and their friends did not invent the Britpop trend that conquered Britain and the world in the 90s, but they certainly succeeded where others failed. The revolution that began in the late 1980s in Manchester with "The Stone Roses" and "Inspiral Carpets" (the band which Noel Gallagher became its technician and stage worker at the age of 21), spread throughout the kingdom with debut albums by bands such as "Blur", "Manic Street Preachers" and "Suede", which despite their relative success did not break out as big as "Oasis" did with their debut album.
This British penetration that led "Oasis" into the American market in the 90s, also brought with it a change in the atmosphere and style of the music world. While the Alternative and especially Grunge were genres that mostly expressed feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, fear, and depression, the music that "Oasis" brought with it was much more optimistic both in terms of dynamics and rhythm and in terms of writing themes.
This change is illustrated even by the titles of the songs themselves. The opening song "Rock 'n' Roll Star" which became a self-fulfilling prophecy, the first single released from the album, "Supersonic" which Noel Gallagher said the time it took him to write was the time it takes to listen to it, "Shakermaker" which was the second single and even more successful than its predecessor or "Live Forever" that Influenced by the Rolling Stones' "Shine a Light", all these and others leave no room for doubt, a fresh and new spirit began to blow in the music market of the '90s, and it does not necessarily drive from sadness, anger or depression.
This rugged and direct album has created a long line of consecutive hits that have propelled "Oasis" to the top of world music. This album tops quite a few polls and lists of music ratings, including a survey of NME readers from 2006, where it was voted the best album of all time, even before "The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" which won second place.
But if we put the rankings and sales figures aside for a moment, then most of all, this album will be remembered as a revolutionary album, an album that managed to define a period and express the feelings of an entire generation of young people in the UK during the 90s.