There are not many bands whose debut album has had the power to automatically present themselves as who they are and to cause a stir in the music industry. It might not have been The Beatles' Please Please Me or The Clash’s debut of the same name, but Definitely Maybe by Oasis was the album which summed up the mood of the 90s.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t even born when this slideshow of definitive tracks first hit the scene; I can only imagine the uproar that it caused back in the day due to the popularity it still holds for my generation.
Listening to the album as a whole, you can’t help but feel a clash of emotions; one side of you feels liberated to be able to accomplish anything that you want, whilst the other has you confusingly gripped onto the present and wondering who you are. For these reasons I believe Definitely Maybe holds something special for those who are still pondering over their identity and use Oasis as a method of losing themselves in their rhythm and forgetting about the world outside of the sound.
A lot of people claim that their favourite song by Oasis is 'Live Forever', track 3 of Definitely Maybe, which parachuted them into the mainstream music scene. Noel Gallagher was only a youngster himself when he wrote the song, where it’s clear that the lyrics of the thrills and unexpectedness of living as a teenager in the rock and roll scene was first on his mind, and this embellishes the identity of the band. It’s not difficult to connect with the lyrics of the song and the simplicity of the chord changes makes it feel as though it could continue on forever. During a period where grunge acts were the trend and bands like Nirvana were breaking in the UK and showcasing more downbeat tunes, Oasis on the other hand were giving a more optimistic outlook on life, and 'Live Forever' epitomises precisely that.
Definitely Maybe is a night out in the palm of your hands: the introductory track of 'Rock and Roll Star' is the car journey, amping up for who you are going to be for the night and what’s in store for you; 'Supersonic' is that ludicrous form of heaven where you knock the first drinks down you; the anthem of a generation is conveyed through 'Cigarettes and Alcohol', as it blasts through the speakers you dance away until the day breaks and the acoustic harmonious completion of 'Married With Children' sums up the early morning hangover. Oasis created a feel good album, but not one which has been targeted with partying in mind.
Since this record was released the music industry has changed quite a lot; no longer do we have mega bands that are given long periods of airtime, now it’s more of a collage of artists muraling around the same undercover radar who seem identical to one another. There is less of a distinctive sound out there and no one seems ready to take a risk and shake up the commercially orientated industry, to let an audience experience the way music used to be performed in the past. I’m not sure who is going to be the next British Beatles, Clash or Oasis, but I hope they're turn up soon.