on 5 September 2006
Once every so often, a debut album comes along that is so self-assured, so complete in its own self-belief that it takes you along with it. It doesn't even need to be the most accomplished or the most profound.
"Definitely Maybe" sounds like it's very good and it knows it.
From the opening noise of "Rock And Roll Star", it's not shy. Here we discovered the best rock and roll vocalist for a generation and his brother who had an instinctive songwriting ability.
Never mind the short-fall of the others. The drumming is rudimentary, the bass is buried and the rhytmn guitar is workmanlike. But that doesn't seem to matter. They all fall into line behind the force of the songs.
"Live Forever" is brash and emotive and beautiful and definite. "Supersonic" is all arrogant swagger and attitude and sounds perfect. "Bring It On Down" is corrosive punk which works despite some of the worst drumming on a great album ever to have happened. "Slide Away" is stunning and moving. Yeah alright "Digsy's Dinner" is just ok and "Married With Children" might not cut the mustard but they're not bad enough to detract from the quality of this album.
A statement of intent that still sounds essential.
If you ask me, this is the first time I have felt that it might be worth buying an album DVD equivalent. The Definitely Maybe DVD includes, of course, all the songs, including videos and live performances of each song. The chances are you already own the album itself, so it's the visuals and the live performances you'll be interested in. And both are definitely worth while, although possibly not particularly in the long term - depends what sort of fan you are.
And if you are the sort of fan I am, then that may not be why you got this DVD at all - the key to Oasis (as many fans will know) is the combination between the music and the men. And in the interviews on this DVD, the men are in fine form. They are full of anecdotes, as you would be in recalling one of the most pivotal events in your life (and in modern music history). The brilliant stories of the recording studio on an island, which meant the lads had to leave the pub early to avoid being cut off, and tales of drug-stealing, tractor driving shenanigans with the Stone Roses are joyous, and hilarious, and will catch you up in the magic of the beginnings of Brit Pop. So will the stories from the technicians - dealing with Liam Gallagher for the first time, or pushing the volume up to the max so that Definitely Maybe was the loudest album on the juke box for the year after its release.
And for anyone that doesn't own the album, then remember that this is the classic oasis - raw, swaggering and brilliant. From the ripped off intros to Shakermaker and Cigarrettes and Alcohol to the wonderful solos and sweeping melodies of Live Forever and Slide Away, to the minimalist brilliance of Married With Children and Sad Song, this is a superb, superb album.
on 19 September 2004
10 years has certainly gone quick hasn't it eh? And how better to celebrate it than with a DVD release of the best album of that particular year.
When you pop Disc 1 into your DVD player the album starts playing straightaway.
You now have the interactive options at your fingertips.
All you have to decide is whether to push "UP", "DOWN", "LEFT" or "RIGHT" on your DVD remote.
You will then be treated to either documentary, live or video for that particular track.
Or if you want press "MENU" and you can choose what to view individually.
Also for certain videos you can select "ANGLE", and be treated to another version (promo).
If I may suggest something, I would put the disc in and press "UP" and watch the "documentary" all the way through. (much easier, and flows better.
"Disc Two" involves a number of featurettes, but can be viewed continuously if need be.
I loved this DVD as you can listen to the album as a kind of Bootleg album as well if you so wished.
Anyway here is the tracklisting if you're interested.
1. Rock 'N' Roll Star (from 'Top Of The Pops', September 1994)
2. Shakermaker from ('Naked City', June 1994)
3. Live Forever (from Glastonbury, June 1994)
4. Up In The Sky (from Chicago Metro, October 1994)
5. Columbia (from Hammersmith Palais, December 1994)
6. Supersonic (from 'The Word', March 1994)
7. Bring It On Down (from Gleneagles, February 1994)
8. Cigarettes And Alcohol (from Southampton Guildhall, November 1994)
9. Digsy's Dinner (from Buckley Tivoli, August 1994)
10. Slide Away (from New York Wetlands, July 1994)
11. Married With Children (from Los Angeles Whiskey A Go Go, September 1994)
12. Sad Song (from 'Later With Jools Holland', December 1994)
The featurettes on the second disc could have been longer but this is not the story of oasis after all, just their debut album. The main interviewee here is Noel, in fact Liam is not on here that much but he only grunts when asked questions anyway. His singing is what he does best anyway.
The group re-visit the shoot where Definitely Maybe was photographed, the booklet is nice work as is the sleeve.
A must for all Oasis fans.
on 25 July 2003
This album is one of the greatest albums produced by a British band ever. Right from the opening of the glorious Rock n' Roll star you will be hooked right until the final strum of the Beatle-esque acoustic strummer Married with Children. For pure attitude and rock and roll it cannot be beaten.
It sticks two fingers right up in the air at any other rock n roll band at the moment, buy this album, if you do your life will be better. *****
on 10 August 2000
Rarely do we come across albums of perfect splendour. We all know Definitely Maybe is one of the all time finest so what do we think when we get the opportunity to obtain a track which is not available on any B-side ? We jump on it. For me Sad Song is a glimpse into one of Noel Gallagher's finest musical moments. It's got everything in it that we know and want from him, including the familiar descending bass line that turns a classic song into an Oasis classic song. Why Sad Song has been hidden from us I'll never know...it's a 'Live By The Sea' exclusive. The other extra track 'Cloudburst' stands alongside The Stone Roses 'Standing Here' as a top notch B-side track...spot the difference between the two ?
on 19 July 2004
It is hard to believe that Definitely Maybe could be anyone's debut album when one considers the greatness and relevance of almost all of the songs. From the classic opener of 'Rock N Roll Star' to the elegant 'Live Forever', from the hard rock of 'Columbia' to the acoustic delight that is 'Married With Children', Definitely Maybe has something for everyone.
Taken as one complete 50 minute album, all tracks effortlessly create pictures in the listener's mind of what life was like back in the early 1990s in John Major's Tory Government. 'Cigarettes And Alcohol' is perhaps the defining moment in Oasis' fledgling career: if Noel could write something that good at such a relatively young [and inexperienced] age then it was a joy to imagine what kind of songs he could writing in 10 years time...
Unfortunately, Noel has since lost his creative edge but these timeless tunes on Defintely Maybe will be around ever and with the exception of 'Digsys Dinner' are rightly hailed as classics!
on 3 October 2003
We salute you Noel and R Kid! An album which not only gets you hooked an the phnemonen that is Oasis but gives you a taste of what the Manchester brothers will produce in the future. The finest Rock n Roll debut ever, Fact!!
on 13 April 2003
This album is one of the most fantastic collection of rock'n'roll songs ever.
From the first guitars of the up-beat Rock'n'Roll Star to the last verse of the ballad Married With Children you will find the best music Oasis have recorded so far. The songwriting is brilliant, the vocals are astonishing, the energy transmited by the music is incredible.
The highlights of the album are Live Forever, an anthem that will indeed be remembered forever, for it's beautiful melody and simple but harmonious lyrics, Columbia, a classic rock song, which nine years after the release of this album appeared in a single (live version), and Slide Away, a song in which the two Gallagher brothers' talents, Liam's vocals and Noel's guitar
on 4 February 2007
In 1995 most of the critics took the stance that the softer ('more mature') Morning Glory was superior to this album. I think the years have shown that it isn't. This, their debut, is absolutely spectacular. Every song is fantasic - desperate, agressive, raw and animal. Morning Glory has a few moments of non-brilliance. This one doesn't.
on 25 April 2010
It is actually quite difficult to define exactly why I like Definitely Maybe so much. There's nothing particularly innovative about its music. Although I emphasise the importance of quality lyricism, many of the lyrics on here are nonsensical, or reference aspects of life such as drug usage which I have no relation to. Yet somehow, Oasis' debut is so much more than the sum of its parts. Disregarding any objective analysis, the most important aspect of music is how it makes you feel. The songs on Definitely Maybe are probably the most uplifting I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Let's take, for instance, debut single Supersonic. Its lyrics are ridiculous, but anybody who can listen to its chorus without wanting to punch the air is quite evidently dead inside.
This is not to say that the album's lyrics are entirely vacuous. Perhaps as a reaction to the misery of the 80's and the grunge scene of the early 90's, many of the statements made on this album are extremely poignant in reminding us why it's good to be alive. "In my mind, my dreams are real," cries Liam Gallagher on opener Rock 'n' Roll Star. It's the sound of five working-class young men who had nothing, and yet felt they had every reason to get up in the morning. "You and I are going to live forever," is a bold statement to make, yet it is sung so convincingly here you think they genuinely believe they will.
The album was written entirely by Gallagher Senior (Noel) and is the only Oasis record on which every song is sung by Liam. The talent of both brothers shines throughout. Take Slide Away, one of the most powerful yet tender love songs ever written. Noel managers to encapsulate not just the joy of love, but the feelings of uncertainty and utter helplessness that come with it. It's made all the more incredible by Liam's brilliant vocal performance, singing with such emotion one knows he believed every word. There's also the rock and roll anthems Bring it on Down and Cigarettes & Alcohol, the underrated Digsy's Dinner and the gentle acoustic Married With Children which puts a final cherry on the end of an exceptional collection of songs.
Oasis would frequently be criticised in the years which followed for failing to make an album of the standard of Definitely Maybe (although they came close with follow up ...Morning Glory). As the ever self-confident Noel Gallagher would later comment, they hadn't managed to better their debut but nor had anybody else. It sounds like an arrogant statement, but it's completely true. This is undoubtedly one of the finest albums ever produced. It's the sort of album that makes life worth living. It is, of course, "Just rock and roll," as Liam snarls on the opening track. But when a record makes you feel like this, it really is so much more.