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Oasis' "Definitely Maybe" Turns 15 as Fans Mourn Gallaghers' Split

August 31, 2009 5:47 PM ET

For a band with a strange, sordid and downright volatile history like Oasis, it's only fitting that we're mourning the exit of Noel Gallagher the same weekend we were celebrating the 15th anniversary of the band's debut album Definitely Maybe. Hyped by some excited fans upon release as the second coming of the Beatles and packed with anthems like "Live Forever," "Supersonic" and "Rock 'n' Roll Star," Definitely Maybe was released on August 30th, 1994 and was instantly hailed a classic of the Britpop era.

Check out backstage and live shots from Oasis recent U.S. tour.

To this day, the British press still mentions Definitely Maybe in the same sentence as albums like The Queen is Dead and the Beatles' masterpieces. While the Manchester rockers' debut never had the same impact in the States as it had in their home country — Definitely debuted atop the British charts and became the country's fastest-selling first album ever, but only mustered a peak of Number 58 in the U.S. — it did open the door for its critically acclaimed follow-up, (What's The Story) Morning Glory?, an LP that placed on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

"Not since the Smiths has an Anglo act shaken significant Stateside action. And that's a shame," Rolling Stone wrote in our 1994 review of Definitely Maybe. "Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher - whom the U.K. press, pissing off hippies, has compared to Lennon (a fate that, American style, befell Cobain) - has God-given cool. And with his brother Noel supplying him with sumptuous rockers (their echoing production recalls the Beatles' Revolver), it's easy to see why this quintet is next year's model. Heavier on guitar than Blur or Suede, they're the simpler, catchier outfit."

Check some more Definitely Maybe videos below:

"Live Forever"

"Rock 'n' Roll Star"

"Cigarettes & Alcohol"

Related Stories:
Noel Gallagher Quits Oasis With "Great Relief"
Q&A: Liam Gallagher on Discovering the Beatles and the Death of the Rock Star
1996 Cover: Ruling Asses

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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