Oasis vs. Blur
Oasis and Blur started out sharing a healthy mutual respect, but the headstrong Gallagher brothers began to resent being lumped together with the figureheads of Britpop. The beef began when Blur's Damon Albarn attended a gathering thrown in honor of Oasis' first Number One single in the U.K., "Some Might Say" in the spring of 1995. "I went to their celebration party, y'know, just to say 'Well done,'" he said at the time. "And Liam came over and, like he is, he goes, 'Number fookin' one!' right in my face. So I thought, 'OK we'll see ...'"
To ensure a charts showdown, Albarn conspired to schedule Blur's next single, "Country House" the same day Oasis was due to release their latest song, "Roll With It." The so-called "Battle of Britpop" became a cultural event, with Blur taking on the role of elitist, middle-class Londoners, while Oasis personified rough-necked working class northern Englanders.
Blur emerged victorious when "Country House" sold 274,000 copies to 216,000 for Oasis' "Roll With It," charting at Number One and Two respectively. They proved courteous winners. "The thing that most people don't understand when they read the papers is that this rivalry is all made up," Alex James insisted when the dust settled. "There's few people I'd rather drink with than Oasis."
But the Gallaghers weren't ready to play nice. "I cared, 'cause I want number ones," Liam told NME at the time. "I met Alex in the pub and said, 'Congratulations on number one – it's about fucking time, mate,' and he goes, 'Oh yeah. But both our songs were shit anyway.' And I went, 'No, this is where you're wrong. And this is why I fuckin' hate your band, and you. I thought our song was top.'" Noel was even more direct. "I hate that Alex and Damon," he spat to The Observer. "I hope they catch AIDS and die." Six months later, Oasis performed a brief cover of Blur's "Parklife" at the Brit Awards under a new title: "Shitelife."
Relations between Noel and Albarn improved in 2011, mediated by booze. "I literally haven't seen the guy for 15 fucking years and I bump into him in some club," he revealed during an interview with Shortlist. "We both went, 'Hey! Fucking hell!' and then he said, 'Come on, let's go for a beer.' So, we're sitting there, having a beer, just going, 'What the fuck was all that about 15 years ago? That was mental.' … Like I said to him, you can say that you respect someone as an artist a thousand times and it will never get reported. But you call someone a cunt once ... you know?"