On this day in 1994, Mancunian rock band Oasis released their debut album ‘Definitely Maybe’.
The band had previously put out three singles - ‘Supersonic’, ‘Shakermaker’ and ‘Live Forever’, which all appeared on the 11-track long-player - but this was to be the moment that they properly made it into the mainstream. ‘Definitely Maybe’ sold 86,000 copies in the first week of release, making it the UK’s fastest-selling debut album.
It could also be seen as the birth (or rebirth) of Britpop itself, with the term entering into the nation’s vocabulary alongside “Cool Britannia”. With their debut album coming out the week after rivals Blur released their single ‘Parklife’, it would pave the way for future rivalry between the bands and make both acts household names.
The band - Liam Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, Paul McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll - had formed as The Rain in 1991, and were joined by Liam’s brother Noel, a former Inspiral Carpets roadie and aspiring songwriter.
They were signed by Alan McGee of Creation Records following their blagging their way onto the bill at an 18 Wheeler show in Glasgow in 1993.
As well as spawning two more hit singles in ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ and ‘Rock 'n' Roll Star’, the album’s sleeve took on iconic status - detailing the band’s influences and interests, such as Manchester City footballer Rodney Marsh, Burt Bacharach (one of Noel’s favourite songwriters) and a TV showing a scene from the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
‘Definitely Maybe’ would go on to sell over 2.1 million copies in the UK and 15 million worldwide. NME ran a poll 10 years later where it was voted the best album of all time.