Given how radically different British popular culture was 20 years ago, it’s difficult to comprehend the impact Oasis had, unless you were around to experience it.
At their 1997 commercial peak, the Manchester five-piece released their third album Be Here Now, which sold an astonishing 696,000 copies in its first week of release. For comparison, the biggest-selling album in the UK during 2013, One Direction’s Midnight Memories, sold 20,000 fewer copies than that all year.
The band’s original guitarist, Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, left the banduring the recording of their fourth album, seemingly burned out by their hedonistic success, in order to dedicate his time to his family. He doesn’t regret the decision, he says.
“I wouldn’t say I missed it,” he says. “It’s hard to explain. Leaving the band wasn’t a decision I came to overnight, I thought about it for ages. I was Oasis and Oasis was me when I was in that band. It was everything to me, I lived and breathed it.”
The beginning most people know about, however, came in 1994, with the debut album that really put Oasis on the map, Definitely Maybe.
It turns 20 this year, and it’s been digitally remastered and repackaged ready for re-release.
Bonehead heard about the plan to reissue the album around Christmas time. Unsurprisingly, for someone known for his enthusiasm about the band’s legacy, he was extremely excited at the news.
“As soon as the remastered tapes arrived at my house, I sat down and went through them,” he says. “It was probably the first time in years that I’d listened to the album from start to finish, and it really brought tons of memories and feelings back.”
As well as the remastered 11-track record, the deluxe 3-CD version of the album comes with assorted rarities.