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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 08:17 GMT 09:17 UK
Have Oasis run dry?
Liam Gallagher
Oasis: Still adored by their fans
test hello test
Darren Waters
BBC News Online
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Oasis once stood astride the British music scene as goliaths.

Adored by the public, feted by the press they were the flag bearers for Cool Britannia and the arch-exponents of Britpop.

Noel Gallagher
Noel: Has he reached his songwriting limits?
In 1996 the band sold 18 million albums and played to more than 250,000 people over two days at a concert at Knebworth.

But six years on, and the band has crumbled to such an extent that they cannot be sure they will have a successful record with their new single The Hindu Times, out on Monday, and the forthcoming album, Heathen Chemistry.

The fan base is there but is it large enough to give them a number one hit with the new record?

'Biggest bands'

Andre Paine, news editor of the NME, says it is hard for the band to go back to those glory days.

Nicole Appleton
Nicole Appleton is Liam's latest love
"They are still one of the biggest bands around although I don't think they will quite recapture the glory of old."

But he says the band's appeal remains strong.

"There is still a desire for Oasis, they are one of those bands whose fans don't age.

"There is a whole new generation of fans.

"Their spark did dim a little. They got rich and got big houses. Maybe they lost their hunger for it."

'Crap records'

Neil McCormick, a music journalist with the Daily Telegraph, says the band are entering the same sort of area the Rolling Stones were once in.

Oasis albums
Definitely Maybe
(What's The Story) Morning Glory
Be Here Now
Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
Heathen Chemistry
He says: "People still love them; we want them to make good records but they are making crap records.

"The single is disappointing. It is not a great song.

"It sounds like they recorded it in the studio on great big speakers with everything turned up to 10.

"It sounds great in the studio but on the radio or in the car, without big speakers, it sounds mushy and light.

"It's a pity because live, at the moment, they are rocking."

'Exciting band'

In the last 10 years the exact line-up of the band has changed but there are two constants - songwriter and guitarist Noel Gallagher and his brother, lead singer Liam.

But Paine says Oasis remain one of the biggest guitar bands in the world.


He is a talented song writer, but perhaps we are seeing the limits of that talent

Neil McCormick, Daily Telegraph
"There is no one else for NME readers who quite compare still. For a lot of people they are still the most exciting band."

As the band's success grew in the 1990s, so too did the number of column inches in tabloids devoted to their lifestyles.

The music became less and less important than the tales of break-ups, punch ups and new loves.

Paine says: "They are both interesting, dynamic rock stars. They have had children, broken marriages and are tabloid creatures.

"But I don't think they have ever let that obscure what they are about."

'Fresh air'

Musical taste has also shifted since 1996, with the explosion in bands aimed at the teen market and the growth of American R&B.

Noel and Meg Mathews
Noel and Meg Mathews: Tabloid favourites before the split
McCormick denies that the disappointment over new material is because, perhaps, their importance was exaggerated when they broke onto the scene.

"They were fantastic when they arrived. They were breath of fresh air," he says.

He adds: "They had swagger and melody - at a time when melody had gone out of fashion.

"They had it all."

Paine has heard the new, fifth album and is quietly impressed.

"They seem to have a bit more purpose.

'Hope'

"Like a lot of things, at first it sounds a bit cliched and ripped off but after a few listens it is hard to get the songs out of your head.

"They have definitely still got something."

McCormick says he hopes the single was an aberration and that the album would be everything people hoped for.

"It's interesting that we do have so much hope for them. They were the last great British rock group.

"But Noel needs to recover his spark.

"The problem is that they don't have enough creative people in the group.

'Talented'

"Noel is in the role of both Lennon and McCartney and frankly he needs a Lennon or a McCartney to help him.

"He is a talented song writer, but perhaps we are seeing the limits of that talent."

Both Paine and McCormick agree the band can still walk the walk and swagger the swagger as rock and roll figures.

But there are plenty of fingers crossed among fans, hoping that they are still a creative force.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Andre Paine, NME
"Oasis are still one of the biggest bands around"
Oasis
"Hear a clip from The Hindu Times"
See also:

15 Apr 02 | Reviews
Oasis return in defiant mood
07 Feb 02 | Music
Oasis perform charity gig
01 Mar 02 | Music
New Oasis song leaked
18 Aug 01 | Music
Oasis tickets snapped up
03 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Baby Gene for Liam and Nicole
06 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Noel follows Liam's lead again
25 May 01 | Music
Oasis star wins Mirror damages
24 Sep 00 | Entertainment
All over for Liam and Patsy
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