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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Oasis still favourite with fans
Noel and Liam Gallagher
Despite rows the Gallaghers have stayed together
Rock group Oasis have managed to combat rumours that they might be out of favour by returning to the top of the UK charts after an absence of almost two years.

Although 21 months may not seem like a long time, in the fickle world of pop it can be a lifetime as tastes change and fans move on to the next best thing.

The band's last single, Sunday Morning Call - taken from the largely forgettable Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, peaked at number four in 2000.

The Gallagher brothers took time away from the music spotlight to spend time on their personal lives; babies, divorces and new relationships.

Noel Gallagher and Meg Matthews
Noel has put his doomed marriage to Meg Matthew behind him
And a scuffle at London's trendy Metropolitan bar ensured fans knew Liam Gallagher had not matured too much.

It also got the band some much needed tabloid coverage. There have been mixed reviews for the single, The Hindu Times.

There had also been fears that a leak of the band's forthcoming album Heathen Chemistry onto the internet would affect sales of the single.

The record company is promising action against illegal downloads, but Liam Gallagher is not worried.


"I haven't actually heard the downloaded version...apparently it doesn't sound much cop anyway but you can get an idea of the songs," he told BBC Radio 1.

"It doesn't bother me, do you know what I mean, it's like you can't stop that interest in the band. It's music, man.

"I'm not saying it should be free or anything, but we are certainly not getting to the levels that the Manic Street Preachers do and start going round to people's houses and saying 'can we have our music back?' - I think that's just pathetic."

Noel Gallagher
The band performed a successful stadium tour in 2000
Oasis have now notched up six number one singles, but they have never been guaranteed the top spot.

When they released Go Let It Out in February 2000, after another two-year break, they did achieve number one.

But their next two releases in the same year, Who Needs Love and Sunday Morning Call, both peaked at number four.

Britpop battle

The band's lowest chart positions were their first single Supersonic, which scraped in at number 31 and the next release Shakermaker which got to number 11.

But these were released as the band were just establishing themselves. The singles were included on the multi-million-selling smash album Definitely Maybe.

The first number one came with Some Might Say in 1995. Oasis continued to secure either the number one or two spots for their next seven releases.

Oasis famously lost out to Blur in the battle of Britpop in 1995 as Blur's Country House beat Roll With It.
Liam and Noel are the only original members left in the line-up

There was no such battle this time around as The Hindu Times looked a cert for the top.

Real test

Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates had dominated the number one for four weeks with Unchained Melody, having taken over from the show's winner Will Young - who stuck it out at the top for three weeks.

Oasis' main competition was from 'N Sync featuring Nelly, with their R'n'B tune Girlfriend.

But 'N Sync have not had huge chart success in the UK, adorning teen magazines but rarely achieving the popularity they receive in the US.

The only other big winner in the week's chart was fellow Manchester band The Doves with There Goes the Fear, a sound and following not usually associated with the pop charts.

The real test for Oasis will come with the release of the album Heathen Chemistry, which is due out in July.

See also:

21 Apr 02 | Music
Oasis get back on top
19 Apr 02 | Music
Leaked Oasis songs 'unfinished'
17 Apr 02 | Music
Oasis set to bring down Gates
14 Apr 02 | Music
Gates stays at number one
15 Apr 02 | Reviews
Oasis return in defiant mood
15 Apr 02 | Music
Have Oasis run dry?
05 Oct 01 | Music
Oasis: 10 years and rolling
18 Aug 01 | Music
Oasis tickets snapped up
06 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Noel follows Liam's lead again
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