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Oasis Interview: What’s The Story?

Lyndsey Parker
Maximum Performance

About a decade ago, a full-scale third British Invasion seemed imminent. And leading the '90s Britpack were Oasis, whose cigarette-&-alcohol-addled rockstar swagger, fascinatingly trainwrecky tabloid antics, and amazing Anglo anthems (U.S. top 10 hit "Wonderwall," "Champagne Supernova") had them hotly tipped to be not just the ultimate victor in the Great Blur Vs. Oasis Feud of '95, but the Biggest Band On The Planet, period.

But then, something happened. Or, more accurately, didn't happen. Sadly, Britpop never quite took off here in the States. Spin magazine declared Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque the top album of 1991, but a little American-made album called Nevermind stole all its thunder. Suede had to change their name to the London Suede for legal reasons. Both Elastica and the Stone Roses took waaay too long (five years!) to release their second albums. Yanks didn't grasp the subtle lyrical nuances of Pulp's Different Class. The Verve got sued by the Stones over their one big hit, then broke up for 10 years. Blur's Damon Albarn went on to have much more Stateside success with a cartoon band called Gorillaz than he ever did with his flesh-&-blood Blurmates. And even Oasis's fanbase in America became, to speak in Spinal Tappian terms, more selective. So nowadays the only real British-band success story--in America, anyway--is Coldplay.

But Oasis probably don't care, as they're still one of Biggest Bands On The Planet. They've sold more than 50 million records worldwide; have racked up eight number-one singles in Britain; and have won 15 NME Awards, five Brit Awards, and nine Q Awards. And over the last few years they've actually experienced a resurgence in popularity: Their 2005 album Don't Believe The Truth was their most successful and critically heralded in years, and their seventh studio album Dig Out Your Soul, released this week, is garnering similarly high praise. In fact, Dig Out Your Soul just may be the best Oasis album since (What's The Story) Morning Glory, as evidenced by its hard-charging, return-to-form first single, "The Shock Of The Lightning."

Sure, Oasis have had a rough time of it lately--the Jay-Z war of words over Glastonbury, the onstage attack at Toronto's V Festival that injured Noel Gallagher's back and caused Oasis to cancel or postpone several gigs--but these blokes are survivors. They're going to live forever. And in this exclusive Yahoo! Music interview with Noel, shot last week at Oasis's London HQ, his still-supersonic charisma makes it clear why his band has managed to last so long:


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