Video Vault, Episode 33: A Definitely Maybe Family Tree

To celebrate the UK release of Alex Niven’s 33 1/3 on Oasis’s Definitely Maybe, we bring you the third and final installment of Oasis Week…

Among other things, Definitely Maybe is one of the great works of archaeological summary in pop history – a sort of greatest hits of post-fifties guitar pop. Here are some of its major influences …

Chuck Berry – Little Queenie

Much has been made of Cigarettes and Alcohol’s, ahem, appropriation of the guitar riff from Get It On, but the T-Rex tune was itself a homage of sorts to this 1959 gem by Chuck Berry. Which just goes to show. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL IS FOR EVERYONE.


Beatles – Rain

While Oasis’s Beatles debt has been overplayed – particularly when it comes to the dark, punkish Definitely Maybe – there’s no doubt that the mid-period psychedelia of Rain was a huge influence on their early sound.


David Bowie – All the Young Dudes

The influence of 70s glam rock in early Oasis is pronounced. From David Bowie, Noel Gallagher inherited an interest in the juxtaposition of melodic delicacy with communal braggadocio.


Neil Young – Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)

Many of Oasis’s best songs take their cue from Young’s melancholic folk minimalism. Slide Away in particular contains distinct echoes of this 1979 classic.


Sex Pistols – Problems

For better quality go here

Definitely Maybe was the most hyperbolically aggressive British rock album since Never Mind the Bollocks. In a cover story for Brit fashion magazine The Face, in August ’94, interviewer Cliff Jones dubbed them “The Sex Beatles.”


Wham! – Freedom

Fade Away, one of the best B-sides from the Definitely Maybe campaign, features a verse melody that is heavily indebted to this 1984 Wham! hit. Kind of makes you look at both bands in a slightly different light.


Two 4 U

In the early days Oasis gigs typically featured a cover of this obscure acid house single, pre-empted the Klaxons’ nu-rave experiments by some 15 years.


Verve – Slide Away

Oasis toured with Verve in December 1993 on the eve of recording Definitely Maybe. As well as the title of Slide Away, Noel Gallagher seems to have been decidedly taken with Verve’s reverb-soaked guitar textures. – Alex Niven

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