1. Definitely, Maybe // Oasis, 1994
The Gallagher brothers have lived in music infamy since the less-than-magnanimous splitting of one of the true great modern rock bands, but their music has hardly faltered in its importance within British music genealogy. No, if anything, the band has become something of an untouchable deity.
The Manchester group’s debut came in 1994, on an album fledged with fury and grunge that reignited a faltering pop music scene in 1990s Britain. Additionally, while bands had been struggling to make headway into the United States, Definitely, Maybe sold over one million copies. Blur and Suede had failed to penetrate the US market quite as successfully as the then-flag bearers of a sub-sect of the British musical mythos.
Few singers have a voice as distinctive as Liam Gallagher, while the songwriting of Noel is an almighty force that no British band has come close to eclipsing ever since. The fusion of rock with something outside of that genre, something that also rejected distinctive Britishness and opened the band to the world, projected them to the limelight.
While the commercial success of Definitely, Maybe was outdone by the following two albums, it was with Definitely, Maybe that Oasis laid the foundations of their careers. They introduced themselves to the world with anticipation, releasing the energy of a generation desperately pleading for a lightning rod to vocalise their spirit. The shifts in style over time still retained the essences of their origins.
Definitely, Maybe takes the top spot because it encapsulates the ideas of one of rock’s greatest bands, set the tone for their entire discography, and announced one of the UK’s greatest rock bands to the world.
Words by Billy Brake