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Noel Gallagher was the vocalist and lead guitarist in the 1990s alternative rock band Oasis. He began a solo career after quitting Oasis in 2009.
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In 1994 Oasis released its first single, “Supersonic,” which performed well, hitting No. 31 on U.K. charts. Later that year Oasis launched its first full-length album, Definitely Maybe, which climbed to No. 1 in the U.K, becoming the fastest-selling debut album in Britain’s history. Another single, the rock ballad “Live Forever,” reached the No. 2 spot on the U.K.’s modern pop chart. The single “Some Might Say” performed even better,
peaking at No. 1 in the U.K. in 1995.
Oasis’ second album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, achieved great commercial success in 1995, entering the U.K. album chart at No. 1 and reaching No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. It became the fastest-selling album in the U.K. since Michael Jackson’s Bad. The hit single “Wonderwall” propelled (What’s the Story) Morning Glory to break into the Top 10 in America, where it reached quintuple-platinum status.
During this time Noel and Liam lived a classic rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle filled with drugs, booze and fights. They made tabloid headlines for fighting with fans, the press and each other. At one point during their 1996 American tour, Noel briefly left the band, but returned.
In 1997 Oasis completed its third album, Be Here Now, which included the hit “D’You Know What I Mean.” Though this album met with much success, the enthusiasm waned due to a media backlash against Noel and Liam’s excessive and turbulent lifestyle. Noel received even more criticism when he attended the high-profile New Labour media party hosted by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Noel’s mingling with politicians tarnished his image with many fans.
In 1998 Oasis released a collection of B-sides, called Masterplan. Rhythm guitarist Bonehead Arthurs left the group in 1999, and Noel haughtily told media outlet NME, “It's hardly Paul McCartney leaving the Beatles, is it?" Ex-Ride guitarist Andy Bell replaced Bonehead after the recording of Oasis’ fourth album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. Oasis then released its first live record, Familiar to Millions, in 2000.
Noel decided to take more control over the band, setting up Big Brother Recordings to distribute Oasis in the U.K. He formed his own label, Sour Mash Records, in 2001 and debuted as a record producer for bands such as Proud Mary.
In 2002 Oasis released its fifth album, Heathen Chemistry, followed by Don’t Believe the Truth in 2005. Drummer Alan White, who had replaced original member Tony McCarroll in 1995, exited the band, and Ringo Star’s son Zak Starkey replaced him. The band’s seventh album, Stop the Clocks came out in 2006, and Dig Out Your Souls came two years later.
After a much-publicized falling-out with Liam, Noel quit Oasis in 2009. "We were backstage waiting to go onstage to 30,000 people in Paris," Noel said in a NPR interview. "The tour manager came in and said, 'Five minutes!' We broke up within that five minutes. I'm not proud of that, but all things come to an end." Liam then changed the band’s name to Beady Eye, and Noel embarked on a solo career.
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In the 1990s, London's artists and cultural tastemakers embraced their British roots. Pop acts like Oasis, Elastica and the Spice Girls dominated 90's music, and reinforced British pride with symbolic use of the Union Flag—Oasis member Noel Gallagher famously used a Union Jack guitar while "Ginger Spice" Geri Halliwell wore the symbol on her trademark, flashy dress. The period was also marked by influential designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, whose unique designs established numerous fashion trends for the decade. Biography.com celebrates these prominent figures, and the many others who led the way for "Cool Britannia."
Cool Britannia - Cultural Icons: 1990s 22 people in this group
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