Arts

Definitely Maybe takes you on a trip through musical history, and the death of grunge. Photo: Creation Records.

Why you haven’t heard it

Many tracks on the 1994 album sound like a mix between the Beatles, Sex Pistols and Stone Roses, which, for the most part, are very different from the bands’ North American super-hits, “Wonderwall” and “Don’t look back in Anger.”

In fact, the British band’s Definitely Maybe didn’t attract much attention at its release in North America—but across the pond, it spread like wildfire.

It’s a sound that most North American ears weren’t, and likely still aren’t, familiar with, and may find too British. For that reason, most of the albums’ hits and singles don’t play on rock—or even alternative—radio stations here in Canada.

Why it might be tough to get through

You may find that Liam Gallagher’s voice—which many love—has a nasally sound to it.

Or, you might find that certain songs have weird instrumental parts that border on experimental—such as “Columbia,” “Bring it on Down,” “Supersonic,” and “Up in the Sky.”

However, I have a feeling that the main reason it may be tough to get through Definitely Maybe is its connection to the English working class in the 1990s.

The album explores themes of class struggle, and the near-impossibility of British working class lads to have aspirations of being anything other than poor blue-collar workers. For North American audiences who believe in the American dream, this can be tough to hear.

Why you should listen to it anyways

This album is an important piece of musical history. Released in 1994, a couple months after Kurt Cobain’s death, it was the final nail in the coffin of the grunge musical genre.

Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of life, like grunge had done, Definitely Maybe talks about how life is worth living to the fullest in spite of its worst parts.

Apart from that, the album also paved the way for Oasis’ release of their seminal album (What’s the story?) Morning Glory.

(What’s the story?) Morning Glory would influence the next crop of british musicians that we know and love today—such as Coldplay, Radiohead, Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran—and even American acts such as Weezer and the Killers. So, you might be interested in listening to their first stab at things.

Fun Facts

  • Oasis members were Beatles’ superfans, and many of their songs contain Beatles references. For example, the chorus of Supersonic includes the verse “You can sail with me in my yellow submarine.”
  • Oasis was sued for plagiarism by Coca-Cola. According to the pop company, the song “Shakermaker” was a rip-off of the popular 1971 coke commercial jingle “I’d like to buy the world a coke” by Hilltop.

Best Lines

“Maybe I don’t really wanna know / how your garden grows / cause I just wanna fly from the song.” (“Live Forever.”)

“Hey you / wearing the crown / making no sound / I heard you feel down / well, that’s just too bad / welcome to my world.” (“Up in the Sky.”)

“Is it worth the aggravation / To find yourself a job when there’s nothing worth working for? /You could wait for a lifetime / To spend your days in the sunshine / You might as well do the white line / Cause when it comes on top / You gotta make it happen!” (“From the song Cigarettes and Alcohol.”)