Definitely Maybe (partially lost original sessions of Oasis album; 1993-1994)

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Ab67616d0000b2737c46409e5671b5b433761623.jpg

The album's cover.

Status: Partially Lost


Definitely Maybe is the debut album by the English rock band Oasis, released on 29 August 1994. Upon its release, it became the fastest-selling debut album in the United Kingdom until the Spice Girls' debut album Spice surpassed it just two years later.[1] Not only was the album a commercial success, it was also a critical success with press around the band starting in February 1994 following an ill-fated trip to Amsterdam that led to the whole band (except for guitarist Noel Gallagher) getting arrested and deported back to Manchester, England.[2][3]
The album's main sessions began production in December 1993, went through a tumultuous development before it's release and, in the nearly 30 years since it's release, the original sessions for the album have gone lost.

History

The earliest known session to make it onto Definitely Maybe was for the track "Shakermaker", having been recorded at the now destroyed Out of the Blue Studios in Manchester in February 1993.

The band signed with Alan McGee's Creation Records after he saw them perform a four-song set at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow, Scotland on 31 May 1993.[4] After gigging and building up attention, they booked into Monnow Valley Studios in Wales with producer Dave Batchelor (who Noel knew when he was a roadie for the Inspiral Carpets) and sound engineer Dave Scott in December 1993 and started recording sessions for the album. During those sessions (which included a stoned Liam Gallagher, Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, Tony McCarroll and Paul Ashbee meeting with Ian Brown of The Stone Roses at Rockfield Studios just a few minutes away from Monnow Valley), nine songs were recorded (along with four Rolling Stones covers[5]) and the band went back on the road. During the recording of the song "Slide Away", Scott was fired after clashing with him over the tempo of the song, one of the takes ended up on the released album, but among the numerous re-recordings of the song that were done, one was apparently 10 minutes long and according to Scott, was recorded at the same pace as Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.

After the sessions were mixed, they were rejected by the label and Batchelor was fired by the band soon after.[6] The band ended up going to Pink Museum studios after the ill-fated trip to Amsterdam to start re-recording the album. Originally, Bring It On Down was going to be the first single, but was rejected by Noel due to Tony's drumming during the sessions. The rest of the sessions at Pink Museum didn't go great either as Tony's drumming became an issue that kept bothering Noel. Of the songs recorded at Pink Museum, Supersonic ended up on the finished album with it being the official first single.

The band tried one more time to re-record the album at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall and this time the sessions did not have a producer, it was just the band and new sound engineer Mark Coyle (who let Noel record "Married With Children" in his bedroom). The sessions were again rejected by the label. In a last-ditch effort, the band's manager Marcus Russell contacted up-and-coming Welsh producer Owen Morris and gave him the freedom of remixing the Sawmills sessions. The label couldn't afford another recording session, but Morris did get Liam to re-record some of the vocals, resulting in much better takes than what was already recorded. Morris mixed the sessions at Matrix Recording Studios in Fulham and after the numerous rejections from the label, they approved the mixes and the album saw it's release that August, and the rest is history.

Song List

# Song Title Monnow Valley Sawmills Studios Pink Museum Notes
1 Rock 'n' Roll Star Lost Found Found
2 Live Forever Lost Found Found
3 Shakermaker Lost Non-existent Found Monnow Valley version was kept by Dave Scott before it was stolen; Pink Museum version was released on Definitely Maybe.
4 Up In The Sky Lost Found Found
5 Columbia Lost Found Found
6 Bring It On Down Found Found Found Monnow Valley version featured on 2014 Japanese re-release of Definitely Maybe.
7 Cigarettes & Alcohol Partially Found Found Found Snippet of Monnow Valley version featured in Oasis: Supersonic documentary.
8 Digsy's Dinner Lost Found Found
9 Slide Away Found (Regular version)
Lost (10 minute version)
Found Found Monnow Valley (regular) version was released on Definitely Maybe.
10 Whatever Existence Unconfirmed (possibly found) Existence Unconfirmed (possibly found) Found
11 Fade Away Existence Unconfirmed Existence Unconfirmed Found
12 I Am The Walrus Existence Unconfirmed Found Existence Unconfirmed

Availability

Since the album's release was made of rejected recording sessions and fresh vocals, many of the original sessions of Definitely Maybe have not resurfaced. "Slide Away" ended up being the only song from the rejected Monnow Valley sessions to have made it onto the released album and today is regarded as one of the band's best songs.[7] The Monnow Valley version of "Bring It On Down" was included as a bonus track on the 2014 Japanese re-release of Definitely Maybe and can be found on YouTube.

In October 2016, a documentary on the band's 1990s heyday titled "Oasis: Supersonic" was released and when the Monnow Valley sessions were brought up, a snippet of the Monnow Valley version of "Cigarettes & Alcohol" can be heard. Also included in the documentary was a rare early version of the bonus track "Sad Song" with Liam on vocals. It only contains the first verse and chorus, although it is unknown if a full version was made, and it is unknown which session it was recorded during. Two months later, the sessions recorded at The Pink Museum were leaked online entitled "The Whitfield Street Sessions" and the leak included a take of the B-Side "Fade Away" and future stand-alone single "Whatever". An early demo of "Whatever" exists on YouTube, having been uploaded by fan in June 2008, although it is unknown which recording session this rendition originiates from.

In January 2023, the sessions from Sawmills Studios were also leaked online and featured an unreleased studio version of the band's cover of "I Am The Walrus" (which only a live recording was released on the "Cigarettes & Alcohol" single). The rest of the Monnow Valley sessions are the only sessions recorded for the album that have not resurfaced.

It was revealed in 2024 (according to a leaked track list) that the Monnow Valley sessions will be released on the 30th anniversary reissue of the album, including a demo version of "Sad Song" from late 1992 which is presumably the same one heard briefly in the documentary, implying a full version was actually created and unreleased.

Gallery

James Hargreaves' video on producer Owen Morris (which discusses the album's tempestuous production).

James Hargreaves' video on the rejected Monnow Valley sessions.

Early demo of "Whatever" from unidentified session.

See Also

External Links

References