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Definitely Maybe: Chasing the Sun Edition

Big Brother

May 21, 2014 Oasis Bookmark and Share

Well, this is awkward.

It’s the 20th anniversary of Oasis’ debut album, Definitely Maybe, and we get a brand new remastered box set, with two discs’ worth of bonus material. We also get a pretty cold promotion from lead singer Liam Gallagher via a caps-locked tweet insisting that nobody “buy into it.” So now what? Honestly, a harsh denunciation of the bands’ rereleased albums is about as stereotypical Oasis as you can get. Do we do what Liam says and stay far away? Or consider his disapproval some sort of meta-endorsement?

That all depends. Recording technology in the ‘90s was pristine. Newly remastered “20th anniversary” editions aren’t going to sound much better than their originals, because there’s not that much room to improve. Audiophiles may disagree, but the only difference I noticed was a slightly tinnier high range, though that could easily be the difference in my equalizer settings. Sound-geek talk aside, this remastered version sounds basically identical.

But there’s still plenty of unreleased stuff to make this worthwhile. As far as demos go, they sound pretty clean. The bonus discs are packed with some earlier versions of Definitely Maybe songs and a few live tracks here and there. Their epic cover of “I Am the Walrus” is here, as well as a couple of songs from an acoustic set in Paris. Nothing too surprising.

Most die-hard fans are probably already familiar with everything here, and the rest will likely never make it to the third disc more than once or twice anyway. It feels like bits and pieces from the era thrown together to pad out the package. Because that’s definitely what it is, isn’t it? Or has Liam Gallagher’s cynicism rubbed off on me, maybe?

Come on. This is some of the best ‘90s Britpop out there. Can’t we just relive it for nostalgia’s sake? It shouldn’t be this complicated. For those of us willing to succumb to a little bit of irony and absorb several hours’ worth of Oasis stuff, here it is, and everyone else can join the Gallaghers of the world and complain amongst themselves. (www.oasisinet.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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