The sleeve artwork, shot at Cromford railway station in Derbyshire, England, (UK), features art director Brian Cannon’s father with wheelbarrow and his mother with mop. Also pictured are Matthew Sankey, Cannon’s aide and Carla Knox, barmaid of his local pub (whose inclusion, Cannon has since admitted, was because he «fancied» her). Liam Gallagher can be seen on the bridge whilst Noel can be viewed with a watering can. Cannon himself rates this piece amongst his greatest works. The wheelbarrow is a play on the lyrics of the song, «The sink is full of fishes», and the silverware falling on the woman’s head near Noel is a play on the lyric, «She’s got dirty dishes on her brain.» The homeless man may also be a reference to the lyrics of the song, «Standing at the station, in need of education in the rain», as the sign near him says «Education Please».
Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. They were originally known as the Rain before evolving into Oasis, and initially consisted of Liam Gallagher (lead vocals, tambourine), Paul Arthurs (guitar), Paul McGuigan (bass guitar), and Tony McCarroll (drums). Upon returning to Manchester, Liam’s older brother Noel (lead guitar, vocals) joined as a fifth member, finalising the band’s core line-up. During the course of their existence, they had various line-up changes, though the Gallagher brothers remained as the staple members.
Oasis signed to independent record label Creation Records in 1993 and released their record-setting debut album Definitely Maybe (1994). The following year they recorded (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) with drummer Alan White, in the midst of a chart rivalry with Britpop peers Blur. Spending ten weeks at number one on the UK Albums Chart, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? was also an international chart success, and became one of the best-selling albums of all time. In addition, it stands as the fifth-best-selling album in the UK, and the biggest-selling album in the UK of the 1990s. The Gallagher brothers featured regularly in tabloid newspapers for their disputes and wild lifestyles. In 1996, Oasis performed two nights at Knebworth for an audience of 125,000 each night, the largest outdoor concerts in UK history at the time. In 1997, Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now; becoming the fastest-selling album in UK chart history. However, its popularity declined quickly.
McGuigan and Arthurs left in 1999 as Oasis released Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (2000). They were replaced by former Heavy Stereo guitarist Gem Archer and former Ride guitarist Andy Bell. White departed in 2004, replaced by Zak Starkey and later Chris Sharrock as touring members. Oasis released three more studio albums, Heathen Chemistry (2002), Don’t Believe the Truth (2005) and Dig Out Your Soul (2008). The group abruptly disbanded after the departure of Noel in August 2009.
As of 2009, Oasis have sold over 70 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. They are among the most successful acts on the UK Singles Chart and Albums Chart, with eight UK number-one singles and eight UK number-one albums. The band also achieved three platinum albums in the US. They won 17 NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards and six Brit Awards, including one in 2007 for Outstanding Contribution to Music and one for the “Best Album of the Last 30 Years” for (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. They were nominated for two Grammy Awards.
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