With a success exceeding all their expectations, the members of Oasis occupy a privileged position in the rock sphere. In 1996, the group performed at Knebworth House in front of 250 000 spectators. More than 2,500,000 fans tried to buy tickets. In many ways, the Gallagher brothers and their bandmates reached a level of popularity that would put their names on the statute books of contemporary music. However, the disagreement between Liam and Noel is more and more pronounced. So much so that Noel talks about the possibility of dropping everything if things don’t work out. It is in this stormy atmosphere that the combo enters in studio on October 7, 1996.
In the prestigious London studios of Abbey Road, Oasis begins to work on the songs composed a short time before by a Noel in lack of inspiration. The first week is catastrophic. On his side, Liam cultivates with jubilation his rock star image, reproducing the same pattern as his elders. Under the spotlight, Oasis leaves Abbey Road for Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey. In this more bucolic environment, the atmosphere relaxes somewhat even if the drugs are flowing and taint the recording process. Always at loggerheads, the Gallaghers rarely talk to each other. When it’s Liam’s turn to go into the booth to sing, Noel isn’t even there. And once the record is finished, he doesn’t seem very satisfied. He declared in 1997 that Be Here Now contains a lot of catastrophic songs, arguing: “Just because you sell lots of records it doesn’t mean to say you’re any good. Look at Phil Collins”. Liam, more in tune with the critics, is enthusiastic and calls the album “great”.
The cover is not easy to make either. It was initially planned that each member of the group would pose in a different environment, but the project was deemed too expensive and the combo ended up taking refuge in Stocks House, in North London. The musicians pose in front of the building, at the pool level, amidst several props from the BBC studios, which Liam and Noel have selected. The session is chaotic according to photographer Michael Spencer Jones. Later, he called this rock and roll moment a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Apocalypse Now. When it was released, Be Here Now sold over 9 million copies, less than the previous two albums but more than all the following ones. The story of Oasis came to an abrupt end on August 28, 2009, backstage at the Rock en Seine festival in Paris.
Between 1994 and 2009, twenty-two Oasis songs reached number one in the English charts.
A Georgian manor house dating from 1773, the Stocks House has entered history in a curious way. A monument with a tumultuous past, taken over by the Gallagher brothers in 1997.
Since its emergence, the Stocks House has been passed from hand to hand. Once, it was here that the novelist Mary Augusta Ward lived and worked. Then the place became a boarding house for girls. 1972 was the year of a brutal change when Victor Lownes, a bigwig from Playboy magazine, bought it and organized his legendary parties. Parties attended by Jack Nicholson, Mick Jagger, John Cleese and Ringo Starr. It is also here that an episode of The Avengers was filmed and a part of the video clip of Our House by Madness. Bought and transformed into a residence in 2004, the building has since undergone an ambitious renovation during which the swimming pool was moved.
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Cult! music: 100 mythical music places [French Edition]
Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists!
Head to Melbourne, Australia for a stroll along AC/DC Lane before crossing the iconic Abbey Road pedestrian crossing in the company of The Beatles. Visit Janis Joplin‘s home in San Francisco and find out how Johnny Cash ended up playing his greatest hits to a crowd of prisoners in San Quentin. Travel the winding roads of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and stop in Japan to catch up with Deep Purple, Phil Collins and Daft Punk. Drive down the Tina Turner Highway before entering some of the most legendary studios in music history. Go back to the troubled origins of Billie Holiday and make a pact with Robert Johnson at the famous crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists! Relive the Jimi Hendrix concert on the Isle of Wight before paying tribute to Bob Marley in Jamaica.
Produced by a team of pop-culture specialists and enhanced by numerous anecdotes, Cult! musictells the secrets of the places that made the history of music.
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Discover all the places Be Here Now on our map
By Gilles Rolland
Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.