The '90s offered some fantastic feuds: Death Row vs. Bad Boy, Nancy vs. Tonya and Pearl Jam vs. Ticketmaster. But one age-old battle royal still rages: Liam vs. Noel, in the war of words between the Gallagher brothers of Oasis.
Not long after forming Oasis in Manchester, England, in the '90s, the brothers actually found themselves on the same side of a feud, pitted against fellow Brit-pop act Blur in a sort of media- and fan-fueled imbroglio. As 1995 rolled around, fans around the globe had chosen sides between the two era-defining groups. But make no mistake, even as Oasis piled up awards and historically significant sales figures, Liam and Noel's favored opponents were each other.
To recap, in the late '90s, in order to be a proper Oasis fan, one needed to not only be a sworn enemy of Blur, but to basically pick sides between the two sparring brothers who gave the group its mojo. By the time British Prime Minister Sir John Major was succeeded by Tony Blair in 1997, the spats between the brothers were almost too frequent to keep up with in a pre-TMZ world, not that trusty tabloids such as The Sun weren't up to the titillating task.
Public wars of words over Liam getting kicked off an English ferry and reports of in-studio fisticuffs were prime candidates splashy headlines. In 1995, Noel reportedly used a cricket bat to combat his brother's kicking in his door. A decade later, Noel bragged to Spin about excelling at "psychological warfare" against Liam.
Of course, had the records from that time not been salty enough, the ruckus caused by the brothers would've likely been confined to their side of the Atlantic, barely causing a ripple here stateside. But over the course of their first three records, 1994's Definitely Maybe, 1995's (What's the Story) Morning Glory? and 1997's Be Here Now, Oasis backed up its brutishness with guitar-driven gems such as "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova" that dominated radio waves around the world. In an era where one had to actually pay money to a retail outlet for an album sale to be counted, the fact that Oasis sold many millions of albums before the turn of the century, while still holding some British sales records today, speaks louder than any verbal altercation.
Then the inevitable happened in 2009: Oasis formally split, following yet another backstage, physical altercation between the brothers. Since then, Liam has released several albums, including a fine solo album in 2017. Since 2011, Noel has released three inventive, enjoyable records as leader of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, including last year's dreamy, pop-tinged Who Built the Moon?
Regardless of which side of the family feud you're on, it's been nice to hear worthwhile music coming from both brothers.
As each promoted his own record releases in 2017, more insults were tossed, more old wounds re-opened. Gasps could be heard in May, when Noel performed on a song with former Blur foe Damon Albarn's latest Gorillaz album. Yet out of nowhere, in December, Liam tweeted he and his brother had been in touch and things were hunky-dory. Obviously, such brotherly love has ignited Oasis reunion chatter, but each hopeful fan theory has thus far been unfulfilled. Which means more back and forth to come between Liam and Noel, and more fun for all of us.
Noel Gallagher performs March 6 at 8 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre. Details.