This was the first book in English that I ever bought. That was fitting enough, as the first album I ever purchased was “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?”. And the second one? “Be Here Now”. I had quite a story with the Gallagher boys and their gang when I was a teenager. I eventually disowned them, but good albums are good albums and deserve their share of praise. And as always, if you get to know the story behind the words and the music then the ties can become more endurable.
This book certainly made me feel an increased love for the band, even when it was (and will always be) a modest effort. It is not that revealing, to be brutally frank. It covers the story up until the band rocked Maine Road. That means it reaches up to 1996. Only “Definitely Maybe” and “Morning Glory” are covered as a result. You get a good glimpse on the band’s formative days, and all the obvious events and incidents (the fight on the ferry during their first European tour that resulted in the “Wibbling Rivalry” CD, the run-in with Blur, Knebworth…) are covered.
The obvious comparison is Paolo Hewitt’s “Getting High – The Adventures Of Oasis”. It covers the same period, but it is the “official” account. It is a far lengthier book, and you even learn about mother Peggy Gallagher and how she met Thomas, not to mention having a minute overview of the boys’ teenage years. In terms of content, it wins hand down.
However, “Oasis: Revealed” gives it a run for its money when it comes to pictures. Henshaw’s title is presented in A4 format, there is at least one photograph per page, and full page spreads are the norm. “Getting High – The Adventures Of Oasis” has got just a flimsy black and white section in the middle of the book.
“Getting High” has stood the test of time best if only because it provided information that you could find nowhere else. “Revealed” is mostly a cut and paste affair, offering no real surprises. But it gets the facts right, and that should be mentioned. There are no inaccuracies, and some myths (like the gig in which they were discovered by Alan McGee) are put in perspective.
At the end of the day, the book is striking in terms or presentation and the content (while not groundbreaking) is accurate. It won’t illuminate you, but it will give you all the vital facts about the years the guys truly “were there then”.