As you listen to the sound of over 125,000 pairs of screaming lungs rise behind the opening riff of Columbia, and watch Liam Gallagher saunter towards the mic and offer an emphatic, “Knebworth! Mad fer it, yeah?” you may find goosebumps appearing where before there were none.
The wheeling, heady moments that began Oasis’ first record-breaking 1996 show at Knebworth might’ve been a “you had to be there” kind of thing – but now you can get as close to in-person as possible, because the Knebworth 1996 live album, DVD and Blu-ray releases are all set to drop next week, on November 19.
The pair of shows – held August 10 and 11, 1996 – were the biggest outdoor concerts the UK had ever seen, and the Manchester luminaries didn’t let a single moment of the watershed events go to waste. Against the backdrop of the Cool Britannia movement, Oasis were in their absolute prime; their debut studio album Definitely Maybe had taken them from Manchester to the world only two years before, ruffling US-rock feathers with its carefree and unabashedly English styles. The following year they’d released their mega-smash (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, which spawned so many hits that the entire tracklist is practically a soundtrack to the mid-’90s zeitgeist.
When the Knebworth shows were announced and tickets went on sale, fans immediately camped out to beat the queues which inevitably snaked from record shops and ticket offices; those who tried to get tickets over the phone were met with constantly engaged booking lines. Needless to say, in less than 24 hours every ticket was sold, and along with it, every UK box office record ever held was smashed to smithereens. It’s estimated that over two per cent of the entire UK population made an attempt to secure passes to the Knebworth shows.
The setlist is, of course, spectacular: Wonderwall, Supersonic, Some Might Say, Don’t Look Back in Anger, Champagne Supernova, and tons more, concluding with a massive, orchestra-backed cover of The Beatles’ I Am the Walrus.
The accompanying film is directed by Grammy-winner Jake Scott, and features never-before-seen archival footage from backstage and front-of-stage, along with interviews with the band, concert organisers, and fans who saw it all go down with their own two peepers.
All told the releases comprise DVD, Blu-ray (with the documentary and both concert nights in full), the live album on two CDs, and triple LP vinyl.
Watch the trailer below, and then get over to JB to pre-order!
Knebworth 1996 by Oasis is out December 10 via Big Brother Recordings.
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