Gearing Up For Oasis' Be Here Now Album

For 19-year-old Jack Martin, of Kansas, it's guaranteed to be the single biggest event of the year, if not the decade.

He can almost feel it in the air, as thick as a gob spot in his eye. One of his favorite bands of all time, Oasis, are gearing up to rock the world with a new album.

The release of Be Here Now (Aug. 26), the eagerly-awaited follow-up to 1995's (What's the Story) Morning Glory? is less than a month away.

"Kansas isn't a big hotbed of Oasis fans," said Martin, webmaster for Jack Martin's Oasis on the Internet site, one of dozens of mid-size fan sites dedicated to the Gallagher boys. "But I plan to be at the nearest Best Buy at midnight to get it, or any other store that's open that night."

Martin, a rabid fan who bought imports of the new single, "D'You Know What I Mean," on vinyl and CD from an importer in Virginia (the single is not available for sale in the U.S.), said, until U.S. tour dates were announced, the release was the highlight this year. The single has sold over 370,000 copies in the UK since its release on July 7.

But now there is the album for Martin and other fans to contend with.

The track listing for the 72-minute album is: "D'You Know What I Mean," "My Big Mouth," "Magic Pie," "Stand By Me," "I Hope, I Think, I Know," "The Girl in the Dirty Shirt," "Fade In/Out," "Don't Go Away," "Be Here Now," "All Around the World," "It's Gettin' Better Man" and "All Around the World (Reprise)."

Currently, the album's first single is available as an import in the U.S., but according to a singles' buyer for the Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, demand has been a bit soft. "It's done average," said the buyer (who, inexplicably, wished to remain nameless). "I ordered 50 and we've sold maybe 10-15. Most people seem to think it's a pretty average song, sort of mediocre."

The Tower buyer said the three-track single, which retails for $9.99, has elicited some inquiries from some Tower employees, but not too many patrons.

Similarly, Mosha Katani of the programming department at L.A.'s influential new music station KROQ said the single has done "reasonably well," at the station. "It's at #17 this week, and it was at #9 last week, but Sublime, Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth are still the most popular," Katani said.

Arnie Lewis, the buyer for the Tower outlet on Broadway in New York just got his shipment of import singles in. "It's been on back-order for weeks," said Lewis, who stocked-up 120 copies of the single, more than three times the amount he normally orders for well-known acts. "There've been a fair amount of requests for the import, maybe 15 people asking about it."

Oasis, who will be appearing on "Saturday Night Live" on Oct. 4 (the guest host hasn't been announced yet), recently set off one of their patented media events when they announced a string of 13 European dates at mid-sized venues. Reports from the UK have the announcement setting off an avalanche of more than 7 million phone calls, which jammed the 300 special phone lines set up to handle the fan traffic.

The six-city tour, which sold out in nine hours, and would have sold out faster if the phone system hadn't failed so miserably, represents the first multiple-date appearances by the band in Europe in more than a year. In addition to the phone fiasco, thousands of fans camped out for days outside ticket outlets for the limited number of non-telephonic tickets. In all, 156,000 tickets were sold for the dates.

Oasis European tour dates:

Sept. 8; Oslo, Norway; Oslo Spektrum

Sept. 9; Stockholm, Sweden; Stockholm Globe

Sept. 10; Copenhagen, Denmark; Copenhagen Forum

Sept. 13-14; Exeter, England; Exeter Westpoint Arena

Sept. 16-17; Newcastle, England; Newcastle Arena

Sept. 19-20; Aberdeen, Scotland; Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

Sept. 22-23; Sheffield, England; Sheffield Arena

Sept. 25-27; London, England; London Earl's Court

Sept. 29-30; Birmingham, England; Birmingham National Indoor Arena