But as the Gallagher brothers fail to ignite the American imagination, a host of Brit bands embark on their bids to break the States...
Oasis new album ‘STANDING ON THE SHOULDER OF GIANTS’ slipped out of the American album charts this week, just three weeks after its release when it debuted at Number 24.
It’s disappointing news for the band who’ve made no secret of their desire to really ‘break’ the American market – they even had a photo of the New York skyline depicted on the cover of the album in a bid to woo US record buyers.
It’s been downhill sales-wise since the release of their second album ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ which dominated US charts in 1995, selling three million copies.
Their third album debuted promisingly at Number Two in the US Hot 100, but sunk down the charts and eventually sold a fraction of the copies of its predecessor.
It now seems that ‘Standing…’s performance is continuing the band’s bad luck, with Noel Gallagher recently admitting: “It’s all a simple case of mathematics – people don’t buy records, we don’t play arenas.”
However, despite Oasis and Manic Street Preachers failing to make the predicted huge impact in America, there’s high hopes for a clutch of British bands including Travis, Gomez, Catatonia, Stereophonics, Supergrass and The Charlatans to break the Stateside market.
All are about to embark on major touring and record release campaigns in the US, but industry insiders give Travis, who will accompany Oasis on their US tour, the best chance of succeeding. Their second album ‘The Man Who’ is released in America on April 14 and radio stations all over the country are playlisting the band’s ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ single.
A spokesman for Travis told nme.com: “The press we’ve been getting has been phenomenal so far and radio has been very encouraging. America’s so big and you really need radio support.”
Gomez are also going down well in the states, with some reviewers comparing them to the Grateful Dead, but whether they can attract the same huge following as the Dead remains to seen.
While their second album ‘Liquid Skin’ received rave reviews it didn’t perform spectacularly well on the charts. Despite this, the band are playing medium-sized venues and industry insiders are tipping them to succeed.
The Charlatans and Stereophonics are following Oasis and Travis‘ lead and are about to embark on a joint tour of the states in 1,000 plus capacity venues. A Charlatans spokesman is hopeful for the band’s success, but admits it will be a challenge.
He said: “They’ve never been as big as The Verve or Oasis in the States but the anticipation for The Charlatans is as good as it’s ever been. It’s very high. Tickets are selling really well and that shows you.”
But while things are looking promising for both The Charlatans and Stereophonics, it seems that American radio formatting is conspiring against them – a problem encountered by most non-US bands.
A spokesman for Stereophonics explained: “It’s always a struggle. Until the radio formatting in America is changed there just isn’t a space for a British band. It’s Limp Bizkit vs Travis. All the British bands are coming from a song axis not a jumping-up-and-down axis…it’s a struggle.”
Supergrass meanwhile have just got the video for next US single ‘Pumping On Your Stereo’ on MTV rotation, a first for the band. They embark on 15-date American tour next month, and their spokesperson said their current album ‘Supergrass’, released in the States on April 4 through Island Def Jam, had already shipped more copies than their previous two put together.
Meanwhile, the surprise victor in the battle to beat America could yet be Cerys Matthews and Catatonia.
It seems Cerys’ Welsh charm is wowing critics, radio and TV pluggers alike. She’s already scooped the cover of US-style mag ‘Details’, she’s in the Andy Warhol-founded ‘Interview’ magazine and Catatonia are booked to appear on the Jay Leno Show in April.
A spokesperson for Catatonia told nme.com: “Everybody think’s she’s an absolute star. There’s a huge amount of media and radio interest.”
Catatonia will release their ‘Equally Cursed And Blessed’ album in the States at the end of the month. A special US version, it’ll also include two of the band’s biggest UK hits ‘Road Rage’ and ‘Mulder And Scully’ which appeared on the band’s previous album ‘International Velvet’.
The track ‘Dead From The Waist Down’ will be the first to be released as a single.
The spokesperson added: “Radio’s really behind us and the feeling is the song could be massive.”
Watch this space…