Ocean Colour Scene are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1989. They have had five top 10 albums including a number one in 1997. They have also achieved seventeen top 40 singles and six top 10 singles to date.
Ocean Colour Scene were formed after two other bands called The Boys and Fanatics disbanded. Fanatics released an EP titled Suburban Love Songs. OCS signed to Phfftt Records in 1990.
Their first single, "Sway", was released in September 1990 during the indie era. When their record label was swallowed up by larger company Phonogram their eponymous début album was remixed, against the band's wishes, to fit in with the Baggy/indie-dance musical trend of the time. The album was largely deemed a failure. Being in dispute with their label, the band were forced back onto unemployment benefits, with no real direction and being only able to write new music with no outlet for it.
In 1993, the start of the turnaround occurred. Paul Weller invited the band to support him on some dates of his tour. On the back of these performances, Weller invited guitarist Steve Cradock to play on one of his singles, and vocalist Simon Fowler to sing on his album, Wild Wood. Cradock was asked to play live with Weller on his tour, and the money Cradock made kept the band afloat during this time.
The band recorded a demo that was sent to various industry figures. After hearing this tape, Noel Gallagher invited the band to play with Oasis on their 1995 tour. This support slot brought OCS to the attention of more record labels, and eventually in late 1995, the band signed with MCA Records.
With the explosion of the Britpop scene, OCS's music became nationally and internationally known. Their second album Moseley Shoals was released to mixed-to-positive reviews, containing four hit singles and reached No. 2 in the UK Albums Chart. They also played at one of the concerts at Knebworth House supporting Oasis in August 1996.