Today, Liam Gallagher releases his first solo album, As You Were. Whether or not the record is good is immaterial: What matters is that it gives the world more opportunities to hear the former Oasis frontman slag off his older brother Noel, whom he famously feuded with for years in that chart-topping U.K. rock band. Back in June, Liam was asked about a possible Oasis reunion, and he didn’t sound very optimistic. “Everyone knows I love our kid,” Liam said. “He doesn’t speak to me, we don’t speak to each other.” He wouldn’t rule anything out, adding, “There is unfinished business there,” but for now, “we’re two little solo boys doing our little things.”
The Gallaghers are hardly the only brothers to lash out at one another through the press. In fact, rock ’n’ roll has long had a history of bands simmering with sibling rivalry: the Kinks, the Black Crowes, Kings of Leon. But why stop there? And so, we decided to look back at some of the all-time greatest brotherly feuds, starting with the Bible and working our way forward until we got to a certain Will Ferrell comedy. In each case, we pick a winner, using a highly scientific criteria that we made up on the spot. Feel free to share this article with your family members — even if mom always liked your brother best.
Combatants: Cain and Abel
The Feud: Adam and Eve’s sons make their appearance in Genesis relatively soon after their parents are kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Cain, born first, worked the land, while Abel was a shepherd. Both sons brought offerings to God, who preferred Abel’s. Cain’s response? He lured his brother out into the fields and killed him.
Your Winner: Cain, obviously… but maybe not. Punished by God to wander the world the rest of his days, Cain became literature’s original murderer, a heavy stigma to live with — even more so since he killed his brother just because he was jealous. This Bible story has become the inspiration for everything from Bruce Springsteen songs to Darren Aronofsky’s heavily symbolic mother!, and in most every instance the Cain character is the horrible wretch you don’t want to emulate. Sure, he’s the one who lives, but at what price?
Combatants: Aaron and Jordan Rodgers
The Feud: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the middle child in a family of three brothers, and since 2014 he has reportedly not spoken to them or his parents. But it didn’t become a news item until his younger brother Jordan mentioned it while competing on The Bachelorette in 2016. Soon, rumors started swirling about why Aaron was keeping his distance from his family, with many blaming it on the fact that he was dating actress Olivia Munn. (Poor Munn was constantly blamed for things — especially when it pertained to Rodgers’ on-field performance. When the Super Bowl MVP had a bad game, sportswriters wondered if he and Munn were having romantic troubles. Conversely, after they broke up this year, fans feared that he needed to get back with her when he struggled early in the season.)
The Rodgers family spat has been tabloid fodder for about a year now — although, to be fair, all eldest brother Luke has said is that “it sucks” not to talk to Aaron anymore — as Jordan has parlayed his win on The Bachelorette into a much-higher public profile. Meanwhile, Aaron has said nothing, telling ESPN the Magazine in August that he didn’t want to talk about his family’s rift. “A lot of people have family issues,” he said. “I’m not the only one that does. … It needs to be handled the right way.”
Your Winner: No matter who’s actually right or wrong within the Rodgers family dispute — and only they know — Aaron has proved to be the bigger person in public, resisting the urge to air any dirty laundry. Based on optics alone, he’s the clear victor.
Combatants: Skip and Rick Bayless
The Feud: Skip Bayless is notorious as the obnoxious opinion-spewer on sports talk shows like First Take and now Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. (In 2013, The Washington Post, without much hyperbole, said he “may be the most hated man in sports.”) But the one thing he won’t talk much about is his younger brother Rick, who for years has been a decorated Chicago chef and restaurateur.
They grew up in a family that owned a BBQ restaurant in Oklahoma City, but Skip (the oldest of three kids) wanted nothing to do with the family business and his abusive father. In the Washington Post profile, he declared himself the family black sheep and said, “[Rick and I] had nothing in common except a mom.” Rick wouldn’t comment for the piece, but in a separate profile of the chef, he was asked if he talks sports with his older brother. “No,” Rick replied. “He is completely not into food, knows nothing about food and I know absolutely nothing about sports. I don’t follow any sports. Not even in a sports town like Chicago. I would find the time if it was of any interest to me, but I’m not a team type of person.”
Your Winner: Anybody is more tolerable than Skip, so we’ll go with Rick.
Combatants: Alec, Daniel, Billy and Stephen Baldwin
The Feud: In big families, it’s understandable that there’d be a little sibling rivalry. But that animosity gets amplified when all the brothers go into one of the most competitive businesses in the world: acting. And those animosities have played out in public, like during a 2008 New Yorker profile of Alec that mentioned that he’d written a Western screenplay with roles for all four brothers. As Billy explained, the plot went like this: “Daniel’s the outlaw; I’m the riverboat gambler who gets all the pussy, the shallow, good-looking sap; Stephen’s the village idiot; and he’s the fucking hero! He’s the one who saves the day at the end; he’s the Clint Eastwood. If you’re looking for how my brother thinks about his brothers, and how he always felt about his brothers, that’s it. That’s the movie he wanted to make with his brothers.”
Their feud also has concerned politics. Alec, of course, is a staunch liberal, while Stephen is a die-hard conservative, and he looks to be outnumbered in his family. When Stephen sounded off on Twitter about Anderson Cooper during the 2016 presidential campaign, Billy fired back.
Your Winner: In that same New Yorker profile, Billy acknowledged that he, Daniel and Stephen got into acting because of Alec. (“I think he thinks we felt, ‘If that idiot can do it, I’ll give it a shot.’ And on some level that’s sort of true.”) In the public’s mind, Alec is the one talented Baldwin, while all the others act in stuff but are basically interchangeable. Don’t believe us? Which Baldwin brother had a guest role on 30 Rock? Which one was in The Usual Suspects? Which one did Homicide: Life on the Street?
See, it’s not that easy.
Combatants: Brennan Huff and Dale Doback
The Feud: The Step Brothers duo couldn’t stand each other from their first meeting, and things didn’t get any better once Dale (played by John C. Reilly) warns Brennan (Will Ferrell) not to play his drums — and then the big lug does anyway.
Your Winner: Happily, the beef was quashed long before the film ended thanks to their shared love of velociraptors, the erotic qualities of Good Housekeeping and the sex appeal of John Stamos. So, really, the winners are all of us. We’re hoping Prestige Worldwide takes off.
Combatants: Noel and Liam Gallagher
The Feud: How long have these two feuded? Liam traces their beef back to the late 1980s when he was just 15 and came home from a night of drinking and getting stoned. “I thought ‘Fuck it, I’m just gonna have to go,’” he has said. “So I whipped it out and pissed all over [Noel’s] new sound system. And I think he holds a grudge over that.”
Whatever the reason, they’ve hated each other for a good long time — and their hate has had so many twists and turns that journalists have written whole articles documenting the drama. Oasis hasn’t put out an album since 2008’s Dig Out Your Soul, and in the meantime, the two brothers have pursued their own musical projects. Noel has released three records under the moniker Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds — the third, Who Built the Moon?, drops next month — while Liam has put out two albums with his band Beady Eye, in addition to his new solo record.
Your Winner: The Gallagher feud cuts to the core of an age-old rock debate: Who’s the real star of a band? The singer? Or the songwriter? Noel and Liam are both such snarling, lovably antagonistic bastards that it’s hard to pick a side. But we’re giving the slight edge to Noel. In Oasis, he let his younger brother handle the vocals while he did the bulk of the songwriting, giving us several albums’ worth of great songs. But when he did sing, like on “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” he proved as decent a vocalist as Liam. Still, it’s not much fun choosing a favorite Gallagher — they’re at their best when they’re together, despising one another in close quarters for our amusement.