WE RANK AND REVIEW EVERY OASIS SINGLE TO BE RELEASED IN THE UK. WE PRETTY MUCH AGREED ON THE NUMBER 1…LESS SO THE REST! BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK?
- Live Forever
Is there a more iconic intro to a song? When those drum-beats kick in I’m taken right back to the age of 16. I feel really blessed that I was 16 when this came out and had the feeling, first-hand, that this song perfectly conjures up: a heady combination of being untouchable yet trapped. Live Forever was undoubtedly the anthem of a generation.
Liam’s vocals are praised and scorned in equal measures, but no one can deny that they fit this track perfectly. It’s one of those songs that should never, ever be sung by anyone else. But if any gifted guitarist wants to play me the guitar solo from this tune, I won’t be complaining.
Numerous polls suggest Live Forever is the music fan’s Oasis favourite, even if commercially it is (significantly) overshadowed by Wonderwall and Don’t Look Back in Anger. It was our number one, with very little debate. Do you agree?
Did you know….
Noel wrote the lyrics to this song in response to the Nirvana song “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die.”
- Highest chart position- No 10
- Year released- 1994
- Spotify streams- 122,533,102 (September 2020)
With nearly a billion UK streams at the time of writing, Wonderwall is Oasis’ behemoth.
3. Don’t Look Back in Anger
“Nothing’s original, there’s only 12 notes anyway”.
Whether it’s a nod to his idol John Lennon or daylight robbery, Noel kicks off this anthemic wonder with the same chords as ‘Imagine’. One album on from ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ and it’s uncanny resemblance to an infamous T-Rex guitar riff, you’d be forgiven for thinking ‘here we go again’. Noel is becoming a serial offender, do we care? No!
This is archetypal Oasis. Standing alongside 80,000 Oasis fans for their final Wembley gig, I watched on in awe; Noel didn’t have to sing a single lyric. A magical moment that only songs marrying great writing and melody conjure. This song is perfection for the gigging masses. 25 years on, Liam’s acoustic take provides new meaning. One thing will remain a constant though, this song will always bring thousands of people together to provide the most epic backing vocals you could possibly imagine.
5. Roll With It
6. Some Might Say
Chart topping ‘Some Might Say’ was the first single from Oasis’s fabulous album ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory?
An epic stadium anthem, Noel’s extravagant intro falling into Liam’s vocals are a thing of beauty. The lyric’s polarised between realism and optimism provide a seesaw experience firmly in touch with life within their Northern roots. Realism (‘in need of education in the rain’ & ‘go and tell it to the man who cannot shine’) exits hand in hand with optimism (‘we will find a better day’ & ‘sunshine follows thunder’).
Noel’s original demo being over 6 minutes long provides a ‘dirtier and sleazier’ sound but was speeded up to provide the 1995 Britpop tune. It’s the last track to feature all 5 original members, original drummer Tony McCarroll left shortly after the song’s release following a fight in Paris due to the drummer’s style.
Unfortunately, ‘Thunder’ lingered a little too long that day.
7. Stand By Me
Super Middleweight King, ‘Marvellous’ Marvin Haggler once said “it’s tough to get out of bed to do roadwork at 5am when you’ve been sleeping in silky pyjamas”. A far cry from dole queues and surviving Thatcherism in the Urban North of England, the primal hunger driving Oasis has been extinguished forever, by unprecedented triumph.
Following the seminal album of the Britpop era, Be Here Now delivers the first and inevitable dip in the band’s music. Arguably the best album track, ‘Stand By Me’ captures elements of Oasis’ origins. A ballad with attitude, akin to ‘Slide Away’, whilst a melodic chord assembly throughout, accompanied by a string octet, is reminiscent of ‘Whatever’.
Liam executes the vulnerable, somewhat ambiguous lyrics with aplomb. Noel even gets in an overindulgent guitar solo at the epic break of the song. It’s a solid track but it’s not the Oasis we know. Marvin had a point.
8. Cigarettes and Alcohol
Oasis at their rawest, delivering working class northern rock from their sole full of attitude and ambition. Cigarettes and Alcohol was the 4th single from their debut album Definitely Maybe, released Oct94 and went ‘platinum’ 26 years later.
Standing in muddy field in Somerset on a rainy Friday night in 2004, I saw them deliver this track in style. A song that was built for Liam’s vocals, he strolled around the pyramid stage with attitude in a white furry hooded parker, wearing John Lennon glasses in front of a hot, wet packed crowd up for a night out. One of those lasting memories in life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4V9FlFJIRE
The Oasis connection with The Beatles is well documented, one of the b sides of Cigarettes & Alcohol was ‘I am the Walrus’, the next headliner to follow Oasis onto the pyramid stage that weekend was none other than Paul McCartney – ‘Some might say that sunshine follows thunder’!
10. Little By Little
11. The Importance Of Being Idle
13. D’You Know What I Mean
So it could be argued that a love song written by a man with two divorces and two affairs under his belt may not be the most heartwarming thing you can listen too!
However, Songbird just has that melodic, chilled, happy and easy listen feel to it, which for me makes it one of Oasis best! Yes it doesn’t have the stark attitude of much of their greatest work, but it has heart.
Ironically whilst Liam maybe known as the more hedonistic of the two; this love song he’s written is a stark comparison to their next release “Lyla” written by Noel on the following album. Admittedly when it came to the music video for this one they certainly didn’t break the bank for this one minute and fifty five second little pot of gold! The entirety of the music video is just Liam strumming away on his guitar in Hyde Park!
15. Go Let It Out
16. All Around the World
Hummable, mid-paced, 9 minute Beatle-esque opus from Be Here Now and their 4th No.1 single. Decent tune but overstays its welcome.
From 2005 and another No.1. Was considered a return to form at the time. It’s undeniably catchy but not aged as well as some of their earlier hits.
18. Stop Crying Your Heart Out
Strong ballad from the Heathen Chemistry album. Could be considered Oasis-by-numbers…possibly why it’s one of their most streamed songs.
19. Let There Be Love
20. The Hindu Times
21. Who Feels Love
22. The Shock Of The Lightning
23. Falling Down
24. Sunday Morning Call
25. Lord Don’t Slow Me Down
26. I’m Outta Time
27. Don’t Stop (demo)