The Masterplan (1998) Collected B-sides That Rivalled And Often Surpassed Album Tracks And (In Some Cases Like "Acquiesce") Even Their Respective A-sides.
Funny enough, from having given up on Oasis a long time ago to the point I gave away most of their albums I have reached a point in which I reviewed all of their discs in two weeks. That was not deliberate or anything. Rather, it was a sort of rediscovery and a way of burying the hatchet with a band that was always there when I needed it. Maybe this reapproach was motivated by having listened to a lot of bands from Manchester recently (with The Stone Roses and Joy Division topping the list). I am not certain, but I am glad it happened. And now, I am reviewing the final album by them I haven’t reviewed up to this point: “The Masterplan”.
Chronologically, the album followed “Be Here Now”, and it was released when the band had announced they were to take a three-year break. A compilation of b-sides, it was only going to be issued in countries where you couldn’t buy the singles, but in the end it was released worldwide.
Now, the key to understanding why the album is so masterful is keeping in mind that Noel had stockpiled a large body of work, and that some of those songs were even better than albums tracks which did make the final cuts. It is easy to criticize the inclusion of about half the songs on “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?” knowing that cuts like “Rocking Chair” and “Half The World Away” were available then, not to mention “Round Are Way” and “The Masterplan”. And I haven’t even mentioned “Acquiesce” yet, the defining song about the sibling rivalry between the two brothers in which they alternate vocals until singing together “because we need each other/we believe in one another/and I know we are going to uncover/what’s sleeping in our soul”. Continue reading →
"Oasis: Revealed" Came Out In 1996. Written By Lee Henshaw And Published By Parragon, It Covered Their Crowning Achievements As A Band.
This was the first book in English that I ever bought. That was fitting enough, as the first album I ever purchased was “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?”. And the second one? “Be Here Now”. I had quite a story with the Gallagher boys and their gang when I was a teenager. I eventually disowned them, but good albums are good albums and deserve their share of praise. And as always, if you get to know the story behind the words and the music then the ties can become more endurable.
This book certainly made me feel an increased love for the band, even when it was (and will always be) a modest effort. It is not that revealing, to be brutally frank. It covers the story up until the band rocked Maine Road. That means it reaches up to 1996. Only “Definitely Maybe” and “Morning Glory” are covered as a result. You get a good glimpse on the band’s formative days, and all the obvious events and incidents (the fight on the ferry during their first European tour that resulted in the “Wibbling Rivalry” CD, the run-in with Blur, Knebworth…) are covered.
The obvious comparison is Paolo Hewitt’s “Getting High – The Adventures Of Oasis”. It covers the same period, but it is the “official” account. It is a far lengthier book, and you even learn about mother Peggy Gallagher and how she met Thomas, not to mention having a minute overview of the boys’ teenage years. In terms of content, it wins hand down. Continue reading →
Bonehead's Front Room Was Immortalized In The Cover Of Oasis' Debut, "Definitely Maybe" (1994).
Oasis’ record-setting debut album came in 1994, at a time in which the reputation of the band had already turned them into cultural icons in England. Their early singles “Supersonic”, “Shakermaker” and “Live Forever” are included along with “Cigarettes & Alcohol”, a cut that captures their infamous swagger better than a hundred clippings. “Supersonic” was their first single, it made the Top 40 and Noel has termed it their own take on “I Am The Walrus” – IE, a lot of nonsense strung together. The first lines, though, do make a lot of sense and go hand in hand with “Cigarettes & Alcohol” towards defining their image of hellraisers: “I’m feeling supersonic, give me gin & tonic / You can have it all, but how much do you want it?”.
“Shakermaker” was their second single, and it resembled “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” more than fleetingly. It is widely considered as a misstep now, but the succeeding single was their first truly indispensable song: “Live Forever”. It established Noel’s predominant themes of individuality and unity (the classic “Us” Vs. “Them” dilemma that characterizes his output), and it was the first true ace the band laid on the table. It gave them their first Top 10 success.
The swaggering “Rock & Roll Star” did also receive considerable exposure, and it was one of the earliest songs Noel wrote for the band. So was the trippy “Columbia”, with some lyrics ostensible penned by Liam. Continue reading →
The "Classic" Line-up: Paul Arthurs ("Bonehead"), Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Alan White and Paul McGuigan ("Guigsy")
When I began the blog, I was certain the one and only band that I was very well-acquainted with that I was not going to cover was Oasis. They were the first band I really listened to – heck, I even bought my first CD player in order to listen to their albums.
My decision not to cover them was based on the fact that I sincerely believed I had nothing to say about them that could be kind. Although their early successes are indisputable, their whole image became nauseating to me to the point that I ended giving away many of their CDs. The “bad boy” attitude is very fine when you are a teenager, but there comes a point when you don’t look a rebel any longer but an outright cretin. Continue reading →