Oasis were the largest and most musically successful band on the planet before the release date of this album. The hype and frenzy surrounding this album was insane, so much so that numerous TV interviews and a documentary ran about the album before it was released. Unfortunately, this album was not well received for the hype prior to the album. The biggest band since The Beatles did not release as good as an album as they possibly could have done. Still, it is packed with mega singalong tunes, so let’s observe this album, track by track.
D’You Know What I Mean? is actually a great Oasis song. It is imaginative, catchy and riff-laden, showing Noel Gallagher’s expertise inside the studio. It samples the “Amen Break” drum loop from the N.W.A. song Straight Outta Compton. It’s a mammoth track, worth listening to. Beginning with aircraft noise, morse code and a huge amount of guitar parts, this is surreal. The track has almost exactly the same chords as Wonderwall, too. The song itself, when it starts, sounds very amazing. Somewhat reminiscent of Oasis meeting Progressive Rock, this is very interesting listening. Liam’s voice really soars here, and the chorus is a winner. A top song, and although very long and full of intricacies, it is very interesting to hear. There are so many different sections of music here, particularly in the chorus, that is very interesting listening. Wonderful, loud and rocking. A great song from start to finish, the outro here is really quite psychedelic with backwards guitar parts for your pleasure.
My Big Mouth follows and is about the subject matter at hand. It talks about Noel and Liam Gallagher’s tendency to talk absolute rubbish, mostly in interviews. It is very Definitely Maybe-ish in its sound, with Liam singing in a very high register. It’s a real shame he cannot sing like that anymore. It begins with a load of feedback, before launching into a drum led frenzy of a Rock song. A superb song musically, this is a top and awesome listening experience. Liam’s singing here is really excellent, and is one of his career heights worth remembering. The lyrics are brutal, but still a well written and thought out piece of music. Very much a nod to Punk music, but Oasis all the same. The drumming by Alan White in particular is very good here. A top listen.
The psychedelic Magic Pie follows, and yes, it is one of the most psychedelic, bluesy and trippy songs Oasis ever made. Unfortunately, it is a weak track compared to other songs that Oasis made before and since. Still, the array of sounds on this song is mouthwatering. It begins with said pie being cooked in an oven (nice keyboard patch here), before this piece gets started. There are some beautiful blues lead lines here. Noel Gallagher sings wonderfully here and does a great job of conveying some emotion nicely here. This song hasn’t aged all that well, but is really good to hear regardless. It’s a selfish song lyrically, but what do you expect from Noel and Liam by this point? Still, better than anything Rock does today in the name of music. It has many layers of intricacies and invention here regardless, not a dull moment if you listen to this carefully enough. The harmonies throughout the second half are really quite amazing. Supercharged and wonderful, this makes for some interesting listening anyway. Pass the joint, dude. The outro is super weird and tripped out, but exciting and interesting all the same. The mad Jazz at the end is insane.
A good ballad is up next called Stand By Me. This song refers to the John Lennon song of the same name but has many layers of instrumentation and a string section to boot. How awesome. It begins with a distorted guitar intro with plenty of feedback, before Liam kickstarts the song with his singing here. It sounds interesting yet grand, with said string section adding a layer of beauty to this song. The chorus is fairly meh, but a nice and interesting song for 1997. The whole thing sounds incredibly busy and layered, with extra instruments and overdubbing all over the place. This and the repetitive nature of the music here, doesn’t match Oasis as much as it should do. Still, a good effort and a nice song regardless. One of the most popular songs requested by Oasis fans in retrospect, however. Lengthy, but enjoyable.
I Hope, I Think, I Know is a rather ordinary song but drummer Alan White puts in a huge amount of effort into keeping the song going. Even this lesser cut from Oasis is ingenious. It begins with an air of Punk like speed and verocity, and Liam’s singing here is really awesome. Although it is a fairly trashy song, Liam Gallagher does really nicely here with singing. The twenty trillion guitars here actually sound quite good, given it is a Punkish number. But that’s about it. It falls flat here otherwise, definitely not a great song to hear over again. Could have been bettered.
The Girl In The Dirty Shirt has Liam Gallagher putting in a brilliant performance. It begins with a chord sequence lifted from The Beatles Wild Honey Pie and enters into a well sung ballad by Liam Gallagher. It’s about Noel’s Mrs. which isn’t the greatest topic for him to write about, but the song is interesting regardless. A good listen but quite lengthy, it could have been done better here. There is a raunchy, Country music feel to this which is weird. In any case, this is a good, just not great song. It drags on towards the end, although the Wurlitzer is pretty good to hear at the end.
Fade In-Out puts Oasis back into rock mode. Noel Gallagher commented that brother Liam Gallagher’s singing was the best he ever achieved, or at least so he thought so at the time, on this song. A fantastic take on a blues style song. It begins with some random chatter and sounds, before launching into a swampy Country/Blues song that sounds really different. Loads of feedback is here, which could have been edited out. When Liam does sing here, he does really kick ass. His voice is really great here, and the music and instrumentation match it quite well, with some Fender Telecaster style sounds. After the scream in the middle, it launches into a loud and honestly, fairly ordinary Rock jam. Sadly, this makes the track become a turn for the worst. The rhythm here is quite good, as is the singing as well, but yeah, kind of a bit long here mate. The outro is rather long, too. Could have definitely been edited here for a better listening experience. The feedback at the end is awful.
Next is Don’t Go Away which is quite possibly, apart from Slide Away or Wonderwall, the best love song Oasis ever made. It is a heartfelt plea from the Gallagher brothers to hold onto the love that they had in their lives, for better or worse. It is a standout on this fairly ordinary album as it actually sounds quite nice here. Liam bears his heart and soul on this track, and we have a really lovely piece of music here. Excellent to hear, and has some nice acoustic guitars and strings throughout. More of the album should have been done like this, unfortunately it was not. Still, a very good song to hear. Very much inspired by Burt Bacharach, and very well done for Be Here Now.
The title track Be Here Now isn’t exactly rubbish but it seems that way. It’s a cool yet rather stale song to rock out to. It begins with an annoying keyboard sound, before launching into a loud and ordinary Rock music jam. The lyrics here are really quite awful, too. The electric guitar sound here is also atrocious, and the whistling is cheesy. By this point, Oasis blew it…or snorted it, so to speak. Rather annoyingly catchy though, but not worth repeat listens regardless. It does have a heavily inspired The Rolling Stones style back story to it, but who cares? It is monstrously loud and very ordinary. The vocal part at the end nabbed from Columbia needn’t be done here, either.
All Around The World is next. It is a long song, clocking in at over nine minutes, but enjoyable and rewarding. It is an optimistic song with the chorus going, “All Around the World, you’ve gotta spread the world, tell ’em what you heard, we’re gonna make a better day”. It is brilliantly layered and produced. It begins with nicely strummed guitars, and a beautiful feel to this song. Liam sings in a wonderful way that sounds quite profound of him to do so. This was written much earlier before 1997, and just goes to show what a little bit of effort could have actually done for this album. It is a very good song, even if it is well over nine minutes long. There are a multitude of instruments and great overdubs here. But to be fair, this is not what Oasis were about. Oasis were about, songs by a band of the people, for the people. A Phil Spector like approach neither suits their songs, nor does this album really well. Yes, this is an excellent listen but nothing really that great. Good to hear once, and then worth forgetting. The second half sounds much better than the first half though, although very lengthy. The string section instrumental section is pretty nice, mind you. You’ll be glad when it’s over.
It’s Gettin’ Better (Man!!) is a mosh pit style rock tune. It is a good listen, although nothing really special itself. It begins with a load of guitars, like about enough to blow your eardrums apart. It is a good song, but apart from some energetic drumming from Alan White, this falls short. It doesn’t seem to have the energy, quality or brilliance of earlier Oasis material than made the Gallagher brothers in particular famous. Good but by no means great, this is another fairly throwaway tune. The wah-wah guitar solo is pretty cool, but would have been bettered in a more logical situation. The key change doesn’t do anything for this song, nor does the chanted lyrics over and over again in the outro. Pathetic, really. Could have easily been edited here.
The album concludes with All Around The World (Reprise) which shows the brilliance of the orchestral sessions done for this album. There are classical and jazz influences through the whole of the Be Here Now album. The album concludes with a door slamming shut, the equivalent of Oasis shooting themselves in the foot. Still, this orchestral thing here is definitely different, and Whitey’s drumming here is really quite good.
Why check out this album? Admittedly, it is not the best album ever. But still, it has its moments. For real Oasis fans, check out the remastered re-release of Be Here Now with loads of demos and extra songs, released in 2016. Still, it has aged poorly and isn’t worth repeat listening, but is good fun in its own way.
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