This album marked the beginning of the end of Oasis. Although certain events had occurred since the band formed in 1991 that hindered musical and personal progress in the band, it really started here with their first retrospective compilation. Oasis needed to put this compilation out due to the end of their contract with Sony, so Noel Gallagher obliged and made his own mix of Oasis songs, almost completely disregarding everybody else’s advice. This pointed out that he was unwilling to listen to other people’s advice in general with Oasis’s music, and instead wanted to do his own thing, which preceded his own solo career.
This compilation, however is really good. It is a great mixture of songs from start to finish. Notably, it has a load of songs from the Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? eras, particularly focusing on some of the cuts most fans would not normally think of hearing. The other eras are mostly ignored, and Be Here Now songs are not on this compilation at all. This is obviously due to no small part of Noel’s dislike of that album, and to a lesser extent, the other albums as well. Still, it is worth a listen, so let’s jump in and do so.
We begin with Rock ‘N’ Roll Star which is the first track on Definitely Maybe. It’s a mission statement from Oasis, and is a great track to introduce their music with. Some loud humbucker guitars are here, and the whole thing sounds amazing. It’s very Punk rock, and just sounds great, any day. Liam Gallagher sounds a lot like John Lydon here, and this is a superb listen. A loud and raw statement from one of the greatest Rock bands ever, this is top. Loud, heavy and enjoyable, this is exactly what music should be. The outro has a load of psychedelic delay based sounds. Awesome. It’s just rock and roll, indeed.
Next is Some Might Say which begins with a feedback heavy set of riffs, before going straight into this wonderfully profound and uplifting song. It was the group’s first No. 1 in the UK and just sounds upbeat, emotionally positive and enjoyable. Great stuff, and perfectly good for starting off the day on the right foot. Liam’s singing carries this along, and he sounds brilliant here, and very inimitable. One of the best songs Oasis ever did, it fully deserves its place here. Awesome and inspiring, a great listen. Unfortunately the outro is edited here, which is a shame as it needn’t be necessary. Great to hear all the same, however.
Talk Tonight is a brilliant and moving song. It’s actually Noel Gallagher dedicating a thank you for someone who pulled him together after a disastrous USA tour that Oasis did. It is a very deep and meaningful piece, where Noel sings about a lady who saved his life. It has acoustic guitars, a gentle organ and Noel singing his heart out. Excellent, and definitely a quality listen. A great song for a sober mood. Brilliant. The outro is catchy and awesome. A top tune, and very essential.
Lyla is next, a great number from Don’t Believe The Truth. It has a great mixture of acoustic and electric guitar playing, along with some thunderous drums from Zak Starkey, Ringo Starr’s son. Everything about this is wonderful. Although Liam’s voice is very raspy on this song, it is still one of the definitive moments of Oasis’s music. Somewhat psychedelic, this is a great example of a decent song being matched by equally decent production and instrumentation. Great effort from start to finish. Thoroughly enjoyable. The outro is also solid, too.
Next is The Importance Of Being Idle which is an excellent listen from Don’t Believe The Truth. Noel sings wonderfully here, doing a falsetto and putting on a great performance. The song itself refers taking one’s time in life, and ignoring other people’s advice. It has an awesome stomp sort of feel to it, and is another quality tune that has not dated at all. Hats off to the Chief, right here. An excellent piece of Pop/Rock goodness.
The most popular Oasis song (and that of the 1990s) is Wonderwall. It begins with nicely strummed acoustic guitar, before Liam begins in a very heartfelt way. Despite Noel’s claims otherwise, this is a love song of sorts, and just sounds really very good. Drummer Alan White puts in a superb performance here, drumming like his life depends on it. The whole thing is absolutely brilliant and well delivered. No wonder it is still so popular, it is an excellent piece of music. Great to hear any day. Each band member puts in 100% here. Excellent music. The piano led outro at the end is also cool.
Slide Away is a top piece from Definitely Maybe, and has Liam Gallagher singing his heart out in a passionate and relatable way. This is a great love song, and is awesome listening if you like deep and meaningful music. It’s obviously about a love/sexual feeling that one may have. The guitar solo sounds really amazing here, and is a great example of a Gibson Les Paul played into a Marshall amplifier. An epic and emotional piece all the way through. Great sentiment here, this is a great classic Rock tune. Brilliant. It reaches an awesome climax towards the end, nice effort Oasis.
Cigarettes and Alcohol borrows a riff directly from 1970s rocker T.Rex, but is a really great tune about get wasted, but in a very intellectual sort of way. This is another great Definitely Maybe track, and a great example of how Oasis were so important in the 1990s. Some excellent lyrical lines are in this song, showcasing that Noel Gallagher can and still can write songs for the masses. Brilliant effort. It also references cocaine use, which is an interesting addition on this song. It gets very loud towards the end, with loads of feedback and hiss. Great stuff.
Ending side one is The Masterplan which is one of the most underrated listens by any band ever, including Oasis. It begins with a counted intro, followed by brilliant acoustic guitars and a beautiful string and horn section to match. Noel Gallagher sings this one, and delivers them in a powerful and unique voice, and amplifies these lyrics to your own soul. The Masterplan itself refers to humanity’s existence. The whole piece of music is really fantastic to hear. Everything about this song is marvelous, this is a wonderful song. Very catchy and well delivered, Noel proves his worth here. Truly great song. The outro is moving, nice.
Next is Live Forever which begins with a thunderous drum part, before this brilliant song kicks in. It is a great musical statement and melodic tune. It’s very serious sounding, and Liam Gallagher sings extremely well here. Some of the individual lyrics lines are incredibly meaningful, and Noel Gallagher rightfully reveals himself to be a great lyricist and musician. The guitar solo is pretty amazing, too. Very moving, a great song and an enjoyable listen from start to finish. Totally worth your time. The outro is very haunting, in a soulful way.
Acquiesce begins with the demo of Morning Glory being played in the background, with some extra bits, before launching into a great Pop/Rock piece that is enjoyable and uplifting with many excellent guitar riffs to boot. This also is one of the few Oasis songs with both Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher taking different lead vocal parts. Hugely enjoyable, and an underrated classic by Oasis. The songwriting and vocal parts are put in place perfectly. It is very safe to say that Noel Gallagher should listen to this song more often today. Brilliant tune. Both the Gallaghers sing really well here. The outro is very much the same as the intro.
Supersonic is next, beginning with a basic drum beat and the instantly recognisable ascending/descending guitar riff, before the rest of the group kick in. It is a wonderful listen, especially as this was the band’s first single. It is loud, powerful, energetic and anthemic, a unique combination of good qualities packed into a brilliant Pop song. Liam’s singing is top notch here, and this is a great listen. Excellent stuff. The lyrics are very nonsensical as well, which makes one wonder how many Gin and Tonics Noel had writing this song. The whole thing is a historically good piece of Pop/Rock goodness. Definitely essential.
Next is Half The World Away which is a simple and well delivered with Noel Gallagher singing and playing acoustic guitar, with some additional instrumentation added to it. This is a really great listen, and is a brilliant statement lyrically from Noel. An underrated gem that never ages, this is a really great song that is cool to hear, even if it is not the most popular of songs from Oasis. The outro organ keyboard sound is very refreshing.
Following is Go Let It Out which is an excellent Oasis piece from the Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants album. It is a straightforward and upbeat tune with a psychedelic feel about it. With some excellent sounds, especially the bass guitar, this is another underrated Oasis gem that sounds mega. Liam sounds fairly raspy here, but the whole tune is top notch. An excellent listen that should be in your ears, preferably as soon as possible. The keyboard and guitar solos here are amazing, and the outro sounds like Oasis put in 100% to create an enjoyable song. Brilliant.
Songbird is the only Liam Gallagher written tune here, but what a tune it is! Very simple, beautiful and melodic, this is a great effort. It’s the shortest Oasis song ever made, but is very unforgettable upon hearing. Moving and wonderful, Liam sounds somewhat like a Country music singer on this song. Great piece of music.
Morning Glory comes next, which is the title track of Oasis’s second album. Beginning with some melodic and awesome guitar riffs, before going into one of the catchiest and most essential songs about drug use. It is much more than that as a song, it just sounds really amazing. The chorus is in particular catchy and wonderful to hear. A great piece of mid 1990s Britpop music. The whole thing is wonderfully crafted, although the drums could be mixed a bit higher. It builds up to a crazy amount of guitars at the end, which are brilliant. Sadly, the outro is edited here but it does segue nicely into the next song.
Next is Champagne Supernova which is by far one of the best Oasis songs out there. It has some very good references to a surreal sort of experience over acoustic guitars and Liam sings wonderfully here. The rest of the band kick in shortly afterward, and this piece gets going. The centrepiece line, “Where were you when we were getting high?” is a great line that is repeated through the song. There are many instruments in this one such awesome guitar riffs, keyboards and even a harmonica. Especially considering that this was the last track on (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? it does point ahead to Be Here Now. Great tune, and it is really an Interstellar Overdrive here. It gets extremely loud in the midsection, with guest Paul Weller playing super loud guitar with Noel Gallagher. Top song, and as it gradually winds down, it feels like a three minute long listening experience, not seven minutes long. Great stuff.
Last is Don’t Look Back In Anger which is a great Pop/Rock piece sung by Noel Gallagher which is awesome and amazing and just sounds top, even today. The chorus in particular is amazing as well, just sounding ridiculously good. Noel Gallagher plays some wonderful guitar lines here. This song directly is inspired by John Lennon and some of his quotes that were never really heard before by anyone, which is why Noel incorporated them into this song. Regardless, a great way to finish this compilation. Top song. The ending is interesting.
After this release, the band made the awful Dig Out Your Soul before calling it quits in the unfortunate incident between Noel and Liam Gallagher. This is a great compilation though, perfect for that intellectual thinking mood when you need some Oasis.