4 May 2013

Oasis - Definitely Maybe

What have the Gallagher ever done for us (imagine that being said in the style of John Cleese from the film "Life of Brian".  Back in 1994 in the UK, the music scene was stagnant for home grown bands.  Everyone was trying to be the next Nirvana or was on the right course but the bigger picture was not falling their way (see PJ Harvey's early career).  The time (as Bob Dylan was going to sing) was a changing and in a way, it was so much changing as being updated.  I remember the first time I heard Oasis was on a car journey to a camp in Castle Eden.  My mate got this album put on the cassette player (that is how old this is) and I would love to say it was a moment that changed the course of my life, but it wasn't.  That happened when I found Nirvana and Iron Maiden. However it was a moment that perked my interest up.  Who were these nutters that were starting to take the press headlines, get punched in Newcastle and storm off stage (true story) and why were everyone and their mothers raving about this bunch of louts from Manchester. 

Now I will go for the major thing that most people say about Oasis - they are unoriginal; they are a Beatles-tribute band in disguise and are boring. Well, maybe the unoriginal thing is true, but they did not just pay homage to the Beatles (they also used riffs from Slade, The Rolling Stones and others) and when did that become a bad thing?  I was in a band that ripped off Discharge and no-one complained about that. And whilst later Oasis releases may have been a bit more pedestrian, this was not the case at the time.  At this point Noel Gallagher had the Midas touch for song writing. Everything seemed to turn to gold.  Don't get me wrong, some of the songs are dull and annoying - I have never liked "Cigarette's & Alcohol", it just bores me and I can still hear lads singing it large in my head so out of tune they make Liam sound like an opera singer; "Up In The Sky" just goes nowhere for me and "Rock N Roll Star" whilst having a good riff and being an opening statement does last a few minutes too long.

But there is something about this album as a whole that makes it interesting.  "Slide Away" is the stand out track of the album which should have been a single, "Supersonic" (the first single off this album) is an amazing piece of work which I am sure will be point out to me to have been done better by someone else, "Bring It Down" is a stomp that just keeps on giving and "Live Forever" still makes me smile for memories and time held dear with it.  Yes it is not the most original work ever, but it is a good album and was worthy of the fuss it got at the time.  It is not the best album ever, not even the best album of the 90's, but it is up there.  You cannot argue against the album in terms of sales and chart performance - it was the right record for that time, it found its moment.  Listening to the album as a whole has been a good experience; it had not aged too badly, the songs I was not too bothered about as a kid still bore me now as an adult.  If you are new to the Oasis ride, start here - the beginning is for once the best place to begin. If you are an Oasis hater, this is obviously not going to convert you.  If you are curious to see what the fuss is about, you would be hard pushed to find a more solid release by them..... well apart from its big brother. But that is for Mr Jerm to discuss. So what have the Gallagher’s done for us....started the ball rolling here at least.

7 out of ten -
This is good and well worth a check

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