9 May 2013

Oasis - The Masterplan


It's a band that needs very little introduction. While some of the members of Oasis were noted for invoking controversy in their comments as well as in-house fighting, there was the odd glimmer of brilliance between the Gallagher brothers and a few moments where everything came together. The big question is, where was their best work? In their album tracks? On the airwaves? Or perhaps it was to be found in their B-sides? Personally, and not everyone will agree with me, the answer lies in the latter.

As rule, a B-side compilation album is generally frowned on as a "broken biscuits" section. Tracks that were recorded as an afterthought but deemed not good enough to be included in bands' studio albums. However, The Masterplan, while being a compilation, is a noteworthy portfolio, with virtually every track written by Oasis themselves (although admittedly through Noel Gallagher almost singlehandedly).

It's no secret that in many cases, the majority of Oasis' B-sides were good enough for radio play, so much so  that many indeed were. The title track, for instance, was retrospectively released 12 years after its recording to launch the Stop The Clocks greatest hits album and 3 other tracks from the Masterplan are also included. To the best tracks. Acquiesce which is a defining Britpop number, with it chunky chords and the Gallaghers sharing the lead vocals, a rare indication that they could get on with each other if they tried. Talk Tonight is a heartfelt acoustic ballad documenting Noel's woes in Los Angeles 1994 until a girl "talked me off the ledge".  Half The World Away is another acoustic tune but more of a world weary theme, instantly recognisable to many as the end credits of the BBC Program The Royle Family while the Masterplan lends itself to heavy use of a string and piano combo without losing any sense of quality lyrically. 

However, there are plenty other notable tracks on here, like the soulful and emotional Rocking Chair, the punk orientated reality check in Fade Away and I Am The Walrus (Live) which apparently attracted the attention of a one Alan McGee. With the critically slamming of their previous outing Be Here Now (and admittedly I was one the fierce critics too), The Masterplan is a welcome relief. Some of the tracks are a little under produced, but I think it only adds to the flavour to what the Manchester concern were capable of when they knocked some heads together. M. Richardson 09/05/2013

7 out of 10. This is good and well worth a check.

Listen to The Masterplan here on Spotify
You can buy the album here

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