6 May 2013

Oasis - What's The Story (Morning Glory)

Oasis were (for a time) one of the biggest bands to ever come out the UK, and this was the album that made it so. It came out in 1995 and although the initial response was slow, interest soon picked up, partly because of the race between their single "Roll With It" and Blur's single "Country House" for the race to number 1. Although Blur won that battle, Oasis were to become the bigger band. This album also ushered in the era of "Brit Pop" where (it seemed like) any band with a guitar could get an album out. Singing in whatever provincial accent you had seemed a bonus as well. The whole thing lasted a few years up until 1997 when things started to calm down due to an over-saturation which lead to inferior bands (As happens when a scene becomes popular) but for a moment, it seemed like something special was happening.

Oasis were one of the forerunners of this new movement, if not THE leaders of this movement. A lot of this was the press coverage they garnered - the lead singer, Liam Gallagher was quite prone to exchanging harsh words with the press as well as other rockstarish behaviour. This in itself became a problem - as a result of this, it seemed like the band's fanbase changed from being mostly clued-up indie kids into knuckleheads who thought that because Oasis were hard, then by that rationale listening to them would make the listener hard (There was a similar problem in the metal scene with bands like Pantera and Biohazard but I digress). This album had to be special to survive the hype - and it does! Whereas the first one (Definately Maybe) had a more rock edge, this one was more anthemic. Everything about it screams 'Stadium Rock'. Music to sing along to whilst surrounded by 50,000 or so like-minded others. That's not to say it's the most perfect, complete album ever created. Not by a long shot...

The first criticism is, of course, the standard Oasis criticism - as good as the music is, a good deal of it is blatant plagiarism. The first song ("Hello") lifts it's melody from an old Gary Glitter song (This was before GG was found to be a sex-case, back then he was just a cheesy entertainer). "Don't Look Back In Anger" sounds like a splicing of the intro from "Imagine" by John Lennon and "All The Young Dudes" by Mott The Hoople. "She's Electric" even rips off the theme tune of a 70's kids show called "You And Me"! The title-track owes more than a few nods to "The One I Love" by REM. Back in the day, Noel Gallagher was often described as a musical genius - I'd change the word "Genius" to the word "Magpie" or "Womble" but that's just me. Having said that, I guess nothing is truly original and I suppose it may have lead new fans to these bands. The lyrics are as anthemic as can possibly be, although they can sound a little *forced* at times, following a rhyming slant that may as well be "the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain". They try and work a bit of psychedelic in them as well and it works at times. Having said all that, the songs are really good - although the track "Some Might Say" seems out of place as it has the old drummer on it (They changed drummers during the recording of this album). Don't get me wrong - it's an excellent song but is probably more suited to the first album.

So there you go. The album which defined the 'Brit Pop' era! Whilst not perfect, it's still a great listen and captures the moment perfectly. These days, it's a snapshot to what was a glorious summer.

7/10 - This is good and well worth a check.

Chris J

You can get this album off iTunes.
Buy on Amazon
At long last, we have the Spotify connection!

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