Oasis. One of the most iconic British bands of all time and true pioneers of the Manchester music culture which has dominated the industry for decades. Formed in 1993 by brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, their impressive yet turbulent career lasted 15 years professionally where they played live to millions of adoring fans. They also think an awful lot of themselves, claiming to be “the best band in the f*****g” world on about 5 billion different occasions before being modest and admitting they’re “only the 4th best band ever” in the words of Noel himself. They influenced a generation with their stripped back, britpop style and rock and roll culture, just lads from working class backgrounds who fought off the dole and took over the world. It’s almost unfair to give them a top 10 on their songs because they had so many songs which truly defined and hallmarked their generation of music but I’ll give it my best shot.
Without a shadow of a doubt this is Oasis’ most underrated and under-appreciated song. Who cares if Liam wrote it? It’s a blinding song at the end of the day and what a modern day Beatles hit would sound like. It’s also a very impressive vocal performance from Liam himself who is very proud of this song as it gave him his platform to prove his worth as a songwriter and in my opinion at least, he didn’t disappoint. The only issue with it is that it’s two minutes long, it leaves you wishing there was another verse just so we could hear those beautiful backing keys in that chorus or the subtly melodic two chord guitar playing. Liam Gallagher describes himself as “the perfect mix between John Lennon and John Lydon” in his vocals and his Lennon-ness is on display here, a highlight off the 2002 number one album Heathen Chemistry.
9. Fuckin’ In The Bushes
One of the greatest intro tracks on an album there has been and ever will be, it’s an absolute explosion of genius and sheer talent from the off with the crisp and heavy drum beats before the now iconic guitar riff provided by Noel Gallagher. It’s the perfect intro and has opened all their gigs ever since its release as the opener on Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants, the band’s 2000 release and their fourth studio album. Sampling the 1970 film Message To Love – Isle Of Wight, it’s aggressive yet fairly motivational lyrics are understated and overshadowed by the sheer brilliance of the instrumental. The song has also been used on the climatic scene of iconic Hollywood film Snatch and was used by Bowling For Soup as their opener for the Get Happy tour. It’s influence has been felt all over the world and proves that incredible instrumentation can rival any lyricism.
I’m not a massive fan of this song, but how could you possibly leave it off the list? Anyone who does it is either a liar or is attempting to be indie and cool. The 1995 hit is basically the national anthem of England and has provided nothing but joy for millions and millions of people. It’s the easiest song in the world to not only remember but also play on guitar and the song in itself has become an Internet meme with the classic “anyway, here’s Wonderwall” line. In the words of Noel Gallagher himself, “I don’t know why it’s so popular, you’ll have to ask someone who likes it” and I think that’s the point, nobody knows why but it just is. Similar to the way Mr Brightside by American rock band The Killers is such an iconic track, Wonderwall has spiralled and become arguably the most famous song of all time. It’s also one of Liam Gallagher’s best vocal performances as basically all of the attention is on him and his voice, just how he likes it. “What the f**k is a Wonderwall?” is another Noel Gallagher quote about his own song but that almost adds to the beauty and the hysteria of the song, it’s a mystery but we will all love and cherish it forever.
7. The Importance Of Being Idle
The most unique and original sounding song Oasis have ever released. It sounds like something out of a 50s Western film and has been embraced and welcomed as one of Oasis’ best post millennium tracks. A modern classic in its style and approach as the lyrics speak of laziness but welcoming that laziness and being happy with who you are, no matter how bad other people think it may be. Noel’s vocals fit the song much better than Liam’s would have due to his more stateside sounding voice than the ‘I’ve never ventured out of Manchester’ tones of his younger brother. The structure of the song is made almost to be like a story, the tale of a man who began to lose everything around him. The chorus is a very uplifting and real vision of life and all of its wonder as he questions the expectations set upon everyone and they should instead be happy with “a bed beneath the stars that shine”. It’s without doubt the best song off of an otherwise indifferent 2005 album named Don’t Believe The Truth, which also matches with the message of this song in a way. Some will disagree, but I really think this is an absolute hit and is perhaps Noel’s finest work post 2000.
Translated to accepting something reluctantly but without protest, this song is all about the struggles of a relationship, whether that be in love or in familial terms. Die hard Oasis fans will often say that the song is about the turbulent relationship between Noel and Liam with them both singing on the song and Noel’s brilliant chorus lyrics stating “we need each other, we believe in one another” which have now become a hallmark in Oasis history. It’s the opening song on their 1998 release ‘The Masterplan’ and is what can be described as a ‘proper Oasis tune’ in that it has that infectious rock and roll guitar structure and the raspy and elongated tones of Liam Gallagher’s voice in the verses. It’s an amazing song which has over the years been a smash hit when performed live as it always brings the crowds in. It’s not a particularly stand out vocal performance from either of the Gallagher brothers but what makes this song so great is the stripped back rock and roll sound which we have come accustomed to with Oasis over the years, not to mention that the lyrics in the chorus are memorable and relatable as well as being very very easy to sing along to.
5. Don’t Look Back In Anger
It’s Noel and Liam’s mum’s favourite song and she says as cries every single time she hears it. It’s perhaps the song which should have taken Wonderwall’s place as the most famous Oasis song but that’s not me saying it isn’t big. It’s still a monumental hit and probably their second most famous song but it’s leaps and bounds ahead of Wonderwall in terms of quality. The build up to the chorus and then the belting of “and so Sally can wait” is my favourite 10 seconds in music history and it gives me goosebumps on every listen. Despite very popular belief, ‘Sally’ is not ‘Sally Cinnamon’ which is of course the debut single of fellow Manchester group The Stone Roses, a band which influenced Noel and his song writing greatly. This is a song which carries such a beautiful tone and message with it and is probably one of the greatest showing of lyricism ever from Noel in his emotion and passion placed into the whole song. “Please don’t put your life in the hand of a rock and roll band” is such a poignant line and something that will surely stand with fans for so long in that you need to be yourself (look out for the next song in the list for that reference) and don’t devote yourself to anyone else. Oh, and Liam wrote the Sally line apparently so he’s going down as co-writer for that.
Oasis’ first single. 1994. The Roses are gone and now there is a convenient hole in the music industry for a proper British band to step in and take over. Enter Oasis. A song about anger, growing up on the dole, living in a poor area yet still loving life and making a great time of it. “You need to be yourself, you can’t be no-one else”, always remember that. It’s just sheer arrogance from start to finish and that’s why so many people love it, it’s the music equivalent of Liam Gallagher strutting into a bar full of the world’s best musicians at that time and punching every last one of them. The guitar playing of Noel Gallagher is also something that deserves an enormous amount of credit as he manages to play an understated yet still shredding solo at the end of the song and also have a quite brilliant riff all the way through. The song which will stand as Oasis’ rock and roll bow and the moment they never looked back.
3. Slide Away
It’s Paul McCartney’s favourite song of all time. PAUL MCCARTNEY. The lead songwriter of the most famous band of all time. That’s how good Slide Away is. The most bizarre thing about this song was that it was never released as a single off the record breaking debut album Definitely Maybe. The reason for this, in the words of Noel himself, is because “you can’t have five [singles] off a debut album, Michael Jackson had five singles on his album and he has a monkey and a jet.” Noel describes it as one of his “biggest regrets” not releasing it as a single because of how incredible a song it really is. There’s no debate about it, this is also Liam’s best vocal performance ever, it’s just so crisp and he never misses a note in a very challenging song to sing. The song is a brilliant rock love song with relatable and memorable lyrics, what more could you want? Oh yeah, a complete fluke of a genius guitar solo. In the ‘Stop The Clocks’ interview of 2005, Noel Gallagher revealed that he had accidentally reversed the tapes and so he heard the guitar riff in reverse and ended up keeping it like that because of how bizarrely it perfectly fit in with the song. It’s one of the longest songs they’ve ever released but nobody will ever tire of it, it’s one of those songs which will never ever age, it has a timeless sound to it and will be remembered and enjoyed for generations on end. If a Beatle is calling it his favourite song ever it’s not bad.
2. Live Forever
The song where it all changed for the band. A song full of beauty and understated arrogance. It’s Liam’s favourite Oasis song and is one he often refers to even to this day, using the song’s title as his acceptance speech for Oasis winning their NME lifetime achievement award. It’s a fairly self explanatory message really, a song about enjoying your life and making it feel like you’re going to live forever, no negative thoughts and no looking back. “Maybe I don’t really wanna know how your garden grows” is a strange lyric in its basic form but I interpret it as being held up and held back by worrying about other people’s problems rather than focusing on your own. That motive in itself is valid reasoning for it to be in the list let alone the brilliance of the song itself. Often described as ‘the indie Oasis fan’s favourite song’ but the reality of it is that it’s truly a captivating and heroic track, one which has influenced so many of the artists of today and has been stamped as the song which began the dizzying soar to fame for this little bunch of ego-maniacs from Manchester. The moment they moved from flat to mansion, from rags to riches.
1. Champagne Supernova
My funeral song, the most beautiful and magnificent song you’ll ever hear from Oasis and yet it’s a song of such simplicity. A tactic which began with the Beatles and moved over the years to Oasis, proving that even the most simple chords and and limited lyrics can make such a passionate and heartfelt song. “How many special people change, how many lives are living strange?” are words that will stay with you for life and can be appreciated by absolutely everyone in the world. Perhaps the greatest feat of this song is how it transitions from slow, acoustic ballad to a loud, raw anthem with the unbelievable electric guitar riff and the almost shouting voice of Liam Gallagher. “Cos you and I we live and die, the world keeps spinning around we don’t know why” is the most truth that has ever been sung in music. When someone you love dies, or even you die, there’s an expectancy that the world just stops and stands in attention, never to recover. Noel’s lyricism of this song uncovers the harsh reality of life, nothing changes if someone dies, it all carries on and that’s a sad fact, a fact which Noel had to write a song about. It’s a song which will stand the test of time, it’s alongside the likes of Stairway To Heaven and Yesterday as an iconic and passionate ballad about life and all of it’s struggles. No single human being will never ever understand my love for this song but I’ve tried my best to explain it to you.
Cigarettes & Alcohol
Half The World Away
Go Let It Out