Oasis - Time Flies...1994-2009

2010-10-14 09:45
Time Flies...1994-2009

Seeing Oasis live for the first time at the Coke Zero Fest last year was the realization of a dream for me – sort of. I'd been swooning over "Wonderwall" since I first heard it in 1995, I was thoroughly caught up in the ridiculous Blur vs Oasis Britpop war (I was on Team Blur, incidentally) and (What's the Story) Morning Glory was the first album I ever owned. And Liam Gallagher was a scruffy sex god. Only it was 2009 and the band's best days were long, long gone. As thrilling as it was to see Liam Gallagher mug and swear at the crowd and get to sing those songs (oh, those songs) out loud with thousands of fans, the whole show still felt like they were just there to collect a cheque afterwards.

Unsurprisingly, the band broke up soon after. But they'd already overstayed their welcome and what was so fresh, so in-your-face and unifying 10 years ago had devolved into mediocrity. And they knew it.

So more than 6 months after the band finally hung up those Union Jack guitars and fought their last drunken fight, we get this – a 2CD, career-spanning collection of their biggest hits (of which there were many) and the songs you might've missed along the way (the post-2000 stuff).

It starts right at the beginning, with "Supersonic" off debut album Definitely Maybe. It's crazy how good that song still sounds today, how it's maintained that power to make you want to go out and have a great night. It also introduced the world to Noel Gallagher's unique way with words: She done it with a doctor on a helicopter/She's sniffin in her tissue/Sellin' the Big Issue. Brilliant.

From there on it rejects all timelines and teleports to mid-1995 and the song that kicked off the Britpop chart war with Blur's "Country House" – "Roll With It" (it lost the race to #1, by the way) before regressing to their great stadium anthem "Live Forever" (the best song they ever did?) and hitting its peak early with "Wonderwall" – the torch song that can never die. You might've sung along to it once.

Understandably, disc 1 is heavy on the Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory material, sneaking in the stunning "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" from 2002's underrated Heathen Chemistry and "Stand By Me" - the only survivor of 1997's disastrous Be Here Now – although the curiously magnanimous "All Around the World" and the still-epic "D'You Know What I Mean?" are here too. If hindsight has taught us anything it's that Be Here Now was not their weakest release by a long shot – that dishonour goes to Don't Believe the Truth from 2005.

Disc 2 starts off promisingly enough with "Some Might Say" (And my dog's been itchin'/ Itchin' in the kitchen once again) before losing steam as the band discovered Eastern mysticism on Standing on the Shoulder of Giants in 2000 and went over all mushy as they traded cocaine binges and sex with groupies for stable relationships and playtime with the kids. But still, the combination of Liam's almighty sneer and Noel's emphatic songwriting will never ever get old. Not if I can help it.

There's just no escaping the magnetic pull of a band sounding so over-confident, so reckless and inspired at the same time. Sure, their sound was derivative (bringing to mind an unholy alliance between the Beatles, Stones and every band Manchester ever gave birth to) but it made you feel. And that's all they ever set out to do. Innit?

There's just no escaping the magnetic pull of a band sounding so over-confident, so reckless and inspired at the same time.

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