Monday, April 12, 2010

In Defence of Oasis: The Singles Compilation

I thought those Beatles/Oasis comparisons were a bit off in the mid-1990s. And I was disappointed with Oasis when I saw them live at the old WUST Music Hall in D.C. (now the new 9:30 Club) in early 1995 (with Velvet Crush opening up!).

The band on stage, virtually motionless, didn't seem to have any of the swagger of the same band that I had heard on record performing "Supersonic" or the sublime "Live Forever".

It wasn't until I got the b-sides collection, The Masterplan, in 1998 that I started to reassess the band.

As others have noted: Oasis are not, were not, the modern Beatles; they are just Beatles fans doing Slade songs, to put it bluntly.

But that's not an insult; the world needs more loud, brash songs like "Lyla". There's no pretentiousness, no trying to save the world, no trying to be clever, and so on.

And a large measure of the band's appeal is Liam Gallagher, the world's most underrated lead vocalist and, quite possibly, the last true rockstar.

Frequently yobbish and loud, he remains a pleasure to watch on film. And he doesn't get enough credit for somehow amazingly combining the singing styles of Johns Lydon and Lennon into one post-punk sneer sung up into a microphone.

And that's not even mentioning the fact that as he's aged, Liam has really grown into his looks. Let's face it: when he wants to look good, he is strikingly handsome for a rockstar.

So I'm happy that the band is putting out a singles collection in June, Time Flies... 1994-2009, which should collect a lot of the essential tracks by the band including the 1994 non-album single "Whatever".



The track listing looks like it could be the thing I put in the car stereo and don't skip anything on. And I say that already owning all of these songs but I'm pretty sure that I will buy this on CD format in the shops.

A good singles comp. on CD has a tangible value that all of these songs scattered on a computer drive doesn't have.


"Supersonic"
"Roll with It"
"Live Forever"
"Wonderwall"
"Stop Crying Your Heart Out"
"Cigarettes & Alcohol"
"Songbird"
"Don't Look Back in Anger"
"The Hindu Times"
"Stand by Me"
"Lord Don't Slow Me Down"
"Shakermaker"
"All Around the World"
"Some Might Say"
"The Importance of Being Idle"
"D'You Know What I Mean?"
"Lyla"
"Let There Be Love"
"Go Let It Out"
"Who Feels Love?"
"Little by Little"
"The Shock of the Lightning"
"She Is Love"
"Whatever"
"I'm Outta Time"
"Falling Down"


Here's a song with admittedly nonsensical lyrics -- and the title means what? -- but it's loud, with a catchy lick, and that Liam sneer that I love so much...

Oasis "The Hindu Times" on Top of the Pops (2002)