Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Oasis

Slip inside the eye of your mind. Don't you know you might find. A better place to play.



So begins Don't Look Back in Anger, one of my favorite Oasis songs. This track makes me think about the Nineties and about one of the decade's most profound dramas Our Friends in the North, as our heroes walked slowly away into obscurity under the bridges of the Tyne to the sound track of Oasis, their parts that dated back decades now over, the identities lost in the modern world.

Music appeared to reach its zenith in the Nineties and then it faded away. But we shouldn't look back in anger. It's a good philosophy for life. While I don't generally favor the Biblical turn the other cheek mentality that can be translated as 'bitch slap me until I'm blue in the face,' there's much to be said for just walking away and finding yourself in another place where nobody knows your name.

It's strange that this should be the Oasis song that strikes a cord with me the most because the brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher appeared to look back in anger most of the time. Before turning back in anger and punching somebody in the face.

Oasis styled themselves on the Beatles, even if they were from the rival city of Manchester, rather than Liverpool. And for a while from 1994 to 1997 they were almost as big as the Beatles, before abruptly facing away.

Oasis had a raw and angry sound that seemed to come straight from the mean streets they grew up on. Their first hit Supersonic was taut and edgy. They were discovered by Creation Records co-owner Alan McGee, who invited them to play at King Tut's Wah Hut in Glasgow. Nobody recognized their name on the door but, by all accounts they bullied their way in, and stole the show.



Although Oasis were not originally seen as part of the Brit Pop movement, their epic battle with Blur for the Number One slot - primarily a media creation at the time - has forever associated them with the Brit Pop movement.

Blur's County House edged out Oasis' Roll With It. Oasis claimed there was a problem with the bar code on the single. Noel Gallagher later told a newspaper he hoped Damon Albarn and Alex James of Blur would "catch AIDS and die," later apologizing for the remark.

Noel Gallagher was the oldest and more sensible of the brothers.

His battles with his younger brother Liam, that often spilled over into violence, are the stuff of Oasis legend.

In 1994, for instance,  at a gig in LA, Liam,  under the influence of crystal meth, made offensive remarks about American audiences and assaulted Noel with a tambourine.

Oasis ultimately proved to be bigger than their nemesis Blur with an unprecedented run of 22 top 10 hits in the UK.

But they also went down faster and Blur's legacy remains stronger. The fame, mansions, swimming pools and girls, appeared to dull the edge of the Gallagher brothers and they lost their distinctive street fighting sound.



The Gallaghers did the normal band thing of splitting up and going solo. But they left a hell of a legacy. Let's hope they don't look back in anger.


Curious fact about Oasis - This hard edged northern band were named after a leisure center in southern Swindon of all places.

11 comments:

  1. Wow you're just breezing through this series, aren't you? :)

    Oasis...sigh. So many bad memories associated with their songs. Wonderwall and Supernova used to play every five minutes on the radio back in 1995 when I was 12 and suffered from acne, rainbow braces, and plastic glasses. So every time I hear those songs now, I think of being miserble, lonely, and unpopular.

    And then in college, I dated a guy obsessed with the band. Don't Look Back in Anger blasted on his iPod when he broke up with me after a year of being together. So I hate that song now.

    Blurg.

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  2. oops - looks like I scored a winner with that one, Jen.

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  3. Yes! I knew it :) How could it not have been Oasis? As you said, there aren't many O choices but still. All three songs are among my favorites, but what's the story morning glory? You missed one. Do you need a little time to wake up, wake up? Couldn't resist! ;) As you can tell I love them! I remember having the cassette tape of that album...yes a tape...and I wore it out. Still remember the day it snapped and wound itself into an non-fixable snarl...I was so bummed.

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  4. lol Tracy - I think I had the cassette of What's the Story, it may have snapped too. Yeah should have included it. Finally after about two weeks of the challenge I have caught up with comments which is quite an achivement for me.

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  5. The idea of any "rivalry" between Oasis and Blur smacks of the ridiculous, to me. I've always thought of them as very different bands - and isn't there room in the world for all kinds?

    Anyway, Noel Gallagher's "AKA... What a Life!" has gotten a bit of airplay of late. I quite like it. (Though I suppose this is a good example of him having lost that taut edginess, eh?)

    Some Dark Romantic

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  6. Yay! It isn't easy keeping caught up...good for you. Have a great night. :)

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  7. I could never really get into Oasis. I want to like them, I really do, I just.. can't. And I don't know why. :/

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  8. I know. I think it was mainly media generated Mina; I'll have to check that out. You too Tracy. Some might say you just don't like them Alyson.

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  9. I will have to read back on other posts.. love Annie Lennox and the Kinks..

    But love love love Oasis.. best ever. Supersonic is probably my number two fave and a great gym song. I did get to see them at Madison Square Garden in 2008 or so. We were wayyyy up and they were ants but it was a highlight for me.

    I have since seen, Noel's High Flying Birds and Beady Eye.. so glad they are still making music.

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  10. that's cool - I recall you saying you were a fan from before.

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