Tag Archives: Oasis

Oasis snubbed Trainspotting soundtrack thinking film ‘was about trainspotters’. Yes, I know it’s just a throwaway filler piece in The Guardian. But you’ve got to laugh.

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When Critics Fail To Do Their Job

The Guardian have published an interesting article on the massive hype surrounding the release of Oasis third album “Be Here Now”, and the subsequent bursting of the bubble.

The press release declared it as having the same impact as coming of Elvis and Dylan going electric. It received fawning five-star reviews in almost every publication. And then in a space of just a few days, its reputation crashed and burned once people had the chance to hear the record and realised that what they were hearing didn’t match the hype.

The mood of the country had changed since Oasis’ first two albums; Radiohead’s “OK Computer” was the record everyone was talking about, and the cool kids were forming prog-rock bands. Oasis’ combination of the least interesting aspects of indie and classic rock has become yesterday’s sound.

This pair of quotations from music journo Paul Lester and publicist Johnny Hopkins are quite illuminating.

“I was caught up in the excitement of it all,”  Lester says. “I’m so sorry to everybody for that review, but the enormity of it was captivating. We were reviewing a moment in history and staking our part in it. It was like seeing the great behemoth of a spaceship in Close Encounters. You felt awed into submission.”

“You want the record to be good because you’re into the band,” says Hopkins. “And you want it to be good because that means it’s going to sell well and that’s going to help the magazines sell well. But I was surprised that there wasn’t a dissenting voice. When a band gets to that level, there’s always someone who says, ‘Hold on a minute,’ but there wasn’t [for Oasis].”

The whole episode is a teachable moment in the history of music criticism. It marked the beginning of the end of an era in which the mainstream music press had a huge influence as tastemakers and gatekeepers. For the NME in particular it was the beginning of their long-overdue decline into irrelevance.

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Noel Gallagher, The Gift That Keeps On Giving

So Noel Gallagher has a new interview out. His interviews are always far more entertaining than his records nowadays, and this one sees him try and pick a fight with One Direction fandom, amongst others.

But this quote takes the biscuit (I’ve left the swears in)

I was being asked about a reunion five weeks after I left the band. It’s a modern phenomenon. It’s a modern disease. All the bands that get back together, all those ones you’ve mentioned [Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin] they didn’t have anybody in the line-up as fucking brilliant as me. What’s the guitarist out of Fleetwood Mac called? Lindsay Buckingham. I can’t remember him setting the world on fire. Jimmy Page? That’s debatable. He’s a good guitarist but I’m not sure how many solo albums he’s fucking made.

Oh dear, oh dear.

The software development industry, or rather the software development recruitment industry, often talks about “Rock star developers”. I have always found the concept utterly ridiculous, and the above quote goes a long way towards demonstratng why. In today’s world, the concept of “Rock Star” is far more about swaggering ego than it is about actual skill.

As a guitar player, Noel Gallagher is at best a mediocre talent who is not fit to tie the shoelaces of Jimmy Page or Lindsay Buckingham. If you read some listicle of supposedly great guitarists and see his name there, it’s as much proof that the list is a load of cobblers as the absence of Tony Iommi or Nile Rogers. And as a songwriter his work is so derivative and backward-looking that if he was a programmer he’s be writing in COBOL.

There was a day when “Rock Stars” represented the top talent of their profession. The larger-than-life personality was part of the package, but the talent had to be there. But the days of Freddy Mercury and Jimi Hendrix had long gone by the time Oasis arrived on the scene, and the worlds of creative artists and media celebrities have gone their seperate ways.

Anyone who talks about “Rock star programmers” is living in the 1970s.

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So Beady Eye have split after failing to set the world on fire. If they had hoped to be Whitesnake to Oasis’ Deep Purple, they ended up being Paice, Ashton & Lord.

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Metallica: Oasis’ part in their downfall

Today’s Guardian Music Blog clickbait is Oasis: the band that changed our lives – by Lars Ulrich

It was Oasis and the Supersonic single. Thus began a long and very rewarding relationship with a sound, an approach and a way of looking at the world that has had a huge impact on me and helped shape who I am today … for whatever that’s worth.

Yes, you read that right. Lars Ulrich has claimed Oasis changed his life in the early 90s. Let’s take a closer look at the chronology, shall we?

1) Metallica produce the groundbreaking and seminal “Ride the Lightning“, “Master of Puppets” and The Black Album.

2) Lars hears Oasis and it changes his life

3) Metallica release “Load“, “Re-Load” and “St. Anger

So, as well as setting mainstream British guitar music back 20 years, can we also add ruining one of America’s most important metal bands to the Gallagher brothers’ charge sheet?

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Oasis – Definitely Maybe

Definitely MaybeThe way Oasis typically get the blame for the every unimaginative lumpen guitar band that followed in their wake means their place in music history has tended to overshadow their actual music. Indeed, there’s a widespread view that 90s Britpop was one of the worst things that ever happened to British popular music. All of which makes it hard to judge the actual records, especially when you listen to them outside the context of the time and place of the original release.

So, twenty years after its original release, how well does their first album stand up?

There was something about them besides that rock’n'roll swagger that appealed so much to a certain kind of music journalist. Noel Gallagher did have an ear for a good pop tune, even if he sometimes tended to steal rather than write his own. The rhythm section is solid, and the album is more than a couple of hits and a load of filler. The album does have its notable strengths.

But Noel’s stream-of-consciousness gibberish lyrics just sound ridiculous; at least Jon Anderson of Yes sounded profound. Noel just sounds as if he’s never read a book in his life, and all he can do is string together clichés. The way he established a laddish anti-intellectualism as a representation of working-class authenticity cannot possibly be a good thing.

As for his brother Liam, I’ve never quite understood why the press at the time thought he was ever one of rock’s great frontmen. His voice starts getting irritating after a bit, and his attempts to replicate Johnny Rotten’s vocal tics sound ridiculous. Anyone who thought he was one of the greatest really needed to get out more.

But there are worse vocalists than Liam, and the weakest link of all is Noel’s extremely limited lead guitar playing. He does his best on “Live Forever” with a solo containing every single note he knows and making the most of his limited technique. But a song like “Slide Away” is the sort of thing that might have been transformed had Oasis had a half-decent lead guitarist. As it is, with Noel’s rudimentary instrumental skills it comes over as a sort of lobotomised Lyrnyrd Skynyrd. And that’s one of the best tracks on the the album.

This was an album that combined the mainstream and the alternative by taking the least interesting parts of both, resulting in something too bombastic to be indie, but lacking the musical sophistication of rock or the raw energy of punk. Oasis’ success demonstrated that large scale success in rock’n'roll is as much about being in the right place at the right time as it is about depth of talent. And the extent to which enough money thrown at PR can propel the most average of bands into superstardom.

While it was still enjoyable record at the time of release, even considered a game-changer by some, two decades on it has stood the test of time rather less than Kula Shaker’s first album.

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Noel Gallagher: More Devastating than a points failure?

So Noel Gallagher said to be working on ‘seismic’ new album

On the day it comes out, Virgin Trains won’t be able to cope with all the people trying to flee the chaos,’ says Mark Coyle, who co-produced Definitely Maybe.

The trouble with that analogy is that all it would take to stop people being able to get out of Manchester by Virgin Trains would be a points failure at Slade Lane Junction.

But “Noel Gallagher’s album: More devasating that a points failure at Slade Lane Junction” is hardly a killer slogan…

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Hype and Substance

Clockwork AngelsHow often does a much-hyped creative work end up leaving you cold? I’m not talking about heavily-promoted artistic flops like Oasis’ infamous “Be Here Now”. I’m thinking more of things that create a huge buzz within a given fandom, but leave you scratching your head over quite what all the fuss is about.

Rush’s 2012 album “Clockwork Angels” is a case in point. When it came out many music fans of my acquaintance were speaking of it as an album of year, but barring a couple of songs the album failed make any strong impression on me at all. No matter how many times I listened the bulk of the album ended up going in one ear and out the other. The brickwalled mastering didn’t help, but neither did the the album’s lack of memorable songs. For me at any rate, it wasn’t a patch on golden age Rush from the 70s and 80s, and compared poorly with later albums such as “Counterparts”.

Have similar things happened to you? Can you think of albums or other creative works where sometimes it feels as if you’re the only person who doesn’t get it?

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Top Ten Reasons Why Marillion Are Better Than Oasis

As if you really needed to know…

Yes, it’s another stupid list. Deal with it.

  1. Marillion have made more that two good albums
  2. Marillion have five creative band members, and have kept the same lineup for 19 years
  3. Even ex-members of Marillion have made made great solo albums – how many classic records has Bonehead made since leaving Oasis?
  4. The Guardian Music blog does not include pointless blogs about Marillion every week.
  5. You cannot blame Marillion for the phenomenon of landfill indie
  6. Nobody would consider calling Steve Hogarth “Monkey Boy”
  7. Marillion are far more than a glorified tribute to the bands they were accused of ripping off at the start of their career.
  8. Marillion have never released an album accompanied by deafening hype, which then turned out to be complete rubbish.
  9. Let’s just not talk about Oasis’ contribution towards the profitability of Bolivian marching powder industry…
  10. Even Richard Dawkins thinks Steve Rothery is God, only Noel Gallagher thinks Noel Gallagher is God.
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