Apr 14

OASIS – “All Around The World”

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#781, 24th January 1998

When “All Around The World” came out, it wasn’t yet quite clear that Oasis had peaked. Yes, the album was a folly, but they were still colossal, with no sign they wouldn’t come back stronger next time. This record felt belligerent: the pointless length, the Pepperland video – a band being deliberately, grandly lazy. Think what you like about us, it said, we’re going nowhere.

Which turned out to be true. And with hindsight, I can hear a different, far less triumphant record hidden in this one’s rolls and folds of overdubbed flab. To get to it, though, I have to ask: how on Earth did this thing get so big, anyway? What were they feeding it?

Back on “D’You Know What I Mean”, I said that Noel Gallagher seemed in love with the idea of long songs, but with no clear ideas of how to make them. That might go double here, except he does have one clear idea: do something like “Hey Jude”. “Hey Jude” still isn’t my favourite Beatles song, but it’s past time I publically admitted that I got that review wrong. I accused “Hey Jude” of exactly the same thing I saw in “All Around The World” – a bludgeoning, manipulative, Bigness for its own sake. But “Hey Jude” is, more than anything, a generous song – the Beatles invent the monster coda not just to make something epic but because it fits with the song’s story: OK Jude, we’ve tried telling you it’s alright, now we’re just going to have to show you.

“Hey Jude” put the ‘hug’ in ‘huge’, and it never left: when British rock bands got big, the temptation was to get inclusive too, throw their arms around the audience. The Britpop backwash wasn’t immune – the Manics did it well, on “A Design For Life”, but more characteristic of the times was Embrace’s “All You Good Good People”. It was praised as the next step on from Oasis, a single which matched cyclopean string arrangements with vocals that were aggressively flat, singing a typically expansive hug rock lyric.

That’s the sort of territory “All Around The World” seems to be in, after the feint of the opening two minutes which are Oasis by-the-yard: vague threats, cut-up lyrics, a canny hook or two, and even Liam’s “sheey-ine”. Beyond that point – with as long to go as the entire of “D’You Know What I Mean” – niceties like ‘verses’ are done away with. Instead “All Around The World” becomes nothing but build upon build, supporting a chorus which is pure hug: welcoming but empty.

Except the density of the arrangements means that instead of soaring, each key change here feels like a collapse, the song’s structure giving way like a weak old floor and the entire record plunging even as it struggles to rise. And Noel Gallagher’s lyrics – and Liam’s yelling of them – get more desperate. “Well, I know what I know, and I know what I know, and I know what I know… it’s gonna be OK” – this isn’t reaching out any more, it’s a man clutching at himself and rocking as his track caves in around him. The song ends with Liam’s increasingly frantic pleas of “Please don’t cry! Pigs don’t fly! Never say die!”. He sounds bereft. But who’s he singing to?

The fairest interpretation of “All Around The World” is probably the obvious one – it’s a bombastic, tedious drug-fuelled fiasco that shows only how out of control Noel Gallagher and his band were becoming. But the band’s later history of single-minded irrelevance allows us a slightly kinder read, one where this song is still too big and clumsy to be good, but at least has an accidental poignancy. This is the sound of Oasis and their fans becoming the sect they ended up as, shouting reassurance to one another, wrapping themselves in a cocoon of enormousness in order to retreat from the world.



  1. 1
    flahr on 16 Apr 2014 #

    Making this observation is only going to make you like the record less, but – it’s not “Please don’t cry!”, it’s “Pigs don’t fly!”.

    Your criticisms of this are entirely fair, and it’s worth noting that I don’t like eg the Embrace record much – but I have an odd soft spot for this, partially because there’s a sort of charming silliness to it (“imagine how good ‘Hey Jude’ would have been if it had three key changes”, Noel is reported to have said) – it’s so mindlessly reductive and simple and desperately comforting that I warm to it. It helps that “wrapping [yourself] in a cocoon of enormity in order to retreat from the world” is a use case I find music useful for – after all, it could also describe My Bloody Valentine ;-)

  2. 2
    Tom on 16 Apr 2014 #

    Yes, the review here is me trying to write myself into liking it and picking likeable idiocy as one possible grounds – I think it’s a worthy use for music too, though this wouldn’t be the song I’d choose.

  3. 3
    Cumbrian on 16 Apr 2014 #

    1: Having listened to it again, it’s around the 7 minute mark and I’ve got to disagree with you. Liam’s diction isn’t always the best, but he’s definitely hitting a “pl” at the beginning of the phrase.

    On the Some Might Say thread, I said I suspected that I might wind up having to defend Oasis in the end (at this point, future, “history of single minded irrelevance” is a fair tipping of the hand, I would say). Not yet though. This is bollocks. Ridiculous, hubristic, ostentatious bollocks but bollocks all the same, rehashing and inflating almost everything that they’d done before, right down to Liam’s mangling of the word “shine” that once seemed to be a cocky “can I get away with this” drawl and now was just a cokey drawl.

    The grand joke of all of this is that, on the album, it fades out and “It’s Getting Better, Man” starts (all 7 minutes of it) before All Around The World gets a reprise – as if to suggest that they were playing it all along underneath and that it had stretched to well nigh 20 minutes. At end of the reprise, the sound of someone walking away from All Around The World (with the song getting fainter all the time) plays out until a door is opened and then slammed shut. Easy to read plenty into that but Radiohead had beaten everyone to it two year before (“I wish it was the 60s, I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen”, “Where do we go from here?”). In the end, Britpop was, I think – many may well disagree, for the largest part, a creative dead end – Radiohead probably just realised it more quickly than those driving the gravy train.

    If you really want to torture yourself, dig out the version of Street Fighting Man that’s on the B-Side of this and marvel in the laziness of it all.

  4. 4
    flahr on 16 Apr 2014 #

    #3: Fair point, on relistening that does seem to be the lyric. I can at least pass the buck on this one to Noel himself.

  5. 5
    anto on 17 Apr 2014 #

    The ‘gargantuan’ pizza on the menu in record form – Cheesy, doughy, no real flavour and impossible to finish.

  6. 6
    Chelovek na lune on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I think this is a remarkably kind and sensitive review of one of the most narcissistic (and simply lazy) records that will be encountered here – and also of a track that, essentially, goes nowhere, musically or lyrically, and never even promises to go somewhere and never even bothers to hint that it might perhaps just about consider doing so, at unreasonably great length. Then repeat, again again. No big hug here, apart from Gallagher Bro hugging himself. “I wanna kiss myself. I’m the one and only dominator”: is this the message here? If the track were less asleep, perhaps it would have been. Self-satisfied and enclosed, anyway.

    Let’s call it an “installation” rather than a “song” and gape at it, and then fall asleep. Dullsville, Manchester.

  7. 7

    […] are overrated. Choruses are overrated. Oasis was overrated — in England at least. Tom Ewing on their 1998 number one “All Around the World,” destined to be most effective as a […]

  8. 8
    Patrick Mexico on 17 Apr 2014 #

    This exhibit, ladies and gentlemen, is the passing of the sell-by date of Oasis, Britpop, and whatever the cokehead media invention “90s lad culture” was supposed to be.. narcissism, misguided nostalgia, overstaying its welcome to the nth degree (okay, five minutes) and a sense of “quintessentially English charm” used as a disguise for charmlessly imposing thuggery. It was a similar egomaniac, nationalist, “we are the best!” (note lower case, Swedish readers) idiocy that led to the trouble in Marseilles at France 98.

    Somehow, this record’s never really caused me hatred. Unlike Bohemian Rhapsody or American Pie, the first few lines don’t evoke a memorable sense of a very long single going on a very memorable journey. Beatles harmonies and cod-hippy references as transparent as a neon tetra. I usually like that naff sort of thing anyway, especially when it’s done in the tongue-in-cheek way the Gallaghers (before Be Here Now) were great at. But this is precisely the point I went from thinking Oasis were both the best mates you could ever have and the people you dreamed of being when you grew up, to boring old men down the pub farting on about “the good old days” (and when were they, exactly?) FIVE.

  9. 9
    Kinitawowi on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Oi, I like All You Good Good People. Yes, it’s six minutes of HUGE, but at least it’s not nine and a half of PRETENDING TO BE HUGE.

    As you’ve noted, this is totally Hey Jude without the charm, bombast without knowing what to do with it, a Beatles tribute without understanding what made them vaguely listenable. A record that deserves scant few of its plaudits; the longest number one of all time by technicality and arrogance (the album version of I’d Do Anything For Love is a full twelve minutes, but was edited down for single release; Oasis seem like the sort of people who would tell a radio station to fuck off if anyone tried to edit this).

    And yet… it’s still got that bigness about it that appeals to that Bloke part of me that really wants to participate in the drunken singalong without actually drinking. See also: If… by The Bluetones, large swathes of Embrace, Elbow’s partial bunny contributions, Hey Jude, ADFL, some Doves stuff…

    Also, it’s better than D’You Know What I Mean?.


  10. 10
    taDOW on 17 Apr 2014 #

    3 seems kind. oasis’ rep in america now is curious. ‘wonderwall’ never really faded away completely and on alt-nostalgia stations you’ll still hear most of the oasis tracks that hit on any level here – ‘live forever’, ‘supersonic’, ‘cigarettes and alcohol’, ‘wonderwall’, ‘morning glory’, ‘champagne supernova’, ‘don’t look back in anger’. that’s a pretty deep bench, deeper than soundgarden or alice in chains or 90s (not 00s) green day manage and deeper than the rest of britpop combined (effectively just ‘bittersweet symphony’, ‘song 2’ and ‘there’s no other way’ if that counts, it’s been years since i heard the elastica or supergrass that managed to have any impact in the us). and yet the line is drawn at be here now as it has been in retrospect to the album itself. i say in retrospect because at the time be here now was a success in the us – ‘dya know whut i mean’ was a big mtv hit, ‘don’t go away’ hit #5 on the modern rock chart, oasis dominated rolling stone’s readers poll. i say this cuz there’s this sense that america wised up to oasis, while england hilariously made them a legacy act. it’s not totally errant – this lumbering turd went nowhere over here though it would eventually gain some profile via an att&t ad, like a microbe released by thawing tundra – but if anything killed america’s slight oasis mania it was the change in the altrock format and not the turn toward open worthlessness the band took. i guess what i’m saying is if at this late date anyone is still struggling to find a positive to nu metal, well, there’s yr silver lining.


  11. 11
    Patrick Mexico on 17 Apr 2014 #

    This makes Some Might Say sound like Wuthering Heights.

    (And I call for more pointless but fun “This makes *previous Oasis song* sound like *someone else’s virtually undisputed classic*” posts) :)

  12. 12
    Ed on 17 Apr 2014 #

    This makes ‘Whatever’ sound like ‘How Sweet to be an Idiot’.

  13. 13
    mapman132 on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Enjoy watching the video – I wouldn’t have been surprised to find out Terry Gilliam had directed it. The song on the other hand: you mean it’s not just the video that’s that long? No, actually the single is longer (9:38) than the video I pulled up on Youtube (7:03). My God, can’t imagine listening to nearly ten minutes of this without something to watch! As #10 said, this was pretty much the point that Oasis lost America for good. Even in 1998 I was surprised to see this atop the UK chart – as in, they’re still popular over there?

    5/10 only with the video, 3/10 otherwise.

  14. 14
    Elmtree on 17 Apr 2014 #

    There’s such a strange contrast on playing this song with the volume on low and on loud. Played quiet, this seems so sweet and gentle: Liam’s voice cowed but searching for something, high in the mix. It sounds vaguely jangle-pop, vaguely country, with a nice build into madness past a certain point.

    On loud…ouch. Dense, noisy and painful. Liam’s vocal sounds flat and uninspired, singing on his default setting, the guitar sounds pointless, the string arrangement superfluous, the drums empty and thumping. Whoever did the arrangement on Whatever, which really did this so much better, should have been brought back.

    Side note: the video’s husband and wife directors would go on to do Little Miss Sunshine, something else that sounds charming at first but that I have little time for.

    And of course this could have nailed it in three minutes and spent the rest in the pub, but even Noel, deep down, could have told you that.

  15. 15
    Elmtree on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Also, it’s not just Hey Jude I hear in this. Especially with the mixed-low piano at the end, to me this really sounds like the massive rock singalong that the Stones could have followed up You Can’t Always Get What You Want with but didn’t.

    I’ve always wondered what they would have done if they hadn’t treated that song and Gimme Shelter as dead ends and gone back to simpler rock songs. But maybe I shouldn’t.

  16. 16
    weej on 17 Apr 2014 #

    This could be ok if it ended after three or four minutes, but the sheer length of the thing is just so unearned and the way they can’t resist sticking a guitar lick into every tiny gap… further proof, it was needed, that taking too much cocaine doesn’t generally mean you’ll turn into the thin white duke.
    The overselfindulgence here is so extreme that it’s almost enjoyable camp – but you’d probably need to already have a fan’s commitment to even have the patience for that. If anyone’s interested someone’s made a video edit for the full eleven and a half minutes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yzMwsLooXE – I think there should be some kind of prize for watching it all, like a restaurant with a huge hamburger eating challenge.

  17. 17
    swanstep on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Is ‘enormity’ really synonymous with ‘enormousness’ now? Anyhow, the thought of Oasis and its fans cocooning themselves in absolute evil made me laugh (almost as much as when George W. Bush talked about the enormity of his being elected in 2000).

    Awful record; so bad that it retrospectively takes a little of the shine off ‘Hey Jude’, maybe off the Beatles more generally (one wonders whether Noel got a “Don’t do this again” note from McCartney). Liam’s ‘Na na na’s are particularly offensive; it’s like he’s personally mocking you that he’s at #1 with this shit whereas your band never went anywhere, etc.:

  18. 18
    Garry on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I had a quick look at my collection for songs between 7:00 and 7:10 in length, and there is not much comparable. It’s the length of Primal Scream’s Loaded, Pink Floyd’s Time, Aphex Twin’s On, some Red Snapper, Jah Wobble, Talk Talk’s Taphead etc, plus many tracks stretched out or shrunk down as played live, but straight-out, studio recorded rock is conspicuously absent.

    Even looking longer there isn’t much. Blur’s Tender is longer (7:40), though again it is more comparable with Spiritualized than this era Oasis.

  19. 19
    weej on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Garry @ #18 – The single edit of All Around The World clocks in at 9:38, a whole eighteen seconds longer than the version on Be Here Now (though without the two-minute reprise at the end of the LP). The video – mercifully – cuts it to just over seven minutes, but this version wasn’t commercially released. The 7″ single has a 4:51 edit, but in 1998 most of the sales would’ve been the CD single.

  20. 20
    Garry on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Thanks Weej. So people saw the video, bought the single and got minutes of… err… added goodness.

  21. 21
    Garry on 17 Apr 2014 #

    So the CD single version was a whole second shorter than Morrissey’s Moon River cover. Within a 20 second span I’m seeing plenty of jazz, Can, a few Underworld, The Orb, Electrelane and Pink Floyd’s Sheep. And Kraftwerk’s Endless Europe…

    The 1969 version of Down By The River clocks in at 9.16.

  22. 22
    lonepilgrim on 17 Apr 2014 #

    there’s a reasonably satisfactory b-side buried in here beneath the bombast and key-changes – unfortunately it really is dead and buried by the time the song ends.
    According to wikipedia Noel thought so much of this song that he had been saving it until he could do it justice. Just as with DYKWIM there’s a simple strummed chord sequence over which he proceeds to layer various effect pedals before lurching through the key changes. A large part of the problem is that none of the added guitars, effects, etc. add any counterpoint or richness to the song. The Beatles could rely on Ringo’s idiosyncratic drum fills, Lennon’s mercurial contributions or McCartney’s inventive bass lines (or on Hey Jude his varied vocals); here everyone just dumbly repeats Noel’s chord sequence. Only Liam adds any variety but even that wears thin after a while.

  23. 23
    Tom on 17 Apr 2014 #

    #17 fair point, “cocoon of enormity” flows better but wasn’t quite what I meant.

    #9 I have a soft spot for “All You Good Good People” too, in a kind of two-wrongs-make-a-right way – the way his singing has to push against the hugeness of the arrangement means there’s a struggle/tension in the song which is totally lacking from AATW (or from Hey Jude to be honest, but that song doesn’t need tension).

  24. 24
    byebyepride on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Reminds me a lot of Tears for Fears, Sowing the Seeds of Love. Vaguely ‘will this do’ songwriting, with aspirational/feel-good lyrics which could be pastiche or genuine tribute. As ever with Oasis I can’t work out whether Liam’s weird accentuation (sheeiiiiinnneee) is a defiant assertion of provincial accent and phrasing, punk-ish distancing from the sentiments of the song, or art rock affectation.

    #22 “there’s a simple strummed chord sequence over which he proceeds to layer various effect pedals before lurching through the key changes”

    Taking advantage of hindsight I’m tempted to say that this is the endpoint towards which most of the indie guitar/shoegaze of the 1980s and 1990s is pointing. If I’m remembering correctly Spiritualized are out on the road touring Ladies and Gentlemen We’re Floating in Space which is basically the same sort of thing as this but the tunes borrowed from slightly more obscure source material.

  25. 25
    Cumbrian on 17 Apr 2014 #

    #24: The major difference between this and Sowing The Seeds Of Love, is that STSOL is good – I suspect Noel would not really think so, though he might have agreed with “Kick out the Style, bring back The Jam”.

    I also think, as I may have alluded to earlier, that the mangling of shine is not really any of those things. It’s just Liam doing what Liam does – a retread of his own vocal style, calling back to a time when they really did seem to have something to say.

    The other thing is that there are worse songs Oasis released as singles – none of them got to #1 though, so won’t be troubling us here. I cannot imagine what the people dishing 1s out to this would think of Sunday Morning Call or Little By Little.

  26. 26
    Tom on 17 Apr 2014 #

    STSOL really does sound like what people accused Oasis of being – Heritage Industry Beatles. (I kind of like it.)

    Yeah the “sheeine” here is pure sonic branding, it’s Oasis’ equivalent of the Intel loading sound at this point.

  27. 27
    Erithian on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I remember reading how Tears for Fears had spent five years (“not dicking around”) producing STSOL, and heritage industry Beatles nails it nicely. Except that in a similar period of time the Fabs themselves had gone from Love Me Do to I Am The Walrus.

  28. 28
    Tom on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Exactly! Vindication for Roland and Curt – it takes 5 years work to get to something that sounds like I Am The Walrus ;)

  29. 29
    punctum on 17 Apr 2014 #

    It took just over 8 minutes for Oasis to cover I Am The Walrus (in 1994) without it sounding anything like “I Am The Walrus.” This is no bad thing.

  30. 30
    fivelongdays on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Tut, Tom, never heard of the phrase ‘Bunnied Welsh Band’? It’s there for a reason ;)

    With that out of the way…

    At this point, my relationship with Oasis had pretty much soured. 15-year-old me (quickly approaching my 16th birthday) had rejected the band. However, there were still moments…

    There are three points where Oasis should have split.

    Firstly, after Some Might Say got to number one (or, more properly, when Tony McCarroll left the band). Had they called it quits then, they would have been five lads from Manchester who released six singles and one album, who’d topped the charts and shone so brightly it would be a tough act to follow.

    Secondly, after Knebworth. How can you beat the two biggest gigs in British history? Imagine what a statement that would have been. To have had everything and thrown it away.

    Thirdly, after this. This was the end of Oasis as even four blokes from Manchester and one Ringo impersonator from London. This song had a certain reputation before anyone had actually heard it. It had, Noel said, been written before Definitely Maybe came out. It was held off because he wanted it to be done right.

    So what of it?

    Well, it starts off relatively sedately. And it builds, and builds, and builds. Brass honks, guitars squall, and Liam tries to reassure – him? us? someone else? – and then it looks like it’s going to end on some ‘nah nah nahs’. And then you look at the time remaining…and you realise that the song’s only about halfway through. And it keeps going and going and going. This is the sound of Noel Gallagher flicking the Vs at taste, at trends, at the radio, at everyone, while Liam gets his nob out and pisses all over everything.

    It’s big, it’s stupid, it’s over-indulgent, and – sad to say – I really bloody like it.


  31. 31
    James BC on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Imagine a person who had this as their favourite Oasis song. Imagine what that person would be like.

  32. 32
    23 Daves on 17 Apr 2014 #

    #24 Oh no. I’ve got to contradict that point – I’ve been listening to “Sowing The Seeds of Love” a lot lately, and it’s a track that gets this kind of idea right. In fact, I was planning to mention it when we got to this single anyway. It’s enormous, but only six minutes long in comparison, and contains lots of little diversions and slip-roads away from the dominant, epic highway of a chorus, whereas AATW sticks doggedly to its particularly dull groove, and I don’t think any hook or chorus could really survive the kind of constant hammering this one gets. “Sowing The Seeds of Love” probably owes as much to “Good Vibrations” as it does to The Beatles, and as much as I would like to hate the pomposity and worthiness of it, its far too well executed.

    I recall that AATW was originally supposed to have been Noel’s attempt at writing a Eurovision song – someone should clearly have nudged him about the three minute song length restriction for that contest (he might have written a better song that way). Whatever the original motivation behind it, the only contest this one would be likely to win on any continent at any time is “Worst Oasis number one”. Even Noel himself has openly expressed boredom at the way the thing drags (on the DVD commentary) and I’d half-expect him to agree with Tom’s review above. When even the songwriter can hear the problems with their work and pre-empts criticism, there’s usually a serious, serious problem. A 3 from me.

  33. 33
    Rory on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Possibly because “Hey Jude” was one of my first musical memories, I’ve never minded long songs per se, and find the full version of this listenable enough in an album context. Taken out of that context, I agree that it’s too much. But the 7″/cassingle edit, it seems to me, is as legitimate a contender for “proper” single status as the 9:38 12″/CD single version, so has to be factored into any overall rating. Unfortunately, all that edit does is fade the track at 4:51, just before the most engaging part of the song – the tail end of the video, with the best guitar section and Liam’s megaphoned “I don’t know what I know”. I would rather have seen an edit of four or five minutes that kept the best moments of the full version, not just its first half.

    So: the edit is a better length, but misses some of the best bits. The full version outstays its welcome, but has some better highlights. The lyrics are rubbish, but I don’t listen to Noel Gallagher songs for their lyrics. Not very successful overall, but I still like it well enough. There isn’t much Oasis I go back to nowadays, and certainly not Be Here Now, but I’d give it a 4 or 5, which would have been 6 or 7 if they’d got the 7″ edit right.

  34. 34
    taDOW on 17 Apr 2014 #

    ‘This song had a certain reputation before anyone had actually heard it. It had, Noel said, been written before Definitely Maybe came out. It was held off because he wanted it to be done right.’

    this is almost literally the story of guns n roses’ ‘don’t cry’ – written before appetite, spoken of in interviews by axl but saved for a later album when it could be ‘done right’ and would receive the audience he thought it deserved. use yr illusion being a cousin of be here now (and my beautiful dark twisted fantasy).

  35. 35
    iconoclast on 17 Apr 2014 #

    “‘Hey Jude’ by five kids from Manchester” opined Noel Gallagher, typically missing the point. “Hey Jude” still stands as one of Paul McCartney’s finest songs, its warmth, generosity of spirit, and ecstatic release fully justifying its length; whereas “All Around the World”, clearly numbed by far too much cocaine, crassly reduces it to “a long song with lots of na-na-na at the end”. It’s almost impossible to imagine Oasis performing it on TV and being joined by the studio audience singing along – d’you know what I mean?

    If, for reasons you’d rather not make public, you skip “Be Here Now”‘s best song and listen to AAtW and its still-too-long-at-two-minutes reprise back-to-back, you will age by eleven and a half minutes which would be more edifyingly spent with, say, the first live version of “Freebird”. AAtW starts out modestly enough, with acoustic guitar strumming in B major, and if you tolerate the trite Gallagherese of the two verses and choruses (note the very un-Hey-Jude sentiment of “lost at sea, well I hope that you drown”), you can convince yourself that, yes, this could indeed turn into a worthwhile epic, despite the absence of a melody anywhere near as effective as that of “Hey Jude”. But then there’s a noisy bit, a key change to C major, some more choruses, lots of “na-na-na”‘s, another noisy bit, a change to D major, yet more choruses (this time with “la-la-la”), a guitar solo, a bit with horns, more “na-na-na”, what sounds like “please don’t cry/never say die” (which is close)… on, and on, and on, and on, and on, leaving the listener wondering whether, much like this review, it will ever end. The reprise is yet more of the same, finally ending with the tired cliche of the sound of footsteps and a door closing.

    Ultimately, for all its pretensions, “All Around the World” is – like most attempts at being epic – far too much of a chore to get through to be properly enjoyable. It’s sadly fitting that Britpop’s dying rattle before disappearing beneath the avalanche of “boyband” and “girlband” corporate pop should be this bloated monument to drug-addled hubris. FOUR.

  36. 36
    Tom on 17 Apr 2014 #

    #35 contra Iconoclast, I think this is just the first of FOUR choose-your-own-adventure style endings for Britpop that 1998 offers. At least two are happier.

  37. 37
    Cumbrian on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I look forward to hearing how a happier potential ending for Britpop is in remixing old skool rap tunes.

  38. 38
    Mark G on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Kids, don’t do drugs.

    Why? Because, like this song, you might enjoy the experience for the single edit of four minutes, but at eight it’s an experience you have gone past the enjoyment phase of, and at eleven minutes you find the terror of something you cannot escape. Along with the brutal repeating images of the video,and so forth.

    Not that I know anything about it..

    Anyway, seven for the short 7″ version (US cd single, I believe), but as Noel has stated this as his Eurovision song ever since day one, he has only himself to blame for over-inflating a perfectly alright Oasis track beyond the bounds.

    Also, blame the 12″ single for the plethora of ‘long version’ as opposed to ‘remix’ versions, except that Echo and the B’s “Killing Moon” worked, and still does.

  39. 39
    fivelongdays on 17 Apr 2014 #

    @36 – In that case, what are the other three?

  40. 40
    iconoclast on 17 Apr 2014 #

    @36 39: bunnies? Just in time for Easter? I’d love to know!

  41. 41
    Cumbrian on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I speculate that they are a) Midlands bunny, b) Welsh bunny and c) either Stevie Wonder-a-like bunny or Stoke bunny. Probably Stoke bunny.

  42. 42
    Rory on 17 Apr 2014 #

    #41: Do the Midlands, Welsh and Stoke bunnies bring you lumps of coal instead of eggs?

  43. 43
    Cumbrian on 17 Apr 2014 #

    If they’re bringing food, Midlands bunny, according to legend, should probably bring a balti. Welsh bunny could bring us some leeks or a nice Welsh cake. Stoke bunny can bring the crockery to eat them off.

    I probably deserve lumps of coal from them though for taunting the big bad spoiler bunny.

  44. 44
    thefatgit on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Well, bugger! I’ve come too late to contribute anything useful towards AATW.

    But! Stoke and the rest of North Staffordshire are not just famous for crockery but oatcakes as well.

  45. 45
    Billy Hicks on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Aw come on everyone, yeah it’s long and preposterous – and it’s definitely no Whatever/Don’t Look Back In Anger – but it’s a glorious bit of fun. Listening to it now for the first time in a while, it’s pretty much kept my attention for eight of those nine and a half minutes at least.

    I noted the comment at 31 – that was me, briefly, around 2007. I was entering the absolute peak of my late teens hedonism, starting to drink, go out, and everything about it just felt brilliant. That Christmas I got my first iPod and for the first five, if not ten plays of this I’d listen to all nine and a half minutes of it, immersing myself completely in every repeated riff. Both Don’t Look Back in Anger and Whatever had superceded it in my book by the end of the next year but I still enjoy it for the occasional listen.

    Fivelongdays at 30 is bang on and I echo his 8 score.

  46. 46
    daveworkman on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I scored this a ‘6’, I think for two reasons – (a) I purchased it on cassette single, without much foreknowledge of Oasis/ Britpop as a phenomenon, but rather that I’d heard it and liked it on the telly and was then excited at the fact that for the first time I’d bought a single and helped it get to No. 1 (b) for me it marks the very last point when Oasis were listenable. I’d moved on by the time of SOTSOG (sounds like some kind of villanous organisation from James Bond), and was surprised by how underwhelmed I was by the lead singles off that, and so never took much of an interest in their subsequent releases.

  47. 47
    enitharmon on 17 Apr 2014 #

    fatgit@44: I was sad to hear recently that the last traditional oatcake shop had closed, before I ever got the chance to try the real thing. I am quite partial to Staffordshire oatcakes however, and I make them myself from time to time.

  48. 48
    Will on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I kinda expected this one would get a kicking.

  49. 49
    thefatgit on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Start up an oatcake business, Rosie! I’m sure there’s a gap in the market.

  50. 50
    wichita lineman on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I didn’t have any trouble finding oatcakes when I was in Uttoxeter the other week. They were new to me. A bit like a crepe (said the lifelong southerner).

    The less exalted Popular influence on this single, I’d imagine, was I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, which Noel had already signalled his fondness for on Shaker Maker.

    AATW the label of the same name, was also rehashing old records in another part of Lancashire by this point, and will be exercising us in a few years time. Set You Free was always going to be the label’s unassailable peak, such a shame it fell one place short of no.1.

    As for this AATW – given that I’d always pick the 7″ version as default single version over a 12″ or cd single version, this is merely dull, not overlong. It doesn’t kill me but it’s no Whatever either. 4.

  51. 51
    nixon on 17 Apr 2014 #

    A great big fucking zero, forever. It’s not a harbinger of decline, it’s the absolute nadir. Of Oasis, and quite possibly the singles chart. Awful, awful, awful.

  52. 52
    Cumbrian on 17 Apr 2014 #

    51: Amusing hyperbole – and I agree that it is a bad record – but I really recommend that you don’t listen to any of Oasis’ b-sides post their next bunny or some of the album tracks from, say Heathen Chemistry. Oasis were capable of worse and proved it. Happily for me, they were also capable of a lot better, even when they were proving their “irrelevance” or whatever in their post peak career. The hard work of explaining why I like some of that latter day stuff is something I’ll save for the relevant point, I think.

    As for whether it is the nadir of the singles chart, I’d rather listen to this on a loop forever (so only about 5 times then) than Grandma, The Stonk, R&J or many of the other actually terrible records.

    Really – why on earth do Oasis inspire such over the top criticism? It’s a bad record. It’s not *that* bad though, surely? Is it because they were so arrogant on the way up? Is it because they were the biggest band in the country for a while? Is it that large numbers of their fans were not particularly nice people (especially in groups at gigs/festivals)? Is it because they were able to milk said people for another decade near enough?

  53. 53
    thefatgit on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Just checked out the video for AATW. I got fidgety after 2 minutes.

    “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.”

    Albert Einstein was lucky never to experience AATW.

  54. 54
    nixon on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Fair cop, I was trolling a bit there (though it’s not hyperbole that I rank this as a 1, and I don’t think there are any worse Oasis singles to come, though I could be wrong! – I think they got better after Be Here Now, if not necessarily “good” per se).

    But I do think this is indeed “that bad”. This is endless minutes of no ideas, just the sound of sludge squelching on a human face forever. There’s no song here, no spark, just the ambition to make something epic, the inevitability of something pre-ordained to be a single before it was even written. It’s a formula record, and the formula is (Irish boybunnies) for an audience who sneer at manufactured pop.

    So that’s why I don’t like this record. Oasis in general, I can’t speak for anyone else but I just thought they were shit – and not only shit but very obviously so, to the point of being an unfunny joke that got out of hand. This seemed obvious, but everyone was tripping over themselves to declare it wasn’t true, that this was the best band ever, that I must admit that deep down they had some classic songs really, that failure to conform was a result of resentment over their success or a reaction against their fans (“gibbons on shore leave” as the Melody Maker put it). But no, I’ve had plenty of experience of loutish fans and bad chart-toppers that didn’t necessarily provoke the same incredulous dismay; I just thought they were genuinely terrible, and their critical success baffled me at a fundamental level because I simply couldn’t understand it, especially from judges I respected. Genuinely as if Tom had given Robson and Jerome high scores lauding their victory in bringing back everything that was great about British pop.

  55. 55
    nixon on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I’ve just realised I’ve been swearing through both posts there, is that even allowed here? I hope I’ve not broken any work filters.

  56. 56
    Tom on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Popular is a swearing-ready environment.

  57. 57
    Kat but logged out innit on 17 Apr 2014 #

    #50 I literally cannot wait for the AATW bosh to turn up. CLUBLAND LIVE OH DEAR GOD. [A quick look at the wikipedia timeline: I didn’t know Bus Stop were on AATW as well! Also Ultrabeat were totally robbed of a number one…]

  58. 58
    AMZ1981 on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Just listened to AATW for the first time in years. I was a fan, I thought it was pompous rubbish at the time and nothing has changed. There were better songs they could have mined off Be Here Now.

    It’s correct to say that this marks the point where Oasis, a band who had altered the cultural landscape, became a lumbering parody of themselves. However in Popular’s relationship with Oasis it only marks the halfway point and it will be interesting to see what pattern develops.

  59. 59
    Elmtree on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Looking on the other side of the song, the B-sides are…interesting. Both non-cover songs feel like overproduced clunkers too awkward and ill-fitting to go on the album, though both really do have their moments.

    ‘Flashbax’ feels insecure and ranting (clearly intentionally) in a good way, but Noel’s vocal is preposterously overwrought-think bad Elton John-and there’s no lightness of touch in the music. For some reason overdubbed chimes on the chorus rather add to it, and it does make me smile by repeating “in my well-paid opinion” before dashing into some old cobblers.

    ‘The Fame’ is completely unstructured thrash at first, but soon becomes miles better than anything on SOTSOG. Again, another snappy couple of lines (‘I’m a man of choice in an old Rolls Royce/and I’m howling at the moon/is my happening too deafening for you?’) stand out from the nonsense, and it’s certainly nice to see Oasis playing a song fast for once. Would have livened up the album, for certain.

    (I didn’t even bother to listen to the cover.)

  60. 60
    Ed on 18 Apr 2014 #

    @36, @39 I’ve got to a couple of alternate endings for Britpop.

    One is prog, basically: “there’s always been an electronica element to our music”, jazz and non-Western influences, meditations on the human condition and the state of the nation, etc. Fewer tunes, more furrowed brows. That was the Radiohead route, and also unexpectedly the Damon Albarn route as well.

    Another is what you might call “Oasis with insight”: still characterised by bloat, over-production, dragging tempos and self-absorption, but with paranoia, angst and self-loathing replacing the complacency and phony bonhomie. And that’s where Pulp got to. The mention of ‘This is Hardcore’ on the ‘Never Ever’ thread, as it hilariously made an appearance on a Now album, made me dig out the album again, and I was reminded of how brilliant it is. Almost as overblown as ‘Be Here Now’, but to much greater purpose and effect. The common element, I am guessing, is cocaine, but it’s one of the great cocaine albums like ‘Rumors’ or ‘Station to Station’, not one of the terrible ones like ‘Seven and the Ragged Tiger’, ‘Black and Blue’ or ‘Sabotage’.

    It’s not a happy ending, exactly – in fact it’s one of the darkest albums I’ve ever heard – but Jarvis seems to have come out the other side just fine. A few years back I saw him having a coffee with Candida Doyle in the Clissold Park Cafe like the respectable middle-aged people they are.

    So those were two ways out of Britpop. What are the others?

  61. 61
    Garry on 18 Apr 2014 #

    #61 I might be wrong, but a generally settling down and maturing into solid songcraft not necessarily aimed for commercial success*. At least this is what I’ve always felt about Supergrass going forward from here.

    * Others may unfairly call it MOR banality. In some cases it may not be so unfair.

  62. 62
    swanstep on 18 Apr 2014 #

    @Ed, 60. I like your phrase ‘phony bonhomie’. It gets for me one reason why AATW doesn’t work: who wants a hug or ‘positivity’ from Liam? or really thinks he’s capable of bonhomie? Hence the phoniness. McCartney’s a big softie sentimentalist so we could buy broad affirmative gestures from him (even without Lennon’s tartness to take the edge off), and Ashcroft really did think of himself as an urban shaman so his cosmic affirmations and natterings, while not everyone’s cup of tea, did at least make sense. Liam, however, like Axl, is only really believable as a snarling, brawling, groupie-shagging, Rock-Star-wish-fulfillment figure for his audience. Hence the intended Hey-Jude-ish spirit of AATW never gets off the ground and curdles into self-satisfaction or worse. Liam’s absolutely the wrong guy to put the song’s supposed message across: Bono the maniac really does want to throw his arms around the world, whereas we *know* Liam doesn’t have any word to spread, etc..

    I like Tadow@34’s comparison of Be Here Now with the Use Your Illusions, but it occurs to me that November Rain’s nine minute wallow is the track most akin to AATW. If you make something that long and release it as a single you’re really asking for a lot of attention, you’re saying that *this thing is important*. But AATW is a musical failure because its backing track is so very undistinguished (what sounds was Noel trying to explore beyond his usual? what dynamics?). While NR doesn’t work overall in my view for reasons I already alluded to (ultimately we know that Axl is a vicious little snake and can’t accept him as a (grieving?) loverman or whatever his exact pose was), I think Axl can at least answer basic *musical* questions about why NR had to be 9 mins long: it’s got everything but the kitchen sink in it, etc.. And at the level of lyrics and vocal performance what did Noel and Liam have to say or performance type to explore beyond their ordinary metier? Once again, despite NR’s failings, I think Axl can answer these sorts of questions – NR was a very different kind of vocal performance for him than all the stuff that had made him famous; he got to be Elton at the piano, and so on.

    In sum, NR’s gigantism feels well-motivated (and the relevant opportunities well-taken) even if one doesn’t (as I don’t) think it’s a good fit for Axl or his band. AATW has all of NR’s (band-/career-destroying really) problems of overall fit, *plus* AATW’s gigantism is unmotivated (and it misses all its giga-scale musical and lyrical and performance opportunities).

    I’ve actually revised my score for AATW to a 2 – my earlier 1 now strikes me as overexcited/hyperbolic – but AATW’s still in my view a dismal record (note that I’d probably give NR a 6 as an impressive failure).

  63. 63
    tm on 18 Apr 2014 #

    Liam had a word to spread. Sadly that word is ‘Nah’. This is around a 4 or 5 for me: I find it oddly endearing that this is Oasis’ idea of a grand statement record but not enough to listen through 7 or 9 or 11 minutes of it. I’m not convinced by those who think there are better tracks on BHN either. It’s a wearying plod of an album whose most coked out moments are by far it’s highlights.

    November Rain’s parallel is surely Stand By Me. This is more akin to Civil War, a self-conscious important statement record. In this case the statement was Nah.

    I buy Axle the wounded loverman

  64. 64
    tm on 18 Apr 2014 #

    …as a character in song anyway: it’s not something he is, it’s something he aspires to, like John Lennon singing Imagine or Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror. I don’t know if Axl has the self awareness to realise this, his take on it might well be ‘see I told you I was sensitive’.

  65. 65
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 18 Apr 2014 #

    all of axl is wounded axl

  66. 66
    Garry on 18 Apr 2014 #

    My school year loved Axl, therefore I hated Axl. Nirvana never touched my school year, even though we were exactly the right age for Nirvana.

    Nirvana never touched my school because everyone was too busy with Axl.

    Except me.

    I just didn’t like Nirvana.

    (I do remember everyone excited about the new GnR song, Live and Let Die. At that moment I realised I was the only one who watched Bond films. Also one of our younger female teachers sang Welcome to the Jungle at school performance assembly. This was all kinds of wrong.)

  67. 67
    tm on 18 Apr 2014 #

    All of Axl is wounded Axl but it’s a terrible excuse: “I only do the terrible things I do because of my emotional pain, man”. He gets to behave attraciously and attract sympathy for his public confession. The price of Axl empathizing in song with our pain is that we’re indulging his sins.

  68. 68
    Ed on 18 Apr 2014 #

    @62 et al: “All of axl is wounded axl”

    Too true. I’ve plugged it here once already, but John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead has a superb piece on Axl. It’s worth checking out even if you think you’re not interested in him.

    I agree that ‘November Rain’ is vastly preferable to AATW, if only because it has some structure to it. It also has that fantastic video, which I still have to watch to the end every time I stumble across it as I am channel-surfing, which seems to be pretty often. I am still trying to work out what’s going on. Is Slash so angry at the wedding because he’s in love with Axl? Does Axl’s wife die of lung cancer because they’ve all been smoking so much? It’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

    As for ‘Civil War’, if pop or rock have ever produced a better commentary on liberal interventionism, I’ve not heard it. Recorded in 1990, its prescience is actually quite unsettling.

  69. 69

    I still feel — if we’re serious abt triangulating for the quality of the gallagher approach to long-form minimalism — we shd be compare-contrasting them to eg Band of Susans as much as GnR

    (I think BoS are much better of course but getting at WHY they are possibly uncovers more abt why Wasis aren’t merely self-indulgent oafish losers in over their heads on songs like this — not least bcz no one in their senses listens to BoS primarily for the vocals or the words) (or at all really)

  70. 70
    Ed on 18 Apr 2014 #

    @69 It’s partly the sound of surprise, isn’t it? You listen to that Band of Susans track, and an unexpected riff, or sudden dissonance, or drum fill hits you, and you think: “What just happened there? I need to hear it again.”

    Whereas with AATW, you’re constantly thinking: “I’ve heard this before, mostly on the Blue album but sometimes for variety on Let It Be, so I know what’s coming next.” And then when your expectations are confirmed, it’s like the punchline to a joke that you already know.

    If it isn’t fresh the first time, it’s even less appealing on the nth repetition.

  71. 71
    tm on 18 Apr 2014 #

    AATW would make a great S Cl*b song: cut it to three minutes, ditch the guitars (which are so dense as to become invisible background noise anyway), keep the horns and the descending pre-chorus string motif (my favourite bit of the song: a silly nod to The Beatles that actually works) and do the Na Na Nas in the fade out. A sure fire Eurovision winner.

    Similarly I reckon DYKWIM would have made a great Chem Bros follow up to Setting Sun.

  72. 72
    Lazarus on 18 Apr 2014 #

    I don’t mind this – in shortened versions anyway – a big goofy singalong and I’ve always thought it was Noel G having a bit of a joke/dig at the music press – “if we really wanted to sound like the Beatles, we’d do something like this.” The video is quite fun to watch too, and doesn’t seem like seven minutes to me. So 5 it is. I reckon the people giving it ones and zeroes are taking it more seriously than it was ever meant to be. It’s no ‘Cheese & Onions’ though.

  73. 73
    swanstep on 18 Apr 2014 #

    That Band of Susans track reminds me of Tenacious D’s One Note Song.

  74. 74
    Ed on 18 Apr 2014 #

    Oasis at their most Band of Susans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx9SD6-a_GY

  75. 75
    Ed on 18 Apr 2014 #

    @52 Why do Oasis inspire so much over-the-top hatred? Because they make us feel stupid for ever having liked them. That’s how I feel, anyway.

    I was never their number one fan – I never saw them live – but I did have both the first two albums and most of the early singles. The first time I heard them – ‘Supersonic’ coming on Radio 1 just as we were pulling into a service station on the A1 – is still a vivid memory. And although I didn’t join the queue to get my certificate from HMV, I am pretty sure I picked up BHN in its first week. In that position, thinking “this is disappointing” pretty quickly modulates into “ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”

    Like David Lodge’s joke about studying T.S. Eliot’s influence on Shakespeare, ‘Be Here Now’ naturally affects how you perceive the earlier music. And that in turn affects how you feel about your younger self – and not that much younger! – who was foolish enough to be taken in by all that empty bluster.

    When people hate Oasis, they are really hating themselves.

    (By “people”, I mean me, of course.)

  76. 76
    PurpleKylie on 18 Apr 2014 #

    I had heard of Oasis at that point purely because of “Wonderwall”. 1995 in music for me was defined by how much I liked that song (I was a 7 year-old still living in NZ in 95 and from my memory Britpop hadn’t permeated the airwaves over there other than “Wonderwall” and “Girls and Boys”).

    Fast forward to 1998 where I was now settled in Wales and thus had more exposure to Britpop just as it was dying on its arse, I kinda remember when AATW came out I was kinda like “this isn’t as good as “Wonderwall”.

    Adult me believes that Oasis and by extension Noel Gallagher haven’t released anything worth listening to since “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, Be Here Now being the obvious tipping point. By my reckoning this only hit #1 out of momentum of Oasis being the biggest rock band at that point. It just drags on and on and nothing about the song makes me give a monkeys about it.

  77. 77
    Tom on 18 Apr 2014 #

    As an inverse reflection to Ed, I vehemently and deliberately detested Oasis at the time and have so far liked every single record more than I imagined I would. I assumed this would be a 1 when I started Popular, for instance. That’s only once been enough to push them into 6+ territory but they were unlucky in which of their early singles got to #1. I have to admit I will miss them a bit (there’s a big old stretch before the next one).

  78. 78
    thefatgit on 18 Apr 2014 #

    The Band Of Susans’ track reminded me of “Mogwai Fear Satan”, but quick date checking suggests Mogwai would have been listening to BoS quite a bit, around the time they were recording “Young Team” I reckon.

  79. 79
    Mark G on 18 Apr 2014 #

    I think everyone assumed it’d get a 1, and I am sort-of glad it diddn’t as it may be wrong but it’s a long way from being the worst number one…

    Funny, we are in Gran Canaria at the mo, and I Just heard a cover of Cliff’s ‘I love you’, possibly the number one with the least conviction. This one certainly does not lack conviction anyway.

    Scuse me, got a plane to catch..

  80. 80
    tm on 18 Apr 2014 #

    #77 I think it’s easier to appreciate them on their merits now they’re unduly maligned rather than unduly exhaulted. And yes you’re right about the wrong singles getting to #1 (and for that matter, the wrong songs being chosen for singles quite often) I thought you were rather harsh on Don’t Look Back In Anger but then I heard it on Brit pop at the BBC and it’s a bloody boring song for the most part. Sukrat is right about the hidden details in Oasis songs: the delicate intro and coda are by far the best bits. (Of course when I’m drunk I’ll still be roaring along)

  81. 81
    ciaran on 19 Apr 2014 #

    Dreadful record. The wheels came off the time of the earlier BHN singles but even still this was terrible.The worse thing they ever did as far as I’m concerned. The sense of excitement and thrill gone. A horrendous video and something that lasts an eternity. For me it’s not far off ‘Belfast Child’ as a momentum destroyer.


  82. 82
    Ed on 19 Apr 2014 #

    I have got this bloody song stuck in my head now, and another reference point struck me, in the endlessly repeated “gonna make a better day”. Nicking stuff from the Beatles, Bowie and Stevie Wonder is one thing, but you really know you’ve got a problem when you find yourself stealing from USA For Africa.

  83. 83
    ace inhibitor on 20 Apr 2014 #

    Garry@22, perhaps the obvious reference point for the sheer length of this thing is Fools Gold (16 seconds longer at 9.54) – a thought that struck me watching the Made of Stone documentary on tv last night, when the Heaton Park version of FG also went pointlessly on and on and on and on….

  84. 84
    tm on 20 Apr 2014 #

    Sukrat @ 69: I agree to an extent: you could read Oasis’ failure as a folly of over ambition: trying to reconcile the textural noises-as-hooks of post rock (not that I imagine Oasis listening to much post rock but they did share a common, distant ancestor in shoe gaze) with grandiose Beatlesque pop symphonies in the Mr Blue Sky vein. They seldom had the chops or the vision to pull it off but in some ways you can admire them for chasing the sun. As little love as I’ve got for BHN, it’s tragically overwrought singles have more character than most of the stodgy bildge Oasis would retreat into. Unfortunately it’s a character who’s alternately bellowing that your his best mate and threatening to kick your head in as he spills his pint on your shoes. That said l, I do quite like the way, by the end of the song, Liam makes ‘Nah’ sound like a threat and an insult, much as he did with ‘Jupa Jupa’ on their cover of …Walrus.

  85. 85
    xyzzzz__ on 21 Apr 2014 #

    There is a bit on BoS’ “Tilt” that has Robert Poss doing something v similar to Liam’s “sheey-ine”. So much for not listening to BoS for vocals. Although as far as music with guitars goes there are v few bands you’d listen for the singer and mostly that although some had that personality or tics that would come through.

    I don’t think Mogwai have ever acknowledged BoS as inspiration — all MBV and Slint, but I haven’t paid any attention in nearly 10 years (nor will I ever again)

  86. 86
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 21 Apr 2014 #

    mine is not of course an argument about “inspiration”, still less “influence”: i do not believe these are useful critical categories — it is of no consequence whether Oasis had even heard of BoS, let alone secretly listened to them and admired them. It’s much more an argument about the in-built potential of the relevant instruments (as contained and released by the relevant equipment at a given time): this is a shared heritage whether or not the various groups are mutually conscious of one another.

    I don’t believe Robert Poss is any more interested in exploring “the voice” (ie as an “instrument”) than Liam Gallagher is. However Poss possibly does use words as an exogenous structuring constraint — and so probably does Noel: a non-fancy way of rephrasing this would after all be song-writing, tho I don’t really think Poss is writing “songs” per se.

    Except the point is, I don’t really think Noel is either, with cuts like this — and the Roses too are creating a groove, something dance music had presumably (re)created* a taste for in their audiences. I think NG has not-bad ears for variety of device, but he thinks very bittily, which is probably unfortunate for someone who’s essentially a focused mannerist miniaturist (but not really a minimalist) given the scale of platform the brothers for a season commanded.

    So I guess there are two questions Oasis raise: (a) what can you do to make songlength (“worklength”) a structure that justifies itself (given various possible modes of justification)? and (b) what happens when you achieve unanticipated scale of audience? what can you do with THAT that delivers something otherwise unavailable? (and given that Oasis didn’t, who has?)

    *The “freak-out”, which is the pre-punk equivalent in rock music, is not so far at root from being a white britrock recreation of the need for black 50s/60s R&B bands to function as music for/in danceclubs: except that the social context is really very different (including the kind of concert setting). The Roses were playing for audiences that had got used to spending more time dancing than “appreciating”. So, does long-form require a greater degree of self-critical memory/self-awareness than the three-minute symphony? I guess not actually: no form longer than Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and “self-critical memory” was not exactly his strong suit. But Adorno regarded the “leitmotif” — Wagner’s story-led exogenous structuring constraint — as essentially a cheat, musically: a way of tricking the not very musical listener into thinking they were appreciating sophisticated musical structure (when actually all they were doing was recognising splinters of melody).

  87. 87
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 21 Apr 2014 #

    ^^^apologies if combination argumentative and cryptic btw, this is me thinking out loud as a way of avoiding getting down to the rather urgent work i’m meant to be doing —

  88. 88
    Tom on 21 Apr 2014 #

    A tangent: “Unanticipated scale of audience” – one problem for Oasis or the expectations around them is that unanticipated scale in pop music terms isn’t necessarily all that big in terms of other bits of popular culture (movies and TV in particular), which in Popular terms is why the good ship of popular music keeps getting boarded by other-media invaders (and why in a British context Top Of The Pops was so vital for giving a sense of storyline and shared experience).

  89. 89
    Ciaran (the other one) on 22 Apr 2014 #

    In 1985 Tears For Fears reviewed The Dukes Of Stratosphear’s ‘Mole From The Ministry’ for Smash Hits and gave it Single Of The Fortnight. Then they disappeared for four years and came back with their I Am The Walrus pastiche. A coincidence?

  90. 90
    Mark G on 22 Apr 2014 #

    I say no.

  91. 91
    xyzzzz__ on 22 Apr 2014 #

    I wasn’t really using words like ‘inspiration’ as a “critical category” (it is shorthand because if I wanted to not use it I would need to start saying how Mogwai sound like Slint and do not sound like BoS, that would mean work.)

    I just think its sort of striking how Oasis and BoS — bands that come from wildly different places socially, culturally — somehow do mine a similar vein of sound, and how that is cause for an optimism, i.e. things aren’t as split or in their own boxes as we think they are in this micro-genre world.

    (I don’t think Liam does anything like explore the voice, but it had a personality Poss’ vocals did not.)

    Plus its downright amusing.

    I suppose the project i got off Freaky Trigger — really Tom’s piece on Palestine ten bluddy years ago now (sorry Tom!) — is to write about things in a current of ‘well it doesn’t matter if its Wagner or Oasis, or Beyonce or Stockhausen, what is the “leitmotif” here’ (if I understand these cryptic wordings at this time of night) but then it does end up sounding more elegant than a ‘cheat’.

  92. 92
    Cumbrian on 23 Apr 2014 #

    83: I recorded Made of Stone and watched it last night instead of a tedious game of Park the Bus live from Madrid and was equally non-plussed by the extension of Fool’s Gold (obviously this comes from the actual release in many respects but nevertheless, watching it, it just felt devoid of point).

    The whole documentary achieved what was, I’d imagine, one of its aims in that it made me have a real think about the Stone Roses and consider what my opinion of them was. Sadly, it made me realise that I’m probably not a fan of them anymore. I still think that Mani is a pretty tremendous bassist, Reni is a good drummer and, being a raging rockist, love John Squire’s ability in general, but the more I thought about them, listened to what they were doing and, subsequently, gave a few tracks a spin from their recorded career, the more I thought that they were a bit less than the sum of their parts. Odd moments still catch me (the shimmering guitar line over the intro of I Wanna Be Adored, for instance, or the guitar solo in Made of Stone) but the more I dug in, the less I am hearing there.

    Weirdly, I have never had this problem with Oasis, even though I’d argue that they’re a much less technically capable band, I think I now feel that they hang together better than the Stone Roses. I don’t yet know why I think this and will probably need to put some more thought into it. Nevertheless, my original point stands, which is that, whilst it was lovely to see them bury the hatchet and the broad smiles on their faces getting ready for the gig in Warrington, that documentary might have killed the Stone Roses for me, at least for a while.

  93. 93
    Tommy Mack on 23 Apr 2014 #

    The 12″ version of Fools Gold does seem pointlessly long: a rock band’s idea of a dance record, compared to the glorious coda of I Am The Resurrection: dance fans making a brilliant rock record.

    The Roses songs I enjoy most are the ones which do what they were credited with at the time: fusing the Euphoria of dance with the euphoria of 60s folk rock: Waterfall, Elephant Stone, Standing Here. The fey jingly jangly ones I quite like too and the menacing, loping funk of Fools Gold and Something’s Burning. The proto-Oasis big singalong anthems I like least (except, obviously, when roaring along with 100000 people after 7 pints of cider at Heaton Park).

    I was disappointed with the first album when I heard it but it grew on me. They’re a bit like The Byrd’s, beautiful sounding but all too often too slow and stately.

  94. 94
    Tom on 23 Apr 2014 #

    The Stone Roses were an enormous part of my being 16 and going back to their music has never managed to match the memories. For a very long time I blamed them for this, which was a bit stupid. But a lot of music I liked as much has worn better. Favourite tracks: Elephant Stone, Mersey Paradise, Fools Gold in theory, I Am The Resurrection. Least favourite: She Bangs The Drumzzz, I Wanna Be Adored (But I’ll Settle For Bored), etc etc. Most Proustian whether I like them or not: Waterfall, Fools Gold in practise, One Love if I ever dared listen to it.

  95. 95
    Tommy Mack on 23 Apr 2014 #

    She Bangs The Drums is Madchester’s own Eye Of The Tiger: a song that just can’t live up to its perfect intro. I Wanna Be Adored would be better as an instrumental. And without the crap, loud bit near the end. Waterfall: make sure you get the album mix where the drums don’t come in till the second verse. The single mix on the ‘Complete’ album is crap, completely leaden sounding. I think they’ve looped the drums and synced them with the bass rather than fractionally out for that shuffling feel. Mersey Paradise: a joy. Where Angels Play too. Sally Cinnamon also, in a wimpy, C86 sort of way. One Love is better than everyone says but that’s still not very good…

  96. 96
    Mark M on 23 Apr 2014 #

    Re 69: I finally listened to that Band Of Susans track, and found it pretty horrible*, and so an appropriate comparison to the Oasis song, which is more horrible still. My feeling is that, yes, it’s fair to think about Oasis as a noise band – I think I mentioned Hüsker Dü in the Some Might Say thread; in a sense the people who seemed to work hardest against that take were Oasis themselves with their mixture of clumsy historicism and ‘doing it for the terraces’ vibe. But with the author being dead and all, fuck what they think. However, I maintain whether you’re slicing them up as a classic pop group or sonic marauders, they’re still rubbish.

    *Predictably, perhaps, I only liked BoS at their most conventional.

  97. 97
    tm on 23 Apr 2014 #

    I think Oasis wanted it all: to be the loudest slab of hardman rocknoise and also be the grandest most anthemic pop group. My favourite songs of theirs are those that stray furthest from these ambitions. The ones about trying to survive the tedium of working life with your soul intact: Live Forever isn’t a song about how great life is, it’s about magnificence through determination which is an impossible ideal to live up to but makes for a compelling song.

  98. 98
    Tom on 24 Apr 2014 #


    The charge sheet. Particularly interested in a certain poster’s view on #17.

  99. 99
    swanstep on 24 Apr 2014 #

    @Tommy Mack, 93, 95. ‘I wanna be adored’ as an instrumental? Heresy! I’ve always felt those first few lines in particular were Ian Brown’s finest hour and just a hell of a way to open one’s album account. Also, in the US most of us got the Fools gold 12″ as the final track of the album, i.e., after ‘I am the Resurrection’ (we also got ‘Elephant Stone’ 7″ as track 3). It was good, and has really served as a Compleat Roses for me ever since (and the album’s proved great to drive to on long trips over the years).

  100. 100
    Tom on 24 Apr 2014 #

    Putting a track after “Resurrection” strikes me as no less heretical!

  101. 101
    Cumbrian on 24 Apr 2014 #

    She Bangs The Drums as Eye Of The Tiger is excellent. I thought of it as the Baggy Black Betty for similar reasons but Eye Of The Tiger is probably a better example. As far as the two big Baggy bands goes, my opinion has definitely shifted towards Happy Mondays being the more interesting of the two of them.

    A connecting strand between the Roses and Oasis (and there are obviously many) is that they both lost it on records drowning in white powder, with songs that don’t have enough ideas to last as long as they do (though at least the Roses had previous for making long songs sound somewhat compelling – having had a further think on them, I think I am down to I Am The Resurrection and Something’s Burning as the two songs that I really like – and both are mammoth – with, as I said above, bits of the others grabbing the attention but with not enough around them for me to be totally engaged).

  102. 102
    tm on 24 Apr 2014 #

    Tom @ 100: it’s actually quite jarring on then reissue CD to hear such a moody song as FG starting up after the blissed out funk of IATR’s coda.

  103. 103
    tm on 24 Apr 2014 #

    Swanstep, it’s a great couplet, I grant you: maybe just have a longer instrumental bit in the middle without him singing all over it!

  104. 104
    iconoclast on 24 Apr 2014 #

    My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that “Waterfall” is great right until it goes haywire at the end; IatR is exhilerating but not as groundbreaking as some people think (and putting something after it would be heresy!); “Made of Stone” is the best song; SBtD, TitW, BBB are quite good; and the rest are a tad dull.

  105. 105
    Tom on 24 Apr 2014 #

    I just played it and oddly the big memory-rush one was “Don’t Stop”, which I recalled mostly FFWDing through – I guess it’s the stuff you don’t concentrate on that sets the best traps.

  106. 106
    Tommy Mack on 24 Apr 2014 #

    Yeah, I always used to skip Don’t Stop but now I take it like Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well Pt2: an indispensable coda to the proceeding song and in some ways more interesting. Certainly inspired me to try my own backwards taping experiments when I got a four track tape recorder though for my money, the best bit of backwards taping in rock is The Jam’s Dreams Of Children: I still can’t tell what’s backwards and what’s forwards on that: building on sixties pop ideas rather than just revisiting them. Mind you, I like John Squire’s take on cut up lyrics for Don’t Stop: playing the demo of Waterfall backwards and writing down what the words sounded like.

  107. 107
    weej on 24 Apr 2014 #

    The DJ at our local shit indie club night used to play I Am The Resurrection in its entirity every single week – it was a dick move as it killed the dancefloor for everyone apart from shuffling blokes in parkas, and they weren’t going anywhere anyway, but he had his must-play-playlist and from what we could tell he didn’t even like indie music, he was just the metal night DJ after a bit of extra work (I really have no idea why we went there at all.) A group of us used to stand under his DJ booth and wait for the part where it stops, then all should “fuck off (DJ’s Name)” together. I don’t think anyone comes out of this looking very good, but it’s spoiled the song for me forever. Fools Gold is miles better, but too long, it’s true.

  108. 108
    Cumbrian on 24 Apr 2014 #

    IATR got played religiously at our local indie club as well – this is now going all the way up to the current time in Popular and beyond, when I was going there during my schooldays and just after – but it was never used in the middle of the night. It was always: IATR starts, club lights get knocked on, bouncers tell you to drink up and get out. If you tried to stay beyond the false ending, you were asking to be thrown out. It was mightily effective in that role.

  109. 109
    Tommy Mack on 24 Apr 2014 #

    I think every shit indie night I went to in Manchester played I Am The Resurrection in its entirety! The dancefloor would inevitably be full. First half: bellow along, second half: get your Bez on!

  110. 110
    Tom on 24 Apr 2014 #

    Hold on if the criteria is “doesn’t make indie fans shuffle about” how is Fools Gold any better? A lot of people, myself included, are very very fortunate the “dancing to Fools Gold” days happened before the YouTube era.

  111. 111
    weej on 24 Apr 2014 #

    Oh, I don’t think Fools Gold is much better, but at least it keeps a steady rhythm and doesn’t actually *stop* – however, now I think about it, I wouldn’t like to dance to anything by the Stone Roses if I have a choice.

  112. 112
    Patrick Mexico on 24 Apr 2014 #

    I’m partial to Garage Flower – the 1985 Stone Roses “debut that never was” – especially “So Young” and “Tell Me.” But then I would be as I love over-zealous goth-rock/industrial/post-punk long after post-punk had peaked, with the bass tied up too tight.

    They’re a band who sit oddly with me. Song For My Sugar Spun Sister, She Bangs the Drums, Ten Storey Love Song, Sally Cinnamon and Made of Stone* are some of my favourite pure pop songs ever, but most people overlook this in favour of two schools of thought:

    a) They’re a cool, hip, trendy, laddy band and they defined all that was great about music c. 1989. That “Fool’s Gold” was a funky anthem! What else did they sing?!
    b) They’re a dull, boorish, indie-schmindie, cod-nostalgic band, and they defined all that wasn’t great about music c. 1989. That “Fool’s Gold” was a noodly, faux-psychedelic pile of dogwank. What else did they sing?!

    I do believe there really was/is genuine talent and craft in that band, but the Roses’ career mistake was adapting the classic Manchester Model: early setbacks –> sudden gathering of creativity, pace, and recognition -> embracing own hype as previous Manc acts did so -> peaking with one colossal mega-gig -> believing own hype as previous Manc acts did so -> becoming unbearably arrogant and misanthropic as a defence mechanism for ailing creativity -> disappearing and not being heard of for yonks, then coming back with a disappointingly ordinary follow-up. Oh, and Ian Brown could be a witty little scamp in the press, but sometimes, as well as the “professional Mancunian” schtick which I’m sure drives both non-locals and locals up the wall, he strayed a bit too close to homophobia and misogyny. Remind you of anyone?

    * Although the technical term is “Primal Scream – Velocity Girl.”

  113. 113
    chelovek na lune on 24 Apr 2014 #

    I thought Garage Flower was dreadful, unfortunately. Rather worse, if more excusable, than the Second Coming, even…

    Aged 14 in 1989, I really loved the Roses for a time. There was some amazing, almost one-time, fusion of an array of very different – and, as we learned later, very inconsistent, talents that gelled wonderfully for that album, a few singles, and very most certainly, a few B-sides. Although the proto-psychedelic and more ferociously almost dancy ‘Elephant Stone’ might still well be my favourite single of theirs, overall where I think they excelled was in the more melodious, more vulnerable, tracks: Made of Stone is just first class in every regard, Where Angels Play and Mersey Paradise are special too; Sally Cinnamon perhaps less accomplished (understandably) but still atmospheric, along with its B-sides, the one about the sands, and, erm, the other one…and also, I guess, Ten Storey Love Song.

    Fools Gold was obviously a false dawn of something that never arrived (at least: from its originators. What it spawned in other quarters was, of course, immense). But the groove thing – that was really not where their appeal lay, well, the instrumental section of I Am The Resurrection, and that intro to She Bangs The Drums, apart…

    And then the quite wildly excessive hype took over….blowing the amps on the Late Show, Spike Island, One Love….and chicks came home to roost, or something. And the mirage was gone, and it was raining again.

    I can’t imagine Oasis gave inspiration to such gloriously florid dreams, even when their melody-writing machine was firing on all cylinders, as it sometimes was.

  114. 114
    Cumbrian on 13 May 2016 #

    The new Stone Roses track…I’ve tried – a couple of times – but no. It sounds shapeless, in that the instruments are all in this indistinct soup, out of which I am really struggling to pull anything. They don’t need to be doing the same things they did in the late 80s necessarily, but one thing some of those records did have was a sense of space within them. I’m probably not alone in considering this terrible, so I realise this is unlikely to be a ground breaking observation, even at this early juncture. One hopes – and indeed expects – that it will not be a bunny.

  115. 115
    Mostro on 15 May 2016 #

    tm @71 ; “AATW would make a great S Cl*b song”

    Hear’Say – Pure and Simple.

    ed @75; It still grates that I actually ******* bought “Wonderwall” because I’m not sure that I ever liked it in the first place. I hadn’t been that much into them when they first broke through (matter of fact, they never really registered with me until I heard “Cigarettes and Alcohol” and the vocals struck me as incredibly Johnny Rotten-esque).

    Circa early 1995, though, I’d started reading NME and Melody Maker and began buying a lot more singles (something I’d done rarely until my late teens). In hindsight, I think I had too little respect for my own musical taste and too much for the hype-of-the-week Britpop and indie singles proclaimed to be some fantastically inspired piece of musical innovation rather than a passable but derivative take on 60s, 70s and 80s guitar-driven sounds (which in hindsight I wasn’t that much into in the first place).

    So, I think with everyone saying this was such a great song and Oasis were such a great band, I bought it because it *must* be. Right?

    I also bought “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, but at least I can vaguely remember liking its Beatles-esque melody at the time. Wonderwall, though?

    In hindsight, it’s rotten. Typical godawful Oasis lyrics, the title obviously magpied due to its George Harrison connection and shoehorned into being something (failing to be) vaguely symbolic by Noel Gallagher alongside all the other half-baked, nursery-rhyme takes on cliched imagery about roads being blinding, lights being blinding, blah blah. No depth, no meaning, no more understanding than an actual magpie would have.

    But it’s that melody that really does it- an utter, uninspiring dirge. It lumbers along, failing to take off or do anything interesting. The final chance it has to redeem itself- the resolution at the end of the chorus (“…and after all, you’re my wonderwall”)- ends up being the most flat, leaden and dirge-like part of the whole song.

    Why the **** did I spend four bloody quid on that? Safe to say it’s not in my music collection any more. That said, would I still hate Wonderwall today if I’d never bought it? Yes, I think I would.

    “All Around the World”, meanwhile, would be a passable (at best) four minute piece of mildly pleasant but derivative guitar pop. Or it would be if it hadn’t been overloaded with guitars and general nonsense to sound more “epic”.

    The fact that it’s actually nine minutes long doesn’t even really come across as “bloated” in the way that “D’You Know What I Mean?” does- it just sounds like a four minute song extended to nine for no good reason.

    This being Oasis, they’re obviously trying to pull a “Hey Jude”, but- as with a lot of their Beatles worshipping- they never seem to “get” it. In this case, no, you can’t simply turn any random track into “Hey Jude” by slapping on an overlong ending and a few “na na nas”.

  116. 116
    Phil on 16 May 2016 #

    I remember a coworker – someone I’d never had much to do with, but who’d picked up that I was into music an’ that – asking me if I liked this; it might even have been the morning after it was on TOTP (old school!). I said, er, no, not really. He said, “but you’ll get the album, right?” – and the inflection was as if he was part of Noel & Liam’s sales force, upbeat & celebratory but with a faint undertone of pleading, this still works, doesn’t it?.

    It didn’t.

    The funny thing is, Noel had already played this card once and dismissed it as shit (“Whatever”). I guess you could say that “Whatever” was IATW rather than “Hey Jude”, but you’d be wrong. Basically he was right the first time.

  117. 117
    Tommy Mack on 16 May 2016 #

    Cumbrian @ 114: The new Stone Roses’ track All For One: I guess about the most charitable assessment would be that they tried to merge the hands-in-the-air euphoria associated with their first album and the, ahem, classic rockin’ of Second Coming and it didn’t quite come off.

    Frankly, it sounds like they were trying to ‘do something like we used to’ but couldn’t be bothered to listen to their old records and wrote something based only on reading 100-word descriptions of their sound from Best Albums Ever-type puff pieces.

    Really, the title and lyrics should have been a flashing blue light: The Roses were always at their worst when they aimed for broad-brush-strokes anthemic stuff. Their best songs were full of weird, cryptic mumblings, vague threats and monumental narcissism (and in the case of Going Down, crypto-Prince-isms about well, you can guess…)

  118. 118
    flahr on 16 May 2016 #

    “Frankly, it sounds like they were trying to ‘do something like we used to’ but couldn’t be bothered to listen to their old records and wrote something based only on reading 100-word descriptions of their sound from Best Albums Ever-type puff pieces.”

    If The KLF did that we’d never hear the end of it from the popcrit massive.

  119. 119
    Cumbrian on 17 May 2016 #

    117: The adjective I was searching for but failed to find is, I think, mushy. Which would be great if they’ve Eno’d this album and pulled a load of Oblique Strategies cards that have lead them to try to create tracks evoking classic Northern food – I for one would look forward to the tracks sounding like Pie (solid, crusty but maybe just warmed through) and Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls (sharp and hard but also vaguely antiseptic) – but is more likely because the production doesn’t sound right. John Leckie might well be the missing ingredient.

    Would agree, as I said somewhere up thread, that it’s more the tracks with the vaguely threatening lyric that work well for me nowadays (IATR, Something Burning) and all the musical stuff requires a less is more approach, rather than this which is full of noise.

    Mani should have stayed with Primal Scream I reckon – I listened to Vanishing Point for the first time in ages last night and think he’d be better off playing that type of stuff.

    118: That’s probably right, but then again, that’s also because The KLF did stuff like that. Isn’t ultimately that just saying, “these two bands are different and can therefore be evaluated on different criteria”?

  120. 120
    Tommy Mack on 17 May 2016 #

    Flahr @ 118: if they’d *actually* done that, it might be a bit more interesting than it was!

    Part of the problem is that they left it so long, not just to reform but to release new stuff after reforming, that the first single *had* to be some sort of grandiose universal statement of intent which is setting the bar pretty high, especially when that was always the band’s weakest type of song anyway.

  121. 121
    flahr on 17 May 2016 #

    I meant that it didn’t really sound like a criticism, even though in context it was meant to be one, since, as TM observes, it would probably be a good idea.

  122. 122
    Tommy Mack on 17 May 2016 #

    It was more of an observation, it really did strike me that it sounded like someone had tried to make a Roses record based on reading brief descriptions of their sound, rather than study of their music (or indeed, y’know, being the actual Stone Roses)

    Agree that as a methodology it would at the very least be interesting! If I’m completely stuck for inspiration when writing songs, I sometimes try playing by instinct, something I’ve not heard for a while, which I guess is similar.

  123. 123
    Tommy Mack on 17 May 2016 #

    I said, only half-jokingly, on Tom’s FB page, that they should have gone back to their goth roots which strikes me now as at least a half-decent idea: it would have confounded their critics while giving a nod to the hardcore fans, would have placed them in a genre where they could still produce something suitably grandiose for a twenty-year comeback single and could have played quite well with the sort of Eagulls-type post-punk indie that’s around at the moment.

    If any other semi-retired indie legends want to hire me as a strategy consultant, I offer very competitive rates…

  124. 124
    Izzy on 17 May 2016 #

    All For One is getting better the more I hear it, somewhat to my amazement. I had been thinking that Ian does a pretty good job if one overlooks the thinness of the material – it’s at least a bridge and some lyrics short of being an actual song – while the others have only brought their C game (and in Mani’s case may not even be there).

    But right now I’ve got it on the tinniest speaker I own and it’s starting to sound pretty great. Leading me to think that the main issue is the production. Multitracked vocals with flanges are a very jarring combo.

    All I really wanted was to hear them recorded as-live, but maybe they’re just not capable of that any more. Meantime play them on your phone, I guess.

  125. 125
    Izzy on 10 Jun 2016 #

    The new one’s much more like what I was looking for. Only heard it once, but it’s quite promising so far. Reni’s good, and you can even hear Mani this time.

  126. 126
    alexcornetto on 19 Jan 2017 #

    I watched the recent Oasis documentary a few days ago, and there was some footage of them rehearsing in a basement in Manchester circa 1992. This was the song they were running through. Aside from adding more unnecessary instrumentation to it (and, y’know, dragging it out a bit), five years didn’t actually do much to the song at its core.


  127. 127
    Girl with Curious Hair on 19 Aug 2017 #

    #126 – I read somewhere that Noel Gallagher held this song back from Oasis’s first two albums, because he thought it was a classic that deserved a bigness the band couldn’t afford when they were starting out. The fact there’s footage existing of the band playing it in 1992 seems to bear that out.

    And that gives it an arc that’s… I don’t think poignant is the word I’m looking for here, but there’s something there…

    Imagine how groovy this must have seemed to the ‘sis in the bright narcotic uplands of 1995-97. NG wrote this song when he was skint and the band were nobodies, when the designs of greatness were an act of faith rather than hubris… and during the bright narcotic uplands of 1995-97, it must have felt like that faith was going to be paid off big time. This song was going to be the flourish on a triumph of a third album. It was all part of a masterplan. Pass me the CD case…

    Of course, it did turn into hubris, a self-consciously imperialistic land-grab on Beatle territory – the video is literally a fucking live-action remake of Yellow Submarine – and by 1998 that coke high had worn off. The song begins as a procession and ends, as Tom points out, in retreat. Deservedly so? Probably. Still, I think that alone makes this one of the more interesting songs from the coke-bloat end of Britpop.

    And really, the Oasis story ends here, at the conclusion of this neat, not-quite classical arc: yeah they lurched on into the 2000s in their Quoasis guise, but everything interesting about them was extinguished with the 90s.

    (Just like the Spice Girls, really – I doubt anybody gives much thought to that R&B thing they did in 2000. To go off on a tangent: I’m sure this is just a trick of the chronological light, but it does seem interesting that everything noteworthy about both Oasis and the Spice Girls – the UK’s leading pop forces of the 1990s – was preserved so perfectly inside that decade. Whatever else Oasis or the Spice Girls did or didn’t have in common with their big, shadow-casting uncles The Beatles, all 3 bands were basically confined as a going concern, and a cultural memory, to one decade. At least the Fabs and the Girls had the good grace to give up the ghost pretty quickly after that 0 rolled around…)

  128. 128
    weej on 21 Aug 2017 #

    GWCH – This, from an ILX thread, is one of my favourite comments ever and I think it needs more exposure:

    “I think I’ve said something like this before, but if I were making the Oasis biopic, it would begin with a scene of Noel and Liam as kids, Liam feeling sad for being beaten up just because he acted like an asshole, Noel cheering him up by playing a new song he just wrote ‘All around the world / gotta spread the word / you know it’s gonna be okay.’ ‘You know Liam, one day we are going to be Rock and Roll stars, and we’re going to turn this song into the biggest song ever. At several of the early shows they play stripped down versions of the song, at the recording of both Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory they’re asked if they want to include the anthem. ‘Not yet’ says Noel. ‘Not until we have the budget to make it fucking right.’ The film culminates with a painstaking reconstruction of the recording process of All Around the World, done in black and white, cinema verité style, but also imitating the famous bell-making scene from Andrei Rublev (it goes without saying that my biopic is a 3 hour monster like Nixon or something). Final scene of film is a one-take of Noel, dejected, angry at Liam, coked out of his mind, feeling the dream has gone to shit, putting on the song, the masterpiece he dreamt about since he was a kid, and over 9 painful minutes realizing just how bad it is, just how much he fucked it up. For the last couple of minutes he is bawling his eyes out, lying on the floor, snot coming out of his nose. Roll credits, soundtracked by Country House.

    ― Frederik B, Thursday, 25 August 2016 00:29”

  129. 129
    Imran Patel on 19 Sep 2017 #

    A 7 or 8 I think. A nice Beatlesy pastiche but a tad too long for me.

  130. 130
    Mostro on 24 Sep 2017 #

    #128 Weej – “Roll credits, soundtracked by Country House.”

    I know it’s not yours, but… brilliant!

  131. 131
    Jessica Wallace on 9 Apr 2021 #

    2/10. Utterly self indulgent and totally boring. At least NGHFB’s have never had a number 1 hit single. Thank goodness for that.

  132. 132
    Gareth Parker on 10 May 2021 #

    Another tedious Oasis single really. I think Tom’s right with the 3/10 here.

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