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Feb 15

OASIS – “Go Let It Out”

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#848, 19th February 2000

OasisGo Be Here Now was a triumph that turned, with rapid hindsight, into a crisis. By “Go Let It Out”, the lead single from its follow-up, the crisis had become material. Two members and a record label down, Noel Gallagher was forced to re-record much of the music on Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants by himself. Meanwhile, the world had changed. For all the big talk – the band whose only peers were the classics – Oasis had hit their peak very much as part of a movement, coming up alongside Britpop and then becoming big enough to carry a revivalist rock wave with them. Now that lairy peloton had fallen away, and Oasis found themselves just another part of a broad and comfortable pop establishment: ensconced on Sony and with Mark “Spike” Stent producing. Stent, who had won his rep working for the KLF on their Stadium House 12”s, had become the safest imaginable pair of hands – he mixed everyone from the Spice Girls to Massive Attack, and his approach seemed to be running highlighter over things that made a band themselves, making sure the British pop ecosystem sounded diverse. So where did Oasis fit in?

They hunkered down. “Go Let It Out” is the point at which Oasis become, defiantly and unashamedly, Quoasis. A closed-in gang, arms folded against fashion and critical spite. A belligerent chug. It’s also a record that makes it clear that – whatever Noel’s position when interviews came around – the band regretted nothing. The critical take on Oasis at this time was one of a group in a cycle of trying to make amends, desperately groping to recover their classic, world-striding form. A lot of this feels like wishful thinking on behalf of the press – for whom Be Here Now was just as much a fuck-up as it was for the band. It was wishful thinking encouraged by the Gallaghers, though who publically flip-flopped between the Denial (still the biggest band in the world) and Bargaining (some of these new songs are the best we’ve done) stages of grief.

Except, when you listen to it, “Go Let It Out” is transparently no kind of change in direction, just progress along one. With its simmering, rolling aggression and its mellotron trimmings it actually feels like a mid-point of “D’You Know What I Mean?” and “All Around The World”, Be Here Now’s two big hits. Sure, they’d cut back on the coke bloat, but the line of development from “Live Forever” through “Wonderwall” through “D’You Know..” to this song is very clear. It’s a band becoming more reliant on groove, building their songs around their rhythm section to a greater degree, always with the failsafe of a big chorus, but with those choruses becoming a little weaker every time too.

There’s an obvious problem with this. Oasis do not have a world beating rhythm section – in fact, at this point, they didn’t have a rhythm section at all – and groove was not their strong point. Defiance exposes these limits just as much as experiment would have. So while “Go Let It Out!” sulks at you quite effectively, it can’t build much steam until it kicks into the chorus, which gives Liam something to bite on too after drawling through the verses. It’s not a bad chorus: in spirit, and halfway in sound, their most sixties-esque statement yet. And it sounds like a songwriter making an effort – whatever the merits of lines like “Is it any wonder why princes and kings / Are clowns that caper in their sawdust rings?” they aren’t throwaway. The message – that shout out to “ordinary people” – hasn’t changed since “D’You Know What I Mean” any more than the sound has. Oasis are the people’s band, even if they’ve been disenfranchised, they and their tribe sent into exile. They are still big: it’s the charts that got small. It was something to cling to, anyhow.

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Comments

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  1. 51
    StringBeanJohn82 on 12 Feb 2015 #

    No other band took such a dive in quality after their first 2 albums with the exception of Weezer.

  2. 52
    Rory on 12 Feb 2015 #

    Be Here Now had broken any compulsion I’d felt to treat a new Oasis album as an event, so I was slow to pick up SOTSOG – I bought it second-hand, a year after it was released. I haven’t listened to it in years, but thought of it as an album that started well but tailed off, much as others have said. Even that may have been generous, though. Listening to “Go Let It Out” again now, it has the same problems as the singles from Be Here Now: it’s too long, there’s too much in the mix, and I’m finding Liam’s flat delivery increasingly hard to take. The mellotron is a saving grace, and I like the “hurgh!”s, but they’re not enough. With a livelier vocal and a minute shaved off the running time, this could have been a 6 or 7, but I don’t think I can stretch past 5.

    I hadn’t heard “Let’s All Make Believe” either. Now that would have been a single worth celebrating. Madness to leave that off the album, madness.

    Nobody’s mentioned the implications of the misquotation in the album title. The references I’ve seen online suggest it was because Noel was drunk when he copied it down in the pub, and woke up to realise he’d left off the plural, ha ha, let’s leave it that way. It’s a pun, innit. But did he really want to imply that the band were standing on the shoulder of – next to, in the shadow of – giants, rather than on their shoulders, reaching even higher than those giants had? His previous form suggests he was aiming for the latter, but if so, he ended up with the biggest Freudian slip of an album title ever.

    Noel seemed to get a bit more perspective on it over time.

  3. 53
    Kinitawowi on 12 Feb 2015 #

    Very little dates a song faster than a video taking the piss out of MTV’s on-screen graphics – that “the best videos always make room for / BIG CAPTIONS” right where the channel used to stick the artist / song / album infoboxes pins it to its moment. And so it goes; this is a Moment, created by a band seemingly rankled by the fact that they have more commercial success but less critical acclaim than the Stone Roses and trying to remedy it by creating an infinitely less interesting Love Spreads.

    Transitory, designed to fit a narrative and eminently disposable. SOTSOG had a couple of good tracks – Gas Panic! is epic and I don’t hate Sunday Morning Call – but this definitely wasn’t one of them.

    3.

  4. 54
    Elmtree on 12 Feb 2015 #

    Ah, I was wondering what that bit was about as I never had MTV growing up! Though Nick Egan did a perfect job with the US Live Forever video – totally hubristic, painting Oasis as the successors to everyone from the Beatles and Hendrix to the England 1966 football team and somehow getting away with all of it.

    Nice overcast sky-intense greens cinematography though, and I like the running gag about Liam turning up to the gig (playing to nobody) late. And he gets special respect from me for also being from Watford.

  5. 55
    Tommy Mack on 17 Feb 2015 #

    Went for a jog with SOTSOG this morning. I’m with those who thought the opening tracks sounded like it might be a blistering psych-rock rebirth then quickly paled. F*ckin in the bushes: Swamp Song meets Noel’s Chem. Bros collabs (this is a good thing in my book.) GLIO sounds a lot better through headphones (I must stop listening to stuff through my laptop speakers – though I reckon this only ever knocks a point or two off for me) – quite fun in an Inspirals-meets-Charlatans-way, maybe I’ll stretch to a 5. Who Feels Love: I actually laughed out loud at how Beatley this was, quite touching in a way: in troubled times, George Harrison turned to eastern spirituality, Noel and Liam turn to George Harrison. Little James, surely Liam’s taking the piss? I imagine him dressed up like Dylan and very studiously writing lines like ‘you live for your toys/even though they make noise/Na na na na na na na na’ in a big leather book with a serious expression on his face. Everything else: bo-oring. Gas Panic sounds like an attempt to recreate The Masterplan’s epic sweep to ho-hum effect, the rest of the album is dreary beyond belief: probably worse than the back-end of The Manics’ TIMTTMY in the ‘just take a year off, lads’ stakes.

  6. 56
    flahr on 18 Feb 2015 #

    This feels like a sort of archetypal 5 to be. Got some nice heavy, crunch to it, plus an actual bassline (which feels like a bit of a novelty for Oasis) – I get a sort of Chemical Brothers vibe, bizarrely – but it’s got a distinctly subpar vocal and it squibs out at the three-minute mark – there’s a bit where it should blantantly go into a guitar solo but instead it faffs around on the buildup before collapsing into another chorus and by the time the solo does eventually arrive all the momentum’s been killed.

    I would mention the lyrics but that would be giving them more thought than Oasis did.

  7. 57
    Tommy Mack on 18 Feb 2015 #

    The rhythm section does recall Dig yr Own Hole era Chemical Brothers a bit. Liam sounds very uncomfortable with the ‘princes and kings’ bit. James Dean Bradfield he is not and the awkward scansion of those lines doesn’t suit his singing style to the extent that I wonder if Noel should have sung that bit himself. I quite like Liam’s buzzsaw rasp elsewhere on the song. Agree that it builds too quickly and then goes nowhere but in Oasis terms it’s relatively restrained in waiting before the layers of noise sweep in.

  8. 58
    Cumbrian on 18 Feb 2015 #

    Interesting seeing who people have been comparing this track to in terms of sonics. The band that were being touted around as a major influence on GLIO at the time was, from memory, The Beta Band – who were none-too-happy about getting an Oasis seal of approval, if my memory serves that far as well.

  9. 59
    ciaran on 20 Feb 2015 #

    ‘Quasis’- What a concept!

    It’s funny though that Quo comparisons exist given that the Bannister controversy was meant to kick out the old guard and replace it with new trendsetters like the Gallaghers.

    You’d almost have some sympathy for Oasis at this point. They were like that young football superstar who had done it all when he was 21 only to disappoint those who expected the world of them after.

    It’s really when you weigh it up with the almost radial departures of its contemporaries how outdated Oasis really seemed by 2000. (13 the year before, Kid A in the same year and Amnesiac plus We Love Life and Damon’s cartoon reinvention a year later). They almost were a bit Smashey and Nicey in comparison. A band out drinking and throwing back a full pint in one go having a good time whilst the others are taking stock and exploring new worlds.

    There was still an audience there that was willing to give them a chance to right the Be Here Now wrong and be taken in again hence this getting to Number 1.

    The trouble with GLIO was that it was no classic Oasis singalong hands aloft crowd puller. The big un’s of 1994 to 1996 took a few weeks to gain momentum and then forced its way into the minds of the public. With GLIO it’s a toe tapper for a few days but repeated listeining takes away the fun.

    In spite of the swollen Oasis of the day and the critical kicking I actually liked revisiting this more than I expected to. The pleasant intro, Liam not roaring his arse off, the whole less loud vibe to proceedings. It does go a bit All Around the World for its own good near the finish but a playback in 2015 I can overlook that .6.

    Not surprisingly it was barely heard anywhere by the end of the year.

    A sign that they were not the force they had been was the follow up Who Feels Love. For a band who you would know everything from b-sides, singles, albums, what seat in Maine Road they took up,adidas runners they wore, etc, even a keen former fan like me couldn’t be bothered to find out if it was any good.

  10. 60
    Tommy Mack on 13 Mar 2015 #

    BBC6music: ‘was it hearing terrace chants at Maine Road that made you want to write anthems?’ Noel: ‘I think it’s mainly to do with being Irish: that fist in the air…while you’re crying type of pop music’ – trailer for interesting sounding interview on The First Time, first time I’ve heard him discuss his musical preferences in terms of his own background or psychology rather than just objectively good choices that anyone would make if they were as sussed as him.

  11. 61
    shishimaru on 20 Jun 2015 #

    Do you people always listen coldly to music? I love Standing On The Shoulder of Giants, it’s something intimate. And it’s definitely much more rock than previous album in some tracks. Also, I don’t understand why you people keep on saying that Oasis were failing because of Be Here Now. Guys, they were *definitely* not. You might want to give critics, and this is totally fine, but Oasis never felt they failed. Be Here Now sold a lot, singles like Stand By Me and Don’t Go Away are still remembered as much as a very few other singles (Little By Little, SCYHO, Lyla, DLBIA, Wonderwall – yeah, there are definitely better songs), Liam was singing great, people were enjoying. There was only one problem with Oasis, and the problem was them and their lives.
    Also, Be Here Now is a looong album to listen, but yet I enjoy it much better than a lot of little albums. Noel Gallagher himself tried to short all the songs for a Be Here Now remaster, but then gave up because – he said – those songs were as they were meant to be. They’re long, but they’re not too long. You can’t make them shorter.

    The only thing I would complain about the Giant is: it could be so incredibly better. ‘One Way Road’ and ‘Let’s All Make Believe’ left out as b-sides, ‘Let There Be Love’ left out again since Be Here Now (it’ll come out quietly in ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’.
    Yeah, you may find two demo versions of Let There Be Love (one is called ‘It’s A Crime’ from fans) along with all the song of the SOTSOG sessions.

    Go Let It Out is definitely cool to listen and sing-along, Who Feels Love? is totally fine (there’s an acoustic version on YT sung by Noel Gallagher, I definitely prefer that), Gas Panic! is just pure epic, it just works and it’s definitely made to be felt rather than listened – and it stayed in the live tracklist until 2003 or 2004 with Go Let It Out. Well, yeah, I don’t like Little James, and I don’t feel Sunday Morning Call is a big single. Where Did It All Go Wrong is a simple song, yet perfect. Roll It Over is definitely not something as greatful as Slide Away/Married with Children, Champagne Supernova or All Around The World, but it stays on the same line of the album and it’s the best choice to end it. “You plastic people roll my soul over and I’m not feeling fine with this”. Noel Gallagher was sincere at the time.

    On the other side of the dark era, Colin Archer and Andrew Bell arrived to make the band even bigger on live events. Older songs like Rock ‘n’ Roll Star and Morning Glory finally started to sound properly in gigs.

  12. 62
    Chris on 13 Sep 2015 #

    I was still an Oasis fan at this point. Be Here Now was pretty bad, but The Masterplan was the first time Americans got to hear any of the b-sides, so that made me stay semi-interested in what they’d do next. Then I heard this song, and man was it terrible. I still bought SOTSOG, although only Gas Panic is a good Oasis song, and Roll It Over is alright. But most of the album just sounds like a concept album about a very bad hangover. Which I guess is kind of fitting since BHN is their booze n’ coke record. But still not an enjoyable experience.

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