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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.

4

Comments

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  1. 1
    will on 9 Feb 2015 #

    It’s the little touches that make this my favourite Oasis Number One. The ‘2-3-4’ count in, the ‘feel the bass’ after the first verse, the ‘ooh’ after the first chorus. Liam encouraging us to let it out if ‘you like yerself a lot’, still sounding like the most untroubled, at-ease-with-himself pop star that’s ever lived. I’ve always found it rather charming, in a way most Oasis singles definitely aren’t. 8

  2. 2
    Tom on 9 Feb 2015 #

    #1 heh, I was planning to mention that post-chorus grunt but forgot. I’m in two minds over it – it boots me out of the song a bit, but it’s endearing too. I think all that extra stuff is Noel mugging desperately in an attempt to pretend it’s an actual band in the room with him.

  3. 3
    Garry on 9 Feb 2015 #

    I cared not for Go Let It Out. We preferred Fucking in the Bushes, or, as Triple J called it, Bonking in the Bushes, and Triple J played that all the time on their breakfast show. It reminded me of Pink Floyd’s Meddle with One of These Days – an introductory instrumental built on the pounding rhythm. But Tom is right about the weakness of the Oasis rhythm section – I like FITB because it was different and I Iiked the riff and noise of the track, but rhythmically it’s a bit leaden. As for Go Let It Out – a decent Oasis song, but no more.

  4. 4
    Mark G on 9 Feb 2015 #

    The parent album (I think we’re bunny safe here) had a great three-track into: FITB, This one and the next single had me thinking “They might have actually pulled it off this time”, but the rest trailed in as patchy odds/ends and scraps of unfinished lyrics (Noel never seems to go back and improve a duff lyric ever, unless he actually does my god) with the occasional highlight (Gas Panic, Sunday Morning Call) and a big blustering end track that just doesn’t make it. So many tracks that wouldnt be kept in the live set for too long. And yes, “Little James” aint great, but here it doesn’t even matter.

  5. 5
    lonepilgrim on 9 Feb 2015 #

    this only stirs the faintest of memories, and so uniform have Oasis songs become that I might well be thinking of another one. Strip away the effects pedals and Magical Mystery Mellotron and its Noel strumming away on his acoustic for another buskalong while Liam ventriloquises the stream-of-unconsciousness lyrics

  6. 6
    AMZ1981 on 9 Feb 2015 #

    In preparation for this entry I listened to Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants for the first time in ages. Allowing for the fact it was never my favourite Oasis record at the time it sounded pretty dreary and dated in 2015. Go Let It Out itself is the first in a long line of now completely forgotten Oasis chart toppers that heralded the release of a new album which everybody hoped would be a return to form.

    By now Oasis were still the Kings of Britpop although they now sat on a throne in an empty palace; everybody else had left. Amazingly they’d manage to keep up the pretence for several more years yet.

  7. 7
    Duro on 9 Feb 2015 #

    “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.”

    Noel almost directly lifted it from a poem iirc

  8. 9
    daveworkman on 9 Feb 2015 #

    At the time, this was the first new Oasis material to come out since I’d got into music and the charts as a teenager. What’s The Story had come out towards the end of my time at primary school and at that age singalong choruses were perfect so that still has a small place in my heart, but I can remember when GLIO appeared on the scene for me it was distinctly a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes and I never really bothered to tune into anything else from ‘Quoasis’ (never heard that before but I love it!)
    What struck me listening to this again, was the realisation that my biggest problem with this is Liam: he seemingly can’t be bothered to inject any passion into his singing, or connect with the lyrics and music, so why the hell should I care?

  9. 10
    JLucas on 9 Feb 2015 #

    This is Oasis at the tipping point. They have as many chart entries to come as they have behind them, including several bunnies, but not many that would be seriously missed if they didn’t make a Greatest Hits or a live setlist. You can recognise this phase because everything they release after this point will be marketed as “Their best since…” or “A return to…” All important bands reach this point sooner or later – they go from leading the conversation to preaching to the converted.

    There are a few post=BHN Oasis singles that I quite like, usually the ones where they relax a bit and feel less encumbered by their legacy. This one, however, feels defensive and self conscious, a regrouping action by a group reaching a make-or-break point and choosing the path of least resistance. Superficially, it sounds very much like a classic Oasis single. But the spark isn’t there. If Be Here Now was an arrogant folly, this era feels like the weary comedown. They didn’t quite blow it, but they never entirely got it back, either.

    3

  10. 11
    Tom on 9 Feb 2015 #

    #7, #8 – Thanks Duro. Well, I was fooled.

  11. 12
    swanstep on 9 Feb 2015 #

    Good lead-off essay with which I can only agree wholeheartedly:
    4

  12. 13
    Izzy on 9 Feb 2015 #

    Other than the horrible outsize band logo, I quite like the sleeve. There’s a nod to LS Lowry there; a Lancashire rootedness that shows up only very rarely in their work.

  13. 14
    23 Daves on 9 Feb 2015 #

    #7 – I seem to remember that some 70s hippy folk band claimed to come up with those lines (and a similar melody) themselves as well, but Google isn’t being kind to me on that one. Chances are both groups just ripped off the lines from the same source.

    At the time, “Go Let It Out” felt like a faintly likeable and almost brave return single, as Oasis were prone to making big statements, and it seemed gentle, rolling and subtle. “D’You Know What I Mean” it isn’t. I’m a sucker for mellotrons, too.

    So I waited for friends to buy copies of “Standing on The Shoulder” – no way was I planning on risking my own money on this – before totally losing interest on hearing the thing. I haven’t bothered to touch it again since, but even at the time it seemed like a horribly dreary album.

    What “Go Let It Out” highlights for me is that Oasis were capable of taking psychedelic pop cliches and stringing them out into a fairly enjoyable few minutes, so it’s always bemused me that they never took that direction for one whole LP. If you’re going to be avowedly “retro”, it’s one of the busiest templates you can play with, and you could easily picture Noel having a whale of a time with mellotrons, phasing effects, backwards guitars, nonsense lyrics, etc – the man would be in his element. It could also have been Fun, something most later Oasis works were not.

    But even within their own tight classic rock confines, Oasis hated risk-taking, or doing anything that might have made them seem a bit frivolous or silly, so hints and splashes of these ideas are all you’re ever going to get. If Oasis ever released a shit album, and in my opinion there are at least two in their catalogue, it was always due to excessive, bloated blandness rather than because they’d tried to do something different and it hadn’t quite come off. The upshot of this is that even if you’re aiming to be critical, they’re still not terribly interesting to talk about. It’s always “more of the same”, to greater or lesser success.

  14. 15
    mapman132 on 9 Feb 2015 #

    11th straight UK #1 to be a Hot 100 no-show – although this did make a tiny impact on the Modern Rock charts. Oasis were very much in “Remember them?” territory in the US by now. Not bad, not great: 5/10 from me.

  15. 16
    James BC on 9 Feb 2015 #

    Amazing, from today’s perspective, that this would have been one of the most anticipated singles of the year. It’s just a drone, with no real song in there at all. No one could tell you what it’s meant to be about.

    This was their first single with Andy Bell as bass player, right? A lot of Ride fans were quite disappointed it came to this, although Hurricane #1 may have been worse.

  16. 17
    Izzy on 9 Feb 2015 #

    I’d make a case for Only The Strongest Will Survive as Andy Bell’s best song. When you sort out the Ride discography by songwriter, the best-crafted stuff tends not to fall into his bucket.

  17. 18
    weej on 9 Feb 2015 #

    I queued up the video and headed straight over to the comments to join in with the slating, then remembered I’m the anti-cheerleader on the Oasis entries, and nobody hates it as much as I do. Anyway, two observations; firstly, this seems like it got to #1 entirely on the basis of being the new Oasis single and nothing else – it’s hard to imagine any non-fan hearing this on the radio and being converted. That’s something more than a fanbase #1, isn’t it? There are probably plenty of better examples out there, but this seems like stepping up a gear in the phenomenon. Secondly, I was surprised to find that (for the first time) I can see exactly what they are trying to do here – it’s a psych-funk groove, isn’t it? And I can even hear Andy Bell importing bits from the last couple of Ride albums – but it just doesn’t work, the rhythm section are out of the mix almost entirely, the organ is only used as a garnish, if only they had more money and studio time they could’ve gone back in and finished it off, oh hold on.

  18. 19
    Cumbrian on 9 Feb 2015 #

    I’ve been in Oz for three weeks – a real flurry of activity whilst I have been away, I may have to go back and see whether I have anything of value to say (for a change) on the other entries but, as I alluded to in Some Might Say thread, at some point I was going to have to stand up for Oasis. That time is now.

    Groove might not have been Oasis’ strong point but they could do it (Columbia for one), the bass on this is decent (Tom is right, Noel played this – not Andy Bell who, like Gem Archer, doesn’t make an appearance on an Oasis LP until the next one) and consequently lopes along well enough. Paul McGuigan would likely not have been capable of this.

    Belligerent chug is a feature not a bug in my view. I agree with Mark G that the opening salvo from Standing… had me thinking that they might be able to return with something worthwhile. This never fails to get the hairs on the back of my neck rising when the electric guitars finally kick in on the second run through the Go Let It Out refrain – the opening 50 seconds of the track are really well done. Drum loop, layering on the instruments, electric guitars kick in and the menace rises. I have a vivid memory of hearing it for the first time and thinking “fuck me, they’re actually going to make it back” and then “shame that it resolves into a wet blanket chorus” – nicked from a poem as it turned out. Good job that it doesn’t last long and it moves back into the groove then. If they’d been able to resolve that rising menace into something that was truly nasty, I would have been all over this for a really high mark – as is, it’s still their second best number one I reckon.

    Let’s All Make Believe on the B-Side addresses the falling apart of the band in the recording of the LP and is the last really worthwhile Oasis B-Side – just very honestly laying out the strain of trying to keep the plates spinning as the last gang in town. Noel’s songs have dried up at this point – Gem, Andy and Liam were all going to need to pick up slack from this point on – and the evidence of some form of writer’s block is all over the track listing of the LP – and no B-Sides of worth from Noel from here on. As with Be Here Now, half the tracks probably needed to be shelved (Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is and I Can See A Liar in particular are terrible and I hate, hate, hate Sunday Morning Call – it could have easily be replaced by Let’s All Make Believe and the album would have been stronger for it). The heart of the record – Fucking In The Bushes, GLIO, Gas Panic!, Where Did It All Go Wrong?, Roll It Over – is reasonably strong though, I reckon and in the latter three cases continues the open lyricism of LAMB. More of that stuff and really making it a disintegration of the dream record would have been welcome, I think. Even with three real duds on it (out of 10 tracks), it’s still a better album than Heathen Chemistry though – more on that anon.

  19. 20
    Andrew Farrell on 9 Feb 2015 #

    More startling than “Feel the base” is the sound of scratching that precede it – in that context it sounds almost Robbie-ish!

  20. 21
    Cumbrian on 9 Feb 2015 #

    “Feel the bass” – I have always heard that as “Pick up the bass”.

  21. 22
    Chelovek na lune on 9 Feb 2015 #

    Generic competent Oasis drone, a decent enough, if unexciting album track, adult FM radio wallpaper, not horrible, not overly long, and only close to be being overly repetitive. Not the worse no 1 of their’s we’ve encountered so far, but complacency clearly has the upper hand over excitement here.

    4

  22. 23
    Tommy Mack on 9 Feb 2015 #

    This started the post-Imperial Oasis promotional cycle: Noel talking a new song up in the music press as ‘the best thing we’ve done since DLBIA/Wonderwall/Live Forever etc’, it hitting the radio, everyone thinking ‘is that it?’, Noel piping down and then tacitly adding the song to the ever increading list of interim stuff he dismissed as sub-par when it came time to promote the next album.

    I regret passing up on Oasis at Reading, later in 2000, but I was so unimpressed by this song. I reckon SotSoG marks Oasis’ nadir, everything I’ve heard of theirs since sounds at least a little bit better than this. Even the ones Liam wrote. It’s just so stodgy and unexciting. For the man who used to chuck songs like Fade Away and Acquiesce away on B-sides, this is a low ebb and no mistake. And is Sunday Morning Call (A #30 smash iirc) off …Shoulder… too? I honestly thought that was Ronan Keating when I first heard it.

    Princes and kings/clowns who caper in sawdust rings is a near-lift from R.L. Sharpe too in case no-one’s mentioned it so far: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/891298-isn-t-it-strange-how-princes-and-kings-and-clowns-that

  23. 24
    thefatgit on 9 Feb 2015 #

    I so wanted to like SOTSOG when I bought it. After the initial thrill of FITB* and the track we are discussing here, I began to feel Oasis were pulling at threads from cloth weaved more ably by Death In Vegas, UNKLE, and The Stone Roses. It was here, as the parent album played out, I began to lose my faith in Oasis. I was prepared to forgive “Be Here Now” with its patchwork of Beatlesque numbers. I have only returned to that album a couple of times, since I kept it playing on loop in my car stereo for about a couple of weeks. SOTSOG as far as I can remember, has been played exactly once.

    GLIO is enjoyable in its own way. I think it has some endearing moments, like the “is it any wonder why princes and kings…” line is when the Strawberry Fields mellotron kicks in and I’m almost thinking: JEEZ IT’S CANDY FLIP! Let me take you down, cos we’re going to miss Bonehead and Guigsy a helluva lot from here on in. By the time the boys had driven their Special Service bus to the desert for their next single, I had begun to move away from their brand of post-Britpop, sample-‘eavy psych rock. And I didn’t look back…in anger or otherwise. Thanks for the good times Oasis, but this is the point where I got off your big white Routemaster. (7)

    *FITB, the best track off the album (not SOTSOG, but the Snatch Soundtrack Album) because now, I’m reminded of the moment when Brad Pitt’s clan of heroic unintelligible gypsies exact their brutal revenge on Alan Ford’s group of match-fixing gangsters with a barrage of shotgun fire. Take that Brick Top!

  24. 25
    Izzy on 9 Feb 2015 #

    19: I was going to mention Columbia, because Oasis must have a decent shout at having the worst rhythm section of any major band, but Tony and Guigsy laid down a monster there.

    19: I had no idea Let’s All Make Believe was on this, or that it was so late. It’s a fabulous track. Their deep cut catalogue isn’t that great in my view, but you could probably still make a corking twelve-track compilation out of it.

  25. 26
    ace inhibitor on 9 Feb 2015 #

    #7, 8, 14 – I don’t know about 70s hippy folk bands, but that RL Sharpe poem was lifted wholesale by the Heptones (1973) and what a lovely lift it is too
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z9h2nO5SIo

  26. 27
    Ed on 10 Feb 2015 #

    This really is the point where the sheerly unnecessary nature of later Oasis becomes overwhelming.

    Given the vast ocean of sound that’s out there, and our finite number of seconds on this planet, why would anyone ever want to spend any of them listening to this?

    I’m not even going to do it now.

  27. 28
    Mark G on 10 Feb 2015 #

    Well, there was better to come but for all those that said “They should have split after Knebworth, on a high etc” effectively they did. The Oasis that carried on from here was a duo. Neither of which were in the first Oasis lineup. And no, I don’t mean Mary Hopkin and Peter Skellern.

    So, never mind whittling the White album or Sandinista to single albums, there is a case for whittling this Oasis album to a 4 track e.p. And the next one too.

    But I’m getting ahead.

  28. 29
    Elmtree on 10 Feb 2015 #

    Yes, this really is a case of competent production failing to cover up terrible lyrics. Nice mellotrons, though.

    And the album cover could not have been much more openly saying that they were still wondering if they might be able to break America with this one.

  29. 30
    Inanimate Carbon God on 10 Feb 2015 #

    On release I hated this one with a fire and brimstone passion, and it only increased through my angsty, punky late teens and early twenties. My then 13-year-old sister’s review: “They’ve been working on this for two years and…?”

    A band who made parts of my childhood feel like riding a cruise missile to the Moon dropping like a stone to the level of glorified buskers. I never really saw Oasis as a continuation of a Beatlesy “Great British Pop” tradition; I’ve usually been more charmed by their rugged Sladey/glam rock aspects and saw their early work as much murkier and grungier than they’d ever admit (partly because I was in awe in Year 7 of a 16-year-old lad who’d play Smells Like Teen Spirit perfectly on a Union Jack guitar. Confused cultural signifiers or what!)

    No such problems these days. Some people say Oasis lost it when they went too loud and murky on Be Here Now; others say this was the tipping point when paying warm homage to sixties influences became depressing self-enslavement. Either argument is outweighed by the fact on their best days, they were bloody brilliant at both. This aims for the latter talent/Achilles heel and
    doesn’t quite get there, mostly because Liam has an even worse cold than usual, but the lyrics are enjoyably quirky gibberish rather than horrible cokehead gibberish, and I love the slight ascent into the mellotron-flecked chorus. Agree with 23 Daves @14 that they could have made a brilliant psychedelic album if only they’d embraced the toys they were given to play with.

    What will finally put me off the ‘Sis in future entries is their descent into treating pop/rock stardom with the beige indifference of filing a tax return. That’s not here quite yet, as they still seem somewhat interested in their own music and :cough: :sorry: trying to keep some destiny. For the second successive entry, a dignified, maybe generous 6. (For some reason, I believe that run may soon change.)

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