12
Feb 17

OASIS – “The Hindu Times”

Popular65 comments • 6,419 views

#923, 27th April 2002

oasishindu The biggest band in Britain grinds on, and as usual when an Oasis single toils its way by, their own past is the best stick to beat them with. In 1994, Oasis’ approach – putting great chunks of rock’s past in a smelter and using noise, hooks and force of will to forge something fresh from it – was a thrill. For all Noel’s occasional trolling in interviews, what Oasis represented an alternative and challenge to wasn’t pop. Instead they rebuked rock as it stood in the early 90s, only sometimes unfairly. British indie, first of all, the wan inbred descendent of punk rock, for its habit of simply aping the past, not trying to match it. Shoegaze and post-rock, for their refusal of the possibilities of a mass audience. Grunge rock, for finding that audience and turning away from it with a shudder. And most of all, the classic rock establishment, packing arenas and scooping BRIT awards by offering the same tired product, year upon year.

That was then. Eight years on, much had changed. Most obviously, Oasis now were the establishment – almost the only remaining British rock group who could guarantee hits and sales. Meanwhile, their artistic fire had conspicuously gone out. The hooks dried up and where they once alchemised the past they now merely and habitually quoted it. And finally, the cultural landscape they were operating in had shifted. The battle with Blur, a media confection the Gallaghers happily dived into, set Oasis’ molten populism against Blur’s art school detachment (one album past both bands’ peak). But Blur and the other Britpop bands turned out to be the last flare-out of the art school lineage as a major commercial force in British pop. An older light entertainment tradition represented by stage school performers (and now reality TV graduates) was now resurgent.

All of this made the likelihood of Oasis producing great records again very low. They had an industry happy to push whatever they did as a return to form, and a fan base ready to accept even their lowest-grade work as plainly and inevitably superior to ‘manufactured pop’. There was no incentive for them to make an effort or change the formula, even if they could have. So they didn’t, and you get “The Hindu Times”, named for no reason other than the lead guitar sounds a bit like a sitar.

This is laziness bordering on contempt, a band trundling along in second gear and telling the world they’re racing. For all that, “The Hindu Times” isn’t a terrible record. It’s marginally the best Oasis number one since 1997, and does indeed clear the mighty bar of being better than “Anything Is Possible”. But next to any of the early fiery stuff, it’s another aimless slog.

The problems aren’t hard to diagnose. After “Go Let It Out”, this is another track proving Liam Gallagher’s voice has turned from the band’s fuel into their biggest liability – he sounds bored out of his skull, and the cramped melody of “The Hindu Times” and its flaccid brain/vein/rain rhymes only make that clearer. But the reason for those lyrics is the same reason the guitar is doing a spot of Eastern cosplay – the song is trying to be specifically Beatley, and its obvious model is “Rain”.

“Rain” is a key track for Oasis in general – Liam’s proto-Oasis band was named The Rain, and its aggressively drawn-out vowels are the Rosetta Stone for his entire vocal approach. It’s one of the bits of the high 60s Oasis and their soundalikes drew most inspiration from – psychedelia, but run through a draggy, heavy, earthbound filter that suited 90s sensibilities better than the more whimsical end of psych. The fact that the band so overtly drew on it at this late stage might be a symptom of creative exhaustion but might also be to do with the arrival of Andy Bell from Ride, another musician with a proud reverence for 1966. Compared to Noel’s other attempts to go back to the source, “The Hindu Times” has more in common with “All Around The World” than “Setting Sun”: the song drones, lifted up by its riff then pulled back down by a pedestrian tune and lyric. Wikipedia – rather generously – compares it to the band’s “Rock N Roll Star”, but in that song rock’n;roll is what lets you tear away from drudgery, if only briefly. In “The Hindu Times” it is the drudgery.

So this song is a worn-out songwriter with nothing to prove, getting an indie supergroup to do “Rain” as a pub rock jam, sung by a man who audibly can’t be arsed. It ends up only a little better than that sounds. And taken with the last two number ones it suggests a fearful doldrum for pop as a whole. Both the main currents the charts took after Britpop (lad rock in the LP rankings, stage school pop for singles) feel exhausted, commercially viable but creatively wiped out, two approaches orbiting each other in futile opposition. There has to be another way.

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Comments

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  1. 1
    EPG on 12 Feb 2017 #

    What I appreciate about Oasis is that their work encouraged kids to take up instruments, to produce as well as consume music, as more richly produced songs may be more forbidding too. However, I’ve never heard the kids try to recreate this immemorable number.

  2. 2
    Pablo S. Alonso on 12 Feb 2017 #

    Actually, IIRC, the song title was taken from an Indian newspaper. But I agree with your opinions about the song, except that Liam’s voice may be the best thing about this record, though it can’t desguise the shallowness of the song (I’d even say it amplifies it). Anyway, check the song’s demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcu-U6oypjI (released as a b-side), and you’ll see how much the performance improves it. Also, that LP has a much more obvious “Rain”-derived song: (“Probably) All in the Mind”. You should also keep in mind that the production bears a strong debt to The Soundtrack
    Of Our Lives, a Swedish group Noel Gallagher was quite fond of by then. And the “Indian” riff is a rip-off of a Stereophonics song, which is quite low for someone who had stolen so brillanty from T-Rex less than 10 years before.

  3. 3
    Fivelongdays on 12 Feb 2017 #

    This was the last Oasis single I ever bought, from Virgin Megastore in Liverpool.

    It’s a bit of a shame that a band that meant so bloody much to me fizzled out but by this point I was no longer their fanbase and they were no longer my band.

  4. 4
    ThePensmith on 12 Feb 2017 #

    I became quite interested in Oasis around this period of their career – partially for the music, but some of it, for my sins, because of other reasons. Liam Gallagher was partnered up with Nicole Appleton from All Saints and they had a son together the year before, and so because of her ventures with sister Natalie in their post-All Saints project Appleton (from which they gleamed two top 5 hits and a rather good album, “Everything’s Eventual”) I became interested by association, with Oasis. There was a BBC Three documentary, “Appleton on Appleton” they did just before their album came out, which featured, amongst other things, footage of Liam zipping around on a quad bike at the country pile of Liam Howlett from the Prodigy, who Natalie had just married. You can find it on YouTube and even now it makes for bizarrely entertaining viewing.

    Back to Oasis though. I’d liked a lot of their stuff that I could remember from their real commercial and critical zenith in the 90s (I was 5 or 6 when “Definitely Maybe” was released, and remember watching coverage of Glastonbury with my eldest sister when they were on the bill in 1995).

    I bought the “Heathen Chemistry” album, but not really on the strength of “The Hindu Times”, more on the two #2 singles that followed it: “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” in June, and then the Noel led “Little by Little” in September, which I think are two of the best singles they released in the latter years of their career. Those songs I will always have time for and I’m gutted we don’t get to discuss those. “The Hindu Times” is very much like an autopilot “Cigarettes and Alcohol” and it’s not stood the test of time. A 4 is quite satisfactory therefore.

  5. 5
    Matt DC on 12 Feb 2017 #

    We’re well into the Rock Is Back era by now but Oasis are already dinosaurs and good lord this record plods like one. It’s only really the title and the fake sitar noises that are of any note at all, and those are only there because The Beatles did some Indian stuff from time to time. But the 60s, and especially British 60s rock, just aren’t cool any more. It’s all about New York in the 70s, although very little of that filters through to the #1 slot. And it’s the reconstituted shiny synthpop of the 80s that will fuel the pop golden era that’s heralded by the NEXT Number 1. Up against all that, this record feels so antiquated that it might as well be the actual Beatles.

    And yes, Oasis did reserve most of their ire for the rest of rock, and later on for any emerging bands who might actually challenge their crown. The worst is reserved for a band who are recording their second album right now and are about to take safe, bankable stadium pop-rock to a level that eclipses Oasis altogether. But we aren’t going to see Coldplay in this blog for ages yet, and if you look over the next few years it’s amazing how Oasis are literally the only rock music that features. But the past, present and future are about to be reconciled in an entirely new way, so who cares.

  6. 6
    23 Daves on 12 Feb 2017 #

    #4 – I think I’m correct in saying that “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” actually sold more copies than “Hindu Times”, but was cursed by being stuck at number two in the charts behind a rather huge bunny of the year. I don’t really have many thoughts to add about “Stop” though, unfortunately. It seemed to be a radio play favourite on both Radio One and ILR stations for a long time in 2002, the kind of track you heard oozing out of the speakers in charity shops and car repair garages the length and breadth of London, but it didn’t really spark much interest for me.

    As for “Hindu Times”, I’ve had to go to YouTube to remind myself of what the hell it sounds like – not a good sign – and I’ve just caused my wife to leave the room with the words “Why are you listening to bad Oasis tracks?” It’s not a complete stinker, but it’s the kind of aimless, swaggering trudge through rock and roll cliches Northern Uproar would have attempted (and been criticised harshly for) in the decade before this. It’s performed in a less cack-handed fashion, sure, but somehow that manages to make it sound duller than it might have been. This sounds like the 108th take.

    I got taken to the Finsbury Park Oasis gig by a friend of mine at this point, and got hit on the bonce by a full-to-the-brim mineral water bottle of piss, without the cap on. Not entirely the band’s fault, but being stood in a muddy field stinking of someone else’s urine while listening to Oasis trudge through tracks off “Heathen Chemistry”… it’s a negative experience I’ve always struggled to come back from.

  7. 7
    Turn on 12 Feb 2017 #

    At the time that this came out I listened to overnight radio a lot, switching between stations. “The Hindu Times” was one of the records which, if nothing preferable was playing on any of the music stations, was preferable to listening to a few minutes of speech radio. Westway, the World Service’s soap, had a theme tune which was also vaguely ‘sixties and vaguely *vaguely* Indian.

    I rather liked this for not overstaying its welcome like “Go Let It Out” and “Who Feels Love?”, the last two Oasis songs I’d heard, and in relief that it didn’t involve the obvious George Harrison lifts I’d expected when the title was announced. That the riff for this seemed to have been taken from “Does Your Mother Know” by ABBA helped. Unambitious lyrics were another bonus- the awful attempts at statement/apparent life advice in the two aforementioned singles had been particularly offputting. My view is probably atypical in that I had disliked Oasis at their peak, and grew progressively to tolerate them more as they seemed to recognise their limitations. Eventually some of their earlier singles became tolerable by association.

    Thoughts on listening to it again: Good noise at the opening. Letting it overwhelm the incoming drums is an attractive choice. Arrangment and mix which sounds like a group playing (compare aforementioned previous singles), slight submerging of Liam’s tediously buzzsawing vocal with acoustic guitars, bits of feedback and Noel’s backing (his long ‘RAAAIN’ on the last repetition of the chorus is one of those things I might have stayed tuned for even if I’d calculated that the track I’d changed stations to avoid initially had now probably ended). As music, 3, as an Oasis track, 5.

  8. 8
    ThePensmith on 12 Feb 2017 #

    #6 – crikey, that sounds awful. Fortunately I’ve not had a gig or concert experience on a par with what you described, but I think that would definitely put me off the associated music or band I was there to see if that happened to me.

    Number 2 and 3 watch this week: in runner up slot was the, to date last ever *NSYNC single, “Girlfriend”, remixed from the album version by The Neptunes and with a guest rap feature from Nelly. Now this I could happily have written about. This was one of the moments outside of their earlier Max Martin produced singles where they really shone – and also going on the amount of plays it got on the likes of Kiss and BBC 1Xtra over the summer, set up quite nicely the subsequent immediate solo offerings that autumn of a certain Mr Timberlake…

    #3 was Doves, with “There Goes the Fear”. My eldest sister was a fan of their work around this time and their “The Last Broadcast” album, and I subsequently developed a fondness for their music too. It was, if I’m correct in remembering, available in a very limited run as a single, hence why it crashed down to #34 the following week.

  9. 9
    AMZ1981 on 12 Feb 2017 #

    To be fair most past their prime bands do this now, even in the download era. They announce a new album and release the first single (normally one that sounds most like their classic stuff) and the fans lap it up eagerly. Then the album comes out, more often than not it’s fair to middling, and a few weeks later even the fans have forgotten about it. It was hardly Oasis’ fault that in 2002 they still had enough fans to drive the new single to number one.

    I revisited Heathen Chemistry recently and it deserves a bit better than it got at the time. It’s certainly a stronger record than Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants and has aged ten times better. Perhaps unfortunately it did get eclipsed by the next Oasis album along that was their partial return to form (but that has two bunnies).

    #6 Stop Crying Your Heart Out got a sales boost when it was used to accompany images of the England football team trudging off the pitch following their World Cup exit (and little knowing their previous match would remain their last major tournament knockout stage win at the time of writing). The renewed interest even allowed it to climb from 5-4 after it dropped from its number two peak.

    Last but not least The Hindu Times does have the distinction of being number one on 26/4/2002 which was the day I plucked up courage to go to a gay bar for the first time. It may not sound like a big deal now but it was for me at the time.

  10. 10
    Mark G on 12 Feb 2017 #

    At the time, I decided that this was called “The Hindu Times” because 1) it was a working title for a backing that had no lyric at the time, and 2) There wasn’t a standout phrase in the eventual lyric that could stand as a suitable title.

    I mean, “Rock And Roll, Babe” was as close as it could get. Or “God Gimme Soul”. Or “..” um, that’s it.

    Folks.

  11. 11
    Phil on 12 Feb 2017 #

    Noel Gallagher said somewhere that he planned out the whole of the first two albums while he was working on a building site – wrote every song, worked out a running order, the works. Noel Gallagher has said a lot of things, admittedly, but I do wonder if this one actually had some truth in it. Certainly the well seems to have run dry awfully quickly after the second album.

    This? The combination of a minimal but serviceable melody & riff with bludgeoning chords; the combination of stupidly upbeat hey-rock-and-roll lyrics with a world-weary, sneering delivery; the faux-psychedelic droniness… these are all things I’d like, if I’d never heard anything else by Oasis. Eight years on, the act was really played out. 3

  12. 12
    Tom on 12 Feb 2017 #

    #6 Aaaaah I need to find an excuse to cover Rock Is Back don’t I? Looking ahead it’s hard to work out where until about 2005 by which point RIB had come and gone.

  13. 13
    lonepilgrim on 12 Feb 2017 #

    this is the first Oasis Number 1 in a while that I’ve quite liked – largely because the band actually swings a bit. Instead of Noel’s usual busker strum there’s a sense of syncopation in the rhythm section which drives the song along. Sure, everything is derivative and Liam is on autopilot but for all that I don’t mind it – even if I doubt I’d chose to play it. 5

  14. 14
    weej on 12 Feb 2017 #

    As a consistent late-period-Oasis-disliker I’ve nothing much to say about this not particularly notable song, but Stop Crying Your Heart Out on the other hand… I was working in a bank office in 2002, having recently been booted out of uni, and most of my friends had moved away, or were planning to. Most of my time was spent on petty acts of sabotage or wondering where the fuck my life had gone wrong while I did my scheduled six hours of data entry. The office had Radio 1 on, and the sound of the entire Chris Moyles show every day was the poisoned cherry on the shitty cake. SCYHO was seemingly on the A-playlist for the entire six months I was there, along with Nickleback’s “How You Remind Me”, and I found both songs so trite, inane and turgid that I genuinely cannot bear to listen to them, even 15 years later. In the case of SCYHO the lyrics seem to describe Liam trying to use his bullshit collection of cliches pretending to be a philosophy in order to attempt to comfort someone apparently in genuine distress, and I find that simply mortifying. Sorry, Thepensmith.

  15. 15
    Tom on 12 Feb 2017 #

    #14 I really detest that one too. The places that did playlist Oasis really went for them – I was in an office that played XFM when their next two #1s (the last times we meet them IIRC) were out and oh my god never has anything seemed so inescapable.

  16. 16
    Kinitawowi on 12 Feb 2017 #

    And so the Mk II Bunnied Welsh Band manage to sneak in to the top spot three years before their time. I’m no great fan of Stereophonics but I was fast developing a relationship with a girl who was, and the rip of Same Size Feet – latter day BritPop eating itself – cemented this as the moment when it became truly apparent that Oasis just couldn’t be arsed any more.

    2.

  17. 17
    Shiny Dave on 13 Feb 2017 #

    #9

    [England’s] previous match [England 3-0 Denmark] would remain their last major tournament knockout stage win at the time of writing

    Not quite. England made the last eight at the 2006 World Cup as well. Ironically, seeing as you were mentioning a #2 hit, the country on the receiving end of that particular defeat was Ecuador.

    I’d much rather be discussing Sash! than this. I’d much rather be discussing almost anything than this. The shamelessly Beatles-swiped guitar knob setting is literally the only good thing about this track, which I’m pretty sure I heard too many times far too loudly in my sixth form common room a few months later. And this was when I was just beginning my singer-songwriter path, as it happens.

    Stop Crying Your Heart Out, though? That might be my favourite Oasis song, full stop. The bludgeoning simplicity applied to a ballad, with the string arrangement at least as good as those of their peak (and by implication far better than the mess of All Around The World), somehow managed to work excellently to me. When I left university, I imagined my student friends (about half of them far better singers than either me or latter-era Liam Gallagher) singing the modified repeated final chorus: “We’re all of us stars / we’re fading away / just try not to worry / you’ll see us some day…”

    And they left, too, and when I returned to Southampton less than three years later there was hardly a soul I recognised, and I never imagined I’d be anything but lonely ever again.

    Finding company did not prove a futile search for me. Oasis finding anything like that sort of form again was. I’d give Stop Crying Your Heart Out an 8, and think half of that for The Hindu Times is honestly generous.

  18. 18
    EPG on 13 Feb 2017 #

    Rock is (Nickel)back: “How You Remind Me” filled a deeper and broader market gap than this. They did well to front-run any aspirant gap-fillers who might have tried to follow the audience for the year’s Nirvana compilation album. I bet it’s classic rock by now.

  19. 19
    swanstep on 13 Feb 2017 #

    Like others here, I didn’t remember HT and had to get on youtube for a refresh. Well, it really is a spectacularly, Twilight Zone-ishly unmemorable song. I had to replay the vid. 3 times because each time through I’d kind of drift away in boredom and not remember a thing (Had I really listened to it?). Anyhow, I suppose it’s OK if you’re a super-fan but for anyone else it’s a tuneless wash (well-anatomized by Tom) whose saving-grace it that it disappears down the memory-hole even as you hear it.

  20. 20
    Cumbrian on 13 Feb 2017 #

    I wrote much of the following several weeks ago when Popular restarted and it looked like we might actually get here. I’m unsurprised that much of what I’m talking about has been rehearsed already in the comments.

    ——————————

    I first heard “The Hindu Times” the day before I went to Manchester for a mate’s 21st birthday party, so when it arrived, loud and clear in the indie club we’d made our way to in celebration of my friend’s coming of age, I knew what it was. “This is the new Oasis” I shouted to the two guys (one from South Wales, one from South London) next to me that were helping me prop up the bar. Two nods and a volume enforced silence whilst the song played out (arguably in its best setting – in a darkened sweaty club, played at Spinal Tap’s Eleven) before summary judgement was passed. I stayed silent.

    “They’ve nicked that off the Stereophonics”, “You’re right, fucking disgraceful”. “Fucking shite”. “They’ve lost it”. “Never thought they were any good to begin with”. “And look at their fans” – in fairness, when the song kicked off several pints had gone up in the air in celebration, causing at least one fight and subsequent bouncer intervention. Something, though with more noxious liquid, I had seen more than enough at the Oasis gigs I had been to previously – something that persuaded me that I wasn’t going back to see them any time soon, to be honest.

    My mates had been drinking (I hadn’t as it goes – I had to go and play a rugby match the following day in Oldham, so was off the booze and was due to meet everyone again on the Saturday evening for the second day of the prolonged celebration). Hyperbole was the order of the day, and this is being paraphrased at 15 years’ distance, but the gist from them was clear. For my part, I liked “The Hindu Times”. I thought it was good – better than much of the previous album. It actually put me in mind to look forward to their upcoming album. I stayed silent. I’d been to both their homes. They’d each got at least 4 out of the 5 Oasis albums that had been released up to that point (The Masterplan inclusive). It was manifestly clear. The tide had firmly turned – against Oasis, against their music and image, against their fans – at least amongst my group of friends. Disavowal was the order of the day.

    ——————————

    I still think the song is a good one. Yes, it’s derivative/a re-tread of previous Oasis and other bands, and I suspect, as ever with Oasis, it’s going to get at least somewhat of a kicking in the comments section (and I’m writing this prior to Tom’s review and I will be very surprised if it gets any praise from him too). But the stuff it’s nicking is good stuff. The overdriven acoustic guitars battering out the rhythm come direct from The Stones’ sonic playbook – and it works in that similarly dry way, propelling the song forward. But of course, it works. It’s a great trick. It’s like nicking the Bo Diddley riff. You can’t go far wrong. The Stereophonics lick is used far better than it is on “Same Sized Feet” too. The lyrics are mostly utterly meaningless – but the braggadocious roll into the first chorus (“I do believe, I’ve got flair, I’ve got speed and I walk on air”) before the song soars into the chorus proper, begging to be roared back at the band by thousands in a football stadium, is thrilling stuff.

    I reckon it had to be the first single off this album, because I’d consider the rest of “Heathen Chemistry” as mostly terrible. “Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants” had some pretty ordinary stuff on it, but as I mentioned on the “Go Let It Out” thread, I believe there’s the spine of a decent record there, fumbled by Noel’s writer’s block and a consequent inability (and unwillingness?) to write a full album about a fall from the crest of the wave. “Heathen Chemistry” on the other hand is, for the most part, an Oasis paint by numbers album. There’s the slow ballad to soundtrack England getting knocked out of the World Cup. There’s the vaguely questioning Noel mid-paced ballad, aping (of all his songs) the execrable “Sunday Morning Call”. Another song extolling the virtues of his latest girlfriend, as on the first 3 Oasis albums. A few perfunctory rockers, the odd one with a mellotron or a psychedelic feel. There’s also a song that, though Noel swears it isn’t, appears to be a takedown of Meg Matthews – and about the only time I can think of where Noel sounds genuinely pissed off, though the lyrics, about her smoking all his stash and spending all his cash, are hardly “Idiot Wind”. Apart from “The Hindu Times”, about the only other song of merit is the brief and sweetly pastoral “Songbird” (one Liam wrote and Noel turned into something sort of folky). The rest of it really let me down though. I did go back for the next album – and we can talk about that then – but I wasn’t buying Oasis albums off the first single anymore – and in that respect, some of the semi-drunken quotations from my mates weren’t too far from the mark.

    ——————————

    Still, as I said, the tide had decisively turned. Sure, people tucked into the relative flop of “Be Here Now”, but the reviews for “Standing” were mostly middling to decent if you look at Wiki and that record didn’t stick around on the charts too long, so Oasis quickly slipped back out of the public eye. I got the sense that the prevailing mood when “Heathen Chemistry” came out was “oh fuck, these guys again” and it has never changed since. Even now, an internet article about Oasis (say about the recent “Supersonic” documentary) will simply attract comment after comment talking about how shit Oasis are, were and always will be. Frequently, it will include not just denigrations of the music but of the people that like it too – essentially calling them thick but sometimes extending into characterisations of them as hooligans, and so on (I note – happily – that this has not really been the case here; and where 23 Daves has weighed in on his incident with their fans, I’d absolutely back him up).

    As a result, I never talk about Oasis anymore – except on here, where I am anonymous (I have actually met Tom in a professional capacity now – having not met him but knew who he was for some years – but I didn’t tell him I commented here much less say what my commenting name is). It’s not worth raising Oasis as a subject, given the eye rolls that it used to induce around this time are unlikely to have gone away, and I can’t face the prospect of defending the music that I like in a conversational setting, where I am going to be unable to order my thoughts properly, to defend against the brickbats that would inevitably come with raising the band as subject matter.

    The thing is though, Oasis were important to me. They were important to me at that crucial secondary school age, where you start to work out which tribes you really belong to. And they were important to a lot of us in the North. The sense that they could do it, so why can’t we? When Oasis started to hit it big, people formed bands, certainly in my town. Even those that didn’t, took confidence from the fact that success was possible, maybe not in music but perhaps in something else. Previously wary members of my class started putting up their hand to answer questions and walked like they were comfortable in their own skins, whereas previously they tried to keep their heads down and away from the bullies. I was one. Oasis were a common thread, something that could be agreed upon, a social glue through which we coalesced, became a team, a group that would support it each other. This doesn’t even get into the music – and yes, at their worst, they’re turgid – but at their best, and there are a number of songs that do this, they provide euphoria. It didn’t last forever (those friendships nor the centrality of Oasis), but all this was there.

    ——————————

    I am not a woman, nor am I an ethnic minority or a member of the LGBTQ community. I don’t know what it’s like to be constantly talked down to, nor my character assassinated on the basis of who I am, or to have basic human rights abridged or denied. In that sense, I am pretty lucky and I cannot honestly pretend to get what it’s like on the other end. I do know that it really pisses me off to feel like something important to me, something that helped make me who I am, is fair game for all and sundry to attack every time it’s brought up (I would pause to note, again, that I am not really talking about here – where at least the criticism tends to stay on the music and has reason behind it – rather than simple blanket dismissal; though given Tom’s comments on the “Don’t Believe The Truth” era songs already, I’d imagine that the prevailing narrative here is unlikely to be upended either). It’s the thinnest of ends on a very long wedge, in no way comparable to the venom that is regularly spat at marginalised groups, but, nevertheless, it’s my tiny little window to a view looking onto the cesspool that is the greater internet and balk at what I find. To watch my mouth, both in real life and online. To not run people down on the basis of who they are, because it feels like shit when you’re on the receiving end. To notice that a huge number of the jokes in my office are digs at other people’s personalities. To notice the weight of opinion against the perceived out groups that gives the impression of a huge fucking pile on. To start picking my charities and causes to support a bit more assiduously. To go on the Women’s March at the end of January.

    And yes, I like Oasis. They’re part of me and how I react to that is still teaching me to be a better person. They’re important to me. They’re flawed, for sure, but also a force for good, at least personally (though I’d be interested in finding out how many Oasis fans went on a Women’s March – I’d wager not many). On the “Some Might Say” thread, I said I’d probably wind up defending Oasis in the end. Well, consider that my meagre defence – one that will now doubtless be ripped into.

    Up next though, an altogether different – and to my mind much better – take on rehashing the past.

  21. 21
    Cumbrian on 13 Feb 2017 #

    #12: Rock is Back/New Rock Revolution? Probably one for the year end poll right? If we paste up the NME tracks and album poll, it will be riddled with it (I assume – I’ve not checked them).

  22. 22
    Jonathan on 13 Feb 2017 #

    Disappointed to hear we won’t encounter “Stop Crying Your Heart Out”; it stands out to me for being the solitary exception to the otherwise ironclad rule that nothing anyone associated with this band made after What’s the Story, Morning Glory is worth anything at all. (Well, except for “D’You Know What I Mean,” and that’s only for trainwreck appeal, which, don’t get me wrong, is still appeal.) It’s a really enjoyable ballad, capturing everything that made those first two albums appealing. And yet, as much as many of the tracks Tom covers here live in pop memory all over the world, Oasis are one of those acts that remind me of how much of an impenetrably local ecosystem the UK charts could be; it seems bizarre looking from the outside that the Gallaghers continued to be such enormous stars in their home country long after “Champagne Supernova” — even if at least part of that was the talent that The One Who Gave The Good Interviews had for giving good interviews.

  23. 23
    Phil on 13 Feb 2017 #

    We bring several different kinds of negativity to our judgment on late Oasis – resentment of a band that was once so good, & seemed so important, turning so dull and predictable; resentment of the laziness of a band that seemed to have completely given up on creativity in favour of ripoffs and retreads (although I tend to agree with #20 on the Stereophonics rip – that riff was just asking to be used properly); resentment of the Gallaghers’ different kinds of arrogance, Noel’s astonishing smugness in particular; not to mention buyer’s remorse (were they ever any good, really?).

    So perhaps it’s only in retrospect that this song sounds like a desperate attempt to conjure up a return to form by retreating to home territory; perhaps at the time, with a bit of goodwill, it could just have sounded like a return to form. Hard to listen retrospectively with fresh ears, but I think by this time I was just a bit bored with Oasis. Noel restaffing the band, and Be Here Now, had turned me off them in a big way; any new material, unless it was strikingly different, was just going to sound like a reminder of something I’d left behind. As I say, we bring a lot of negativity to late Oasis.

  24. 24
    Phil on 13 Feb 2017 #

    I don’t remember “Rock is Back”, but this from Wikipedia seems relevant:

    “I Am The Walrus” was not actually recorded at the Glasgow Cathouse, but at a conference for Sony music executives – the Gleaneagles Hotel Sony Seminar – who had gathered to hear Creation Records’ new signings. Noel Gallagher stated that the band loved this particular live recording but were mortified to learn that it was made during a rehearsal at a corporate event. The band instead picked a venue from their tour schedule at which they had performed a similar-sounding version, and added crowd noise taken from a Faces bootleg CD, in a bid to make it seem like an authentic tour recording.

    An odd insight into Noel’s thought processes – surely performing for the corporate living dead & tearing it up anyway is more ‘rock and roll’ than Freebird-ing it for the adoring masses? It’s certainly more punk.

  25. 25
    Andrew Farrell on 13 Feb 2017 #

    #20 – that’s a great post there, a lot to think about. I was a callow youth of 20 when Blur vs Oasis raised its head, and I settled for Blur very quickly on the grounds of “well, they’re the clever ones, aren’t they?”. I’d like to think that a lot of the work towards being a slightly better person since then has involved adding layers of “Well, it’s complicated” to that.

    It hasn’t necessarily changed my answer, but it has probably underlined the line (possibly Tom’s) that the correct answer to “Blur vs Oasis?” is “Pulp!”

    Some of it is also a cultural divide, I don’t think that I’ve ever been in a gig where pints were thrown – I’m assuming not in their glasses?

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