Amoeba Music, the famous LA record shop, has a great little web series called What’s In My Bag? They invite well-known people into their store, let them shop around for a while, and then interview them about the albums they chose. It’s basically a non-copyright-infringing version of Desert Island Discs. There’s often a lot of hipster-y posing, but there are a fair few videos where the celeb’s genuine love of music shines through. Here’s a few of the best videos…
Unlike the others on this list, Gallagher’s video is ad hoc. Amoeba didn’t know he was coming; they just saw him in the aisles and ushered him into the green room for this brief but enjoyable video. He’s taking a punt on some artists that are new to him, and some of his choices (Pink Floyd, Can, and David Axelrod) are fairly surprising. Never one to mince words, he guesses that he’ll find a lof of these “shite”. He also gets a Hawkwind album “to see what all the fuss is about”. I don’t think there’s been fuss about Hawkwind for about 40 years.
That’s the way that the media kept reporting it. Crucially, they didn’t say ‘Oasis Have Broken Up’. However, It’s quite hard to imagine them continuing without their fearless leader. So I guess this could be the end for the band. Given that, I thought now might be a good time to look back on the band as I see it.
I wasn’t into Oasis at the time of their first album. Being only twelve years old at the time; novelty songs were more my forte. Like many people, I started to pay attention during the ‘Battle of the Bands’, when they went up against Blur’s Country House for the Number One spot. Everyone was forced to take a side. Despite living close to Manchester, I sided with Blur. I’m sure this was partly because Blur’s song was catchier, and let’s be honest: almost a novelty song. Also Blur had T-shirts which riffed on the Reebok logo, spelling out BeerOK. Ah, simple things.
I think that Oasis’s antics were what really put me off the band. Every foul-mouthed argument on radio, or drunken scuffle, would result in more coverage. Journalists would be sure to describe them as ‘Mancunian band’, as if that was some sort of justification for their appalling behaviour. I took offence at that. Besides, with band members with names like Gallagher, McGuigan and McCarroll couldn’t Manchester’s PR department have tried to shift some of the blame onto Ireland?
I did feel a certain amount of pressure to get into Oasis. Eventually I bought their second album ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory’ on tape, from Woolies (£10.49). At first I really liked it. I knew all the lyrics to every song, and would never fast forward through any of the tracks. It was rarely out of my Walkman, well Panasonic Personal Cassette Player to be exact.
‘What’s the Story…’ was one of only three albums I took with me on a school trip to The Isle of Arran. However, there on that remote island, away from all the media hype and social pressure, I could finally admit to myself what I really thought of the album. It was just a bit dull, really. Other musical crazes like Hippie and Punk had philosophies that people could subscribe to (‘Love everyone’ or ‘Fight the system’), but it seemed like Oasis’s songs weren’t really about much at all. That same holiday, I gave away my copy to a friend. For the rest of the holiday I mostly listened to Crowded House’s greatest hits instead. You may remember the advert for that album: ‘You know more Crowded House songs than you think you do.’
I could go on to talk about the band’s later albums, but as I didn’t buy or listen to them, it would be a bit dishonest. The critical consensus though, was that they were ‘More of the same; only less’. They seemed to be second only to The Rolling Stones for their ‘rinse and repeat’ style of music making. And from a financial point of view, I guess they didn’t feel the need to change a style that had made their music, to quote their album title, ‘Familiar to Millions’. Millions of Beatles fans that is.
Maybe I’ve been a little hard on Oasis in this post. They have made a few rollicking good tunes over the years. Also, I don’t dislike Noel Gallagher as much as some people seem to. I saw his interview on Parkinson and he seemed quite the most self-aware Rock Star ever. He was open and honest about the successes and failures of the band over the years. And now that he has been freed of the shackles of Oasis, I’m actually quite interested to see what he’ll do next. I don’t much care what Liam gets up to though.