The Top 10 Songs by the Rock Band Oasis
Oasis, the Manchester, U.K., rock band led by songwriter Noel Gallagher and his frontman brother Liam, strung together a series of memorable singles during the 1990s that were powered by their love of The Beatles. Although Oasis’ popularity declined after 1997’s disappointing album “Be Here Now,” Oasis continued to come up with the occasional brilliant track from time to time. Here are their 10 all-time best songs.
Because it appeared later in the band’s career after its superstardom had greatly diminished, “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” hasn’t gotten the credit it deserves as one of Oasis’ strongest ballads. Kicking off with a plaintive piano figure, the song soon morphs into an increasingly beautiful ode to holding out hope even when things look bleak. The song captures Oasis at its mature-period best.
Less a song than an attitude set to music, this hard-rocking cut advocates for ingesting substances both legal and illegal to distract from the daily grind. Hardly a commentary on working-class reality and more a celebration of getting bombed out of your mind, the song epitomizes the band’s early days, dreaming of glory but also looking for its next good time.
A taste of “Magical Mystery Tour”-era Beatles, “Go Let It Out” is all bubbly positivity and woozy guitar riffs. Picking it as the first single from the album ”Standing on the Shoulder of Giants,” Noel Gallagher was trying to put the excess of “Be Here Now” behind him and the band. This track didn’t aspire to the heights of Oasis’ most grandiose moments, but its sturdy melodicism makes it a sleeper in the band’s catalog.
The lead single for the heavily anticipated “Be Here Now” was as epic as all the hype surrounding the album’s release. Even more impressively, it lived up to the hype. “D’You Know What I Mean?” announced the ascension of a band that could stomp as powerfully as their hard-rock peers, and the solo near the end is particularly inspired. Too bad the whole album wasn’t this fantastic.
OK, so maybe some of the lyrics are pretty silly (“Slowly walking down the hall/Faster than a cannonball”), but Liam Gallagher fills his brother’s words with a melancholy ache while the band members detonate the song’s chorus with a spiraling wave of vaguely psychedelic guitars.
Though never a single from the album “Definitely Maybe,” “Slide Away” is one of Oasis’ most beloved songs, deservedly included on the “Stop the Clocks” greatest-hits compilation. Noel Gallagher has a knack for love songs that bristle with energy, juxtaposing electric guitars with ambiguous lyrics about relationships teetering on the edge of disaster. “Slide Away” demonstrates that friction between optimism and wariness, resulting in bracing, exuberant rock.
Amazingly, this orgiastic guitar anthem was relegated to being a b-side to a “Morning Glory” single before it was rescued for the outtakes collection “The Masterplan.” In a rare moment of brotherly bonding, both Gallaghers sing on “Acquiesce” — Liam taking the verses and Noel jumping in for the chorus. Because of those split vocal duties, as well as the “We need each other/We believe in one another” refrain, many have suspected that the song is about the two men and their bond.
This acoustic ballad launched Oasis in the States. For years, fans thought Noel Gallagher wrote “Wonderwall” in tribute to his then-girlfriend Meg Mathews. But after the couple was married and later divorced, Gallagher acknowledged that the media had spread this misconception, and he didn’t want to hurt her feelings at the time by correcting the inaccuracy.
“Definitely Maybe” is best known for its cocky rockers, but the album’s most beloved track is this sprawling, hopeful guitar bliss-out. Written as a response to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s unhappiness despite his fame, Noel Gallagher summoned up a song that drew a line in the sand between Oasis’ buoyant outreach and the sad-faced angst of his grunge competition.
If Oasis always longed to be the Beatles, this stirring ballad was as close as this band ever got. Nicking the piano opening from John Lennon’s “Imagine,” “Don’t Look Back in Anger” proceeds to brilliantly approximate the sing-along majesty of late-era Beatles tracks like “Hey Jude.” And proving that he wasn’t just a great songwriter, Noel Gallagher took over lead vocals for this track. Combining the band’s mastery of emotional ballads with its sense of the glory and heartbreak of being young, “Don’t Look Back in Anger” is as astounding as it is poignant.