As a tribute to the release of Oasis 1997 release Be Here Now, widely regarded as the beginning of the Britpop group' downfall, PopMatters will examine the overlooked parts of the band's body of work. This first list examines Oasis’ B-sides, where some of their true gems can be found.
With the success of What’s the Story (Morning Glory) having catapulted them to the forefront of pop music in the mid-1990s, Oasis had high expectations to match their growing fame. Most groups don’t start off with two well-received LPs, but Definitely, Maybe (1994) and What’s the Story (Morning Glory)? (1995) were loved both critically and commercially. All signs pointed to Be Here Now, their 1997 album, being something quite spectacular.
What followed was not the completion of a musical trifecta, but the implosion of the vision many had for the band. Be Here Now, running well over an hour, was criticized for being a bloated and overwrought. Oasis, who were once the Most Important Rock Band in the World, trudged on for the rest of their career, never matching their early glory. (Personally, the much-despised Heathen Chemistry remains my favorite record of theirs, but very few will agree with me on that one.) Four studio outings after Be Here Now, Oasis broke up. The discography we’re left with is one most perceive as unevenly weighted: aside from the first two releases, most will argue, all there is to the group’s music is a bunch of Beatles-aping anthems indistinguishable from each other.
While Noel and Liam Gallagher’s love for the Fab Four is a little more than obvious, to dismiss an entire body of work with a lazy tag such as that is too reductive and easy for a critic to do. I would join the majority in the opinion that Oasis’ earlier stuff was their best, but I don’t think their later records are all dreck.