Oasis was one band I absolutely had to cover in depth, largely because they were the first band of my generation that I really connected with. I was at the highly impressionable and sexually explosive age of thirteen when Definitely Maybe hit the shelves, and my reaction was a combination of teenage crush (for Liam Gallagher) and a sense of validation that a band from my era could make a great rock ‘n’ roll album in the shifting muddle of the 90’s. I think there was still a feeling that the bands I grew up with as a child—The Beatles, Kinks, Stones, Yardbirds—were my parents’ bands, and I wanted a band I could call my own.
Step one in the process of individuation, I suppose: reject whatever your parents like even though you know deep inside you’re on shaky ground.
My faith was validated by the great songs on What’s the Story, Morning Glory, and though I was troubled by the weird goings-on between the Gallagher brothers, all I cared about was the music. This was around the same time that I developed a ravenous attitude for punk, a development that made it easier to accept defeat when Oasis followed up two great albums with the truly dreadful Be Here Now.
After that, my relationship with Oasis shifted to love-hate with The Masterplan (good), Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (not good) and Heathen Chemistry (you’ve got to be fucking kidding me). I was so pissed off at them by this time that I didn’t feel the slightest temptation to rush out and buy Don’t Believe the Truth when it was released, and the only reason I finally bought it was because the music of 2005 was so dreadful I found myself reaching out to Oasis in desperation. Much to my surprise and delight, Don’t Believe the Truth proved to be their masterpiece, and they followed it up with the more-than-decent Dig Out Your Soul before the relationship between Liam and Noel went nuclear and Oasis became history.
I’ve since recovered from the “my generation” attitude that bonded me to Oasis so strongly in the beginning, and there’s no way any objective reviewer can say that their catalog compares favorably with the great bands of the 60’s. Three great albums, two decent albums and three stinkers is not an impressive scorecard. Still, they should receive due credit for wringing new life out of rock ‘n’ roll, for having one of the best lead singers ever (when he was in the mood) and for the great songs Noel Gallagher gave us.
Here’s the list of my Oasis reviews.