12 June 2007

Oasis: (What's the Story) Morning Glory?

When the Britpop invasion of the mid-1990s was in full swing, I was just starting out with the Longtime. We were still at that squishy stage where we bought CDs both would enjoy, and bands such as Oasis and Blur bored him. So, for me Oasis was a guilty pleasure savored on the car radio.

My best friend and her husband adore them — Oasis is their R.E.M. — so I always knew the latest news, minutiae that compares to what I could tell you about R.E.M. And my buddy Ms. Lemke was just as nuts about Noel and Liam. I was well versed in all things Gallagher, without a single CD on the O shelf.

Fast-forward to January 2001: Longtime and I had a dry run on the breakup gig and he moved out. Within a week I found myself doing things I didn’t while longtimed. Watching “Gilmore Girls.” Cooking big Southern breakfasts. Making noise before 11 a.m. And buying, then falling in love with, every damn Oasis and Blur CD.

A disclaimer: None of these new activities were forbidden by Longtime. He’s as far from demanding as you can get; he’s quite sweet, actually. But you do some things when you’re coupled, and different things when you’re singled.

(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? was my first Oasis find at the neighborhood used CD shop. I went home, listened, and was hooked. It has remained my favorite since that January Saturday.
Why, you ask? Well, look at the track listing; it’s practically a greatest-hits album. Five tracks are still played regularly on Atlanta radio*: “Roll with It,” “Wonderwall,” “Don't Look Back in Anger,” “Morning Glory,” “Champagne Supernova.” The rest of the tracks are just as fab, particularly “Hello,” “She’s Electric,” and “Some Might Say.” Okay, hell, the whole damn album is brilliant; there’s isn’t a skip-it on the album.

*A dig at Renae and Greg, who complain they don’t hear Oasis on New York/Connecticut stations.

I had a very rough Monday. Dave FM rewarded my crazy day with “Wonderwall” four minutes from my driveway. There was a hint of a drizzle, so I opened the sunroof, cranked the radio, sang to the top of my lungs, and pulled into the drive as those last lovely notes trailed off. Tension gone from the shoulders, I walked in and played the entire CD, dancing my ampleness off until I realized it was time to resurrect My Soundtrack series.

Oasis is just a damn-near perfect band. Great hooks, fun lyrics, kick-ass guitar. And best of all: You can dance to it!

There are few songs that are so perfect you have to just. stop. and. listen. every time it comes on. Your brain just doesn’t want to waste those four minutes on tasks or thoughts, can’t concentrate on what you’re doing at that moment, but instead focuses completely on that song. “Wonderwall” is one of those songs for me. That acoustic guitar, the strings, the bass and drums are enough to make it A Great Song. But then you listen to the lyrics and … swoon.

The Beloved Engineer, who is also a musician, laughed at me when I told him I thought “Wonderwall” was a terribly romantic song. Having played in many local cover bands, he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get the romance of these lyrics?

There are many things that I would like to say to you,
But I don’t know how.
Because maybe, you’re gonna be the one that saves me.
And after all, you’re my wonderwall.

How wonderful is “Wonderwall”? It’s always the ringtone for the current beau.

Have you ever heard the “Wonderwall” covers by Ryan Adams or Cat Power? Both are heartbreakingly beautiful. Noel was so impressed with Ryan Adams’ version that he often plays it that way. Very cool that the originator will emulate the other guy.

“Champagne Supernova” is one of my ten favorite songs to hear while driving. Something about the waves in the beginning, the calming music, those lovely, trippy, easy-to-sing-along lyrics. It always leaves me joyful, especially when I’m in a black mood.

It’s also the ringtone for Renae.

I was lucky enough to finally see Oasis live in September 2005. I went with Ms. Lemke, who landed second-row seats in front of Noel.

Liam “smiling” for the camera.

I don’t remember a single sitdown once Oasis hit the stage. Dancing, singing, talking to everyone around us. It was definitely, not maybe, an amazing experience. I will never again miss an Oasis tour, and have plans to hit the New York City shows with Renae and Greg. I can’t wait to see those two the moment the first note is played.

How amazing is a live Oasis show? Renae’s long-suffered sciatica was miraculously healed while dancing during a 1997 show — and her back remains un-sciatica’ed to this day.

One of my favorite parts of the show was Liam’s stance during Noel’s solos — and he stanced right in front of us. He worked the whole rockstar thing — posing, still as could be, cool and adorable. I giggled every time. I still giggle when I see these pix.

Liam rock-stancin’ it right in front of us.

I regret that it took me so long to buy an Oasis CD, and even longer to see them live. Don’t follow in my procrastinating footsteps; log onto iTunes and download all you can today.

p.s. Did you notice I got through an entire Oasis post without comparing them to The Beatles? I’m rather proud of myself …

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At 6/12/2007 07:50:00 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Oasis? Aren't they sort of like the Beatles?

Just teasing. :)

I have resisted for so long. I suppose now that Ms. Coolness is saying nice things about them, I should give them another chance?

At 6/12/2007 08:56:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

I've seen a couple of interviews they've done. They are genuinely concerned about the quality of the music they produce. They are also genuinely concerned about their fighting. It really is a miracle they're still around.

At 6/12/2007 10:06:00 AM, Blogger Bubs said...

I have never heard anything by Oasis. I feel really ignorant.

BTW, I think when I'm not around MizBubs plays old David Bowie and T Rex really loud.

At 6/12/2007 10:58:00 AM, Blogger lulu said...

I had a very long term on again off again on again off again (and repeat) relationship, for which Wonderwall was the theme song. Considering how much "saving" I did in that relationship it was the perfect choice.

I read an interview with Sir Pau once where he was asked which bands he liked and he said Oasis because "They're derivative, but they're derivative of me" (or words to that effect)

At 6/12/2007 11:19:00 AM, Blogger Artful Dodger said...

I love Oasis!! I sing Wonderwall every time my friends and I do karaoke. I so totally agree with you about the romantic lyrics. They're music just makes me smile, it's brilliant for road trips. ^_^

At 6/12/2007 11:33:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DAN: It's good to know that a Cup newbie understands he must listen to whatever I say. Now get out there at lunch and pick up some Oasis.

TENACIOUS: Their "brotherly love" entertains the hell out me.

BUBS: Again, I really like MizBubs. I think we should hang.

LULU: I love that Sir Paul quote! Funny; "Wonderwall" was the theme to my last long-term on-again/off-again relationship. Seems to fit, doesn't it?

ARTFUL DODGER: Oasis is among my five favorite car-listening bands. Send me a recording of your next "Wonderwall" performance.

At 6/12/2007 11:55:00 AM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

I think the first two Oasis albums are damn near perfect. Then they gave up drinking and drugs and began to bore me. I wish they would take up another self-destructive vice.

At 6/12/2007 01:23:00 PM, Anonymous Renae said...

Uh, Mr. Miller would be just a wee bit wrong as the 3rd album, “Be Here Now” is often said to be “shite” by the writer of the tunes because the band was so coked up while writing and recording it. And “Gas Panic” from the 4th album, “On the Shoulder of Giants” is about going cold turkey from using cocaine. And of course, though the boys have stopped with the medium strength drugs (they never did heroin or crack), Stella and Jack are always welcome guests at any gathering. I just needed to show that indeed we in this household are the Beth of Oasis.

I agree that the first two albums are the best, but with the new lineup of Gem, Andy Bell (wtfiAB?) and Zak, the band sounds better now than they ever have. With Zak pushing the beat, especially on the songs that could be a bit plodding, and with Gem and Andy driving the rhythm, they are incredible in concert. And someone must have got a hold of Liam and told him to stop singing from just the back of his throat as he was killing his voice.

If you get a chance to see the documentary film about their last tour, “_________” (oh no, I forgot the title and we were at the premier) be sure to see it and make sure the volume is up loud—really loud. The energy of being at one of their shows comes through.

One of my favorite live Oasis moments was singing along, loudly (as one should do), to “Don’t Look Back in Anger” with the crowd in Atlanta while standing in my kitchen in Bridgeport. Thanks Beth. And welcome to the Oasis fold.

At 6/12/2007 04:44:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

An Oasis fan AND an Blur fan? You must have smackdowns inside your head then.

I have to admit that my favourite thing about Oasis are the interviews. Everything that comes out of Noel's mouth is pure genius gold.

At 6/12/2007 05:56:00 PM, Blogger Allison said...

Lately I've been rediscovering "What's the Story...", in my car, as I commute to work. I had forgotten how great it truly was and its now my pick-me up album. I love blasting Ride with Me.

Lovely post!

At 6/12/2007 09:03:00 PM, Blogger chelene said...

Wonderwall was a favorite car song for me. I would roll the windows up and just blast it. Music just sounds better in the car.

At 6/13/2007 10:09:00 AM, Blogger gizmorox said...

You know, this is actually the only Oasis album I owned up until recently. I have Definitely Maybe and Be Here Now, but I've never really listened to them. I don't know why, but I kind of have it in my head that this is the most perfect album ever and nothing they do can top it so I haven't even bothered.

At 6/13/2007 02:21:00 PM, Anonymous Renae said...

Okay all you BFOB* time to move beyond Wonderwall and discover much more depth to the glory of Oasis. Not being one to download songs I would say just go buy “Heathen Chemistry” and “Don’t Believe the Truth” but knowing that y’all are much more versed in all things internet, go find these songs: From “Heathen Chemistry” get “Little By Little”, “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” and “Better Man.” They are great for turbulent relationship times. This album got me through a rough summer and was the album I sang when training for my first marathon. “Don’t Believe the Truth” is much more optimistic and yet realistic so go for “Turn Up the Sun,” “A Bell Will Ring” and the ultimate Liam statement “The Meaning of Soul.” I assume everyone already knows “Lyla”. Oh, and as Noel says whenever someone tells him that “Wonderwall” is the best Oasis tune, “have you heard ‘Live Forever’?”

*Blogging Friends of Beth

At 6/14/2007 01:05:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

GRANT MILLER: I adore those first two albums, too. But the others are pretty darn good.

RENAE: We're giggling because you called him Mr. Miller. Thanks for the additional Oasis info; maybe you should start a blog.

BARBARA: I'd say I'm a devout Oasis fan and a casual Blur fan. I don't want Liam and Noel after me!

ALLISON: Isn't it a great album for the car? I've gone out of my way to keep driving while "Champagne Supernova" is playing.

At 6/14/2007 01:07:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

CHELENE: When I've had truly bad days, such as a breakup, I'll get in my car, plug in the MP3 player, and drive for hours. Singing at the top of your lungs, the sunroof open, has great heart-healing powers.

GIZMOROX: I think it is their perfect album ... but the others are definitely worth the spin.

RENAE: So, you like Oasis?

At 6/14/2007 11:19:00 AM, Anonymous hollyC said...

Okay Renae, I know alot about drugs, but what are Stella and Jack???

At 6/14/2007 11:22:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

HOLLYC: Stella Artois (a great beer) and Jack Daniels.

THE REST OF YOU: HollyC is not junkie; she's employed in the pharmaceutical field.

At 6/18/2007 06:56:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy said...

I can't believe there was no mention of Stuart and I blasting Oasis and Blur in the back of the bookstore way back when. I've been slighted. Oh, well.

"Don't Believe the Truth" is their best album to date. And that show was amazing! I will confirm it for Beth. They were perfect. If you want to see some sweet pictures from the show, hop on over to my friend Trey's site. We were all sitting second row on the opposite side of the stage from Beth.

I was also a huge Blur fan in the peak of the Blur/Oasis battle. Oddly enough, Blur now sucks biguns and Oasis has remained a powerhouse. Although their more recent albums don't get the airplay as their breakout sounds, believe me when I say they are far superior.

I was also at the premiere of the DVD. It was Amazing! And it was called: Lord Don't Slow Me Down

Good Lord, man! there's a scene where the band is backstage gambling and cussing and shouting and it's all over a game of Trouble. Trouble! The kid's game. Oh, it's great.

Oasis is one of the best bands in the world and will likely remain as such for a long time coming.

At 7/14/2007 04:51:00 PM, Blogger Jacy said...

Live Forever is on my Top 10 list of favourite songs ever. Definitely Maybe is on my Top 5 list of best albums ever.

Love, love, love that band, love Liam and Noel, and they deserve to go down in history as one of the best British bands ever, right up there with the Stones and the Beatles. Some of the most melodic rock ever.

Love this site! Not easy to find a place where people debate the best Pixies and Oasis songs!


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