Release Date: Jun 15, 2010
Record label: Big Brother
Genre(s): Britpop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Hard Rock, British Trad Rock
Back in 1992, American philosopher Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama came up with a spectacularly inaccurate – and in many ways grossly insensitive – cultural treatise entitled The End of History and the Last Man. In it he concluded that following the collapse of the USSR, nothing particularly interesting was ever going to happen again, anywhere, and to all intents and purposes it really was the end of history and we might as well all go home. There are many, many reasons why he was obviously wrong, but if you were around in the Nineties in any meaningful sense, you’ll probably remember it was that sort of time.
Wasting no time in the wake of the Gallagher brothers sudden 2009 implosion, Sony released the deluxe Time Flies 1994-2009 retrospective in the summer of 2010, just in time for the 15th anniversary of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? The driving idea behind Time Flies is to collect all 27 of Oasis’ British A-sides, a simple idea that would seem to fit one of the great singles band, but sticking to the singles winds up leaving many great songs behind, including their manifesto “Rock & Roll Star,” “Champagne Supernova,” the lovely “Talk Tonight,” and Noel and Liam’s duet “Acquiesce,” among many tremendous B-sides, “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory” and “Champagne Supernova,” to name a few. The latter is added to the U. S.
He’s a coy man, [b]Noel Gallagher[/b]. The running order of this collection of his former band’s singles is supposed to equate to the perfect Oasis gig. But it never could.Aside from the fact there’s over 130 minutes of music here (bit of a tall order live, then), what [b]‘Time Flies’[/b] proves is just how many different guises [a]Oasis[/a] consumed in their 19-year life.
The body hardly seems cold after the Oasis breakup, and already we have a singles collection with a tombstone-like title. If this is the record we shall use to grieve and reflect upon the group's musical lifespan, we could do a lot worse. [rssbreak] More than 130 minutes long, Time Flies opens with the untouchables (Supersonic, Roll With It, Live Forever, etc.), veers into the questionable (The Hindu Times, All Around The World) and the avoidable (The Importance Of Being Idle), and ends with late-period tunes that demand reconsideration (The Shock Of The Lightning).
When Oasis split up last year, they left in their choppy wake a vast catalog of derivative songs which ripped off everyone from the Beatles to T. Rex to Neil Innes to Stevie Wonder. The Brothers Gallagher and their confederates were loud, brash, and obnoxious; they were unapologetic about their lousy lyrics and lousy knack for riff-pilferage. And goddammit if they weren’t absolutely phenomenal.
"I need to be myself/ I can't be no one else," sneers Liam Gallagher to start this 2xCD singles anthology. As a one-line encapsulation of Oasis, it still can't beat the refrain from the first song on the band's first album: "Tonight I'm a rock'n'roll star." And yes, there was a time when many indie-minded listeners' first reaction would've been to point out everyone else Liam and brother Noel apparently wanted to be, from the Beatles on down through glam and the Creation back catalog. In the aftermath of Oasis' 2009 breakup, however, the sentiment (such as it is) behind 1994 debut single "Supersonic" rings startlingly true.
How many "greatest hits" does Time Flies... 1994-2009 make for Oasis? Three? One every five years or so? What is the reason for this? Particularly since the choices on each of these collections, Familiar To Millions (2000), Stop The Clocks (2006), and now Time Flies (2010) don't vary greatly from each other (except that Familiar is a live album). The same songs from the first two albums—the ones that made Oasis the entity it is—show up on all compilations, then a few from more recent albums get added with each release.
A best-of set that highlights exactly where things went wrong for the Manchester legends. John Doran 2010 One has to feel sorry for a band that pushes itself to its artistic, physical and psychological limits and still only ends up being as good as Shed Seven or Razorlight. But at least they tried, right? On the other hand, one can and must reserve special criticism for the truly talented who choose commercial gain over artistic endeavour, when everyone from Prince to Johnny Cash and (yes, indeed) The Beatles realised that it was possible to combine both ventures.