Release Date: Sep 30, 2014
Record label: Big Brother
Genre(s): Rock, Britpop, Pop/Rock
Oasis were already massive by the 1995 release of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?. It was a done deal that this album was going to be big, but twenty two million copies worldwide was not supposed to happen. This was rock music not even flirting with mass mainstream appeal, it was a full on affair with tongues and everything (two number ones, two number twos, first week sales of almost 350’000) - a rock album that performed on a scale that our generation had never experienced before, and will never do so again.
The impact of Oasis' 1995-released second album is still prevalent today. Given the reissue treatment like its predecessor, the juiced up, remastered version accentuates the quality of this batch of songs. Sometimes hearing a remaster brightens the sound too much and thus takes away from the original grittiness of the track. Not here.
It’s a heartless reviewer that slates Oasis’ second album retrospectively – the record has sold 22 million and gone on to become the fans’ favourite. But in 1995, many thought the record sounded tired, a victim of the hype around both Oasis and Britpop, and lacking in the down-to-earth feel of debut Definitely Maybe. But snowball it did, and this – the second in the group’s repackaging series of their own albums – finds the album in rude health.
"Does that mean I’m the semi-talented songwriter and you’re the fucking loutish prick?" Part of the genius of The Thick of It, of course, is that the dialogue was littered with brilliantly incisive pieces of throwaway commentary often unrelated to the politics of its central theme, and that particular quote from Malcolm Tucker is just about as pithily accurate a summation of the Gallagher brothers as you’re likely to find anywhere. In the years following Oasis’s split, I wouldn’t go quite as far as to say that Noel has carved out national treasure status for himself, but his wickedly dry sense of humour, keen taste for both self-aggrandisement and self-deprecation (depending on which record we’re talking about) and frankly superb taste in football teams means he’s at least considered endearing by the public at large. Liam, meanwhile, remains the perennially aggressive egomaniac that he was two decades ago - 'a man with a fork in a world of soup', as Noel once called him - but with a voice that long ago began to wither under the free flow of whisky and cigarettes.
Many people view 1995’s Battle of Britpop as one of the most important pop music events of the modern era, wherein the two biggest bands of this rising English-centric movement, Blur and Oasis, pitted their highly-anticipated new singles “Country House” and “Roll With It” (respectively) against each other in a bid for UK chart dominance, the art-damaged whimsy of Blur’s character studies running in direct opposition to Oasis’ lads-and-lager brand of unabashed rock and roll. Many say that Blur won the battle but lost the war, with “Country House” topping the chart but Oasis’ sophomore album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, going on to break them to a worldwide audience and go down in some books as one of the greatest rock albums ever made. Yet what no one talks about is that during this highly-publicized event, it actually didn’t matter who won the top spot: the No.