Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekend Music Roundup (Oasis 'Late Singles' Edition)

For the longest time, my most viewed post was the Weekend Music Roundup featuring Oasis after their breakup in 2009. It recently has fallen to second most viewed, but still it gets a lot of views (here). I figured it was about time for another Oasis edition, given the release of Noel's first single and given the fact that I've had a collection of their later singles ready for review for quite some time. Now I'm only including singles from Be Here Now and later, and only singles with B-Side tracks beyond remixes and just live tracks. Oasis had always been a band that gave great value in their singles, often including two unreleased songs, most of which were as good as anything on the album and sometimes even better. I also didn't include singles that I have reviewed before. Since these singles were all released after the classics, I'm hoping a lot of them will be new to you and you'll check them out. Enjoy.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - The Death of You and Me: The first track from Noel's solo album was released online last week. From the first listen this song kind of blew me away. Sure, it sounds like an Oasis song, possibly left over from "Don't Believe The Truth" but then those Dixieland horns come in and transform the song into something completely different. Noel's voice, which always sounds great, is slightly hidden under the music and creates this wonderful effect. I can only hope the album is this good.

Oasis - Stand By Me: One of the underrated songs in the Oasis catalog, and probably the best to be released as a single from Be Here Now, "Stand By Me" is a song that is just as good as any of the hits from What's the Story. Three B-Sides add to the single. "My Sister Lover" is also a song that feels more like Oasis from the previous album than from the tracks on this record, an up tempo rock song. "Going Nowhere" is a Noel sung track with Belle & Sebastian type horns. A little subdued, but captures that working class feel that the band was known for. Lastly, "(I Got) The Fever" is song that is very much in keeping with the big guitar sound of the album.

Oasis - All Around the World: Though a huge hit, the A-Side isn't one of my favorite Oasis songs. At nearly 10 minutes, many of which contain repetition of the chorus, the song drags in my opinion. Thankfully, the single includes three B-Sides. "The Fame" sounds like a B-Side, a fun little romp about the emptiness of fame, but nothing groundbreaking and easily fits in with the album's tone. "Flashbax" is quite better. A Noel song, singing in a slightly different style than typical, it's got a Verve feel to it that really works well. Lastly, there's a cover "Street Fighting Man", not my favorite Rolling Stones song, but it's nice to hear the band that's always compared to the Beatles singing the Stones.

Oasis - Sunday Morning Call: One of the few amazing tracks on the weakest Oasis album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, the A-Side is a wonderful sad song that laments the world and how it interferes with the lives we dream for ourselves (a familiar Oasis theme). The B-Sides for this are amazing, making this one of the great singles the band ever produced. "Full On" is a monster rock song that comes hard and fast and never quits. "Carry Us All" is a song that reminds me of "Don't Look Back in Anger" and I can't imagine how it didn't make it onto the album. Also worthy of note, all three songs are sung by Noel, which I think is the only time this happened.

Oasis - Go Let It Out: The A-Side from Standing on the Shoulders of Giants is bit too much of a coke fueled number, as most of that album seems to be. However, for the band's worst album, it produced some amazing B-Sides, nearly all of which are better than most of the album tracks. "Let's All Make Believe" is an amazing song, full of the discontent of a generation: "Let's all make believe that we're still friends and we like each other." The other B-Side "(As Long as They Have) Cigarettes in Hell" is a song that feels like a Definitely Maybe track, with Noel singing about how he can forget about heaven as long as...well, the title says it all. Another classic sounding Oasis song.

Oasis - Stop Crying Your Heart Out: A really good track off a really great album, Heathen Chemistry, the A-Side hearkens back to Be Here Now. Two B-Sides accompany the track. "Shout It Out Loud" is one of the best Oasis B-Sides, a moving Noel song with amazing guitar work. This is the album where the new line-up really shines and you can hear it musically. The other B-Side "Thank You for the Good Times" is decent, but not amazing.

Oasis - Little By Little: The A-Side from Heathen Chemistry is another classic sounding Oasis track. This is the album where the band got back to the basics that made the first two albums unforgettable. This is another working class anthem tinged with sadness that Noel does so well. This single is a double A-Side, also including "She is Love", one of the less interesting tracks from the album. The only B-Side is a cover of "My Generation" which Liam sneers to perfection and what makes it all worth it.

Oasis - The Importance of Being Idle: This single from Don't Believe the Truth is very representative of the band's shifting sound on that album and one of my favorite tracks from it. A great track accompanied with some really good B-Sides. "Pass Me Down the Wine" is a great bluesy track and Liam sounds amazing. "The Quiet Ones" is a very much a Beatles sounding song, a slow acoustic track with nice George Harrison wah-wah backing guitar.

Oasis - Let There Be Love: The last track on Don't Believe The Truth is typical sort of Oasis album closer, hopeful and high energy. The one original B-Side is a nice little track called "Sitting Here in Silence (On My Own)." It uses a Beatles melody, but Noel's lonesome vocals add a depth to it. Not even 2 minutes long, it's just a really nice forgotten Oasis track. The other B-Side is a live version of "Rock 'N Roll Star". It wasn't uncommon for Oasis to include live versions of their older classics to promote new singles.

Oasis - Lord Don't Slow Me Down: Released in 2007, between albums, this is a track that doesn't appear on any album. It was a digital download only (though a limited edition 12" vinyl was also released). It completely sounds like a track from Don't Believe the Truth. It's got a driving guitar riff and features Noel singing a more rocking song that typically would have been giving to Liam to sing. A lot of people dismiss this song, but I think it's kind of awesome. Also includes live version of "The Meaning of Soul" and "Don't Look Back in Anger."

Oasis - Falling Down: The last single from the bands last album Dig Out Your Soul is one of the best tracks from the band's end period. This single features a few remixes of the song (Though it doesn't include the 20 minute psychedelic version that was released as its own EP and which I highly recommend). The only B-Side is the very solid Beatles-esque "Those Swollen Hand Blues" that could easily have been an out take from Sg. Pepper, once again showing that the band was finally moving into that much anticipated psychedelic stage at the end of their career.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know why, but when I glanced at this post at first I thought it was about Hall and Oates. Maybe wishful thinking?