They are the living embodiment of “Rock and Roll,” based on the fact that the Gallagher brothers were open about their drug and alcohol use, their violent, on-and-off again relationship with one another, and their vitriolic contempt for any band that wasn’t named Oasis, but by God, if they aren’t one of the coolest rock n’ roll pairs to ever make such nefarious behavior acceptable given their track record of great albums; naturally, I’m one to love very flawed individuals and anti-hero, and these guys are no exception. But how about we crack down on this top ten list that’s but a minute fraction of their wonderful rap sheet of great Alternative rock:
# 10 – My Big Mouth
“My Big Mouth” is the second track off of their third record, Be Here Now. The one thing you should know about Oasis is that even though they’re a band built upon melodically optimistic arrangements amid such ear-piercing Brit rock when they do churn out loud rock music, you know you’re in for something outrageously “in your face.” This song, with lyrics that boast the very meaning of self-deprecating arrogance and how that perception of fame can view you as such when you’re sitting on top of the world, simply doesn’t hold back in literally killing what little hearing you have left when listening to it at high volumes; the distorted feedback is just one of the many positives about this tune.
# 9 – Supersonic:
One of the big hits of their debut classic, this song is another beautiful example of Oasis’ healthy balance between radio-friendly pop and jagged-edge rock. Beyond the chord progression and infectious hook are lyrics that make no sense. With all its talk of a girl named Elsa who’s into Alka Seltzer and does it with a doctor on a helicopter, sniffing in her tissue and whatnot. One would think it’s a song about drugs given the band’s history of such, but, according to Noel, it’s about a nine-stone Rottweiler with a flatulence problem; the more you know.
# 8 – Acquiesce
This opening number of The Masterplan album, which was a compilation album of a group of B-side singles that got chucked from the finishing albums, is so damn great that it’s mind-boggling that it got tossed aside. Every component is essential Oasis. It’s got a great riff, and uplifting lyrics, and it’s one of the few songs where both Liam and Noel lend their vocals on; their conflicting styles ricochet off each other effortlessly. If you ever need an emotional pick-me-up, throw on this single, and I guarantee you you’ll be happy again in no time.
# 7 – Morning Glory
“Morning Glory” is one of their darker songs. It was released as one of many singles of off their perennial album, What’s the Story? Morning Glory, and is arguably their heaviest song. It starts out with a helicopter sound effect before eviscerating you straight away with a riff so drowned out in distortion that every other bit of instrumentation is left incoherently in its dust.
The lyrics are also drenched in subtle references to drug addiction, jamming on a Walkman, and The Beatles’ song Tomorrow Never Knows. The song does play out like one big cocaine trip; it’s rude, it’s fast, it’s manic, and it’s undeniably great. I mean, it’s astounding that the very band that recorded Wonderwall can turn around and throw a cut like this on the album, and naturally so.
# 6 – (It’s Good) To Be Free
I had to throw this other unused single on here because it’s the kind of song you find yourself jamming on an open road with the top down, just contemplating the low points in your life and how you’ve managed to turn them around for the better. It’s just one of those kinds of tunes. And let me tell you, there’s quite the guitar solo towards the end, right before it goes into a drastic fit of feedback and accordion-playing.
# 5 – Live Forever
This song was written during the whole Grunge movement of the early nineties and was a nice little slap in the face to the pessimistic outlook the movement reflected. “Live Forever” was a song about being alive and happy with what you had instead of always being miserable. Inspired by the Rolling Stones’ Shine a Light from Exile on Main St., Noel Gallagher wrote this song mainly because of Kurt Cobain and his song I Hate Myself and Want to Die; he wanted more positive vibrations during such a bleak time period, and this song was just the right kind of medicine in the wake of Cobain’s tragic death.
# 4 – Songbird
This was one of the few songs Liam Gallagher wrote by himself. Gallagher’s lyrical ability shines bright on the track. Liam Gallagher wrote it for his fiance at the time. It’s a simple little acoustic-driven tune, but its overall message is easily tangible, an unappreciated gem of a love song.
# 3 – Cast No Shadow
Speaking of acoustic-driven songs, this one is no exception when it comes to great instrumentation, vocal prowess, and poetic dabbling. It’s one of the standout tracks on What’s the Story? Morning Glory, this poignant stroke of agenius, was a tribute to the great Richard Ashcroft of the underrated band The Verve, whom the Gallaghers both respected; it’s even said that the Verve’s title track on their album A Northern Soul was an excellent response to this song.
# 2 – Slide Away
The Oasis song “Slide Away” is one of the group’s most towering compositional achievements in the band’s career. It was written for Noel’s girlfriend amidst their rocky relationship. The song featured an array of uplifting chord changes and soaring melodic lines. Liam’s powerhouse pipes channeled Noel’s lovelorn lyrics and guitar work. The song’s final two minutes kick up a vortex of harmonious crooning courtesy of Noel Gallagher. One last guitar solo at the song’s end before slowly fading out leaves the listener high and dry after such a climatic resolution.
# 1 – Champagne Supernova
Champagne Supernova claims the Number One spot on our Top 10 Oasis Songs List. The song Champagne Supernova is a sprawling epic that takes you on a personal odyssey. The song is easily the band’s most recognizable song. It has that same musical proliferation as, say, a song like Stairway to Heaven or Hey Jude, and like those songs, its meaning and interpretation are different for everybody.
It could be about trying to catch up to those you care about the most, or it could be about stoicism when the odds are against you, or it could just simply be unintelligible lyrics that are so good they don’t need to be dissected. Whatever the case, this song is hands down their best and will continue to expose many generations of fans to their music.