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24 October, 2004

This is the story

The first 35 seconds of 'Some Might Say', from Oasis' 1995 album 'What's The Story (Morning Glory)?'.  Sublime.  Over the last couple of hours I've listened to this intro at least twenty times, (obsessive, me?), and the whole song three times.

For a long time, I was put-off this album and Oasis as a whole by media hype, but I finally bought it in a sale about a year ago, for 'Don't Look Back In Anger', one of my all-time favourite songs.  Hype aside, it's just a damn good album, with quality writing and musicianship, and overflowing with attitude.  It's a powerful contrast to the more intricate, occasionally even clinical music (no, that's unfair - it's emotive, just differently) I usually choose to hear.

Incidentally, 'Don't Look Back In Anger' is one of the few songs which strongly reminds me of a specific event, partly explaining its particular attraction.
In 1996, the BBC showed a wonderful drama series, 'Our Friends In The North', starring little known actors who have gone on to greater prominence (possibly because of this series): Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee, Daniel Craig and Mark Strong.
As I explained earlier, weekly TV drama series were important escapism at that difficult time of my life, so the impact was intensified. I really looked forward to each episode, and didn't miss one, a loyalty I wouldn't dream of sustaining nowadays.
The premise was to follow the lives of four friends from Newcastle, from the Sixties to the present day, in nine episodes (1964, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1987, 1995), the end credits of which were accompanied by a contemporary pop hit from each year. As the final episode ended, an emotional moment, the song at number one on the broadcast date was played: 'Don't Look Back In Anger', which coincidentally fitted the context perfectly.


I see a lot of parellels between Oasis and The Darkness; both bands shamelessly recycled the music of a generation before, and both owe their success to being in the right place at the right time, when audiences had become bored with what was on (mainstream) offer immediately before them.

Posted by Tim Hall at October 24, 2004 04:26 PM

I agree it's entirely fair to say Oasis recycled major aspects of earlier music, but very, very well, and with an element of reinvention which elevates it from mere copying.
Also true, the timing was right, but can't solely explain their success. As I said in the main posting, I paid no attention to them in their heyday, discovering them largely afresh only last year; the quality of their material and performance aren't tied to 1995.

The Darkness are merely a novelty act. AC/DC incorporated a reasonable level of humour without losing credibility, but The Darkness' parody of the original slight self-parody doesn't remotely work for me (or rather, 'didn't' - I think they're already at the 'has-been / comedy christmas single' stage of their brief career).
All credit to them for amusing people for a while, but (to get a little precious) I don't think they've added anything to music, whereas Oasis did.

Posted by NRT at October 24, 2004 05:57 PM

I haven't listened to either of the first two Oasis albums since the late 90s, I probably ought to dig them out again.

I tend to agree that the first Darkness album probably isn't going to stand the test of time; but I'm not going to write them off until I've heard the second one (which will be produced by Mutt Lange; maybe they'll end up sounding like Shania Twain!)

Posted by Tim Hall at October 24, 2004 06:08 PM
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