In-depth reviews of classic or neglected albums, mainly from the 1960s and 70s, plus a weekly newsletter featuring all the latest news, views and music. Artists covered include Beach Boys, Beatles, Belle and Sebastian, Buffalo Springfield, Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dire Straits, Grateful Dead, Hollies, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Kinks, Nils Lofgren, Monkees, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Searchers, Simon and Garfunkel, Small Faces, 10cc, The Who and Neil Young.
Monday, 8 August 2016
Oasis: Surviving TV Clips 1994-2009
That stare, those eyebrows, the mad mad music videos filled with 'absolute nonsense (Noel's own words, folks!) - the visuals have often been as important a part in the Oasis story as the audio (so much for video killing the rock and roll stars!) Despite being a good three decades younger than most of the bands we cover, Oasis in all their shapes and forms have been an awfully busy band with this one of the longer TV-related articles in our canon. It's a good one too, dominated with music videos which, rather like the music, grow with ambition and back again to the basics over the course of the band's fifteen year run, together with a few choice TV performances and the greatest number of surviving TOTP clips of any of our bands (don't know about you but I think the TOTP re-reruns on BBC4 should skip the 1980s and pick up the story again in 1994 when there's something worth watching again!) Unlike almost all of our AAA bands (except perhaps Belle and Sebastian) everything by Oasis seems to have been kept by somebody somewhere: it helps being the biggest band in the land as soon as you're third single, of course, but Oasis are also a modern band from modern times (by AAA standards anyway) at a time when archivists keep everything safe for future generations. Thank goodness too - how we could look ourselves in the eye if the drunken shambles of a video that is 'Whatever' had ever been lost to the world?!
As usual, though, a few caveats. Keen Oasis fan that I am, I can well believe that I missed something somewhere - that's just law of averages. I can only review things I've actually seen with my own eyes, so a couple of the things that I missed (specifically the American appearances around 'Be Here Now' time) are absent from this list as a result. This list was also becoming long enough as it is, so we've missed out documentaries (although there are dozens of them on Youtube if you need that sort of thing - some of them are actually quite good!), anything available separately on DVD which should hopefully also end up in this book at some point (such as the 'Live At The Sea' gig), instances where one band members appears without the others (unless they're doing or performing something unspeakably interesting) and we end our story almost when Oasis do, without the Beady Eye gigs or the High Flying Birds videos (with one key exception). We've also restricted this list to items that were actually broadcast, even though practically every Oasis gig seems to have been filmed by somebody somewhere and uploaded to Youtube, many of whose amateur camera work is better than the official thing (have you seen the shaky camera in 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down'?!) Please bear in mind too that the ordering is approximate, although things are helped by a number of handy lists available on the internet listing the band's first three golden years together. Do feel free to write in if you know of another clip however - and if we can get to see it too.
Thankfully for once a majority of these clips are available officially, as part of either of the two best Oasis DVDs: the 'Time Flies' music promos set (best seen with Noel's giggling commentary) which includes all the music videos mentioned here and the 10th anniversary set of 'Definitely Maybe', which includes a TV appearance for every one of the album songs as well as relevant promos (how many albums can you say that about then, eh?!) However there are still a handful of tracks missing, which is where our handy patent-pending Youtube playlist comes in. If you're reading this article on our website then you'll have already seen it flickering away at the top of the page. If you're reading this in book form then fear not - you can join in too. Simply visit our Youtube page (https://www.youtube.com/user/AlansArchives) and have a scroll through until you see 'Playlist #19: Oasis' (there's a few fun extras added at the end for you too!) Right that's that out the way - we're standing on the edge of the noise and feeling supersonic so join our time machine up on the silver screen, a litany of magical mysteries - it's not all in my mind though, right? You can see the men with legs made out of sausages too, right?...
1.Supersonic (Music Video 1994)
Oasis' first music video was actually shot twice, once for the UK market and again for America. For some odd reason, Oasis are playing (well, miming) on top of the roof of a buoldng 'opposite King's Cross Station' according to Noel's typically witty commentary for the 'Time Flies' DVD which you'll be hearing a lot of in this article. 'I always thought it would be more glamorous when we shot our first video' he deadpans, 'Dizze Rascal and them lot get to go to f!cking Barbados for theirs!' Shot moodily in black and white, it's like the 'Can't Buy Me Love' scene from the Beatles' 'A Hard Day's Night' film, only instead of freaking 'we're out!' and running down the fire escape the band have climbed onto the roff and are far too 'cool' to mess around (though Liam, still all of twenty-one, enjoys pulling funny faces at the camera all the same). The band were apparently made to act 'surprised' when a plane flew overhead which the band were promised would look like a massive jumbo jet but looks awful (by Noel's own admission). Oasis will get their own back by hiring a fleet of helicopters for 'D'Yer KNow What I Mean?' Noel also comments on the director getting the sack after disagreeing with Liam (although he might just be making mischief) and complaining about his dress sense ('I look like F!cking Columbo!' The American edition, released about a year later when Oasis were much bigger in their homeland, dispenses with all this homespun 'nonsense' in favour of stock footage of a Nasa rocket taking off, Liam slurring his words in the back of a limousine and the band miming in a dome filled with lightbulbs. I still prefer the more down-to-Earth original somehow, which is much more Oasis. Additionally available on the 'Definitely Maybe' DVD set.
2.The Word ('Supersonic' UK TV March 1994)
Oasis are so new on their first TV appearance that compere Mark Kermode even has to look the band name up on his little card. The band get more than their fair share of applause from the audience though and would no doubt have got a standing ovation at the end of this cracking performance had they not all already been, umm, standing in the first place. Liam (the only one not miming?) is on cracking form against a colourful mid-90s version of psychedelia backdrop and some camera shots that have dated surprisingly badly in twenty years (there are AAA clips from 1963 that look more modern than this!) Still it's a great performance and the camera already love this band - or at least the lead singer; the others look nervous, with Noel dressed in his favourite red shirt barely looking up from his guitar. 'Cheers, goodnight' Liam shrugs nonchalantly as the band's first and in most ways their most important TV appearance comes to a feedback-blazing glory. This clip appears on the 'Definitely Maybe' DVD.
3.Nulle Part Ailleurs ('Supersonic' French TV 1994)
Britain was already falling under their spell, so Oasis follow the old Beatles pattern of taking Europe one country at a time. The French never really went as mad for the fab four as some others and it's hard to guage what re-action the unseen audience give to another splintering version of the band's debut single. The band appear to be miming again though to a very different mix of their debut single (is Noel playing along with it?), while Liam seems more nervy and muted than usual. He already looks the part of a rock and roll star, though, with the first use of his trademark Lennon sunglasses and a striped jumper that looks like the Gallagher's mum forced him to wear to stop him getting cold. Only Liam could carry off that look - it was my normal look too back then but never looked anything like as good on me...
4.Naked City ('Supersonic' 'Shakermaker' UK TV 1994)
'Naked City' is a now forgotten music/chatshow/alleged comedy series that ran for just one series in 1994/1995 but did make stars of its presenters Caitlan Moran and Johnny Vaughan, who managed to be slightly less excruciating than the format and most of the guests. Most people only remember the show now for Oasis' explosive performance of their debut single - the last TV appearance from their 'first phase' of media blitzing. Oasis are 'very much so' apparently, although very much so what we never find out. An impossibly young Liam is on top sneery form as the band appear to be playing live, although it's hard to tell given that the cameras only very briefly take their eyes off the snarling lead singer. The band also perform a preview of their second single 'Shakermaker' which is simpler and raunchier than the studio single and played slightly more for laughs. Noel looks a lot more animated in this one, as if he's already getting sick of performing 'Supersonic' or perhaps he's just pleased to be getting the TV time during the solo for once, which he embellishes with a few extra Chuck Berry riffs at the end. The 'Shakermaker' clip appears on the 'Definitely Maybe' DVD, but sadly not the 'Supersonic' one.
It's a sign of how quickly Oasis had come from nowhere that they're both big enough to be at Glastonbury a mere two singles into their career and that the TV coverage deems the band only important enough for three songs. The band are clearly struggling with the sound set-up and sound tinny and small compared to normal, with McCarroll's drums drowning out everything. Oasis already look like they own the stage, though, with impressive performances of two relatively rare tracks and that summer's forthcoming release 'Live Forever', which would probably have marked the first time the people in the crowd would have heard one of the decade's defining anthems. It's a stunning version too, with Liam howling out the chorus over the fade as his brother sings falsetto, beating everything else on that year including James Brown, Joss Stone and even, dare I say it, a rather limp appearance by Paul McCartney's band (the first of many times The Beatles and Oasis will cross paths). Oasis will make it a tradition to premier songs at Glastonbury from here-on in, presenting 'Wonderwall' when they return to headline the following year. The clip of 'Live Forever' appears on the 'Definitely Maybe' DVD, but not the other two.
6.Shakermaker (Music Video 1994)
A slightly more personal music video, this one was shot outside the Gallagher's family house in Burnage, intercut with footage of the band playing in Bonehead's garden (you can see the back window of the guitarist's living room where the 'Definitely Maybe' cover was shot and a local park, where Guigsy runs around with a football wearing a biker's helmet. Bonehead even scores a goal! More importantly, the third verse features the famous 'Mr Sifter who sold me songs when I was just fifteen' - a real secondhand shop precipitously located right next to Manchester's dole office where most of the band's money went. Noel looks pleased with his bargain, a mint copy of the Paul McCartney and Wings album 'Red Rose Speedway' released in 1973. Fittingly, many of the 'park' shots, surrounded by greenery, recall the promo The Beatles made for 'Rain'. The video ends with a rather nice sunset, as if this is just one in many busy days in the life of Oasis. In his latest commentary Noel complains about the signed Manchester City football in shot (worth precisely...nothing'), gives his brother a rare compliment ('Nice trainers!') and warns people who want to go on the Oasis tour round the area 'just don't mither my mam, please!' Additionally available on the 'Definitely Maybe' DVD set.
7.Top Of The Pops #1 (Shakermaker 1994)
Welcome to another Oasis institution: the first of nineteen (!) appearances on Top Of The Pops, which certainly wins the 'AAA TOTP clips surviving in the vaults' award although I reckon the Stones and Hollies and all might well win if the BBC had kept better care of what was on when. Unlike some bands who spurned the chart show as too 'populist', Oasis loved it because it allowed them such a connection to their audience - the band had spent every Thursday watching it and moaning their favourite bands weren't on so they weren't going to snub it if they could. The band's famous early red and white stripe logo is used as the backdrop for the first time and the band look as if they're having fun, miming behind Liam's live and thunderous vocal. Wo wouldn't want to shake along to this?
8.Something For The Weekend (Rock and Roll Star UK TV 1994)
Oasis next appeared on their first ITV show, a rather curious mix of chat shows and guest spots although for now Oasis are here to keep the programme trendy by playing music - heaven forefend any of them might be allowed to actually speak! With 'Definitely Maybe' being prepared for release, the band decide to take a break from plugging their singles and advertise that instead with a mimed-except-for-Liam version of their album opener. For some reason the band appear in what looks like a rubbish tip, surrounded by tin cans while the studio audience uncomfortably bob up and down (this song is actually slower than it sounds because of all the noise and would be a hard one to dance to -not that I'd know, I'm too busy listening). This unique performance of the song cuts out most of the second half, cutting out the solo and heading straight to the 'it's just rock and roll' finale as the camera decides to do lots of fast cuts to keep up pace. I feel a bit sick.
9.Top Of The Pops #2 (Live Forever 1994)
'If you're searching for the best and most colourful music then you've come to the right place..Liam forever!' is the rather over-enthusiastic introduction for the band everyone is suddenly talking about. In retrospect a lot was riding on this appearance: Oasis aren't newbies anymore but potential future stars and the mainstream TV audience of a third single is when most lesser bands would have stuffed it. Not this one: Liam owns this song, again singing live to the record and this is also the first time on TV he's been seen leaning up to a microphone far too tall for him to get his message across which enhances his leer no end.
10.Top Of The Pops #3 (Rock 'n' Roll Star 1994)
In the 1990s when TOTP was playing around with formats they briefly had an 'album section' where a full album that was jumping a lot of place in the charts would also get a plug. Oasis were beneficiaries thanks to the heavy first week sales of 'Definitely Maybe' although for once on TOTP the performance is entirely mimed, Liam's parts included. The clip appears on the 'Definitely Maybe' DVD.
11.The O Zone (UK TV 1995)
We haven't quite included every interview Oasis ever did for the cameras on this list - live's too short and I'm not gonna live forever - but we have included the key ones. This is the first, with a rather uncharacteristically emotional band reflecting on their first year with Noel sounding in shock that it's only been a year (we feel like we've been going for ten!' he adds). A nervous Liam talks about how recording for 'Morning Glory' is going (better - the first time in the studio we didn't know anything about it!') and that he really does argue as often with Noel as people say (yeah - everyday' 'Do you respect your brother?' 'Yep' 'Is he always right?' 'Nope!') Even Bonehead adds a rare comment that 'it's sounding rocking!' The band get on to the recent Blur bashing: Noel denies all responsibility while Liam calls his rivals 'a bunch of students not worthy of being spoken of in the same breath as us'. Asked how he copes with the bad times, Noel quips 'we roll with it - as some idiot once said!'
12.MTV 120 Minutes ('Supersonic' 1994)
Oasis have changed their look again: Noel is in a snappy Union Jack suit and a crew haircut, while in contrast Bonehead actually has hair! The music is still mostly the same, with another great version of the band's debut for an end of year TV party, with Liam yelling the words as the rest of the band play live for once, with a great looped opening drum part from Tony McCaroll before the rest of the band finally pounce on the song. Noel milks his closing guitar solo for all he's worth too, pushing this song out from roughly three and a half minutes to a full five while Liam just stands still and out-stares the front row. The camera fades as Liam walks up to Tony expecting a big finale that never happens, Noel turning the sound down on his amplifier instead for an unexpectedly calm ending. One of the better Oasis TV clips.
13.Live Forever (Music Video 1994 UK and US Versions)
Once again there were two promo clips made for the band's third single, for Europe and America. The 'original' version is a much-seen classic, which includes Liam perched up a chair halfway up a wall and the band burying drummer Tony McCarroll in a park in New York, ending on a shot of him clutching his drumsticks from the beyond (a nice ironic use of the title there). Poor McCaroll seems to have buried at Noel's request, an early sign they weren't getting on (though Noel meant it as a joke by the sound of it and was astonished when the director picked up on the idea - 'I'm not into symbolism and that Sh*t! Anyway he got the boot ages after that'). Music fan that he is, Noel may have been thinking of the similar Kinks video for 'Dead End Street' (finally given a belated TV screening in 1990 as part of a documentary after being banned for several years) in which the band carry out a coffin of a man who wakes up. There'll be more hi-jinks from beyond the grave on 'The Importance Of Being Idle', which is definitely a rip-off of this same video. Weirdly Bonehead is also filmed in the shower wearing sun glasses - a scary sight. Noel comments that he 'couldn't be f!ing arsed' and didn't even turn up to the second day of shooting (he's barely seen throughout) and ad libs 'and don't we all look pleased to be there?' as the band look mean and sombre. Noel's verdict: 'F!cking nonsense...f!ck me!' As for the American edition, it's more generic miming with big flashing lights intercut with footage of Liam leering from behind a big desk and again loses the home-made charm of the original. Additionally available on the 'Definitely Maybe' DVD set.
14.Rock 'n' Roll Star (Music Video 1994)
By now Oasis were so big that even their album tracks were getting airplay and a low budget promo was quickly put together for broadcast on TV. The band simply mime the song against a backdrop of flashing lights, while Noel puts on his evilest mono-browed stare, intercut with footage of the band looking cool while...going bowling (this really was a long time ago wasn't it?) Included as an 'extra' feature on the 'Time Flies' DVD, sadly without any extra commentary.
15.Later...With Jools Holland #1 ('Whatever/I Am The Walrus/Sad Song' UK TV 1994)
Another favourite show of Oasis' was Jool's Hollands' horrifically forced show which was at the time twice as irritating as TOTP ever was even if it had the better acts. Oasis really have made it by now with a full three songs slotted into the half hour show with a rare chance to play slightly different material. A very psychedelic 'Whatever' loses from Liam being slightly off mike (and clearly far from happy with the song) but gains from a supportive string quartet and a much louder and more eccentric Noel Gallagher guitar part than on the record (he's clearly loving this song), with Bonehead perched uncomfortably on a stool playing acoustic. In a neat switch on what happened during the making of the music video, this time Liam seems to have the hangover and Noel is the perky one. Oasis struggle to condense the high drama of 'I Am The Walrus' into a TV studio but this track too gains from the use of strings and a slight change to the record arrangement with Noel now singing the 'I'm crying' lines, effectively duetting with his brother. A solo acoustic performance of B-side 'Sad Song' is arguably better than either, with a still crew-cutted Noel on top form on the first TV recorded 'solo acoustic' performance, all good practice for the 'Unplugged' show in a couple of year's time! 'Sad Song' appears on the 'Definitely Maybe' DVD weirdly enough, given that the song didn't appear on the album!
16.Whatever (Music Video 1994)
A famous old Oasis moment. Usually Liam's the one who disrupts the videos, but Noel turned up to the shoot in a right old state, having got badly drunk the night before and turning up later after falling asleep at a bus stop (he was still too hungover to drive). A hungover Noel then does his best to upstage the video, standing in front of his brother in key shots and staring down the camera, eating a McDonald's meal ('probably the last time I ever ate McDonalds...'), giving the finger to the orchestra, counting his brother in and borrowing a caretaker's broom to tidy up the room at the end of the gig. Liam, who never much liked this song (another pre-fame track) anyway, was said to be furious - even Noel admits 'I haven't seen this for years but I know I get really f!cking annoying in a minute'. All good fun, though including some laugh out loud moments (Noel waving to the camera with a broom above a stack of amplifiers!) and one of the funniest videos on this list as Oasis go one stage further than even The Beatles at lampooning their stardom and sending the whole music business machine up royally! Noel's end verdict 'It's not a bad video this is it really?'
17.Top Of The Pops #4 ('Whatever' 1994)
Ho ho ho, at the start of their bitter feud some bright spark hires Blur's Graham Coxon as the guest presenter of TOTP (yes they had guest presenters for about five years in the 1990s in a desperate attempt to get more ratings, which didn't often work) the week oasis make their comeback. Described as 'five Manchester prettyboys' with a layer of irony Liam would have been proud of, Oasis are turned pink thanks to the set dressing's typically exuberant lighting system. Liam, his glasses pulled up above his eyes, looks fed up at singing the band's fifth single all over again, although he actually does a better job of the lyrics than on the record.
18.The White Room ('Talk Tonight' UK TV 1994)
Presented by a then-unknown Mark Radcliffe getting his TV break, 'The White Room' was a slightly more grown up music show more like The Old Grey Whistle Test which ran for two series between 1994 and 1996. The shows were particularly interesting for the interaction between the musical guests - this show started a lifelong friendship between Jam fan Noel and modfather Paul Weller. Another chance for Noel to appear without his brother, he performs a groovy version of 'Talk Tonight' all the better thanks to his breaking voice while Weller adds a subtle piano groove and an accompanying harmony part. This pretty song has rarely sounded so good and the pair of songwriter's voices go together remarkably well, even if Noel does sound as if he's been up all night and then some (back in 1994 he probably had).
19.Cigarettes and Alcohol (Music Video 1994)
Another moody black and white shoot that's set in a club (London's 'Borderline') and as sleazy as befits the song. The band played live, including some previews of songs from Morning Glory, though just the music taken from the record was used on the soundtrack. Noel sticks his tongue out at the camera in 1994. Noel in 2010 replies 'and the same to you mate!' Noel likes this one ('Happy days!') though to be honest it's a bit bland by their usual standards, though he is concerned enough to comment 'Who are all these girls? It looks like a scene from Britain's Next Model!' He might just be feeling let down though, telling the viewers 'that fit bird I'm next to would never go out with the likes of me by the way - all for the video I'[m afraid'. Additionally available on the 'Definitely Maybe' DVD set.
20.The David Letterman Show #1 ('Live Forever' US TV 1995)
This is where Oasis' story starts declining in comparison to their idols The Beatles. Where the fab four vanquished America due to luck and charm with 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', the Americans never really took to their 90s successors and Letterman is dismissive bordering on rude as he discusses a CD he presumes none of his audience have heard of (even though it's 'selling great in England - and that country has been selling CDs for centuries!'). There's nothing wrong with the performance, which is extra loud and extra aggressive, with the loudest 'wall of noise' yet (you can see Bonehead glance over to Noel lots to see what the heck's going on!) and Liam, unphased, raising his vocal delivery to compete with it. Perhaps it was all just too loud for the audience - or perhaps they didn't take kindly to the 'weirdo' hand gestures Noel uses on the TV host when his back is turned at the end of the song.
21.Some Might Say (Music Video 1995)
A bit of a non-event this single, cobbled together from footage from the five previous music videos - mainly 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' (at the last minute, when the single made number one - 'the first one in years that hadn't had a video'). There was a video planned but it was cancelled at the last minute 'because Elvis wouldn't leave the fooking building' (Liam 'didn't like the script!')
22.Top Of The Pops #5 ('Some Might Say' 1995)
Back on home soil things are3 much calmer for the launch of the first single from 'Morning Glory' and, surprisingly, the band's first number one. The lighting man is the one working hardest on this clip, with his fast flashing spotlights enough to bring on a seizure so do be warned. Oasis by contrast look as if they can't really be arsed to do much for this mimed performance so get by with as little as possible. has it all stopped being fun so soon?
Oasis were now far bigger stars than they had been a year ago and were headliners at the festival's prestigious 25th anniversary event alongside two musicians who'd headlined back in 1970: Al Stewart and Keith Christmas (that is his real name folks - he was support act to both The Kinks and The Who in the 1970s so deserves to be better remembered than he is). The Stone Roses were meant to be the 'other' headline act but pulled out at the last minute to be replaced by Pulp (another band who'd had a great year) - were they scared by the pretenders to their throne? It's certainly one of Oasis' better gigs, with a tightness and crispness missing from many of their early shows and a whole bunch of great new songs the crowd haven't heard yet getting a great reception. 'Some Might Say' has a real rocking power and an intense yet simplified 'Morning Glory' sounds pretty darn good too, but it's old warhorse 'Slide Away' that's the awesome highlight of the set, treated as an angry song of vengeance rather than a sad song of loss with Liam spitting feathers over the betrayal (one brief lyric change: 'Let me see the sun that shines with you...' instead of 'Let me be the one...'). The most important performance of the night happens not on stage but behind it with the first ever recorded performance of 'Wonderwall', which is performed by Noel the 'morning after' for the cameras rather than the audience in the show's then-new 'acoustic' tent. It ought to be a huge moment of monumental significance, but is ruined by a row between Mark Kermode and Mark Radcliffe who keep butting in with daft questions ('What do you think of dairy products Noel?' 'I dunno - are they a band?') A must see for all Oasis fans and still talked about to this day by those lucky enough to be there, like all the best gigs.
24.Wonderwall (Music Video 1995)
Another famous Oasis moment, again shot in moody black and white (apart from Bonehead's guitar, which keeps changing from green to yellow). The band (with new member Alan White now replacing Tony McCaroll for the first time) are sitting in a row of chairs playing acoustic guitars while Liam mouths the words to camera and in the background a clown plays their latest single on a record player. The video lacks the gravitas of the song, somehow, and loses out from having stand-in bass player Scott McLeod (of band The Ya-Yas') hiding behind a newspaper, filling in for Guigsy (off with nervous exhaustion, which Noel rather cruelly puts down to 'lazyitis'; it's been a very busy year).Noel's verdict 'That video won an award...for most black and white British video ever!' (actually it won a Brit award as best music video in 1996 - strangely, perhaps, the only Brit video award Oasis ever won).
25.Top Of The Pops #6 ('Wonderwall' 1995)
A slightly different feel for another famous performance, with Oasis sitting on stools to deliver this one. Sadly Liam is back to miming again (the 'miming laws' come and go across this period of TOTP) and has now swapped his clear lenses for sunglasses for the first time. A regular on 'sounds of the 90s' re-reruns, this stands as the most viewed Oasis clip on the whole of Youtube.
26.Roll With It (Music Video 1995)
A bland video, consisting of the band 'performing' one of their lesser songs in front of a big crowd of fans (possibly in Camden). Noel's verdict: he doesn't like the song either ('I don't what this song is about...It's about three and a half minutes, that's about all!') and comments how rare it is to see a shot of bassist Guigsy smiling ('He must have been stoned as a monkey!')
27.Top Of The Pops #7 ('Roll With It' 1995)
Who shall we get to present the edition of TOTP that went out the same week as the infamous 'battle of the bands' between Oasis and Blur and will surely be looked back on as a key moment of Western civilization and our times? Yes, of course you guessed it, the only logical choice...cricketer Phil Tufnel! Perhaps Oasis lost the number one slot the next week because Phil mentions they're his 'tip' ('because they're mad fer it!') or because they turn in a relatively lacklustre performance of what's far from their best song. Liam sings for real this time, though not that well, while behind him the rest of the band mime to the record.Well sort of: for one week only Noel is the 'lead singer' and Liam is
miming lead guitar!
28.Later...With Jools Holland #2 ('Wonderwall/Cum On Feel The Noize/Round Are Way' UK TV 1995)
Liam has gone awol and left Noel to hold the fort with memorable performances of three key songs, including the first to feature the elder Gallagher singing his own composition 'Wonderwall'. 'Round Are Way' is the best of the three, with a powerful guitar surge and a guesting horn and harmonica section that rocks better than the studio version. More interesting than the songs though is the chat. A grumpy Noel gets interviewed by the ever-irritating host in an uneasy interview where both men sit as far apart as it's possible on a piano stool ('I'm sitting like this so you don't catch my cold' explains Jools, 'Oh good - I thought I had bad breath for a minute then' replies Noel). Liam has 'gone for his MOT' which is bandspeak for 'too many late nights drinking' . Jools is worried the singer has 'given it to him' meaning his sore throat before a genuinely angry Noel jokes 'no but I'm going to flaming give it to him when I see him...' In a revealing interview segment Noel talks about being ignored by his teachers and never being accepted for his talents, telling his music teacher down the cameras 'want to borrow a tenner?' Cue uneasy laughter from an audience not quite sure how 'real' all this is. Noel's clearly joking when asked what Beatles he would have wanted to be and jokes 'Ringo - because he didn't to anything!' The audience gasp rather than laugh even though it really is meant as a bit of fun and Noel turns defensive in turn ('he didn't have to write anything!..except fanmail'). In an audacious move, Jools plays a clip of Slade to Noel to show him what his performance should have sounded like and comments that he has the best hair in the band. Wanting to know what Noel liked about Slade a confused Noel answers 'the music' to which Holland replies 'just as well because that's what this show is all about!' In a quick witted reply Noel looks bemused and jokes 'is it???' My sentiments entirely...
29.White Room Sessions #2 ('Acquiesce' 'It's Good To Be Free' 'Talk Tonight' 'Don't Look Back In Anger' 'Wonderwall' 'Roll With It' 'Round Are Way' 'Some Might Say' UK TV 1995)
Oasis always stayed remarkably loyal to the shows that helped them on the way up and agreed to come back to the comparatively unknown 'White Room', with Liam in tow this time, for a special where the band took over the show for a mini-concert. I'm surprised more fans don't know about this show because it's rather a good one, with some rare tracks not often played live (including a whole run of flipsides) and the band on good form. The key song for many fans, though, is the TV debut of future single 'Don't Look Back In Anger', perhaps picked after Noel feared his brother would leave him in the lurch again promoting the song on TV! A mini-acoustic segment containing a lovely 'Talk Tonight' and a sweet 'Wonderwall' is the highlight, while in the electric show 'Roll With It' sounds impressively on form. By the end Liam is sweating like a pig being chased by David Cameron and is clearly the worse for wear, forced to sit on the floor mid-way through 'Round Are Way', though he valiantly carries on, even improvising the line 'round are way the birds are minging', in deference to mid-90s Midlands slang and returning for the encore of 'Some Might Say' looking terribly ill. It's a fabulous aggressive performance of this fine #1 single though, played a lick faster than the studio take with more of an urgent feel about it, perhaps because Liam visibly needs to get off stage, quick! Well, it was new year's eve and it had been one hell of a year...A confused Mark Radcliffe is left to plug the band's new album 'Morning Glory', joking that it's a difficult job because the last song just played 'Round Are Way' wasn't even on it!
30.The David Letterman Show #2 ('Morning Glory' US TV 1995)
Letterman seems much happier to have Oasis back on a second time (did he not see Noel's hand gestures to him last time then?) and the band get far more whoops from the crowd. This is more like it then, despite more painful banter between host and guests ('How do I know you're the best selling band in Britain today? Just take your word for it?' 'No' says Liam 'just look at us!') Dressed in a striped t-shirt that looks as if he's about to head to the beach, Liam performs the title track of the band's new album a touch softer than normal, while Noel and Bonehead skip on the trickier guitar flourishes and simply keep chugging on the power chords. This time Noel behaves himself when the host walks out on set, but does lift his hand up...before itching his nose and grinning down the camera, suggesting he was thinking about it!
31.Don't Look Back In Anger (Music Video 1996)
Take that look from off your face because is the band's first big 'concept' video! Actor Patrick Macnee is the band's chauffeur for the day as he drives the band past lots of their old haunts before taking them to a suitably rockstar millionaire house in LA complete with swimming pool. A whole group of extras have turned up too to mime the words into the camera while the band keep moving round and round the garden, like a teddy bear. No, like Pink Floyd actually - if you know the 'Ummagumma' front cover (a picture within a picture, each band having 'moved' position) then it's like that. But with beds and a set of drums in a swimming pool. One of the 'playbunny' extras became drummer Alan White's wife after a whirlwind romance that saw them married the next year, so at least something came of one of the band's odder videos. Noel's verdict: 'You'd have thought with all the money we spent on it you'd have thought they'd have made it as if the drums were floating instead of on a f!cking plastic drum riser!' The director of the 'Time Flies' video reckons this one was based on 'The Great Gatsby' but they've got the wrong band there - Oasis are too working class for the joke about aimless rich wannabes to work (although the video might symbolically end with the band driving away in their mini to the line 'at least not today'). Blur on the other hand...
32.Hotel Babylon ('Don't Look Back In Anger' UK TV 1996)
Noel dressed in a floral shirt, performs a lovely acoustic performance of the band's new single (how many times did that happen in the 90s with different bands? Acoustic versions of their latest electric hits?) Before you ask, no it isn't that US comedy/soap series about a hotel but a curious short-lived UK series that had guests 'drop in' to do a turn on a set that looked like Fawlty Towers.
33.Top Of The Pops #8 ('Don't Look Back In Anger/Cum On Feel The Noize' 1996)
Oasis are now officially the biggest band on the planet. Top Of The Pops is used to dealing with biggest bands on the planet - traditionally once they reach a certain peak they stop showing up. But not Oasis, not right here, right now. However TOTP reach a compromise, one which hasn't been used since The Beatles back in 1965 (other than specials): Oasis get to perform both sides of their new single! 'Cum On' must be the first time a band has ever played a B-side on TOTP - and a Slade cover at that - with Noel taking the lead role on the first song while a bearded Liam sulks in the background. Sadly the band are miming (Noel rather badly - he doesn't have the gift of his brother to make it all look 'real') and the performance of 'Noize' even includes the spoken word 'baby baby...' intro which seems to surprise the band.
34.TFI Friday (Noel Only UK TV 1996)
For anyone not British or of a certain age, TFI Friday stands for 'Thank Fuck It's Friday', with the well known acronym used so the show can actually get on the air - although that won't stop swearing being the show's undoing when it will finally be taken off the air after one 'f' word too many in the year 2000. Oddly all of Chris Evan's guests walks onto his favourite piece of music (Ocean Colour Scene's 'The Riverboat Song') no matter how ill fitting - Noel looks most annoyed at hearing a burst of music from his rivals but is still 'Noel' enough to great the big cheers by raising his arms in a 'give me more' gesture. Noel talks about a piece in that day's papers about him robbing houses in his youth and he jokes that he's 'casing the joint' as he walks in and teases the host throughout, giving as good as he gets. He also talks about working in a woodwork hut that never had any customers so he could get on with writing 'Live Forever' and 'Columbia'. More seriously Gallagher reveals that writing songs is becoming harder since he's become famous and the pressure's got bigger and mentions his two most recent songs are 'My Big Mouth' and 'I Hope I Think I Know'. Noel is asked about that year's big event - Jarvis Cocker interrupting Michael Jackson at the Brit awards - and says that his rival 'should be given an MBE', arguing that 'we all know what's gone on' (child molestation charges) with Wacko Jacko having a 'nerve to come here after all that dressed in a robe thinking he's the Messiah. Who does he think he is? Me?') Inevitably the show turns to the talk of the brothers ('How's Liam?' 'Bigheaded!') Sadly Noel's next plan (sponsoring Man City football team) never happened. A nice clip of Noel responding to 'real' people and being a right old geezer. He won't have this much fun again for the rest of the list.
35.Morning Glory (Music Video 1996)
Like 'Rock and Roll Star', this is a sort of half-official video put together without much band involvement to promote the 'Morning Glory' record. What's the story, morning glory? A simple one as it turns out/ The band perform the song noisily in a very beige looking hotel while people outside keep ringing their doorbell and clamouring to get them to turn the noise down. By the end the cross individuals have turned into a seething mob but they don't get a chance to break the door down before the band apparently drown underwater. As you do. Somewhere along the way the band start playing football again, which is impressive given that the instrumental is taking place at the same time. Sadly Noel never recorded a commentary for this video, which would have been great fun to hear.
36.Champagne Supernova (Music Video 1996)
Almost the same goes for this next album promo, which features a now bearded Liam lying down on a bed in the same pose as the last track (well, if you have to hang around being filmed for days on end you might as well be comfy). However the surreal 'what the?' images (full of go-go dancers and a groovy lightshow) suits this psychedelic epic a lot more, perhaps the ultimate example of a Noel Gallagher lyric that works precisely because it doesn't make any sense and yet feels as if it means something anyway. Noel wears a fetching union jack jacket.
37.MTV Unplugged (1996)
We've already covered this fascinating gig with a whole review of the audio on our live/solo/compilations list (coming soon!) so just to recap in brief: oasis were one of the few modern bands (along with polar opposites Nirvana) to play MTV's new acoustic show; Liam was meant to sing but said he had a bad throat and instead heckled the rest of the band from a nearby box and Noel sang the songs instead, most of them very well indeed. Sadly Oasis are one of the few bands to have never released their MTV set on video/DVD or even a CD. It's worth seeing though if you can track a copy down (such as the one in our Youtube playlist!)
38.D'Yer Know What I Mean? (Music Video 1997)
Bring on the helicopters it's the big budget special! Breaking the silence of a year's work, this video's premiere was one of the most watched things in the band's homeland the year of release and was an 'event' the same way that 'Knebworth' had been the year before. The video is certainly long enough - timed to last a second longer than The Beatles' 'Hey Jude' it seems more like a blockbuster movie than a music video According to the directors they set the video in a post-apocalyptic Britain where only Oasis have survived, which is why they're all dressed in army fatigues. The shoot took place on the set of the film 'Full Metal Jacket' and though a dozen helicopters appear to fly over the shoot, only two were actually there at the time - to be honest I was rather upset when I learnt that. The phrases 'D'Yer KNow What I Mean?' and 'Be Here Now' were translated into Czechosalovkian and painted onto the side of the buildings as graffiti - even though few fans would have noticed or understood (and why would there be a war between Britain and Czechesolovakia of all places anyway?) Noel: 'Guigsy and Bonehead look like they're going to the bookies, Alan looks as if he's going ski-ing and I look as if I've just come off manoeuvres in the outer Hebrides - the most unlikely looking bunch of rockstars you'll ever see in your life...at the time everybody thought this was the past, present and future rolled into one...but this is fooking nonsense...they are nice sunglasses though!' Noel also records Paul Weller's verdict on the video: 'Apocalypse Yesterday!' The video had an unfortunate side effect: on seeing it the British Army decided both video and song would make good grounds for a recruitment video and used it without permission, over which the (relatively) peace loving Oasis sued successfully in 2002.
39.Top Of The Pops #9 ('D'yer Know What I Mean?' 1996)
Though the TOTP performance was lacking in helicopters, it still felt like a big deal, breaking the silence of a lengthy year or so with an only slightly edited six and a half minute version of the lead single from 'Be Here Now'. This is arguably the last time Oasis are kings of the world and they make the most of it with a comfortable mimed performance which was also one of the last times all of the 'classic' line-up appeared. Liam and Noel both celebrate at the end as if they've just won the war (see the video clip) with fist-pumps and jumping on the spot as the crowd go mad fer it. Ah, happy days.
40.Canal Plus Studios ('D'Yer Know What I Mean?' 'Stand By Me' 1997)
Here's an odd clip - a full fifteen minute mini show tacked onto the end of a French music show to plug 'Be Here Now', an album that to be honest really didn't need much plugging. The band turn in a terrific set, one of the best of their career, with some really confident and hard-edged versions of the new material which in many cases sounds better than the record with a more stripped-down production, especially a riveting 'D'Yer Know What I Mean?' which is a brave stab at such a tricky song. 'Stand BY Me' fares less well, with an orchestra very out of tune with the guitars and an oddly arty concept where Liam sings to himself playing back on a stack of TVs (did they get the idea from the TV special 'James Paul McCartney', which did the same thing back in 1973?)
41.Stand By Me (Music Video 1997)
A truly confusing video for a rather too straightforward song. The video, you see, is shot in reverse and all about changing 'perceptions'. As seen 'our' way round it looks as if all the hoodies have caused a car crash and a robbery, but seen the 'right way round' it turns out that the skinhead thug is helping a businessman break into his stuck car and the robbery going on is actually people rushing to help a biker whose crashed into a shop and been covered by TVs. The biker, you see, was swerving to avoid a child. The video was most likely inspired by an advert series that had run in the Guardian newspapers using still photographs similar to these and which had ruffled a few feathers back in the day. However, the idea is never really explained properly on screen and the presence of various members of Oasis walking past by in 'real' time is unexplained - do they exists outside time and space as deities? Or did they 'cause' the mess in the first place? The band, meanwhile, play their latest song for the fictional 'Radio Supernova'. Noel's verdict: 'Yeah I'm not having any of this...It must have taken somebody minutes to come up with this...We look like we're wearing other people's clothes in these videos...it's f!cking bananas!...That's disgraceful, I want my money back for that...what is the...? what?...That's a bit fooking mad that one!'
42.Top Of The Pops #10 ('Stand By Me' 1997)
Here, in a single video, is where it all goes wrong. The band sound wretched and slow, this lengthy track sounding as if it's been going on forever, while Liam and the rest of the band sound so detached from each other they might as well be singing different songs. The backing track reduced to a bland chug, even Liam can't keep this song moving.
43.All Around The World (Music Video 1997)
As Noel helpfully tells us, this is a cartoon. Not just any cartoon either, but a 90s 'Yellow Submarine', complete with a green elephant with thirty eyes, fish-eating submarines and where the submarine Oasis are in is made out of flowers. Apparently it took 24 animators six months to make (well, it's a long song isn't it?!) and isn't exactly value for money. It's all a bit mad, even by Oasis standards, with no link whatsoever now between the song and the images and the band struggling to cope with the ideas of acting against so much blue/.green screen. Noel's verdict: 'If you're listening to this at home you're advised to go and mow the garden or summat because this goes on for ages and ages!' 'A man with legs made of sausages? I know for a fact that's got nothing to do with this song...oh lord!' , on Liam 'He was always good for a 'na na na na' him, the singer!' and 'Pigs don't fly never say die? Why didn't somebody stop me at that point and say 'time to go on holiday... I'm actually getting annoyed watching this now...I bet somewhere this song is still going on even when it finished. And do you know what the strange thing is? This got to number one - it's one of our biggest singles!' Not one of the band's best moments.
44.Don't Go Away (Music Video 1997)
More absolute nonsense, relegated to the 'extras' portion of the 'Time Flies' DVD even though it was a proper single and everything. Liam is at home, painting and missing his loved one, which is intermingled with shots of random extra holding umbrellas and flying like Mary Poppins. Liam seems as if he's torn up quite a few first drafts of something and has littered the floor with them - perhaps it was the camera script? It's a real shame that Noel didn't write a commentary for this video as it would surely have been hilarious, with the rest of the band apart from Liam relegated to appearing as toys dwarfed by the 'Be Here Now' props. Actually I can see why Noel might want to forget this video now...
45.The David Letterman Show #3 ('Don't Go Away' US TV 1997)
By now Letterman is far more respectful, impressed at global sales of 20 million as he introduces Oasis without any insults or snide comments. This performance is another struggle, with Noel and Bonehead slightly out of sync and Liam struggling to work out which one he should be following. The presence of an orchestra adding to the noise only makes things worse. This time it's Liam's turn to upset the host, who turns back to him after shaking hands with Noel and Bonehead (why not Guigsy or Whitey?0 only for the singer to reject his outstretched arm with a nod.
46.The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show ('Don't Go Away' US TV 1997)
More plugging in the States, with Noel sporting his famous Union Jack guitar for the first time, no doubt as a 'gesture'. Liam sounds a little better here and the guitarists are closer meshed together although this still sounds like a song that's a struggle to sing live and a bit of a flog to sit through to be honest.
47.Mabudachi ('Don't Go Away' Japanese TV 1997)
Like most of the best bands, Oasis were also a big hit in Japan, curiously beginning with this third LP which comparatively flopped round most of the world. Perhaps that's because Noel dropped in dressed in a natty striped suit for a quick chat. The host offers Noel a present that makes him look worried ('does it explode?') while the chat keeps being interrupted for lengthy translations even though most of Noel's responses are mono-syllabic at best. He also sounds upzet to report that other bands have caught with Oasis now, naming The Verve, Radiohead and The Prodigy as his biggest rivals ('though I still say we're the best!') 'Don't Go Away' sounds good though, with a nice acoustic performance of the song that suits it better than the record and sounds good with Noel singing. The three hosts look suitably awed, as well they should (it must have made a nice change after the likes of Letterman!)
48.Acquiesce (Music Video 1997)
Goodness knows why the band decided to celebrate their return to the mainstream with a launch party for 'Be Here Now' that featured a B-side that was by now two years old (that's why the band are playing in front of a giant clock, a prop from the album cover). To be fair, it is a fan favourite this song and for good reason and the band turn in a storming version even if the director misses most of the good stuff by playing with the slow-mo button on the camera. A second video has the band miming to this song while in Japan, although the story spends too long following a Liam-looking Japanese fan in a parka on his way to a gig rather than the real deal. The wonders of karaoke then fool the ad hoc crew of mates that they really are Oasis by the end though only 'Liam' looks the part. Both are included as a welcome extra on the 'Time Flies' DVD.
1.T-Mex: Live In
Manchester ('Be Here Now' 'Stay Young' 'Stand By Me' 'Supersonic' 'Some Might
Say' 'Roll With It' 'D'Yer Know What I Mean?' 'Don't Look Back In Anger' 'Don't
Go Away' 'Wonderwall' 'Live Forever' 'It's Getting Better! (Man!!!)' 'All
Around The World' 'Fade In-Out' 'Champagne Supernova' 'Cigarettes And Alcohol'
'Acquiesce' UK Concert 1997)
on MTV as a sort of early Christmas present, this home-coming show finds Oasis
giving 'Be Here Now' one last plug. Though band and audience try to give their
all - and there's a hilarious opening where in an interview Noel tells the
crowd to come back after the advert break 'turn the telly up, cheer when Liam
walks out and then go mad for me when I walk out later and go 'he's a geezxer,
'im!' However compared to previous gigs Oasis seem on their backfoot, taken
aback by the backlash now beginning to greet their third album and beginning to
have second thoughts about the material. The 'Be Here Now' music is, ironically
enough, the most interesting here, if only because of the way the band have
tweaked so many of the songs from the fuller more 'epic' arrangements on the
record. The oldies are starting to sound a bit mouldy by comparison, with a
rare performance of 'It's Getting Better (Man!!!)' the real highlight here.
2.The Masterplan (Music
song had already been released on the back of 'Wonderwall' three years earlier,
Oasis gave one of their best loved tracks a new lease of life as the title and
lead track from the contract-filling B-sides compilation released in the gap
between albums three and four. Though Oasis had nothing to do with it, the
video is one of their best and perfectly captures their spirit (and Lima's
apelike walk!), recreating Manchester of the 1980s and 1990s in the style of
local artist L S Lowry. A land of grey buildings and doomed bow-headed crowds,
it's not unlike the shots of rainy grey Liverpool in the 'Eleanor Rigby'
sequence of the 'Yellow Submarine' film. The drawings of the band are all spot
on, while the video actually pays attention to the lyrics, with 'four and
twenty corridors' appearing right on cue and the band actually walking into one
of Lowry's paintings by the end(Noel and Liem even go into the same house at
the song's end, in keeping with the pre-fame vibe, although in a typical
airbrushing of history Tony McCaroll looks suspiciously like Alan White). A
cheapo time filler it may be, but 'The Masterplan' both single and video are
made with a lot more care than many of the real things. Sadly only an extra on
the 'Time Flies' DVD - come back and record a commentary for this one Noel!
3.Unknown (Noel Only
Swedish TV 2000)
back! Noel takes time off from finishing 'Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants'
to talk about the soon to be released album and set some rumours straight from
Oasis' favoured 'Wheeler Studio' (a rare chance to see his array of guitars).
He likes Liam's first song 'Little James' ('I don't think it's great - but it
is good, yeah') before being unusually kind ('It's better than the first song I
ever wrote, that's for sure'). There's an interesting story that Liam was too
shy to show them the original song and kept delaying it because it 'wasn't
finished', so Noel and Whitey secretly taped him working on it in the studio
and worked the arrangement out while Liam was off on holiday, surprising him
with it when he came back. Noel jokes about the future, saying that he doesn't
want to be the kind of musician who 'records a solo album at 45' (funnily
enough he'd just turned 45 when 'High Flying Birds' came out). This is the
first interview to talk about the 'history' of the band and refers to the
pre-fame years as 'the early days', which makes Noel quite nostalgic and feel
old, even though it's only been six busy years since 'Supersonic'. One of
Noel's better interviews, filling in a relatively 'forgotten' period of Oasis
4.Go Let It Out (Music
It's all change as a new-look Oasis reveal their new line-up on a much more
back-to-basics video closer in feel to the 'Definitely Maybe' video set in a
bus depot. However Andy Bell hasn't joined the band yet, leaving Noel to mime
the bass, Liam the rhythm guitar and Gem the lead part. None of the band's
fellow passengers look that thrilled to have the band there - Oasis' halo
really had slipped by the time of their fourth album. The band got into trouble
for their opening joke: 'Only the best videos have space for captions!', a joke
that earned the band an MTV ban, which might be one of the reasons why this
song didn't sell as well as some of its predecessors. When the band finally get
to their destination, the set dressers again let them down. 'That was meant to
look like a spaceship - it looks like a load of scaffolding sinking!' Noel
complains about a white unfinished dome covered with lights the band were
afraid might electrocute them when rain fell heavily out of nowhere during
5.Top Of The Pops #11 ('Go
Let It Out' 2000)
years away, Oasis are back on their favourite stomping ground and straight in
at #1, which must have been a relief. Liam has grown his hair and bought
himself a fur coat, while Noel is still rubbish at miming (he misses his 'pick
up the bass' line completely). The camera seems very careful not to view the
two new members too much, who are only seen in the distance throughout.
Holland - The Concerts #3 ('Go Let It Out' 'Who Feels Love?' 'Supersonic' 'Some
Might Say' 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' 'Where Did It All Go Wrong?' 'Gas Panic!'
'Rock 'n' Roll Star' 'Wonderwall' 'Don't Look Back In Anger' 'My Generation'
'Live Forever' UK TV 2000)
millennium Jools 'plink plonk' Holland varied his show with some full concerts.
Oasis were an obvious band to ask and happy to comply, revealing their new
line-up to the world properly. For one awful moment you think the band are
going to mime the whole gig when the taped drum pattern of 'Go Let It Out'
comes in but then the band pile in one by one and hit a really nice groove.
Though there are better Oasis gigs out there (Liam's voice is already losing
its natural freedom and beauty) this is a good one for fans like me of the
'Giants' album whose songs aren't often performed. All four new tracks sound
rather good, with a much more sprightly 'Who Feels Love?' gaining in organ
bleeps what it loses in massed harmonies, a gorgeous Noel 'n' piano version of
'Where Did It All Go Wrong?' a new highlight of the acoustic set and a nicely
grungy 'Gas Panic' far tighter than the live version on 'Familiar To Millions'.
The older songs fare less well - 'Rock 'n' Roll Star' has already gone from a
sneering song of rebellion into a crowd pleasing singalong and a dodgy 'Don't
Look Back In Anger' has seen better days. A preview of the band's new B-side cover,
The Who's jaw-dropping 'My Generation' is pretty darn good though, with Andy
Bell nailing John Entwistle's bass solo. A pretty welcome return - and as an
added bonus no mindless interruptions from the host. They should go back to
using this format!
7.The David Letterman Show
#4 ('I Can See A Liar' US TV 2000)
go for their obvious material in the States do they? This 'Giants' album track
ought to be born for live performance but sounds a little woolly and
unconvincing somehow. Liam, wearing a long-coat for the first time, is a little
shaky and Noel spends most of the performance squealing feedback rather than
playing. The band don't do anything to the host this time, which is perhaps the
biggest shame of all.
8.Who Feels Love? (Music
in a desert looking for love, as you do. The band are now complete ('Andy looks
like he's fooking sixteen!' says Noel) but are walking in five separate ways
looking for inspiration ('We spent all day walking across there...somebody's
sussed out ten years into this that what they do best is they can walk and play
and stand still and look bored...') The band have gone big budget again with
Woodstock-style split screens, but sadly the visuals don't match the audio and
one of the band's more inventive and under-rated songs comes over as bland and
boring. Noel does at least have the grace to apologise to drummer Alan White
for making him bang a conga!
9.Top Of The Pops #12
('Who Feels Love?' 2000)
Oasis: the Paddington years with Liam wearing his duffel coat to work. On this
evidence he should have worn it more often, turning in a scintillating lead
vocal performance to rate alongside his best on top of his brother's
pre-recorded mass sea of harmonies, at least the beginning. Poor Gem and Andy
don't get a look in.
10.Sunday Morning Call
(Music Video 2000)
famously hates this song (it's only a bonus set on the 'Time Flies' audio set
at Noel's insistence) and this video and groans loudly when it's introduced.
Personally I've always loved the song, which is one of Noel's better depressive
ballads, though it's so alien to Noel's usual upbeat writing you can see why he
might not like it so much. Noel recorded the song more or less alone (with just
Alan White on drums) and appears alone in the video until the end, playing
behind a bead curtain as a man tries to flee his bedsit only to be collared and
locked up in a mental asylum. Strangely enough, intended or not, the video
serves as a parody of 'Shakermaker', with the inmates playing imaginary football
while a cold and detached looking Oasis stare on from a window. Filmed in
Vancouver as a pastiche of 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' It is a truly
awful video without any of Oasis' usual twists and turns, but it seem unfair to
take it out on the song. Noel's verdict: 'Fooking dreadful!'
11.Top Of The Pops #13
('Sunday Morning Call' 2000)
Gem and a guesting keyboard player (not the band's usual extra member Jay
Darlington from the look of things) for an unplugged performance of a song Noel
seems to have hated from the moment he released it. You wouldn't know that from
his performance, though, which is powerful and moving and decidedly more
'upbeat' than the version on 'Giants'.
12.Where Did It All Go
Wrong? (Music Video 2000)
Oasis' fourth album 'Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants' hadn't sold anything
like as well as the first three, the band propped up the album with its own
'extra' music video anyway, sensibly choosing the best song from the record not
already out as a single. Drummer Alan White is alone in a hotel room watching
the band on TV playing with amps labelled 'working class hero' while we get
some mad random story inserted featuring a couple having a big row. I doubt the
video will stick around with you until the day you die, somehow, but the tune's
a good 'un. Included as an extra feature on the 'Time Flies' DVD.
13.The Hindu Times (Music
video from 'Heathen Chemistry', the song named for a T-shirt slogan has a real
return to basics feel - the video even goes back to being shot in black and
white. The band appear apparently playing the song at Abbey Road - the first of
many times the band will be seen where they made 'Be Here Now' and a few other
tracks - but they don't really mime, instead staring out the camera as they
play. Just as with The Beatles' 'Let It Be' film the original plan was to fly
the band out to India and exploit the mood of the song - but the band were too
lethargic to go and filmed it where they were busy recording their fourth album
instead (stopping short of actually playing on the roof). Noel actually likes
one, until the end which has nothing to do with song or video: 'That's weird
though innit? A skeleton drinking milk?'
14.Top Of The Pops 2
Special ('The Hindu Times' 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' 'My Generation'
'Acquiesce' 'Don't Look Back In Anger' 2002)
'For a band
of our size Top Of The Pops mean everything because...well it's Top Of The Pops
innit?' Liam's less than erudite introduction to a clips show is bested by the
newer bandmates' : Noel jokes that the band tend to do their TOTP performances
'on rare days off, when we treat it as such', while Gem is thrilled to 'phone
me nan up and say I'm on Top Of The Pops - what other programmes can I do that
on?' A few scant years before the show was axed and Jimmy Saville's reputation
made it toxic, the band are still genuinely excited that gruff Mancunians from
a council estate have become the heroes of a British teatime institution. The
band perform (well, mime apart from Liam) their next two singles with a
slightly quicker 'Heart Out' sounding particularly good before performing a
storming 'Acquiesce' that's one of the best in the list ('People like it
because you see my ying to Liam's yang, man').
15.Stop Crying Your Heart
Out (Music Video 2002)
this one with a passion, though, perhaps because it's another of the 'big
concept' ones the directors put together. It kind of works though: a suicide
victim tries to kill herself with what seems like petrol but turns out to be
'holy water' ('What that she bought from a garage? That defines nonsense that
does!') It's a typical Oasis twist which goes well with the shots of Oasis
sneering 'you'll never change what's been and gone'.
16.The Hit Machine ('Stop
Crying Your Heart Out' French TV 2002)
holy water in France - just the French equivalent of Little and Large jokily
introducing one of Oasis' most heart-wrenching songs. Shot in moody black and
white, yet again, it's a fully mimed performance most memorable for Noel
sporting a fuzzy beard which will be long gone by the next appearance.
17.Top Of The Pops #14
('Stop Crying Your Heart Out' 2002)
performance to the 'TOP2' one, this is fascinating. The band perform completely
live, with Liam snarling rather than soaring while Noel hits a really
psychedelic guitar groove that takes the song to a whole different place. One
of the very best performances from the second half of the band's careers, this
one teeters on the edge of collapse throughout and sounds a lot more 'real' than
the record without all that polish. Even the comforting move to the major key
on the chorus is accompanied by the loneliest mellotron this side of The Moody
Blues, while Noel's ghostly voice is a
great counter-punch to Liam's aggressive lead. The ending is especially good,
the song dying down to just Noel's vibrato-shaky guitar for an extra long run
through of the song's magical riff. Brilliant stuff that makes you wish the
band had done more TOTP appearances live.
18.Little By Little (Music
important video, not just for featuring one of the most important songs from
the second half of Oasis' career but for being the first to feature an actor
'playing' the singer in the band. Robert Carlyle is the victim for this
particular video and he changes height across the song, presumably as a pun on
the song's name. Noel is the only band member to appear in the video at first,
busking in a doorway as people throw him money, until Liam is seen helping
Carlyle up when he falls over and turning him into the 'proper size'. Once
again somebody has been messing around with the colour with several bright
shades across what's otherwise another very monochrome production. Personally I
think it's this video that's absolute nonsense and very much lacks the gravitas
of the music, but Noel seems to like it for once perhaps because he found it
easier to make than some of the others ('Can you sit on a doorstep and mime the
guitar for a couple of hours?' No problem!) A black and white shot of the band
performing this song in Finsbury Park also turned up on the 'Time Flies' DVD
although it's not a great performance or a great video (why can't they flipping
film something in colour for once?)
19.Songbird (Music Video
video for 'Songbird' is as low key and 'real' as the song itself and both video
and composition are clearly close to the younger Gallagher's heart. The song
was written for girlfriend Nicole Appleton (a former member of All Saints) and
their pet dog who, hilariously, chases Liam in the final shots after Liam is
seen to take him for a walk. Liam simply turns up in Hyde Park, sits under a
tree, grabs an acoustic guitar and starts playing with none of the
pretentiousness of some of the other Oasis videos. According to the commentary
this was because Liam wrote the song in his garden, under a tree. Liam's
verdict: 'Nice day out, even if it was a bit cold'. None of the rest of the
20.Top Of The Pops #15
it's Noel's turn to go awol as Gem plays acoustic and Jay Darlington piano
behind Liam's energetic lead on his own song. Liam is clearly having fun while
the song sounds prettier and less polished in this version with the rough edges
21.Glastonbury 2004 ('Rock
'n' Roll Star' 'Bring It On Down' 'Supersonic' 'Morning Glory' 'Columbia' 'A
Bell Will Ring' 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' 'Little By Little' 'Cigarettes and
Alcohol' 'Live Forever' 'The Meaning Of Soul' 'Acquiesce' 'Champagne Supernova'
'Songbird' 'Wonderwall' 'Don't Look Back In Anger' 'My Generation')
third Glasto set is a stormy one, with Liam the most out of it we'll see across
his career, with rumours of a heavy drug addiction at the time which thankfully
doesn't seem to have been the case. He doesn't half draw attention to it too,
dressed in pure white and in a costume that looks more like a Eurovision Song
Contest entry which he still nearly pulls off. The rest of the band sound a
little out of it too, though not quite so much, quickly realising that this is
one of those gigs you just have to keep your head down and get through. This
set's 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' may well be the single most wretched moment
on this list, real car crash television which Noel takes over partway through
when he realises just how much difficulty his brother is in. Luckily Noel has
to sing the next few songs anyway so his Liam's voice he gets a rest and perks up for the rest of
the set, sounding quite good by the time 'Ciggies and Alcohol' rolls around.
The gigs almost entirely consist of old songs by now with an impressive amount
of songs from the first album now celebrating its tenth anniversary (heck,
where did all that time go?) The band still have a year to go till 'Don't
Believe The Truth' is out (an album that took so long to complete the band
probably booked the festival expecting to have it out by now) and only play two
songs from it: lacklustre versions of 'A Bell Will Ring' and 'The Meaning Of
Soul', one of only two live performances of both songs. They're not quite the
same league as the past two Glasto debuts d 'Live Forever' and 'Wonderwall'
22.Lyla (Music Video 2005)
Back to the
heavy concepts, with the title character of 'Lyla' ('not so much a song as a
stampede') watching Oasis on TV when she falls out with her
rottweiler-owning husband and running
out like Cinderella to the local club to watch Oasis. The band play to their
fanclub and seem to be having a ball in the video, although Lyla's own story is
rather convoluted and unclear. Apparently she takes too many drugs and gets
wasted on the dancefloor but I only realised that when Noel told me what was
going on - that in itself makes for a rather odd moral. Was Lyla better off
listening to her abusive boyfriend after all then and not partying after all?
Not very Oasis is it? Back in the days when the album hadn't yet been released
the gossip for ages was about what the message on the fence at the end reading
'Don't Believe The Truth' actually meant. Noel adds that he wrote it for his
wife Sarah but decided tio change the name 'in case she wanted royalties'. Noel's verdict 'It's not too bad a video'.
23.Top Of The Pops #16
are much sharper for this comeback single, which finds the band both looking
and sounding sober and clean-shaven. Zak Starkey is the band's new drummer having
fallen fall of an angry outburst from Liam at the end of 2004 and he very much
looks like part of the band here dressed in a sharp mod suit. Liam, never one
for following rules, makes his feelings about TOTP's return to miming known by
walking away from the microphone mid-line, a joke first done on TOTP by The
Beatles almost forty years to the day! (It's 'Ticket To Ride' if you're
24.The Importance Of Being
Idle (Music Video 2005)
need a gruff Mancunian pretending to shave, then I'm your man!' Noel has always
loved both song and video, perhaps because it doesn't really feature the band
at all. Instead it stars Rhys Ifans miming to the words and dancing round
coffins in Grenwich while the Gallagher brothers appear as undertakers. The video
would be great if it hadn't already been done better by The Kinks with 'Dead
End Street' in 1968 - the song sounds like a Kinks pastiche too. Noel's
verdict: 'That's fooking brilliant' - I'm not so sure.
25.Top Of The Pops #17
('The Importance Of Being Idle' 2005)
doesn't show for his brother's big showcase a few weeks later, with Noel
unwittingly messing up the mimed vocal even more without meaning to! Noel
doesn't look himself actually, as if 'my heart's not in it' as he barely looks
up stage front and keeps his eyes glued to his guitar. He's also not quite as
immaculately turned out as usual. Oasis are 'going to rock' at the V Festival
soon apparently. We'll see about that.
26.Let There Be Love (Music
from the 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down' documentary, this is a final moody Oasis
promo made in black-and-white, but slowed down to half-speed as well for some
reason. It doesn't really work: the band are seen walking down stairs and
greeting fans but there's very little sense of what Oasis were really all about
and the result leaves you longing to see it all at the right speed. The footage
is taken from two different shows in London and Manchester on the tour -
neither of which featured performances of this song.
27.Top Of The Pops #18 ('Let
There Be Love' 2005)
regular Oasis TOTP performance is one of the very last made by anybody with the
last regular edition of the show broadcast in June 2006, less than a year after
this performance. Frustratingly there've just got the format right: no
nonsense, no cameo presenters, no gormless interviews and the bands are free to
mime or play live as they choose. Oasis, of course, play live (well, some of
them do) and turn in a rather glorious rendition of their last single from the
'Truth' album, singing and playing along to the record so that at time Liam
seems to be in stereo. Noel messes up the synch badly by the end of the song,
leaving Liam and Andy giggling away to his right while Noel looks furious. The
'new' mellotron string part sounds great however - wish it had been on the
album - and the song sounds like a much more rounded and less plagiarised
composition than it did on the album (where the resemblance to Lennon's
catalogue was disturbing even for Oasis standards).
28.V Festival ('Lyla'
'Morning Glory' 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' 'The Importance Of Being Idle' 'Don't
Look Back In Anger' 2005)
presenter of the BBC's V Festival footage, Edith Bowman, goes to see Liam
backstage before he goes on. He's eager to get going and much brighter behind
the eyes than at Glasto, plugging his new favourite bands (Red Walls and
Kasabian) and Spongebob Squarepants. Liam also complains 'I want to be the
biggest band in the world - 'cause we're not', that he wants to 'stay out of
trouble and do the next record as soon as possible'. Sadly events won't quite
turn out that way... All this chat means that we only get twenty minutes of
performance highlights as screened . They sound pretty good though, with Liam
at his sneering best for a crowd-stomping version of 'Lyla' that clearly works
well live, with the band slightly tweaking the arrangement so Noel and Andy
arrive a verse after Gem and Zak. The drummer tweaks old standard 'Morning
Glory' into a much simpler rock and roll song, while 'Ciggies' has a real
crunch to it with only 'Idle' disappointing. Perhaps the last great set Oasis
29.Live In Manchester ('Turn
Up The Sun' 'Lyla' 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' 'The Importance Of being Idle'
'Little By Little' 'A Bell Will Ring' 'Acquiesce' 'Songbird' 'Live Forever'
'Mucky Fingers' 'Wonderwall' 'Rock 'n Roll Star' 'The Meaning Of Soul' 'Don't
Look Back In Anger' 'My Generation' 2005)
which, this homecoming to Manchester - screened complete on the BBC - seemed
doomed from the start. Things start going wrong when the capacity crowd edge
towards the stage on the first song, cracking the barrier and the security
guards interrupt opening song 'Turn Up The Sun' to ask the crowd to move back.
While Liam starts posing in a bit white hat, it's up to big brother to sort
things out ('They have to fix it or we can't do the gig, if you move back two
or three paces we can sort it and we can tear the fooking roof off this place. Oh
yeah I just remembered, we don't have a roof...') Just as Oasis seem to be
taking it quite well Noel points out all the member of the stage crew he thinks
should get the sack and jokingly wonders if they'll make it to the end of the
first song (amazingly all this was shown complete on television!) The band are
good but not great with Liam on slightly muted form and the mix used for TV
moving the band members apart from each other instead of hard and central where
they should be. 'Lyla' and 'Little By Little' both sound particularly good
though, while 'The Meaning Of Soul' benefits from some great Noel harmonies not
on the record and this one of the better 'Wonderwalls' around too.
30.Lord, Don't Slow Me Down
(Music Video 2007)
the documentary film to go along with the band's second and last standalone
single. It's slightly more interesting than 'Let There Be Love' simply because
it's all playing at the proper speed and gives a better sense of the fun and
chaos backstage at an Oasis gig. Liam gets a birthday cake, the band do a bit
of dancing and a lot of bottles are swigged back, while outside the crowds
break down the security barriers. The highlight: Noel winning a game of
'Frustration'! It's still not that
interesting though: bring back the man with legs made out of sausages! Noel's
verdict: 'This is one of the good ones...it just looks like one long f!cking
31.The Brit Awards ('Cigarettes
and Alcohol' 'The Meaning Of Soul' 'Morning Glory' 2007)
famously turned down the Brit Awards back in their 1994/1995 hey day, refusing
to mime at the first gig and backing down after being told they couldn't play a
full set to fans waiting to come in at the second. It's a good set despite the
reliance on old songs and 'Ciggies' especially hasn't had this much life for a
long time after so many years of being the dog-end of the band's sets. The
punky 'Meaning Of Soul' has also had a wake up call with Zak on one of his last
performances with the band giving up with subtlety and whalloping the drums
with everything he's got on the fastest version of Liam's song around. Only
'Morning Glory' sounds a little sleepy, with the brother's harmonies not going
together at all well.
32.Standing On The Edge Of
Noise ('Rock 'n' Roll Star' 'The Shock Of The Lightning' 'To Be Where There's
Life' 'Waiting For The Rapture' 'The Masterplan' 'Songbird' 'Slide Away' 'Ain't
Got Nothin' 'The Importance Of Being Idle' 'I'm Outta Time' 'Supersonic' 'Don't
Look back In Anger' 'Falling Down' Live 2007)
tour, another concert, another documentary of a concert and one which, funnily
enough, seems to have been named for a Gem song that won't be recorded until
the first Beady Eye album. By now Liam is struggling something rotten with his
vocals and 'Lightning' and 'Where There's Life' are particularly poor, the
latter turned from punchy rock song into mellow groove with Noel trying to
cover for the holes in brother's voice on another of the longest five minutes
in the Oasis catalogue (and I say that as someone who loves the studio take of
this under-rated song). Thankfully this last tour saw a much more interesting
collection of songs than usual recently, with welcome returns of a stunning
'Masterplan' and a poignant 'Slide Away' which really suits Liam's aging voice.
It's nice to see the band playing so many new songs too on what will prove the only
outing for the 'Dig Out Your Soul' material, with 'Rapture' and 'Falling Down'
particularly well suited to the stage. Even so, this band lark is looking like
a dead end and you can tell from the band's eyes that the enthusiasm is running
down, although perhaps thankfully there's less of the aggressive feel heard on
the last album, which might well have been a mellower album during the early
sessions judging by how the band play the six songs from their last record
33.The Shock Of The
Lightning (Music Video 2009)
artiest video, which makes up for the last pair of videos in black and white
with a sea of technicolour. The best part of the song is the start, when the
band's four heads (Alan White is long gone, Zak Starkey has just gone) are seen
'inside' each other a la the Rolling Stones 'Hot Rocks' compilation. Somehow a load of images from the album
artwork come to life, which is the part of the video that works least well.
Apparently the band cribbed the idea of the video off U2 - this is a real
comedown for a band who used to at least rip off the best bands in the world
like The Beatles and The Kinks.
34.I'm Outta Time (Music
videos are a little weird, but they're rarely boring. Liam is as cross as Noel
over what happened to his concept: 'I okayed the bits of me looking like Clint
Eastwood, but what are the foxes and owls about? Terrible! I wanted to be
walking through the streets of New York like a fooking geezer, that's what this
video should have been...' Liam has a point - the band should have outgrown
black and white videos by now and the visuals add nothing to the song's sense
of drama or concepts. Why didn't they pick up on the lifted Lennon speech at
the end if they wanted inspiration?
35.Falling Down (Music
And so it
ends, not with a bang but with a whimper. Not in terms of music - 'Falling
Down' is more what Oasis should have been doing in their last decade, picking
up on the paranoia and scares of the better songs from 'Be Here Now'. But the
video is awful. A society belite doing things she shouldn't be betrays the
Royal Family in a Princess Di type way. Well boo hoo hoo: Oasis are usually
about characters more interesting than that. The band refuse to shake her hand
in the video, sensing that she's 'betrayed' her real character - Noel says that
he would have shook her hand in real life ('What's not to like? Great house,
loads of money, servants - why are you crying? Try being in a fooking band love
- graft!') But this video is just a lazy re-write of the one for 'Lyla'. Noel's
verdict on the girl: 'I wish I'd looked like that on drugs - actually I
probably did a few times. I like this video though - both the way it was shot
and the fact I'm not in it!'
36.Comic Relief TOTP
Special ('Falling Down' 2009)
that started as unknowns on forgotten show 'The Word' are by now an institution
who get rounds of applause just for turning up and are 'establishment' enough
to appear on charity telethons. To be fair, few charity telethons ever feature
songs quite as dark and brooding as this mimed performance of Oasis' last
single, a final TV appearance at which Liam doesn't even show, just like the
old days. Noel is half amused, half angered by comedian Noel Fielding's
rambling introduction ('Even cats love them!') while Noel's live vocal is
softer than the album (which is good) but also more nasal (which isn't). That's
a rare appearance by new drummer Chris Sharrock on drums, filling in for
departing Zak Starkey rather well. However it's a rather sadly muted way to say
goodbye to all that we've ever known.
37.Comic Relief 2015 (Liam
We've added one final entry though, purely for
laughs and it's another charity appearance that touches on what we were saying
six years earlier, above. There is room in the land of English showbiz for a
'new' national treasure and those lucky enough to get the iconic status are
auditioning new entrants. Just when things seem as if they can't get any worse,
in through the door walks Liam as the last guest, swearing and gesticulating
his way into the nation's hearts. It's enough to give poor Stephen Fry a
And that's that, from feeling Supersonic and on
top of the world to Falling Down, Oasis' career in 84 handy audio-visual
documents. There'll be more Oasis next week!
Other Oasis articles from this site you might be interested in reading: