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Oasis B-Sides Better Than The A-Sides

Aaron Phillips

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masterplan oasis image
Creation Records

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of classic Oasis album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? and today continuing that celebration I’m looking at if there are there some Oasis B-sides better than the A-sides? We know for a period of time in the late 1990s Oasis were the biggest band on the planet. From their creation on a housing estate in Manchester in 1991 to their tumultuous break-up in 2009. They have sold over 75 million albums worldwide. They have also played all over the globe to millions of adoring fans.

The band released twenty-eight singles over their career, which means there were a healthy number of B-sides released as well. Oasis released The Masterplan B-side compilation album in 1998, but there are over a decade’s worth of musical gems to explore since that release. This begs the question: which B-sides were better than the A-side?

It’s no secret that Oasis had some absolute crackers as B-sides, so let’s run down the top ten that trumped their A-side counterparts.

10. Shout It Out Loud (2006)

This was released as the B-side to Stop Crying Your Heart Out, which was the second single taken from Heathen Chemistry in 2002. You may not have heard Shout It Out Loud before, but I’d seriously recommend you lend it your ears. Not only is it a beautiful slice of melancholy, but it was also written by bassist Andy Bell. That’s a very rare thing in camp Oasis. It’s a magical piece of music that sweeps over you like a warm duvet and delivers a chorus that will have you humming for days. It’s in stark contrast to its A-side counterpart which plunders and carves its way through your head like a blunt cheese-grater.

9. Those Swollen Hand Blues (2008)

This is perhaps the most ironic listing. That’s because Oasis were often labelled as a Beatles tribute band, but they never really sounded like the Beatles. Until they released this B-side. Accompanying Falling Down – which was the bands final release from Dig Out Your Soul – it could easily have been lifted from Magical Mystery Tour. It’s full of soft psychedelic melodies and keys, that is the opposite of its siblings quite forgetful and dreary offering. The double-irony was that it was the bands parting gift to their fans as they split not long after.

8. Pass Me Down the Wine (2006)

This acoustic gem was written by Liam and was the B-side to the bands 2005 single release, The Importance of Being Idle. I know this may cause some readers to throw their hands up in the air in disgust but have a close listen to this musical nugget.

Liam’s vocal melodies are spot-on – and an obvious hint at his future solo album – and the arrangements are perfect. Although the A-side made it to number one in the UK, it doesn’t have the beauty; panache or wistfulness of this Liam-penned ditty.

7. (You’ve Got) The Heart of a Star (2002)

Continuing the trend of superior B-sides is this magical slice of acoustic brilliance. This track accompanied Songbird from 2002’s Heathen Chemistry. Although Songbird is well known as the first Oasis song that Liam penned, the B-side has more substance and depth to it. With a haunting Noel-sung chorus that permeates into every pore, it’s a great song that should have made the album.

6.Full On (2006)

This absolute monster of a song was the B-side to Sunday Morning Call. Taken from 2000’s Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. It’s a true return to the classic stadium rock sound of Oasis that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Definitely Maybe. Featuring chugging riffs and an infectious chorus, it’s a step above Sunday Morning Call. The latter which sounds lacklustre and devoid of any excitement. The only thing that would take this B-side into the stratosphere was if Liam had sung it instead of Noel. Then it would have truly been a ball-breaker.

5. One Way Road (2006)

Taken as the B-side to Who Feels Love, this track is everything that its big brother isn’t. It has a chorus that will stay ringing in your ears for days. Lyrics that come straight from the heart, delivered with meaning and passion from Noel. It still has the guitar crunch to give it a sharp edge but without losing any of the underlying sensitivity that Who Feels Love lacks. This is a punchy song that deserves a lot more credit than it has. It certainly deserved a place on Standing on the Shoulder of Giants.

4. D’yer Wanna Be a Spaceman (1994)

Now we get the top four and we’re really uncovering some stunning musical gems. D’yer Wanna Be a Spaceman was the B-side to Shakermaker; taken from the band’s debut album, Definitely Maybe. It’s a pure acoustic offering, sung by Noel, but it already shows the songwriting genius of the man. The lyrics showcase a youthful optimism and determination to break away from working-class life that Noel is so famous for. It also contains an energetic hook that’ll stay with you for days. It’s in stark contrast to Shakermaker that feels like it’s one hundred per cent album filler. It plods along not really knowing where it’s going and by the end, you’ve lost the will to live. The B-side is definitely (not maybe) the winner here.

3. Rockin’ Chair (1995)

This was the B-side to Roll with It which was the song that brought to a head the battle of Britpop with Blur in the UK in 1995. Although Roll with It has become an iconic song of that decade, Rockin’ Chair is certainly the superior song. Not only is Liam’s voice at the absolute best it’s ever sounded, but the arrangement and choruses on the track are also sublime.

Noel’s lyrics are also far more interesting and inspiring than its A-side brother. “I’m older than I wish to be, this town holds no more for me “just sums up Noel Gallagher as the voice of a generation. The track is also beautifully layered with a mix of electric and acoustic guitars with an added sprinkle of keys. It makes for a listen that is both exciting and melancholic. Don’t be fooled into thinking Roll with It is the better song, as Rockin’ Chair is an absolute gem.

2. Acquiesce (1995)

Now we are really hitting the gold standard of Oasis B-sides. Acquiesce was released in 1994 as the B-side to Some Might Say. Some Might Say was the A-side to this track and reached number one in the UK singles chart and the top ten across Europe with its rock ‘n’ roll swagger. Although that is some feat on its own, it’s the B-side that takes the glory. Acquiesce is a piece of pure songwriting brilliance. It kicks off with a guitar riff that will erupt any stadium. It then ploughs its way through to a chorus that is right at the top of Noel’s vocal range, but it pays off perfectly.

What is rare about this song is that it is sung by both the Gallagher brothers; Liam taking the verse duties and Noel hitting those choruses. It sounds like they are having a real-life vocal punch-up and the contrast between the two voices works better than you would expect. This is about as raw and exciting as it gets from the Gallagher brothers, and that’s not said in a flippant fashion. That’s’ not to say that Some Might Say is not a great song, as it is, but Acquiesce is up there as one of the greatest songs they have ever written. Just go and watch any live footage of them performing this song. It’s biblical.

1. The Masterplan (1995)

We’ve reached the end of our countdown of the Oasis B-sides that were better than their A-sides and it may be no surprise to see which is number one. The album of B-sides was released under this name because it’s a song of such magnitude that it deserves its own album. Ladies and gentlemen, the number one B-side is…The Masterplan.

Originally released as a B-side to Wonderwall in 1995, The Masterplan is often quoted by Noel as the greatest song he ever wrote. It’s hard to disagree with him. The former head of Creation Records Alan McGee even told him at the time that the song was too good to be a B-side. But Noel admits now that he was “young and stupid” when it was released.

The song itself could be described as an avalanche of aural pleasure. It builds slowly with a bed of acoustic guitar and strings, up towards a chorus of vocal interplay that is truly anthemic. Add in some brilliant guitar solos and varying degrees of strings, and you have a song that is quite possibly one of the greatest ever written. That’s not a facetious comment either as The Masterplan has everything you could want in a song. It has sublime arrangements; anthemic choruses; solos; strings and piano. It also has lyrics that are penned from one of the greatest songwriters of the past fifty years.

Yes, Wonderwall is a great song and synonymous with Oasis, but The Masterplan is the best song that Oasis ever wrote and it’s one of their B-sides. It’s a masterclass on how to write a perfectly crafted, epic, a monumental song that will go down in history as one of the greats.


And that’s our ranking of Oasis B-sides better than the A-sides. What do you think? Did we get the order wrong? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out more of our Oasis articles HERE.

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Music News

9 Musicians Who Nearly Died On Stage

Aaron Phillips

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Dave Grohl Foo Fighters in plaster image
RCA

Going on stage in front of thousands of adoring fans doesn’t sound like it should come with a health warning. But there have been many instances of a musician who nearly died on stage. Here are nine that almost ended up as toast.

There are many jobs that should come with a health warning. Bomb disposal expert and skyscraper window cleaners come to mind. You would expect some elements of danger with those roles. But what about a musician?

1. James Hetfield – Metallica

Metallica have always put on hard-hitting shows, particularly frontman James Hetfield. Although he has entered rehab many times over the years, it was an on-stage incident that nearly caused his demise. During a 1992 show in Montreal, Hetfield walked into one of the many stage pyrotechnics that was going off. The mistake left him with second-and three-degree burns. Miraculously, he wasn’t seriously injured and was back on stage within a few weeks.

2. Wattie Buchan – The Exploited

Legendary Scottish punk band The Exploited are known for their hi-energy shows. Frontman Wattie Buchan is also one of the most vocal and antagonistic figures in punk. Not afraid to take potshots at fellow musicians and politicians, his persona is as famous as the band he fronts. It almost ended in 2014 when Wattie had a heart attack on-stage in Lisbon, Portugal. After surgery and a few months off, he was back writing with the band. A true punk hero.

3. Keith Moon – The Who

Although Keith Moon ultimately met his demise in 1978, he almost went to the band in the sky in 1973. The story goes that he took what he thought were tranquilisers backstage before a show in San Francisco. Unfortunately, it was PCP, which made Moon pass out on the drum kit. Twice. The crew couldn’t wake him after the second time, so he was rushed to the hospital to have his stomach pumped. It was good news for Scott Halpin, who was plucked from the crowd to take Moon’s place to finish the show. Lucky guy. As for Keith Moon, he managed to survive for another five years before an overdose finally killed him.

4. Dave Grohl – Foo Fighters

The Foo Fighters frontman has had quite a few slips and trips on stage over the years. One that went viral recently was when he ordered a beer from the stage, but slipped off on his way back, guitar in tow. One that could have been much worse happened back in 2015 at a show in Gothenburg, Sweden. The band were two songs into their set when Dave misjudged a ramp and fell from the stage into the security area. After going to the hospital to get bandaged up, he returned to the stage an hour later and finished the show. Albeit sat down with his leg in a cast. He even did the next few shows in a wheelchair. A true rock and roll legend.

5. Till Lindemann – Rammstein

If you’ve ever been to a Rammstein show, you will know that there is enough pyro to fuel a small country. It’s actually surprising that none of the band has met a fiery demise so far into their career. That’s not to say that there haven’t been some close calls. Frontman Till Lindemann is the force behind the band’s pyro effects. He’s actually a qualified pyrotechnician nowadays, but in the mid-90s it was trial and error. There were a couple of instances in those early days where he and several of the crew suffered burns from wayward pyro. And more recently he suffered a serious knee injury when keyboardist Flake crashed into him on stage with a Segway. He looks indestructible on stage, and past incidents prove as such.

6. Nick Lowe – Brinsley Schwarz

Singer-songwriter Nick Lowe actually did die in this incident. Albeit briefly. During a show in London’s Soho, Lowe went to pick up a microphone that was ungrounded. The following electric shock sent him flying across the stage into the amplifiers. The fact that the amps blocked the access to the power and the fact Lowe still had hold of the mic made it an impossible situation. It was his keyboardist who tried to kick the mic off but ended up kicking Nick in the ribs. According to medics, this restarted his heart, thus saving his life. He was taken to hospital but returned a few hours later; joining his bandmates in the bar. A typical British response to almost dying on stage.

7. Ariana Grande

There’s something magical about an artist appearing through the floor and on to the stage. Not quite so when something goes wrong though. During her 2015 Honeymoon tour, Grande rose on an elevator from under the stage. Unfortunately, a plank of wood snapped meaning she was trapped under the stage. Her guitarist helped her up through the gap, but it could have been much worse.

8. Chris Rea

The legendary musician actually collapsed on stage during a tour in 2017 and nearly died on stage. He had had a stroke the year earlier so wasn’t in the best of health. Fans were shocked to see him fall backwards mid-song and collapse on stage. He required hospital treatment but was soon back out again and touring. Apparently, it was due to the effects of his stroke and not any faulty equipment. Still, it could have turned out differently, and who would have driven us home for Christmas then?

9. Meat Loaf

Musician Meat Loaf has collapsed on stage a few times over the years and nearly died. More recently in 2016 during a show in Edmonton in the US, although that was put down to dehydration and exhaustion. It could have been a lot more serious in 2003 when he collapsed on stage during a show in London. He was rushed to hospital and ended up having a heart procedure but was given a clean bill of health not long after that. He’s still playing shows now which just goes to show you can’t keep a good man down.


That’s our list of nine musician and artists who nearly died on stage. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out five famous actors that were in bands HERE.

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