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.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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