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 Iconic Jerry Goldsmith Film Scores
Jerry Goldsmith may be a name that is not known to you, but some of the music scores he’s created will be etched into your psyche.
The late composer created some of the most iconic film scores from the past forty years. Here are nine of the best.
1. Planet of The Apes (1968)
The first film in the Planet of the Apes franchise was a trailblazer for many reasons. Not only was the story innovative and philosophical, but it also received praise for its special effects. Another thing that made the film so special, was the musical score. Goldsmith had been writing scores for a while, but this was the one that truly put him on the map. He moved away from traditional melodies and experimented with horns, bowls, and strings. The result was a brooding avant-garde tsunami that hits you, wave after wave. Genius.
2. The Omen (1976)
This horror classic has one of the creepiest soundtracks of all time. The subject matter of the child anti-Christ obviously helps. The score for the film was the benchmark for horror that influenced a slew of films in its wake. Goldsmith employed some frankly terrifying Gregorian chants to make the horror more effective. He also combined the chants with some spine-tingling strings and piano. It all works and makes the hairs on your neck stand up when you hear it. This is one of Goldsmith’s most terrifying, yet brilliant works. He even won an Oscar for it.
3. Poltergeist (1982)
Ignore the terrible remake from a few years ago, the original Poltergeist movie was brilliant. What helped make it brilliant is the score that Goldsmith implemented. It’s a far cry from the creepy atmosphere of The Omen, but more of an unsettling lullaby. On first listen it seems like an uplifting piece of music, but after a while, you realise it’s the opposite. Goldsmith wanted to use the family dynamic as the focus of the music, exploring all the layers. The result is a surprising score that earned him an Oscar nomination, although he didn’t win that one.
4. Alien (1979)
Jerry Goldsmith’s score is almost as famous as Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic itself. It wasn’t all plain sailing though. His final score was cut to bits by Scott and the production team, although the full masterpiece is available now. What he achieves here is the coldness and terror of space, and what lies within it. It’s laden with atmosphere that takes you on a journey that touches all the emotions. There is a smorgasbord of instruments used within the score, but there is one that really stands out. The trumpet solos. They are used to great effect, and you can feel the Xenomorph creeping up behind you.
5. Gremlins (1984)
Arguably one of the greatest movies from the 1980s, Gremlins throws together a collection of genres. You’ve got comedy; horror; slapstick; gore and drama all in one. In keeping with that theme, Jerry Goldsmith created the film’s score to mirror that. In fact, it’s so gloriously over-the-top it wouldn’t be out of place in a funfair. The synth is beautifully erratic. It perfectly emulates the chaotic yet lovable rogue elements of the Gremlins themselves. It’s often thought that comedy scores should not be silly, but this preconception is thrown out of the water. Sit back and enjoy the madness.
6. Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
Whereas the first Rambo film had a slight intelligent edge to the violence, Rambo II is an unashamedly hammy shoot-‘em-up. Keeping in theme with the film, Goldsmith manages to keep the score suitably exciting. Using his use of electronics to embellish the strings and horns, it makes for a big, brash, and thoroughly enjoyable listen. He manages to capture the exact feel of the film in his music. That’s no mean feat, and he does it to perfection.
7. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
The first of the Star Trek movies kickstarted a film franchise that’s still going to this day. The music of Trek is in my humble opinion, as important as the moral and optimistic themes of the stories. This is purely down to the genius of Jerry Goldsmith. Although visually superb, the film is a bit of a damp squib. The soundtrack, however, is not. It defines what Star Trek is about. The music takes you on a journey through space and exploration. There are mostly brass instruments that make up the score, and it builds to a crescendo that propels straight to the captain’s chair. The score was that good that it was used as the theme to TNG. This is some of Goldsmith’s finest work that defines Star Trek.
8. Basic Instinct (1992)
This Paul Verhoeven naughty thriller is iconic for many reasons. One of them perhaps more famous than others (ahem). Crossed legs aside, the movie itself is probably more famous for that scene than anything else. The musical score though is rather special. Goldsmith himself admitted this was one of his toughest ones to write. He pulled it off though. The music manages to capture Sharon Stone’s character perfectly. The charming beauty with a malevolent underbelly is clear to hear. He handles the contradictions with absolute aplomb and delivers a simply superb musical score.
9. The Mummy (1999)
This action romp may have had some questionable special effects, but the film score was some of Jerry Goldsmith’s finest work. Created towards the end of his career, it’s the last of the great film scores. It has everything from thunderous action and creepy horror. There are even some feel-good romantic elements. It takes you on a roller coaster of emotions but leaves you feeling fully enthralled. Even into his seventies, Jerry Goldsmith created some of his best work. A true icon and legend of film composition.
That’s our list of nine iconic Jerry Goldsmith film scores, did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out nine movie soundtracks better than the films HERE.
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