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What’s The Story 25 Years Later. Still Morning Glory For Oasis?

Mike Peters

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Oasis what's the story morning glory image
Creation Records

Let me say right off the bat, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? is is a cultural landmark. Not because of what it is necessarily, but because of what it represents. Today the Oasis album celebrates 25 years.

Setting the scene

When it was released, it received some pretty sniffy reviews. All based on it’s perceived inferiority to the predecessor, Definitely Maybe. Critics complained of “banal lyrics” and the album being “generic classic rock”. Nonetheless, it marks a time of change in attitude here in the UK. Emerging from a period of economic recession and into a new era under New Labour. Premier League football was an exciting new ball game. Before it became the all-conquering financial juggernaut of today. Also, we were in thrall to some brilliant TV – Shooting Stars, Father Ted and The Fast Show to name a few.

It’s when the dominance of American rock bands was on the wane after the rawness & introspection of the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam & Soundgarden. So it reminds us here of a time of resurgence for British music, renewed and full of fun, attitude & innocence.

25 years ago Oasis were the standard-bearers for a lot of that fun, attitude & innocence. Without question, they were a conduit for people to rediscover some of the great British bands of the 60’s, which is no bad thing.

The Gallagher brothers overtly oozed bravado & attitude in a way none of their contemporaries did. The likes of Jarvis Cocker & Brett Anderson wore their coolness in a more understated way. Most importantly, Noel had the ability to write some fantastic pop songs.

Cultural impact

To me, Oasis are so special that the day ‘Be Here Now’ came out was also the day of my school results. I was more concerned with getting to the shop that morning to buy the new album than I was about getting to school to get my grades.

25 years ago the Oasis classic (What’s The Story) Morning Glory was the first album I learnt word for word. It was because of the entire Britpop scene and BBC Radio playing Oasis, Blur, Pulp et al every morning, that I decided that my career of choice was in radio. 25 years on, having spent the vast majority of that period as a professional radio presenter & DJ, I still love it.

But, has the intervening 25 years changed our perspective of the songs on the album. Let’s revisit and rank them to see which ones truly provide the ‘Glory’ in 2020?

11. Hey Now

Probably the only song on the album that you could genuinely argue is filler.

Hey Now is a plodding, MOR tune. It’s overly long at nearly 6 minutes which is a sign of things to come on the much maligned (unfairly in my opinion) Be Here Now. And more so what is undoubtedly the low point of Oasis’ canon, Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants.

It’s not a bad song by any means but is nowhere near the quality of the rest of the album.

10. Swamp Song

This is only at No.10 because they didn’t put the whole song on the album. In fact, it’s not even named on the sleeve.

The full version was only deemed good enough for the magnificent collection of B-Sides that was The Masterplan. It also featured on the Wonderwall single.

If the full version had been included, this would definitely have been one of the best tracks on the album.

It’s synonymous with the iconic gigs at Manchester City’s Maine Road in April 1996, with the new Kippax stand looming over a band at the peak of their powers.

These concerts were documented in the ‘There & Then’ concert video. It included a live version of The Swamp Song, that they opened with each night, on the accompanying CD.

The Swamp Song is also something that Blur & Oasis have in common as Blur released a song with the same name on ‘13’.

9. Hello

This is a really strong album opener. But the mists of time have made the use of a Gary Glitter sample highly unfortunate. The connotations of that refrain are deeply uncomfortable, which undercuts what is a great marker to indicate how good the rest of the album is. I’m sure that in the much-desired event of an Oasis reunion that the lyrics for this would sit atop The Swamp Song beautifully if they chose to include it in their set.

8. Roll With It

Enshrined in pop music folklore as the song that went toe-to-toe with Blur’s ‘Country House’ in the UK, and lost. In the Teutonic battle to be Britpop’s supposed kings by getting to No.1 in August of 1995, but other than that, what is memorable about Roll With It? Not a lot really.

Noel Gallagher himself even said the song was “sh*t” in an interview with Dermot O’Leary last year. It’s not a song that’s aged well, and after the initial riff, it kind of bumbles along.

Looking back on that battle for the chart top spot now, it’s pretty easy to see why Blur won it. Not least because of the superior video, which featured a Shooting Stars-era Matt Lucas & Keith Allen, amongst others. That said, Blur may have won the battle but, by their own admission, lost the Britpop war to the bolshy Mancunians.

7. Don’t Look Back in Anger

I know this is won’t be popular but Don’t Look Back In Anger is a blatant pastiche of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.

By the standard of the rest of Noel Gallagher’s songwriting canon, there are many songs that are far better musically than this one.

Don’t misunderstand, I love singing along to this as much as anyone. I’ve lost count of the number of DJ gigs I’ve finished by playing this. But it’s now so firmly established as almost the default Oasis song to play, it almost borders on cliche. In short, overkill & overuse has ruined this song after 25 years.

6. Morning Glory

The start of the final 3-song salvo of the album, as it flows into the reprise of The Swamp Song & on into Champagne Supernova.

Those last 3 songs complement each other beautifully and the title track stands alone. Just as Oasis letting rip in a way they didn’t really do elsewhere on the album.

Thanks to some class guitar work from Bonehead and some thunderous drumming from the then newly hired Alan White. This is Oasis at one of their more visceral moments. Producer Owen Morris helped the elements meld together to create an absolute belter of a tune.

5. She’s Electric

It’s a guitar-pop classic, an unashamedly catchy & uplifting tune that, despite only being an album track in the UK, it’s an Oasis song I can comfortably play at gigs without any risk of quizzical looks from punters asking “What the hell is this?”. In fact, you can almost see the relief on their faces when I don’t pay Wonderwall or Don’t Look Back In Anger.

4. Some Might Say

The bridge between ‘Definitely Maybe’ and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory. It’s the only track on the album that original drummer Tony McCaroll played on.

It’s the song that retains the raw energy of Oasis’ debut album, yet shows the development of Noel’s songwriting.

It was their first UK No.1 single, and if you bought the single, you were also treated to two outstanding B-sides in Acquiesce & Talk Tonight. It was a sign of the chart dominance of Oasis that was to come over the next couple of years.

3. Cast No Shadow

Oasis, unlike some of their contemporaries such as Manic Street Preachers, weren’t generally known for their lyrical depth. There were some notable exceptions in the back catalogue. Look at Live Forever, Whatever, Talk Tonight & Champagne Supernova for example.

Cast No Shadow was a heartfelt love letter to The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft. The man who, for a while at least, took on the mantle of Britpop’s standard-bearer when ‘Urban Hymns’ was released to such rightful acclaim in 1997.

25 years on, this song not only holds up from the time, but has actually improved with age, and is one of the best songs Oasis ever produced.

2. Wonderwall

Quite simply, an era-defining song. An absolutely monstrous anthem for anyone under the age of 50.

Wonderwall is one of the great anomalies of UK chart history that it was held off the No.1 spot by Robson & Jerome, remember them? Jerome played Bronn in Game of Thrones if that helps.

Even if you hate Oasis, you have to respect this song as a timeless classic, and it is their biggest selling single in the UK, clocking up over 1.3million sales. Even Alex James of Oasis arch-rivals Blur has admitted that he wished that he’d wrote it.

You may not have realised it yet, but you do know all the words to this as somewhere deep within your psyche they’re lying, possibly dormant. You may never have sung it before but, maybe, today is gonna be the day…

1. Champagne Supernova

They saved the best for last.

A sprawling, uplifting, majestic, 7 and a half minute epic. Not only the best song on WTSMG, but it’s also a perfect crescendo to the high-watermark of Oasis’s career.

It’s so iconic, that Noel named his London home, Supernova Heights after it. Its a song at home being played to 60,000 people in a stadium. But also at sunset on a beach. Or sitting on your own in a moment of introspection. It’ll still send a tingle down your spine and make you look at the song in a different way, no matter how many times you’ve heard it. That is the mark of a truly great track.

Revisionists might well argue that (What’s The Story) Morning Glory isn’t the best album of the 90’s, and with some justification. There’s no taking away from the fact that it was the biggest selling album of the decade. It has now sold 5 million copies in the UK, and 22 million worldwide.

(What’s The Story) Morning Glory is the emblem of the last great musical movement the UK produced that genuinely affected the culture and the mood of the nation. But 25 years on from this Oasis banger you can clearly hear a band at their absolute peak, heading towards their iconic Knebworth gigs the following year.

This Story was Glory-ous.


And that’s our ranking of songs from (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis after 25 years as a retrospective. What do you think? Did we get the order wrong? Let us know in the comments below.


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Movie News

The Seven Most Metal Movie Soundtracks

Aaron Phillips

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The Crow soundtrack image
Miramax

A great movie is a great movie. But metal soundtracks with a great movie takes it to another level. There have been a few movies with metal soundtracks over the years, but some are edgier than others.

I’m not talking about the ones that titter around the edges with dad rock like the Stereophonics, but full-on-horns-in-the-air metal.

Here are seven of the most metal movie soundtracks.

7. The Matrix (1999)

Science fiction and horror films do lend themselves to metal soundtracks, and the Matrix was no different. The Wachowski’s reality bender was ground-breaking in its content, but the music that accompanied it was just as memorable. It had a cracking soundtrack. It included tracks from Rammstein; Marilyn Manson; Deftones and those mad industrialists Ministry. And who can forget Rage Against the Machine kicking into Wake Up as the end credits roll? The follow-up film The Matrix Reloaded also had a great rock/electronica soundtrack, but the original had the darkest metal anthems.

6. The Crow (1994)

Released in 1994, The Crow was another cult movie. It’s remembered, rather tragically, for the accidental death onset of the lead actor Brandon Lee. The film itself is a dark masterpiece. The music from the film also lends itself to the darker recesses of music. The soundtrack is one of the heaviest ever released. Pantera; Nine Inch Nails; Rage Against the Machine and Helmet all lend enormous monoliths of metal to the album. It’s no coincidence that the soundtrack is so good, especially as the film revolves around a singer brought back from the dead. The brooding atmosphere through this film seeps onto the soundtrack but with added metal that’s heavier than an anvil. Definitely, one to listen to with the lights out.

5. Resident Evil (2002)

If there was one film that was made purely for a metal soundtrack, then it has to be Resident Evil. Nothing screams metal than blowing up zombies and monsters. Although there are many video games and movies to choose from, the first film from 2002 had a stunningly macabre soundtrack. Songs like My Plague by Slipknot fit like a glove. There is an industrial theme to the soundtrack. Bands like Coal Chamber, Static-X and Fear Factory offer up slabs of face-slamming metal. Marilyn Manson features heavily on the album (as he seems to on a lot of these), but there are a few lesser knows acts as well. Songs from Adema and Five Pointe O bring some extra brutality to proceedings but do not seem out of place. If you feel the need to go and shoot up some zombies, this is the soundtrack that you need.

4. Halloween (2007)

Let’s face it, a film written and directed by Rob Zombie is going to have a killer soundtrack. This remake of John Carpenter’s classic is a pretty decent effort, which can’t be said of all remakes. Zombie is also clever about who he puts in charge of the soundtrack. Tyler Bates is the man tasked with the job. As well as being the lead guitarist in Marylin Manson’s band, he’s also written scores for a plethora of films. One of the cool things he does is rewrite the original Halloween music slightly off-key. It works, and it does a great job of upping the creepy factor.

There is a host of excellent bands that offer monster tracks. Plus. there are songs from The Misfits, Alice Cooper, KISS and Nazareth. There is even a live version of Iggy Pop performing the Stooges ‘1969’. Halloween is a slasher masterpiece, and the soundtrack is all that you would expect, and more.

3. Queen of the Damned (2002)

Released in 2002, this vampire queen movie is tinged with tragedy. This is because Aaliyah who played the lead role was killed in a plane crash not long after the film was finished. She did a fantastic job of playing the vampire queen, with the film itself a classic in the genre. A lot of horror movies that were made around the early 2000s had similar music. This one features music from bands such as The Deftones, Disturbed, Marylin Manson and Papa Roach. Jonathan Davis from Korn was also in charge of producing all the music for the album, and it shows. It’s hard-hitting stuff that’s reflective of the nu-metal/industrial sound that was prevalent early in the decade. The perfect aperitif to the main course of bloodsucking.

2. Deathgasm (2015)

You would be forgiven for having no idea what this movie is, and that’s ok. It was made for a pretty niche audience. And by niche, I mean metal comedy horror. Made by New Zealand director Jason Lei Howden, this splatter-fest is full of metal anthems. In fact, the premise is around a guy who inadvertently summons evil by his guitar riffs. That may sound silly, and it is. But the whole thing is done very well, which allows for some pretty fantastic metal to feature throughout the film. Bands like Axeslasher, Skull Fist and Emperor all make an appearance. Raise those horns and grab a beer, as in you’re in for one hell of a ride.

1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

This remake of a cult classic is as good if not better than the original film. This has to do with the better effects and atmosphere, but it also has something to do with the killer soundtrack that is on offer. Pantera, Meshuggah and Hatebreed all bring their A-game, as do the brilliant Lamb of God. Having some dreamy pop play whilst Leatherface wields his chainsaw around doesn’t have the same effect as some pounding metal.

Composer Steve Jablonsky also does a sterling job of creating some of the creepiest music ever to feature in film. His theme to the movie actually makes your skin crawl. It’s interesting to note that the original film featured local Texan bands. Although they are missing from this soundtrack, there is no denying the metal power that is on show.


And that’s our list of the seven most Metal movie soundtracks. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.


Read about movie soundtracks better than the films HERE.

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