It’s funny to think that it’s nearly 20 years since one of the greatest albums of all time was released on October 2 1995. This album paved the way for many bands to form and a lot of great music to be produced. Now, as many of you may know, the band that I am talking about are one of my favourite bands of all time and so I guess you could say that this column may be a little prejudiced. However, I am talking about the Brit-pop hit machine that is Oasis. Following on from their debut record Definitely Maybe from 1994, which made the world stand up and take notice, What’s The Story definitely cemented them as worldwide rock gods.
As you can probably see from a quick Google, following on from the early Brit-pop years of The Stone Roses and Blur, this album it is still lauded as a masterpiece. For the calendar year ending in 1996, the album went to #1 in nine countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. In a day and age where CD was just coming into play and vinyl to a certain extent still ruled the world, this was an album that you had to listen to from start to finish. It didn’t really matter however, because Noel Gallagher is an absolute god and this record also proved that fact. With tracks like ‘Roll With It’, ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, ‘Some Might Say’ and the all-conquering ‘Wonderwall’, why would you want to skip the 50 minutes of epic.
Touring all around the world on an extensive 12 leg 103 date tour, it’s quite funny to think that the band skipped Australia. In the grand scheme of things, I was four years old and my parents didn’t really care for Brit-pop (still don’t) yet the band neglected to come across to see their adoring fans in Aus. When they played a week in Japan, and then went back to play in the UK, when they were so close, it just doesn’t seem to make sense. From the opening bars of ‘Hello’ to the epic guitar-off showdown at the end of ‘Champagne Supernova’, this album is true class.
Reading some of the reviews that came out during the time, it seems quite funny that the album has lasted the legacy of 20 years. Coming from an album that had all the makings of an indie classic, the press slandered this album saying that it lacked the energy and intensity of Definitely Maybe. Yet, when you sit down and simply think about the album as a whole and the progression of the songs, you maybe could say that this album is in fact BETTER than DM.
The best selling album of the 1990s, this album is the true statement in a golden age of Brit-pop which saw bands like Pulp and Blur both release cracker albums as well. The true statement of how good this record came at the 2010 Brit Awards when (What’s The Story) Morning Glory picked up the accolade of the best album since 1980. In a history of 30 years celebrating the best in music, could there be a better tip of the hat?
The awesome thing about this record, is that although it’s been remastered and special editions printed in the years following, there are still imperfections that make this just brilliant. It may not be 100% perfect (ie. the cough at the end of ‘Roll With It’ and the start of ‘Wonderwall’) but the songwriting is just magical.
In April next year, Noel Gallagher is headed our way to play at Bluesfest and whilst we may never see an Oasis reunion anytime soon, constant bickering between Liam and Noel could suggest just maybe…? We are able to see Mr Oasis up on stage with his High Flying Birds. At least if they never reform, you will be able to belt out ‘Wonderwall’ with five thousand of your closest mates.
Written by Tex Miller