40 Days Of Rewind: Oasis – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (1995)

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On 2nd October 1995, Oasis released their second studio album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

The album’s arrangement and structure significantly differed from the previous record Definitely Maybe, focussing on more ballad-style song writing and stand-out choruses. The arrangement was advanced by the incorporation of string sections contrasting from the rawness of the debut album.

The record starts with a few seconds of ‘Wonderwall’ fading in before crossing into ‘Hello’; a much more upbeat and pop-influenced track than previous work from Definitely Maybe.

Second track ‘Roll With It’ was the second single to be taken from the album and reached number 2 on the UK singles chart. ‘Roll With It’ received much attention when Britpop rivals Blur’s management moved the release date of their single ‘Country House’ to clash with the release. This sparked “The Battle of Britpop” and Blur’s ‘Country House’ took the number 1 spot in the UK charts. The song was performed on a memorable episode of Top Of The Pops when Noel and Liam swapped places, miming each other’s parts, suggesting that people couldn’t tell them apart and TOTP performances were in fact pre-recorded.

Third album track ‘Wonderwall’ would become one of the bands most popular songs. The acoustic arrangement of the song provides a temporary slower tempo to the album. ‘Wonderwall’ reached the top 10 in 13 charts. The song has been covered by many notable artists including Ryan Adams and folk singer Cat Power.

Fourth track ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ is Oasis’ signature song. It was the first song by the band to feature Noel Gallagher taking up lead vocals, having given Liam the choice between the former and ‘Wonderwall’. It has been played at almost every live show from its release to the dissolution of the band and continues to be played by Noel as part of his solo career. The title is a reference to David Bowie’s 1979 song ‘Look Back In Anger’ as his work was highly influential on Oasis. The song was voted number 4 on the greatest British number 1 singles of all time and was the 10th biggest selling single of 1996.

The album is briefly broken up by electrified instrumental track ‘The Swamp Song Part 1’ before continuing into classic and iconic tracks such as ‘Some Might Say’ and ‘She’s Electric’. The latter is reminiscent to the quirky vocals of Definitely Maybe’s ‘Supersonic’: “She’s got a cousin; in fact she’s got about a dozen. She’s got one in the oven but it’s nothing to do with me”.

‘The Swamp Song Part 2’ precedes the soft closer ‘Champagne Supernova’. The builds up slowly, starting acoustically before the full band comes in halfway through and then drops down to an acoustic guitar and piano at the albums close. The track is another fan favourite having been played at nearly every live show until the band’s split. It was the last original song to be played before Noel’s sudden departure from the band. The song was only released as a single in Australia, USA, France and New Zealand but the song received much of its airplay due to its video.

The record propelled Oasis from an indie act to a worldwide phenomenon and the album was significant in the timeline of British indie music. The album sold a record-breaking 347,000 copies in its first week and spent 10 week at number one in the UK albums chart. Despite its popularity, it was initially criticised by music critics who deemed it inferior to Definitely Maybe in terms of its song writing and composition. Nevertheless it one Best British album at the 1996 Brit Awards and to date remains one of the greatest albums in rock music.

(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? was released on 2 October, 1995 via Creation Records.

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