The most popular Britpop band and one whose legacy the subsequent band's spinoffs will always find hard to emulate. Utter hummability and melody were the hallmarks of Oasis’ music. Noel Gallagher was one of the finest songwriters of his generation, and his brother Liam delivered his music with an arrogant sneer that would become trademark.
Along the way, they threw up many surprises – but eventually the falling out between the Gallagher brothers led to the breaking up of the band. Nevertheless, they have left us with a considerable body of work to enjoy. Here’s my top 20.
20. Fade In Out
This song is awesome - if not for anything else, Johnny Depp played the slide guitar on it. Yes, Johnny Depp. Also, if the song sounds a little like Bon Jovi's Dead Or Alive - don't bum yourself out too much. Noel Gallagher might be a fantastic songwriter, but he tends to get a tad, um, overinspired. It's one of Oasis' heaviest tracks.
19. The Swamp Song
Oasis isn't known for instrumentals, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that not too many people know of this. It's more like a warm-up jam, though. But I like this because it's rare to hear the harmonica in proper rock 'n' roll.
18. Stand By Me
I'd say this is a typical Oasis song - very melodic, Liam singing like only he can, Noel trying a little guitar intro. It seems to be about commitment phobia. And a pretty cool video, too.
17. The Importance Of Being Idle
A spectacular song that is dark and has some of the best lyrics Noel has written. After While My Guitar Gently Weeps, this is my favourite song title. Noel wrote this song about how lazy he can be. The video is dark and funny all at once. An absolutely brilliant track.
16. Turn Up The Sun
A great start to the Don't Believe The Truth album. Moodier than most Oasis songs, it's also written by bassist Andy Bell (most of Oasis' songs are written by Noel). And just have a look at this video if you have any doubts as to what rockstars these people are!
15. I Can See It Now!!
A very nice filler song this - mostly instrumental. Soothing and fun. It's sort of an upbeat version of The Beatles' Flying.
14. The Masterplan
While Noel is capable of writing lyrics that make no sense, he sometimes puts out absolute poetry. What a picture he paints here! This is another awesome video by Oasis. By the way, Noel sings this song, and you can see the cartoon Liam in the song sitting by the amps playing his tambourine!
13. Champagne Supernova
Ah, the one that everyone loves. It's one of those songs where it would seem Noel came up with an awesome-sounding title and just put together words to fit it. That very well might be the scene, he's said the song means nothing. People can speculate, but I prefer to focus on the music itself - there is some lovely soundscape here and that tone on his guitar is perfect.
12. Don't Look Back In Anger
Liam has one heck of a voice - ranging from absolute swagger to heart-rending pleading. Oh, and that piano at the beginning! In the video, Andy White drumming atop a float on a pool has got to be the coolest thing Oasis has ever done (not counting the time Liam threw an award into the crowd after not thanking Noel). There's a pretty neat explanation of the song here, if you care for such things.
11. Gas Panic!
This is a bit of a surprise song. I love that brooding start with the acoustic and the way Liam sings (it might just be my favourite performance of his) and the atmosphere as Oasis channels their inner Floyd. This is about panic attacks, don't let Liam's peppy voice fool ya - this has some pretty scary lyrics. Fabulous track, one you might have not heard about.
10. Stop Crying Your Heart Out
Pretty straightforward as far as lyrics go - it's constructed beautifully by that genius Noel and delivered magnificently by Liam. The piano and guitars are perfect here, especially those few notes after the chorus. One for the pick-me-up drawer.
09. Morning Glory
It's just their most upbeat-sounding song. I love Paul McGuigan's basswork here. Oasis just in the middle of their best ever album at the height of their powers.
This is the first track off the aforestated best album. This is the acoustic version of that, and it was the first time I'd ever heard Oasis. I fell in love with it, and the band - it helped that they followed this up on that performance with #5 on this list. A 15-year old me was transformed. While Liam sings the studio version, Noel sings the acoustic version, after saying "So Liam ain't gonna be with us tonight, 'cause he's got a sore throat, so you're stuck with the ugly four."
07. Where Did It All Go Wrong?
Oh man, what a track. I love Liam singing, but there's something that happens when Noel takes the mic! This song title is a reference to something a hotel manager asked a wastged George Best - and a bit of a reference to Noel's own struggles with cocaine. It features some magnificent lyrics, such as "Do you keep the receipts, for the friends that you buy?" Superb.
Yes, the song that's the staple of guitar novices in engineering colleges around the country. It's definitely a love song, and I'm pretty sure Noel's got sick and tired of it. That being said, it's a beautifully simple track to sing and play on an acoustic guitar. The basswork on this song is excellent and underrated.
05. Some Might Say
I think that intro is their best ever, and Liam's singing is top-notch. Some nonsense lyrics (The sink is full of fishes / She's got dirty dishes on the brain) but then, some lovely ones like "Some might say they don't believe in heaven / Go and tell it to the man who lives in hell". Extremely fun to play on the electric guitar, too.
Ah, you just know this is gonna be a kickass track. Those drum intros, the guitar pick scraping the string, that reverb-laden arpeggio - it's all there. It's the type of song you'd enjoy most singing in an audience at a concert. Noel's guitar work is mighty fine here, especially those licks during the chorus.
And the video? Simple - but what you can clearly see - first album, but already acting like rockstars. That these guys were.
03. I'm Outta Time
The last great song they had - it has all the elements of a great Oasis song - Broody intro with arpeggio, great singing, simple chords, Oasisesque lines like "gotta keep on keepin' on" and terrific Noel-crafted melody. One of my favourite Oasis choruses. Also, a John Lennon interview snippet at the end.
02. Slide Away
Terrific from the word go! Drums, bass, guitars and Liam are all perfect here. Great melody, and sung beautifully. He's not a technically brilliant vocalist but has that rawness that somehow makes him sound more sincere. Great song. "Now that you're mine, we'll find a way for chasing the sun"
01. D'you Know What I Mean?
My favourite ever Oasis track! I love everything about this - the slow buildup, the way he sings and that it might be about Oasis telling the Beatles they're the big boys now. One of Noel's greatest gifts is managing to make the right lyrics fit into the right syllables. Like: "I ain't good-looking,but I'm someone's child / No-one can give me the air that's mine to breathe". It just sounds so good, rolling off the tongue.
Oh, and if you noticed - it has the very same chords as Wonderwall ;)
So there you go.
This list is unlikely to change since they've broken up now thanks to the siblings quarreling - but at least we have some kickass tracks like these to remember.