Released on 21 August 1997 this album went on to be the fastest selling album in British history. Oasis were one of [if not the] biggest band on the planet. The UK was changing in a positive direction with Tony Blair’s New Labour winning over the Conservative government for the first time in nearly 20 years. Oasis had played Knebworth the year before to over 900 people and the demand and hype surrounding Be Here Now was a monster. The first single taken from their third album was ‘D’You Know What I Mean?‘ and was a number one smash. The band were now in such a lucrative position they could even have helicopters in the music video, and one of them was rumoured to have been the stunt helicopter in the ’80’s TV show Airwolf.
A few weeks later, though, after the dust had settled and the liner notes placed back into the cases, the backlash happened. It turns out that some of the fans were not too happy that nine of the tracks on the album were over five English minutes long. Critics were now backtracking on their original positive reviews and were seen to be talking behind the band’s backs and saying that they sounded liked a bloody prog- Status Quo and that they had lost their musical heritage. Utter nonsense; as over the last twenty years the real Oasis fans know the truth. That truth is that Be Here Now is the band’s finest hour -or 69 minutes and 29 seconds to be exact. This album kicks their debut into touch and here are ten reasons why.
1. Their best ever single -‘Stand By Me.’
Some might say that this is Oasis’ best single and it is a shame that the X Factor and The Voice don’t force their contestants to sing this scorcher of the single. A fantastic video to boot that I would personally watch over BBC One’s long-time emergency drama Casualty anytime.
2. The best live track ever – ‘My Big Mouth.’
Knebworth has gone down in history as the Woodstock for the Brit-pop era. It was one hell of a show only ruined by the fact that they didn’t have a lot of food for vegans and there was no wi-fi. This has to be a definitive track from that show, the song that everyone who attended just couldn’t stop whistling on their way home.
3. The best guitar solo ever – ‘Magic Pie’
Noel has ripped his hands through a few guitar solo’s in his time: ‘Champagne Supernova‘, ‘Live Forever’ and ‘Half The World Away‘. He saved all of his powers for this humdinger and at four minutes and 33 seconds you can hear a solo that is up there with anything from that year including Silver Sun.
4. A Hollywood pirate on guitar – ‘Fade In Out.’
When you are making your finest album, you need to work with some of the greatest players and creative people in the world. Sadly Keanu Reeves was not available to add some bass guitar as he was filming A Perfect Murder. Luckily Johnny Depp could lend a hand with some slide-guitar for this track and elevated the song to glory. Just sad that due to Depp’s schedule he could not tour with Oasis and the record was not the same live. ‘Fade In Out’ also has one of the only screams in the band’s history, and I for one like to look into a mirror and put on some after shave and imagine I am Liam Gallagher having a scream in the studio like the kid from Home Alone.
5. Most underrated song ever – ‘Girl In The Dirty Shirt.’
Mention the ‘Girl In The Dirty Shirt’ into a general musical conversation, and you will be surprised with the amount eyebrows raised. The band didn’t tend to play this live, and the song has slipped into the shadows. Maybe due to its Blur-esque piano motif or for the potty language, but FSAyfkm on YouTube says it is “THE MOST MOTHERF*CKING UNDERRATED SONG EVER.” and 48 people liked that, which is all the evidence I need.
6. The song that influenced the most important modern guitar band Kasabian – ‘D’You Know What I Mean.’
The spelling may have gone a bit Slade, but this is the moment when the band reached the top of the mountain. Just watch the video and hear it from the horse’s mouth. This helped create Kasabian, and we must all bow down to that.
7. Those B-Sides – ‘Stay Young’
Noel Gallagher just had a knack for leaving some of his best tunes off the records, and this could be their best ever B-side since ‘Rockin’ Chair’. Though as this is included in the deluxe version of the album, it is yet another reason why this is Oasis’s best work. ‘Stay Young’ went on to feature in the film The Faculty with Elijah Wood. Now did Dodgy have any B- sides in a film made all the way in America? No, they did not.
8. The saddest song recorded – ‘Don’t Go Away.’
Oasis has recorded many emotional songs: ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger‘, ‘Little James’ and ‘Cigarettes n Alcohol’ (as addiction is a very frightening disease), but ‘Don’t Go Away’ has to be their most saddening song. Liam Gallagher claims to have cried while recording its breathtaking vocal “I just thought ‘fuck that, I can’t be singing this song’ and I had to go away and sort myself out”. Don’t worry Liam; we feel your pain. The video’s umbrella theme is symbolising all the world’s tears from hearing this incredible track.
9.When Oasis take on the Beatles and win – ‘All Around The World’
The Beatles are known for being a rather good beat combo from Liverpool who had some pretty decent tunes. But thank God for Oasis, they had the balls to take what Ringo and the boys had been trying to do for most of the late sixties and bring it to new a new level. ‘All Around The World’ takes the Beatles’ best hits ‘Hey Jude‘, ‘All We Need Is Love‘ and all of Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band and turns it into one awesome track. And with a running time of over seven minutes long for single (the album is nine and a half minutes) that is incredible value for money, some Beatles singles only lasted a couple of minutes.
10. Reprise – ‘All Around The World ( Reprise)’
They just keep on giving. Some may say that during the nine and a half minutes of ‘All Around The World’ they had pretty much done all they needed to do. No, Oasis knew we needed to hear more, and with this reprise, we got to listen to some more horns, piano and guitar feedback. Thank you, guys . Thank you.
Hopefully, after this article, any of the silly people who still bark on about how great their debut album Definitely Maybe is will re-evaluate their opinion and realise that this was the album where they gave us what we wanted. Longer songs, bigger choruses and more creativity and vigour, this was their moment to shine! And shine they must certainly did!