Though both Noel and Liam Gallagher may have gone solo (to put it lightly), their work alongside bandmates in Oasis will always be remembered as their shining backstory.
The English rock band is known in most any circle of friends for their smash-hit gone punchline “Wonderwall.” The song’s infamy unintentionally made Oasis immortal as a millennial party-trope ultimately, but the discography of Oasis paints a much broader, stronger image of their legacy.
The root of the band’s breakup is a cocktail of sibling rivalry, disenchantment, and a collective musical taste evolution in society. Regardless of the inner-drama of a 90s rock icon, their seven albums have earned a place in the spotlight of an enamoured era and should, therefore, be saluted.
The debut album from the group named oasis revealed the strengths of each member as a conglomerate. If there’s one thing that’s agreed upon my Oasis fans and critics alike, it’s that frontman Liam Gallagher’s vocals were best in the beginning. The vocals are only a small aspect of a band as a whole, though, and on this album, they prove that they have the stuff of rock stars.
There’s both energy and synergy in their standout tracks, including “Whatever” and “Alcohol and Cigarettes.” Billboard even said that Oasis was “arguably never better” than it was in their debut album. The standout song was “Live Forever,” and we can’t deny the irony of this track title being a prophecy for this enduring album.
2. (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
The lasting impression of this album was made obvious as it earned bronze for all-time record sales in England, coming behind music deities The Beatles and Queen. (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? is particularly notable for two things: bad vocals by Liam and “Wonderwall.” There’s no escaping the omnipresence of Wonderwall, but there are other tracks on the album that make it one of the best in their catalogue. This album included “Roll With It” and “Champagne Supernova” which gives us the night and day of pop-ditties and drug-fueled power trips. The dynamics of Morning Glory make it well-loved even decades later, and a fitting follow-up to Definitely Maybe. Noel admits that the band lost their way after Morning Glory, yet they still pumped out plenty of music in the years to come.
3. Be Here Now
Be Here Now is the third in the sequence of the band’s album releases. This lineup underscores power the band had throughout the 90s. In 1997 when it was released, it was highly anticipated and heralded at the time. Retrospectively, people have changed their tune when talking about Be Here Now. It’s now marred by bad vibes that went into recording what ultimately sounds like a battle of the Gallagher siblings put to music, but, politics aside, it achieved what it set out to do. The high energy endures throughout, making it seem much less like chaos and much more like a party, particularly on “My Big Mouth.” This party-rocking, better-day making facade made it adored then and makes it last now.
4. Don’t Believe the Truth
The sixth studio album debuted in 2005 and rocketed listeners back to the Oasis glory days. It came after a few less-favoured works, and the BBC said that it was the moment the band “regained their sense of direction.” It serves as a passport to both early days of Oasis and the sounds of their influences.
Liam’s voice is back, and songs like “The Meaning of Soul” and is a toe-tapping, head-banging crossover. There’s something uncanny about some Oasis track titles and how they are prophetic of how the album will be received. Breaking into the ‘00s was a bumpy road for Oasis, but they were able to “Keep the Dream Alive” with this album.
5. Dig Out Your Soul
If the album art doesn’t give it away on its own, the 7th album from Oasis is laden with psychedelia. It’s been compared to the Beatles’own career trajectory; a departure from fan-girl pop and entrance to cosmic ponderance. What’s to like about the album is its don’t-give-a attitude, as they write in their lyrics themselves that they “Ain’t Got Nothin’” to lose anyway and have a message for critics: “(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady” and enjoy the ride.
6. Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
There’s no secret that Oasis built their repertoire from idyllic rock legends of yore. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants admits this metaphorically both in the title and in the tracklist. It’s their fourth studio album and one that Liam himself said he had no motivation to make. Fans can tell, and collectively abhor the vocals that ended up on the album. The collective feelings of a musical aversion seem apparent in tracks like “Fuckin’ In the Bushes.” The band didn’t love many of the tracks except “Go Let It Out,” and seem to address their tedium with songs like “Where Did It All Go Wrong?” It was hailed, then hated, but finds its place as an enduring visage of Oasis.
7. Heathen Chemistry
Heathen Chemistry is collectively the most-hated Oasis album. It’s the rotting olive branch between Liam and Noel soured even further when it was leaked on the internet prior to official release. The opening track, “The Hindu Times,” is overall upbeat but doesn’t quite get the chance to get off the ground. As a whole, the album follows suit. “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” is the light of the album, giving listeners a slight rib-nudge graced with a smile.
As for the seemingly prophetic track titles, this album’s may very well have been “Little By Little,” sung by Noel instead of Liam: “we gave you everything you ever dreamed of.” Heathen Chemistry proved that, somewhere along the way, Oasis became much more of a pop-group than rock prodigy.