heard on the wire

Is this the blues I’m singing?

The Gallagher brothers have been responsible for so much ordinary music in the past 15 years or so that it’s easy to forget that for a brief, heady time, Oasis were the future of English rock ’n’ roll. Unfortunately that future was one of “more of the same” but for a brief period they bestrode the musical stratosphere.

That brief period was the week running up to christmas 1994, between the releases of the band’s first LP, the uneven but at times mightily impressive Definitely Maybe, and its more commercial and hugely successful sequel, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?.

On 18 December, the band released a quite brilliant single that in any sane world would have been Christmas number one a week later. But it’s not a sane world, so that “honour” went to East 17, though as far as I know theirs was an entirely original composition.

Noel Gallagher, on the other hand, had to cough up a portion of his songwriting royalties to Neil Innes who successfully sued Oasis for plagiarism of a melody he had composed in 1973, with the retrospectively ironic title of How Sweet to Be an Idiot.

But who cares, plagiarise away if this is the result. An awesome monster of a record — and the b-side’s not bad either.

Oasis :: Whatever

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Oasis :: (It’s Good) To be Free

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Incidentally the line “And I’ll sing the blues if I want” reminds me not of Neil Innes — not much chance of that, to be honest — but of an Ian McCulloch refrain.

Echo and the Bunnymen :: Rescue

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And since we’re singing the blues, here’s the full story.

Wah? :: The Story of the Blues

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