The Gallaghers’ most iconic lines exposed and explored…
10 ‘Some Might Say’
“Some might say they don’t believe in heaven, go and tell that to the man who lives in hell.”
Their first number 1 smash and the last song Tony McCarroll ever drummed on is a lyrical highlight, inspired by Noel’s move from Manchester to the Big Smoke. Albeit typically mad in moments (“The sink is full of sihes/Cos she’s got dirty dishes on the brain”), it’s about hedonism and rock’n’roll and not giving a shit what anybody else thinks.
9 ‘Rock N Roll Star’
“I live my life for the stars that shine, people say it’s just a waste of time… In my mind my dreams are real/Tonight I’m a rock’n’roll star.”
This may as well be Liam Gallagher’s theme tune. It opened ‘Definitely, Maybe’, and is the best entry point for the beginning of the whole Oasis story because it was the song that secured their relationship with producer Owen Morris. “I live my life in the city, and there’s no easy way out/The days moving just too fast for me” precedes a chorus about the eventual escapism of the weekend when you can be whoever you wanna be.
8 ‘Champagne Supernova’
“Slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball.”
As psychedlic as Oasis could be, a song about being “in a champagne supernova in the sky” closed out their second album with its swirling tidal waves and endless guitar solos. This particular line, according to Noel, is about a children’s TV character who took ages to walk down the hall – ‘hall’ being the only word he could think of to rhyme with ‘cannonball’.
“I know a girl called Elsa, she’s into Alka Seltzer/She sniffs it through a cane on a supersonic train.”
“I need to be myself, I can’t be no one else,” so the first single of Oasis’ career began. Noel wrote the lyrics after a drink. He didn’t want beer (too heavy) or whiskey (headache-inducing), so he went to the off-license and bought gin and tonic for the studio. While he was writing the words, the studio dog Elsa farted and jumped off a stained couch. Bonehead cracked a joke about the dog’s incontinence and Noel incorporated it into the song. And the rest is history.
5 ‘Live Forever’
“I think you’re the same as me, we see things they’ll never see.”
A Peter Pan theme tune for a misunderstood generation who wanted to remain young and reckless for all time (see also: the “D’You Know What I Mean’ b-side ‘Stay Young’ featuring the chorus: “Hey! Stay young, and invincible cos we know just what we are.”). Unifying this generation with a rousing sense of togetherness, idealism, hedonism and vitality was Liam’s powerful snarl. Nobody in the world could deliver this line quite like him.
4 ‘Morning Glory’
“All your dreams are made, when you’re chained to the mirror and the razorblade.”
Originally there were two works-in-process titled ‘Blue’ and ‘The Mirror And The Razorblade’, which would later be amalgamated to become the title song of Oasis’s second album. Noel has previously stated that the song is about taking drugs with your friends, solving all the world’s problems, then waking up the next day with a massive hangover. The music video was made by legendary director Ridley Scott’s son Jake. Noel suggested the Foo Fighters ripped off the concept when they filmed ‘Monkey Wrench’.
3 ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’
“Stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face/You ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out.”
As with many Oasis ideas, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ borrowed from The Beatles. Noel Gallagher bought a cassette on a trip to America that featured John Lennon’s memoirs, where his idol was talking about starting a revolution from his bed. Noel took lead vocals having told Liam that he had the choice of whether he could sing ‘Wonderwall’ or this. Liam chose the former. Rumour has it there are versions with Liam’s vocals, but only Noel would know whether they actually exist.
2 ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’
“Comin in a mess, going out in style, I ain’t good looking but I’m someone’s child.”
It was the first taster for their third album ‘Be Here Now’ and immediately announced a band who’d swallowed their own schtick and largely disappeared up their arses. Which let’s face it was inevitable given the success of the previous two records. They were a bunch of chancers from Manchester who now found themselves in possession of everything they ever dreamed of. Cue a very, very elaborate concept for a music video where the band enter via helicopter. Style, indeed.
1 ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’
“Is it my imagination or have I finally found something worth living for/I was looking for some action, but all I found was cigarettes and alcohol.”
A clarion call in 1994 to all the disaffected youth from cities outside of London who were fed up, overworked, underpaid and living for the weekend.