Chiefs Culture Challenge: Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory

Hello all, Jason here.  We are just about two months away from first pitch on April 5th between the Chiefs and Rochester Red Wings.  Follow us on Twitter @ChiefsRadio for news on the roster as spring training begins….but for now….

For those of you joining the Culture Challenge in progress, each week either me or Kevin selects something for the other to try.  Music, movies, TV shows, food, books.  It’s all on the table.

This week, I’ve been dispatched to Manchester, England circa 1995 to review Oasis’ hit LP (What’s the Story) Morning Glory.  As of seven days ago, I knew–and enjoyed–two songs on this album.  That number is significantly higher today.

First, an aside.  Oasis is–much to Kevin’s sadness–no longer together.  Three years ago, Oasis founder Liam Gallagher found himself at sixes and sevens with the group’s lead guitarist.  That lead guitarist also happens to be Liam’s brother Noel.

Here’s Noel’s account (via the music muckrakers at Huffington Post):

“I’ve never had enough of Oasis. Our own relationship was never as bad as people made out, but it wasn’t, we weren’t like milli Vanilli… what that means, I don’t know. It kind of all started to unravel, if I’m being honest, when he started his clothing label, and demanded that in the Oasis tour program, that he be allowed to advertise it, which I was against. I didn’t think that it was right for him to be flogging his gear to our fans, and there was a massive row about that. And it kind of went back and forth for a bit, as I remember it, and I said alright, and if you want to advertise in the program, how much? And he couldn’t get his head around that…”

There’s more, but the most entertaining portion of the fight is this:

“And on the way out he picked up a plum and he threw it across the dressing room and it smashed against the wall. Part of me wishes it did end like that, that would have been a great headline.”

Not quite....

As an aside, the end of Oasis–and some of the group’s music–is reminiscent of the fate of Charlie Pace and his brother in the television series “Lost.”  Charlie is one of the castaways on the original Oceanic Airlines flight which crashed into the original island on the show.  Charlie and his brother–both British–co-founded an alternative rock band called Drive Shaft.  In the end, the group broke up because of familial infighting between the two siblings.  Charlie’s brother’s name, by the way, was Liam…hmmm….

Liam and Noel are Oasis no more, so fans have to slake their thirst with musical stopping points from the past.   Morning Glory does the trick, I’d say.  Seventeen years later, a review with special emphasis on the lyrics.

For the last few days, I’ve been letting this album play while I do random things.   Let’s face it, listening to an album all the way through is the only way to do it.

When I put the CD on,  I thought “Wonderwall”–one of two songs I knew–was first.  The guitar in the first 12 seconds is rather similar.  Then, a wonky hornish sound blares and the driving beat takes us into “Hello”:

“We live in the shadows and we had the chance and threw it away
And it’s never gonna be the same
’cause the years are falling by like the rain
And it’s never gonna be the same
Till the life I knew comes to my house and says

The hard-charging guitar masks some terribly depressing words.  It’s all gone.  Everything.  Until something random happens.  Then it’s back.  Hi.

This is one of the catchiest Track Ones I’ve heard in a while.  It’s one of the top four Stick-in-your-Head tracks on the CD of 12.

Before we go any further, it needs to be said that there are really only 10 tracks on this disc.  Track 6 is called “The Swamp Song (Version 1)” and is 45 seconds.  Track 11 is labeled “The Swamp Song (Version 2)” and is 41 seconds total.  Each is an instrumental.  You know how NPR plays music after its stories to give listeners a chance to digest?  That must be what the Swamp Songs are for.

I'm Robert a hat...

They must not be terribly important–Kevin, the self-proclaimed Oasis “fanboy” doesn’t even have them on his iPod.

On we go….

Track 4, Don’t Look Back in Anger is eminently pun-able.  Plus, it’s got some superb opening lyrics:

“Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don’t you know you might find
A better place to play”

While this could also apply to a team (say the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees), it gives us all individually hope to change our thoughts.  Well done.  Also, there’s:

“Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows if it’s night or day
Please don’t put your life in the hands
Of a Rock n Roll band
Who’ll throw it all away”

Prescient.  But, to be fair, Oasis didn’t throw “it all” away.  Just a piece of fruit.

Track 8, Cast No Shadow, is accented by some rather haunting background singers.  “As they took his soul, they took his pride” in the chorus carries along with it some falsetto Dan Brown backup work.  It seems to be both angelic and demonic:

The title track might be the Stick-in-your-Headiest of the bunch that I’d not heard.  It sounds like it could easily be an alternate theme to some little-watched Saturday AM teen dramedy.  Like Hang Time.

Let’s be honest, though.  The reason this album is lovely and memorable is the Pippen-Jordan-esque combo of Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova.

Listen to the eerie but clean run of the vocal in “landslide.”  Spectacular.

“Backbeat, the word is on the street that the fire in your heart is out.”  “Maybe, you’re gonna be the one that saves me….”

We all want a Wonderwall, don’t we? (Awwwwwww……)

Great album.  If you haven’t listened to it recently (or ever), it totally holds up.  Flip it on.  You’ll enjoy.

As yet, we haven’t tried out any food on the Culture Challenge.  Let’s change that.

Have you all been to Subway recently?  Have you looked in the crannies of the menu?  Subway, in a fit of integration, has decided to serve pizza.

Domino’s Pizza, seemingly to counter, has opted to invent sandwiches.  Rook to E5, indeed.

Who will win?  Subway Italiano?  Or the Domino’s Deli?

Kevin tells us.  Next week on the Culture Challenge!


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1 Comment

You nailed it on the album. One of my all time faves, and Oasis is one of those bands that one wishes would have gotten their act together enough to become immortal. Their first albums were that good. Give Definitely Maybe and The Masterplan a listen. I admit they were a bit self-indulgent (Noel openly compared the band to The Beatles – wait, what?), but catchy song-writing delivered with a taste of attitude IS rock and roll. Can’t wait for opening day.

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