Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Where Did It All Go Wrong?
So another episode of one of my fave animations, the story of Daria Morgendorfer, closes. And over the credits, as Daria's sister's much put upon friend Stacey has a rare moment of private poigniant happiness, plays a song I haven't heard in a while. It's a B Side, of all things, from a band I've almost forgotten I ever really loved. It's Oasis with 'Listen Up', which originally appeared on the flipside of 'Cigarettes and Alcohol'. 11 years ago. So i whip out the CD single (No need for a copy of The Masterplan album in this house. I can still, if needed, more or less recount every B Side on every Oasis single up to... you guessed it... 'D'yer Know What I Mean?') and it still sounds as good as it did all those years ago.
The last Oasis album I bought was Be Here Now. I don't even own that any more. I think I gave it to my brother. And to be honest, I don't really like (What's The Story) Morning Glory all that much either. But for a good year or so, I worshipped them. Definitely Maybe is still an album that invokes powerful emotions. It has a fire at it's heart which has been absent from every Oasis album since. At it's core is one of the fiercest desires a human can have: the desire to escape your circumstances. Escape physically or through booze, drugs and most importantly, music. It's an album of promise and opportunity, of blind ambition and desperation: a driving, overwhelming need to get out. But once they got out...
Next week marks a decade since Blur won the battle. 'Roll With It' was the first Oasis single that I didn't like more than the previous one. Morning Glory satisfied my Oasis-lust at the time, but now... the signs of deminishing returns are all there. The Gary Glitter sing along, the rubbish jam interludes (no pun intended), the 'will this do' lyrical turns. But the lynchpin is 'Wonderwall'. The song that won the war. The song that made them bigger than even they could've imagined. The song that meant they'd never need to work again. So they didn't. The song that pushed them from punk rock to career rock. From making music because you just HAVE to, to making music because you feel you should. From music as life to music for a living.
And possibly the saddest thing is that Noel knows all this. I remember him saying (and I paraphrase, as I can't remember the exact quote) that he thought he'd go on writing albums like Definitely Maybe for the rest of his life. And there's a real sadness in his voice, beneath the bravado and enthusiasm for the new (unfeasably dull) record. Personally, I'm happy with it all. He's done more than enough for me. I'll just go on ignoring Oasis Mk VII (or whatever they are now), apart from maybe reading their increasingly irrelevant interviews in the NME, like mad uncles who turn up every couple of years and scare the children, who can't understand why anyone puts up with them.
I live my life in the city
There's no easy way out
The day's moving just too fast for me
I need some time in the sunshine
I've gotta slow it right down
The day's moving just too fast for me
I live my life for the stars that shine
People say it's just a waste of time
When they said I should feed my head
Well, that to me was just a day in bed
I'll take my car and drive real far
You're not concerned about the way we are
In my mind my dreams are real
Now you're concerned about the way I feel
Tonight, I'm a rock 'n' roll star.
Some time in the late 90's, I forget exactly when, I was, for a change, flicking through CDs at Watford's Virgin Megastore in the premier shopping extravaganza that is the Harlequin Centre. And who should i see bound past me, up the stairs, but Noel Gallagher himself! I was 99% sure it was him, cos I recognised his Mum, Peggy, who was waiting outside. First thing I thought was "wow, he's short...", and went about my business... but then I thought, Come on, this guy changed your life in some small way, at least go and say hi. So as he walked back out of the shop, and started chatting to the kids who came up to him, I went to go and say hello myself... until I looked down in embarrassment, and saw what was emblazened across my chest. "rulB". Or from his perspective. "Blur". The Durex style 'Girls and Boys' T Shirt to be precise. I thought better of it and walked past him. I didn't look back.
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