GETTING MORE TALE #561: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
In November 1995 I was going through another breakup. A big one — my first really serious girlfriend. After some soul-searching, I thought this would be a good time to expand my horizons a bit, including musically. By 1995, heavy metal music was not doing well. It was on life support. I wanted to check out other forms of rock and roll.
Working at the Record Store was the perfect environment for exploration. Christmas 1995 featured a lot of store play for Oasis, who my co-working buddy T-Rev was a huge fan of. Their new album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? was beginning to take off. It also appealed to a metal head like me. It had a bit of everything: rockers, ballads, and hooks. It was a breath of fresh air, and loud as fuck. Grunge bands had dominated and carried with them cloudy skies for the early 90s. Oasis brought back fun aspects of rock and roll, and were right in synch with the Beatles resurgence happening at the same time with the Anthology series. Oasis were almost a poor man’s Beatles.
I mean, they really wanted to be The Beatles, didn’t they?
I got to listen to the CD a lot in store, but we had a long waiting list for used copies. Because of that it would be a few months before I was able to get my own copy of Morning Glory. T-Rev was on top of things, and had been collecting Oasis singles. Oasis had a knack for B-sides, and often saved their best tunes for singles. This was rare; in 1995 it was unheard of to save good songs for single B-sides. Oasis didn’t care and did it anyway. My first Oasis purchase was actually the CD single for “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. T-Rev made sure it was stocked, even though we rarely stocked any singles.
So “Don’t Look Back in Anger” was my first Oasis purchase ever. Buying a new copy of the single was more expensive than buying a used copy of the album, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. I dug the piano part ripped from John Lennon, and the bright melody with a hint of shade. It really felt like an homage to the Beatles. And the B-sides weren’t half bad either. “Step Out” and “Underneath the Sky” were both top notch songs each with their own flavour.
The track that really sold the single for me was “Cum on Feel the Noize”. T-Rev asked, “Why would they cover that song?” I explained it was originally by Slade, not Quiet Riot. Oasis’ version is more authentic to the Slade original. The song was a perfect bridge between my heavy metal past and my Oasis present.
Oasis quickly became my favourite “new” band in 1996. That was the year that we opened up the branch of the Record Store that I managed. I thought Oasis would be a good band for store play, and while some customers enjoyed that, no staff members did.
Oasis did their part to keep the single alive in the 1990s. They issued box set after box set, re-releasing their old singles to those who missed them the first time. The coolest of these were the “silver” and “gold” boxes. They were plastic hard-shell box sets, one for the Definitely Maybe singles and one for Morning Glory. They included an interview disc (same one in both boxes) and made it easy to get caught up on Oasis’ CD singles.
These were good times. Though a breakup with a girl was the trigger, Oasis was the remedy. Some songs, like “Cast No Shadow” had me wallowing in my own pity, but it was hard not to feel good things with “She’s Electric” and “Roll With It”. For that reason, although there may be better Oasis albums, What’s the Story remains the most personal to me.
TOP FIVE REASONS TO LIKE OASIS:
5) Lars says it’s OK .
4) They had a member (Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan) who looked like Mr. Bean.
3) Noel frequently refers to Liam derisively as “our kid”.
1) Liam Gallagher’s unibrow.