In honor of me turning 30, I’m making mix CDs of my favorite songs from each of my 30 favorite musical artists/groups. Read the introductory post for more background information on my 30 at 30 project. Reminder: there is no scientific rationale for this list. They’re simply my personal favorites. Coming in at number 30 is Oasis.
Oasis is in the minority among the groups that made my list in a couple of respects: they are no longer together and were based out of England. Fittingly, they share those two attributes in common with The Beatles who (SPOILER ALERT!) also will show up on my list. Oasis also credited the Beatles as their most significant influence as a band.
Oasis’ last album, Dig Out Your Soul, was released in 2008, and none of the tracks from that album made the cut for my ultimate Oasis mix. The final tracklist features songs from five different albums, led by four songs apiece from Heathen Chemistry and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, released in 1995, was the band’s most notable album. If you’ve heard of Oasis it’s probably because of that album’s “Wonderwall” or “Champagne Supernova.” That was when I first heard from them as well, even though their first release was actually the fantastically named Definitely Maybe, which came out in 1994. In my mind, Oasis stood out from its contemporary bands like the Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and the Gin Blossoms. All of those bands had some good tunes, but Oasis’ lyrics consistently had me hooked.
While I enjoyed those couple of radio hits in the mid-90s, it wasn’t until Oasis’ release of 2005’s Don’t Believe the Truth that I really became a full-fledged fan. That was a musically significant period in my life, and after listening to Don’t Believe the Truth, I decided that this was a band worth investing more in. Before I knew it, I had bought every album they had previously released, including Heathen Chemistry, which featured four tracks that show up on this ultimate Oasis collection. Among those tracks is “She Is Love”, a song whose upbeat optimism fit perfectly with my shifting perspective on the world at the time I heard it in 2005. I was shedding the skin of the angst-filled teenage years and beginning to transition into a more mature optimism embracing the possibilities and potential of my 20s.
“She Is Love” made it onto Matt’s Mix 80: Brand New Day. I believe this was one of—if not THE—first Matt’s Mixes I explained the meaning of to Jessie. The conversation took place in the Giant Eagle café where we were coworkers, and I remember walking away from that conversation with a feeling of “she gets me.”
That particular Matt’s Mix ended with “Ooh La La” by The Faces, which features the famous lyrics “I wish that I knew what I know now / when I was younger” proving that my 20-year-old self was, in some ways, much like my 29-year-old self. I imagine those lyrics will continue to ring true with each passing year. But back to Oasis.
I’ve bookended the Oasis mix with two songs that stretch more than seven minutes. The first track, “D’You Know What I Mean?” opens with a full minute of noise before the song ever really begins. Eventually the refrain of “All my people, right here, right now / D’you know what I mean?” takes over, and I can’t help but nod my head in approval. Yes, Oasis. I know what you mean.
I nearly made the finale, “Champagne Supernova.” But as much as I lik the image of “being caught beneath the landslide in a champagne supernova in the sky” I just couldn’t relate to ending on the lyrical note of “where you you while we were getting high?”
Enter “Married With Children,” from the band’s aforementioned debut Definitely Maybe. Who doesn’t like the oh-so-British line of “Your music’s shite / it keeps me up all night.” It seems appropriate to close out the album from a band who said goodbye years ago with the final lines of this track, “…don’t you worry. Goodbye, I’m going home.”
MM 30 at 30: Oasis tracklist (finalized Sept. 30, 2013):
1. D’You Know What I Mean?
3. Little By Little
4. Stop Crying Your Heart Out
5. Live Forver
6. The Meaning of Soul
7. Love Like a Bomb
8. She Is Love
10. All Around the World
12. Don’t Look Back in Anger
13. Cast No Shadow
14. Let There Be Love
15. Champagne Supernova
16. Married With Children