Oasis
The Masterplan


3.5
great

Review

by Knoxvillelives USER (9 Reviews)
June 17th, 2005 | 26 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


Oasis
The Masterplan

The Band: Liam Gallagher (Vocals)
Noel Gallagher (Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals)
Paul Arthurs/Bonehead - Rhythm Guitar
Paul McGuigan - Bass Guitar
Tony McCarroll/Alan White – Drums

Released 1998

After a bit of a backlash after the good, but not great Be Here Now, Oasis needed a break. After a poorly received tour for Be Here Now, Bonehead decided to leave the band to be with his wife and daughter. Oasis needed to keep the public interested while they decided what to do, while Noel was forced to write new material, having used up his teenage canon on the first three albums. Then, came The Masterplan, a collection of the group’s finest B-Sides. Oasis’ B-Sides are rather fine songs; so fine in fact that people often wondered why Noel was ‘wasting’ them on B-Sides, so this album came as no surprise.

Acquiesce (Some Might Say)
Although it’s doubtful that Noel knew what this word meant, he managed to make fine song from it. Beginning with surprisingly clever sort of ‘mining’ noises, which are permeated by a simple but powerful, power chord riff, typical of Noel’s playing. Liam’s vocal is strong on this song and to the point, delivering the lyrics about not wasting your life with conviction. Although the chorus lyrics are very ‘charity single’, “Because we need each other, we believe in one and other", the fact that Noel delivers them in his typically soulful but almost smarmy, high note hitting voice, makes you forget that, making it all seem very life affirming. This is a good song, made great by being the brother’s Gallagher first shared vocal and the fact Noel can be heard singing ‘Morning Glory’ underneath the intro and outro. 4.5/5

Underneath The Sky (Don’t Look Back In Anger)
A strange effect is used on a simple but fierce guitar riff, which shows promise, but a slightly less interesting guitar line and tone, cuts through. The song definitely picks up though, a nice chord sequence and good lyrics sung with a little more care than usual by Liam. The bridge is especially good, with the reintroduction of the earlier guitar and a great melody. There’s a nice little piano solo, most likely provided by Bonehead. Some slightly out of place harmonies let the chorus down, but overall, a great song. 4/5

Talk Tonight (Some Might Say)
It is true you can often tell an Oasis B-side by it’s lyrics, with Noel usually hanging a whole song around a single great lyric, in this song, in my opinion it’s that mood setting line, ‘Sitting on my own, chewing on a bone, a thousand million…miles from home’. Noel’s vocal is typically great, but I’m always a little disappointed by the rest of the song. The chord sequence is lovely and you can really tell Noel has taken time on the song, although I’m not entirely convinced by the keyboard in between chorus and verse, I’m giving this song 3.5/5

Going Nowhere (Stand By Me)
From the Be Here Now, and can’t you just tell, violins, three guitars and everything. I don’t like this song, the bridge is pretty awful, the violins are okay but the trumpets are rubbish. The best part is the verse, but it’s almost drowned out by trumpet fills and guitars. Seven seconds in is the highlight of the song, after the crappy trumpets and synth, there is a soooooo Beatles violin sound which drops down into the verse, I can’t think what it sounds like, it’s just such a lovely moment it should have been used on a better song. 0.5/5

Fade Away
This one’s from the Definitely Maybe era, and can’t you just tell. Deliciously crunchy guitars, tight cymbal based drumming, a youthful and exuberant vocal and wonderfully naďve lyrics that reflect much of Noel’s earlier writing. Typically simple guitar fills accompany a classic Definitely Maybe style chord sequence which is cleverer than you might think. This song could have easily fit into Definitely Maybe, and would have been more in keeping with the themes (and quality) of their eponymous debut than, say, Digsy’s Dinner. Great bridge too
5/5

The Swamp Song (Wonderwall)
A live performance of the untitled song that appeared on ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’. Although this worked on the album as a thirty second experiment, it’s just a bit annoying here. I admit I’ve been caught off guard a few times and loved this, the harmonica, the guitar, the whirr of some unknown sound effect. If you’re in the right mood, you’ll love it, but not really worthy of the album space. 1.5/5

I Am The Walrus (Cigarettes and Alcohol)
An old Oasis favourite to perform live, they actually closed with this at Knebworth. Although this nowhere near challenges the original, which in my opinion is Lennon’s best ever composition, it stands up well when performed by Oasis. It is much heavier than most of their other stuff, as they often were back in those heady drunken Definitely Maybe tour nights. Liam’s vocal is very charismatic, being more of a spit than a song, he really wrenches the words from his throat and does the song justice. His song suits the sinister lyrics of the song and he doesn’t try and copy Lennon’s softer vocals, with people often accuse him of doing. His intimidation of a fan before the song begins always makes me laugh. Some may not approve of Noel’s butchering of the song in the last 4 minutes (!), extending the song to eight, but I quite like the experimentation with effects, soloing, and slide guitar and although I admit he does go overboard, there’s a time and a place for his experimentation and this scorching live version is most certainly it. 4/5

Listen Up (Cigarettes and Alcohol)
Think you recognise the drums? That’s the same as the intro to Supersonic, the cheek! Just when you think accusations of Noel re using age old rock and roll chord progressions, he uses the same bloody riff at the star as well! He almost imitates the success of Supersonic, undoubtedly one of the finest moments on their debut, with this song. A great vocal by a younger Liam, slightly tainted by some dubious lyrics about conspiracy, ‘There’s a man in a suit who’s gonna take you away’. However, Noel pulls it back with a typically brilliant bridge and sing-along chorus. A great song that, if it were not for it’s twin brother occupying the same space, could have sat very comfortably on Definitely Maybe. 4/5

Rockin’ Chair (Roll With It)
An acoustic guitar and drums intro and a very un-Oasis vocal and melody. Totally out of sync with the raw tenacity of Fade Away or even the extravagant Going Nowhere, even the lyric of this song seems out of place with Oasis’ canon, with Liam singing about being old rather young and carefree. Were it not for the odd churchy organ lurking under the verse, the echo in the chorus or the fact that Noel rhymes with ‘being alone’ with ‘sitting by the phone’ this song would get a 3.5, but instead it’s gonna get 2.5 for being slightly dull, but a nice change 2.5/5

Half The World Away (Whatever)
Noel’s concentration on acoustics and lyrics really came though with this partnership of Whatever and Half The World Away. Many of us Brits will remember this as the them from The Royal Family and I think this could have easily stood out on any album and should have been made the A Side, if not a Double A. Beautifully produced, with Noel’s fantastic vocal delivery being just above some picked out clean electric guitar, a wonderful acoustic guitar chord sequence and a very light synth. Totally effective in conveying a sort of despair about the word around you, with a great simple hook, ‘I would like to leave this city’ matching up with the cry for help, ‘I’m half the world away’. A real classic Oasis song that is a wonderful sigh of music, pulling you in totally.. 5.5/5

(Its Good) To Be Free (Whatever)
A fairly full guitar based intro is followed by a forgettable verse (with recurring synth used so effectively on just the previous track), Liam’s voice does not suit this song. It’s almost saved by the bridge…but it’s all just too similar to what has been done so brilliantly before. It’s got an accordion at the end…worth listening to whole track for. 1/5

Stay Young (D’yer Know What I Mean?)
Interesting, a Definitely Maybe style song, with great lyrics about being young and lovin’ it, on a Be Here Now single. The guitar work is understated, underneath Liam’s vocal which is good without being exceptional. Although I’m not entirely convinced with the bridge, the chorus is great, with clear intent. This song works out fine acoustically or electric, sung by Noel or Liam. A versatile, just plain good song, although not exceptional. 3.5/5

Headshrinker (Some Might Say)
Although Noel once again rhymes ‘alone’ with ‘phone’, this portrait of a lonely girl is a very lively song, the kind of song garage bands wish they could write. Sneering vocals, nice (but very Noel) guitar solo. The bridge is the standout part of this song, the song is like most bands on steroids. Although you can tell it’s B-Side material, it’s powerful, enjoyable and lively punk rock and isn’t quite a four so It gets 3.8/5

The Masterplan (Wonderwall)
Ten times better than half of what bands these days are putting out as A-Sides! Mournful violins (which at one point sound very James Bond) play over a descending bass line just over the guitar, strumming out that open chord, setting the scene for this very ‘thoughtful’ song from Noel. His vocal is a little over rated on this song, almost as if he’s trying to big up his own song with an empowered vocal when an understated more sorrowful voice (like in the first verse) would have been appropriate. Great lyrics, from the off, ‘Take the time to make some sense…of what you want to say’. The songs production keeps everything at the right level, with the brass sounding grand just under the chorus which is typical of that Morning Glory period. Reverse guitar solos sounds surprisingly well suited to the song and the introduction of the violins in the second verse give everything the sense of building up, which this song certainly does. Layers of well balanced, fantastic lyrics and a break down outro which returns to the sinister calm of the intro make this a very fine song, a fitting close to an interesting album and a question mark of a B-Side. 6/5
The quality of this album has peaks and troughs, from the majesty of the Masterplan to the eccentrically irritating Swamp Song, from the beautifully careful Half The World Away, to the trying too hard Going Nowhere. This is a worthy purchase for an Oasis but in terms of priority, this will be low on your list. An interesting collection which shows a fair range of Oasis’s talents from their first three albums. Although some could have stood out on albums or as singles, some are obvious B-Side fodder and perhaps a longer wait (for other classic B-Sides like Let’s All Make Believe and Idler’s Dream) would have produced a better balanced album. (and the picture of Noel performing in shorts on the back is just rubbish)

Overall
3.5/5



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user ratings (272)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
B-sides > A-sides...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Knoxvillelives
June 17th 2005


342 Comments


I wish it kept your original fonts and underlines...make things a bit clearer. Any suggestions on making things clearer, bolder or whatever are welcomed.

masada
June 17th 2005


2733 Comments


Good review. I've never liked Oasis much.

Knoxvillelives
June 18th 2005


342 Comments


Why not? If you dont like them, did u really the WHoLE revieiw?
Ta though

Knoxvillelives
June 18th 2005


342 Comments


I think more bands should release B-Side collections, but then again, few bands have B-Sides as strong as OasisThis Message Edited On 06.18.05

Iai
Emeritus
June 18th 2005


3553 Comments


Plenty of artists have b-sides as strong as/stronger than Oasis. Radiohead, Tori Amos, The Flaming Lips, The Jam.....even Public Enemy, although they tended to recycle their b-sides later on as album tracks.

steveconygre
June 18th 2005


33 Comments


"" marks the start of a bold section, "" ends it. Don't use the quote marks, and use u for underline instead. They're really the only two needed, hope they help

morrissey
Moderator
June 19th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

??

(b) (/b)
(u) (/u) etc., but use [ ] instead.

Nice review.

Knoxvillelives
June 19th 2005


342 Comments


(b)(u) The Masterplan (/u)(/b)

Cool
Ta

StrangelyBrewed13
July 21st 2005


14 Comments


REM has really good b-sides as does Led Zeppelin

masada
July 21st 2005


2733 Comments


as does Led Zeppelin


Not really what people consider a "singles" band. From what I know, they only had a few, and that was against their will.

Knoxvillelives
September 18th 2005


342 Comments


I wasnt aware Led Zeppelin had any singles
None of them ever charted in the UK

pulseczar
September 18th 2005


2385 Comments


Led Zeppelin had a couple of singles, some reached the top 40, but Zep's album songs were played way more than actualy singles. The b-sides were actually just songs from their albums, none of them were previously unreleased.

madmunch
December 21st 2005


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Who'd of thought an album consisting entirely of Oasis's b-sides would be better than a whole bunch of their a-side albums

Med57
Moderator
December 21st 2005


1001 Comments


True...this is definitely better than everything between (What's The Story) and Don't Believe The Truth. Not a bad album in its own right actually.

noelmania
March 15th 2006


13 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the master plan was and is a great album.
I really liked Noel's songs as much as liam's.
and great review.

noelmania
March 15th 2006


13 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the master plan was and is a great album.
I really liked Noel's songs as much as liam's.
and great review.

El_Goodo
April 3rd 2006


1008 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Going Nowhere deserves alot more than a 1. And it was written before Definetley Maybe was released if I recall correctly. So it wasn't from the Be Here Now era.


Nandrucu
May 13th 2006


61 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah, going nowhere was written around 1990

Nandrucu
May 13th 2006


61 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review by the way, but i don't agree with your song ratings by a long way. Going Nowhere, Rockin Chair and To Be Free are some of my favourites

LINK2K99
June 25th 2006


48 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Very good review. Love the album, and I really disagree with the scores on Rockin' Chair and (It's Good) To Be Free. Both fantastic songs, especially Rockin' Chair with it's laid back, acoustic solo.



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