Oasis
Be Here Now


3.5
great

Review

by CharmlessMan USER (6 Reviews)
December 27th, 2006 | 6 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Oasis' most hyped and controversial album to date.

Oasis' third album, Be Here Now was released in 1997 to what can only be described as enormous hype. Britpop by this time was already in full swing and coming to the end of it's prime with some bands burning themselves out with the excesses of fame (Pulp), changing direction and forgetting about the movement completely (Blur) or just starting out a bit late (Supergrass). Oasis, on the other hand, were the biggest band in the world, let alone Britain, and still riding the wave of releasing 2 magnificently life-changing albums and a record-breaking 2 night stint at Knebworth, where they played to over 250,000 people. The whole Britpop movement to this point, had been brimming, helped along by New Labour's Tony Blair elected as the new Prime Minister of Britain, the feel-good times were flowing and Oasis were at the head of the table.

Be Here Now was released on the 21st of August, 1997 to glowing reviews and extremely high sales, with the album selling 423,000 copies on day one alone, soaring into the record books as the fastest selling album of all time in the UK, and reaching 1 million sales within a fortnight. However this positivity was not going to last. Britpop basically ended on the back of this album being slated when the hype had died down, with critics everywhere (including the album's architect, Noel Gallagher) calling it bloated, self-indulgent and in Noel's own words "grossly offensive". Another contributing factor to the demise of the movement was the death of Princess Diana passing away on the 30th of August 1997, exactly 9 days after the release of the album.

The Band:
Liam- Vox
Noel- Guitar, Backing Vox
Bonehead- Guitar
Guigsy- The Bass
Whitey- The Drums And Percussion

Be Here Now kicks in with the lead-off single, 'D'you Know What I Mean?', An epic song, with layered guitars, pounding drums and Liam's snarling vocals, it's topped off with helicopters and Morse code in the background. Weighing it at over 7 minutes long, it is one of the best songs off the album and one that I could listen to over and over again, Noel's guitar solo, for me personally, is one of the best solos he has played on any Oasis album. The next song 'My Big Mouth' is one of your standard Oasis rockers, it oozes with attitude including the lines such as "into my big mouth/ you could fly a plane/ I put on my shoes/ while walking slowly down the hall of fame". It doesn't really drag on repeatedly like some of the other songs on the album, and if it does, you don't really notice it. 'Magic Pie' is up next and at the time of release, was one of the songs that Noel wanted to be remembered for, according to the man himself. If he heard himself say that now, he'd probably cringe at the thought, as this song is one of the weaker songs on the album and just never seems to want to end. It's not necessarily a terrible song, it just drags along without any sign of changing pace, although Noel's vocals are brilliant. Possibly one of Oasis' best songs comes in next with Noel making his guitar feed back then strumming a delicate riff, as 'Stand By Me' comes to life, you can really engage with the song and understand the emotion in every word, it includes some of Liam's best vocals and Noel's best guitar playing, and is really awe-inspiring...This album's Wonderwall in my opinion. One of the shortest songs on the album, clocking in at 4.22 is 'I Hope, I Think, I Know', this is one of your standard Oasis album tracks and whilst not a bad song, really offers up nothing different, although I think the bridge in this song is amazing. The next song 'The Girl In The Dirty Shirt' is a bit like the previous track, and brings nothing different to the fray. I do enjoy this song, and it's supposedly about Noel's then-wife Meg Matthews.

The second half of the album starts off with 'Fade In-Out' and is one of the album's highlights, with it's use of slide guitar(played by Mr. Johnny Depp) and maracas. As with the rest of this album, Liam's vocals are at their peak and on none other than this song does it really shine through, quite possibly the best on the album. The ballad that is 'Don't Go Away' is up next, and it is an amazing song, with Noel's emotional guitar fills over Bonehead's acoustic guitar and the inclusion of a string section, utilized to full effect. There are 2 conflicting stories over the meaning of this song, one story is that it was written about The Gallagher's mother, Peggy, who was being screened for cancer at the time and the other is that Bonehead approached Noel to write a song about his mother, Delia, who had recently passed away (The album was subsequently dedicated to her memory), either way, this song is touchingly beautiful. Another of Oasis' stompers in 'Be Here Now' comes in next with some sort of weird organ introducing the song, before the band comes in breaks the song wide open. Liam snarls here, and Noel plays fills extensively over the rhythm, as the trademark carefree Oasis attitude soars throughout. The only fault with this song is that Noel solos just a bit too much here, and it sort of detracts from the song. The longest winded song of this album starts with the strum of an acoustic guitar as 'All Around The World' announces itself , clocking in at over nine minutes, it's Oasis most bloated moment of the album. Laden with a string section, layered guitars and thunderous drumming courtesy of Alan White, the song just rolls along like a stumbling giant, and perhaps if it had have been 3 minutes shorter, it would have been better received by critics. It's not a terrible song by any stretch of the imagination, and would have been the best song on the album if it didn't go for as long as it does, but at the time, it was an epic. A good song with the potential to have been definingly brilliant. The last of the proper song on the album kicks in with some guitar feedback and tambourine similar to 'Columbia', as 'It's Gettin Better (Man!!)' belts into action, with Whitey's pounding drumming and Noel's extensive fills, it's personally one of my favourites on the album, but like with the rest of the album, it doesn't need to be as long as it is. A 2 minute reprise of 'All Around The World' starts up after the last song, to finish the album. This to me was pointless, as the album could have easily finished with 'It's Gettin Better (Man!!)'.

So there it is, Oasis' most hyped and controversial album in their 12 year history, reviewed in full. Be Here Now is a great album, with a great collection of songs that, if they were a bit shorter, bar 2 songs, and more cohesive, would have made Oasis even bigger than they are now. After this album, 2 founding members departed (Bonehead and Guigsy) and were subsequently replaced with Gem Archer and Andy Bell respectively. Oasis continues to make amazing music and release successful albums, and the with the turn around success of their latest release 'Don't Believe The Truth', the future's looking even brighter for the lads from Manchester.

Pros:
Noel wrote great tunes for this album
Magnificent instrumentation
Liam's vocals in top form
All the singles from the album are brilliant

Cons:
The album is very long, over 70 minutes
Some songs meander along
Excessive soloing
The album stumbles towards the end ('All Around The World' reprisal in particular)



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user ratings (916)
3.3
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
CharmlessMan
December 27th 2006


169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

C'mon people...what do you think of the review?

Waterloo_Sunset
December 27th 2006


452 Comments


Great review, but a few points I disagree with. I like your writing style and your knowledge is excellent. The album itself is alright, its decent enough on its own, but given that it followed two mammoth albums it is seen as a poor album. I dunno if the death of Diana contributed to the end of Brit Pop - since she did contribute to the feel bad slump factor that caused us Brits to be so down in the early 90s anyways - the thatcher government, diana's divorce and affairs the royal family hated... i remember those days and how Brit Pop made us feel good again!

CharmlessMan
December 27th 2006


169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the positive feedback.



I myself don't think that the death of Princess Di ended Britpop altogether, but it certainly did put a halt to the carefree attitude of the nation at the time, because it was such a huge loss and she was very well-loved.



I do however think Britpop ended in other factors that i didn't include because it would have detracted from the main review slightly. These factors included this album not living up to it's huge expectations, Blur completely disregarding the genre altogether after the 'The Great Escape' got trounced by 'Morning Glory' and most of the smaller britpop bands just splitting up or disappearing off the radar for good.







grungeguy88
December 28th 2006


788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review. Yeah this album gets old fast for me. I can't listen to Whats the Story too much as well.

MasterSan
February 10th 2008


113 Comments


How the hell exactly did 30 August 1997 affect the album? Well, okay, I can understand that the overall mood of optimism in the UK was replaced by depression, but... please clarify?

royscoop19
April 10th 2010


137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, Pretty much what I think







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