Review Summary: Do we really need another Oasis best of?
I guess the main question is, was this really a necessary release" Oasis already have a best of collection that came out in 2006 entitled ‘Stop The Clocks’. Here we have ‘Time Flies’, purported to contain all of Oasis’ singles (which is incorrect, Sunday Morning Call is missing, more on that later), conveniently packaged into a 2 disc album.
This collection is a difficult one to rate. On the one hand, the necessity of this release puzzles me, and it’s actually a release that reeks of being a cash cow. On top of that, Oasis have literally 5 albums worth of amazing b-sides that have yet to be properly released. Why re-release songs that have already appeared on 2 other discs, and let those amazing b-sides rot away in mp3 hell"
On the other hand, there’s no denying the strength of the material at hand, and that compared to ‘Stop The Clocks’, this is a more cohesive, better packaged, and frankly better greatest hits collection than that album.
Anyone familiar with Oasis will recognize at least 5 songs or so off the track list here. All of the staples are included- Live Forever, Wonderwall, Don’t Look Back In Anger, Champagne Supernova, all classic slices of anthemic british rock and roll and impeccably crafted rock songs. A lot of the newer fare has also been included from their last three albums, including the swirling, trippy ‘Hindu Times’, the fast rocker ‘Shock of the Lightning’, and the foot stomping, hand clapping blues of ‘Lyla’.
Noel Gallagher has always talked negatively about their 1997 album 'Be Here Now', which is why it's surprising to see three songs grace this compilation. All 3 songs are still excellent and soar past any criticism they once had. I dare you not to smile during 'Stand By Me', or feel like a million dollar rock star on the too cool for school 'D'You Know What I Mean"'.
A lot of best of collections usually contain one or two new songs (usually to give fans a reason to buy the thing in the first place). Since the band is broken up, we don't get new material; instead, we get 2 unreleased tracks that have never been featured on an album. “Whatever” was a Christmas single from 1994 and is ridiculously catchy, featuring gorgeous strings in the background, and Liam Gallagher’s vocal at their best. Whatever defines the very meaning of Britpop- simply a gorgeous tune that will cheer anyone up.
The second song is ‘Lord Don’t Slow Me Down’, which was featured in an Oasis documentary. Anyone who enjoys Oasis more bluesy side ala ‘Lyla’ or ‘Importance of Being Idle’ will dig this tune. I will say, it’s a little more harder edged than most of Oasis’ other material, but nevertheless it’s a top tune.
For an album claiming to contain all of Oasis’ singles, curiously enough, ‘Sunday Morning Call’ is missing. I don’t know if it was cut due to the CD’s time length, but not including it was a big mistake, as it is one of Oasis’ strongest and most uplifting songs out of their post-Morning Glory phase. Apparently it’s a hidden track on this compilation, but my disc doesn’t have it. A real disappointment.
Again, I can’t help but come back to the argument of why this was even made in the first place. If you are just a casual fan and just want the singles, or are stuck between picking ‘Stop The Clocks’ or this album, then definitely go with this one. It’s better sequenced, and for the casual fans, it has all the Oasis songs you probably want.
However, bear in mind that this is by no means the ‘definitive’ Oasis collection. There are a wealth of incredible songs missing on this compilation (like most best of compilations when you think about it), and the truth is, Oasis’ albums are strong enough on their own anyways.
My rating is a combination of my two schools of thought, so please bear that in mind. The material is excellent, no doubt, and this serves as an excellent introduction to the world of Oasis. But this was simply not a necessary release.