Review Summary: “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?” is a fantastic album to say the least. It both followed and surpassed the success of Definitely Maybe and made Oasis an established rock n roll band in the music industry.
(What’s The Story) Morning Glory? Album Review
On October 2nd 1995, the world was graced with Oasis’ second album, “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory? Almost 20 years on, this album defines two generations of people, outlining the issues the working class faced during the early 1990s. This review is going to go through the album, track by track, giving a brief insight into each.
The album kicks off with “Hello”, a track which landed Oasis a court date when it was released. Whilst writing the song, Noel Gallagher thought he’d sample Gary Glitter’s “Hello, Hello, I’m Back Again.” This was done without Glitter’s permission and in 2014 it was estimated that Glitter had earned £1m from the track. “Hello” is a song which explains how the lifestyle of the Gallaghers had changed since the release of Definitely Maybe. The track sets up the album perfectly as its heavy guitar riffs and anthem like chorus get the listeners excited and raring to go.
The second track on the album is “Roll With It”, the song which was used to fuel the Britpop War between Oasis and Blur. “Roll With It” was the first single released from the album and reached number two in the UK Singles Chart. The song was release on 14 August 1995, the same day as rival band Blur released their single “Country House.” Blur’s label, Food Records, deliberately moved the original release date of “Country House” to clash with the release of “Roll With It.” The track received mixed reviews from critics when it was released but was received well by fans, selling 216,000 copies overall. “Roll With It” can be likened to Oasis’ track “Supersonic” as it sells the belief that it is important to be yourself.
The next track is Oasis’ most well-known track, “Wonderwall.” Even if you’re not an Oasis fan, you know every word to this song and do your best to sound like Liam singing it at a wedding or for karaoke. In 1996, when asked on what the song was about, Noel Gallagher said “It’s about my girlfriend, Meg Matthews.” When the couple divorced in 2001, Noel said that “Wonderwall” was about “… An imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself.” Even though it can be regarded as Oasis’ most popular track, “Wonderwall” only charted at number two in the UK Singles Chart, being beaten by the next track on the album.
“Don’t Look Back In Anger” is one of the most recognisable anthems ever written. With the catchy verses, the monstrous chorus and the amazing guitar solo at the end, this track takes the album to another level. The track was the fifth single released from “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?” and charted at number one in the UK Singles Charts. It was ranked at number one on a list of the ’50 Most Explosive Choruses’ by NME and has been voted one of the most popular singles in the past 60 years. “Don’t Look Back In Anger” is a signature Oasis track which was played at nearly every one of their live performances since its release on 19 February 1996. This track is also a landmark in Oasis’ history, as it is the first track to be sung solely by Noel.
The fifth track on the album is “Hey Now”, an incredible song which incredibly enough, Oasis never performed live. “Hey Now” takes a step back from the anthem like structure of “Don’t Look Back In Anger” and gives listeners a much more mellow listen. Noel Gallagher still felt the need to use a heavy guitar and drum beat on this track but it’s the lyrics that matter. Noel tells the story of a person who has lost their way because of their celebrity status; is he talking about himself?
The next track on the album is “Some Might Say” and is also the first single to be released from “Morning Glory.” This song is the last Oasis track which features Tony McCarroll as drummer. Noel Gallagher has said that the inspiration for “Some Might Say” comes from bands Small Faces and T-Rex. There were plans for an official music video to be filmed for “Some Might Say”, which Liam Gallagher did not show up for. Instead, a video was made using a compilation of clips from the music videos of “Cigarettes and Alcohol”, “Supersonic” and “Whatever.” The B-Side to “Some Might Say” is “Acquiesce” which Noel says “…defines what Oasis is." In April 2015, “Some Might Say” had sold over 458,000 copies since its release in 1995.
“Cast No Shadow” is the next song on the album. In an interview Noel said that he wrote the song whilst on the train to Wales. Noel also claims that “Cast No Shadow” was inspired by Richard Ashcroft, frontman of The Verve. The song was the first to be recorded at Rockfield Studio following a short break the band took after an argument between Noel and Liam. According to Owen Morris, who produced the album, it took Liam just one take to record “Cast No Shadow.” In an interview with Q in 2010, Morris said “…Liam would just instantly go in and do four precisely perfect takes.” In 1996, when Oasis played two night at Maine Road, Liam dedicated “Cast No Shadow” to The Stone Roses’ John Squire.
The track to follow “Cast No Shadow” is “She’s Electric”, a feel-good, blues song. “She’s Electric” is the first song which Noel recorded for the album. It is thought that Noel wrote the song as early as 1992 and made a demo tape of it along with “D’Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman?” and “Married With Children.” The song faced some criticism when it was released, mainly for having similarities to The Beatles’ “A Little Help From My Friends”, Nirvana’s “Lithium” and using the same chord progression as “Married With Children.”
After “She’s Electric” comes the title track “Morning Glory”, a song which is cynical towards doing drugs. In a 2008 interview Noel did with Oasinet.com, he said “The amount of times we’ve sat down at our or someone else’s house and been up all night and discovered the meaning of life… It’s a song about having nothing better than music and your friends.”
The last track on the album is “Champagne Supernova”, yet another incredibly recognisable song; whether you’re a fan of Oasis or not. The track is extremely psychedelic and is the perfect way to end “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?” Paul Weller from The Jam is the one who recorded the lead guitar track for this song, making it all the more special. When questioned on the lyric “Someday you will find me caught beneath a landslide/ In a champagne supernova in the sky” Noel Gallagher said “That’s as psychedelic as I’ll ever get… It means different things when I’m in a different mood.” The first time Noel played the track to the rest of the band, he performed it on an acoustic guitar, which left rhythm guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs in tears. Even though Paul Weller recorded the lead guitar for the track, he has never played “Champagne Supernova” live with Oasis. However, both Johnny Marr of The Smiths and John Squire of The Stone Roses have performed the song live with the band.
“(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?” is a fantastic album to say the least. It both followed and surpassed the success of Definitely Maybe and made Oasis an established rock n roll band in the music industry. The album is all about being successful and having achieved your goal, however the band don’t forget their roots and still outline the difficulties of being working class; especially in the 1990s in Manchester. Each song on the album is very memorable for its own reasons, whether it be an anthem of a chorus in “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, or the meaningful lyrics from “Cast No Shadow.” If you haven’t already listened to “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?” I very highly suggest you do. I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with the genius behind Oasis instantly.