Oasis and Solo – Top Ten Albums

Let’s have it.


by MOJO Staff |

‘‘Sometimes being a brother,” American children’s author Marc Brown famously wrote, “is even better than being a superhero.” Sibling rivalry has certainly driven the Gallagher brothers to extraordinary heights, both together within the uneasy alliance of Oasis, and thereafter in their solo capacities since the band split in 2009.

What they shared while growing up in suburban Burnage, south Manchester, was a passion for two rock idols, The Beatles and the Sex Pistols. After much in-studio huffing, puffing and pugilism, 1994’s Oasis debut, Definitely Maybe, delivered a confident amalgam of those two influences, and almost single-handedly reinstated home-grown rock in the British pop charts. For the next couple of albums, Noel drew on a stockpile of anthems composed pre-fame, but the problems started thereafter, when he felt increasingly straitjacketed by the imperative to write for stadiums. Successive albums lacked creative movement and, increasingly, zip.

For fans, the bust-up in Paris which finally terminated Oasis in August ’09 has brought the inescapable benefit that each makes livelier, more interesting music alone. Initially, it appeared that Noel held all the cards, as the songwriter extraordinaire breezily cast off his shackles to embrace disco beats and Laurel Canyon vibes, while Liam’s neo-Oasis efforts with Beady Eye rather unjustly foundered. When Liam began trading under his own name, with help from high-end co-writers, the tables turned.

Now, it’s an even fight, with a delicious added frisson of speculation, relentlessly piqued by Gallagher Jr on Twitter, about the chances of an Oasis reunion. Amid ever-depleting numbers in the classic-rock superleague, the heritage wages would surely be astronomical.

A quick recap on the torrid fraternal track record hitherto, of course, always makes it feel less of a good idea.

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10. Oasis - Heathen Chemistry
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10. Oasis - Heathen Chemistry

Though the final two Oasis LPs had their moments, such as ultimate piledriver The Shock Of The Lightning off '08's Dig Out Your Soul, this fifth studio outing was the last consistently thrilling one. Having booted out all three of Liam's original bandmates from The Rain and supplanted them with hand-picked indie-rock pros, for Heathen Chemistry, Noel opened the door to others writing songs. Gem Archer's Hung In A Bad Place and, particularly, Liam's Songbird – a breezy love letter to his then fiancée Nicole Appleton – brought fresh energy, while Noel's perennial England-out-of-the-World Cup weepie Stop Crying Your Heart Out topped off a promising new blend that never quite matured.

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