With the release of the documentary Supersonic and the release of Be Here Now, Oasis are once again having a bit of a moment. It’s easy to forget now how massive they were in the mid-90’s. Never ones to do things in small does, everything the band touched seemed to blow up to epic proportions. Being addicted to coke wasn’t enough for Noel Gallagher. He had to put that shit on his corn flakes in the morning like powdered sugar. Liam Gallagher hated his brother so much that he only stood the band up at Unplugged performance, but heckled them from the stands. Almost every single song Oasis recorded was a rip-off of a Beatles song, because of course they would steal from the world’s biggest band.
Following a hugely successful album can be difficult. The options are either to replicate what was done previously or dial it back and hope for the best. Oasis was having none of that for their follow-up to (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? “Champagne Supernova” stood out because it was an epic that closed an album full of classicist rock songs. Noel Gallagher decided in his drugged out state that he was going to release an entire album of “Champagne Supernova”s (without the majestic quality of the original), consequences be damned.
Enter “D’You Know What I Mean?” the first single from Be Here Now. It’s the kind of song that only an arrogant rock star, oblivious from everything else but the music inside his own head, could come up with. In the first minute alone you have helicopter noises, multi-tracked feedback, backwards vocals, a noise that seems to be morse code, and a massive drum break.
By the time the actual song starts, it’s hard to truly care about the next minutes. To make matters worse, in another act of defiance, Noel Gallagher seems to have thrown his one true gift of melody out the window for this song. Save whatever you want about Oasis, but their most well-known songs were instantly memorable.
Still though, I have a soft spot for Be Here Now and “D’You Know What I Mean?”. In a way, Be Here Now is the last of a kind: the big rock album that was an event. And somehow, it seems only appropriate that something this ridiculous would blow up in Oasis’ face with a massive thud. They wouldn’t have it any other way.