Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)
Long story short: Much like Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Morning Glory was a victim of its own success as both were inescapable in the mid-90s. Impressively, the once-heavy radio rotation has done little long-term damage: both still sound fantastic, if not better, 18+ years later.
The not-so-short version:
Very few records boast such singalongability. Almost every track on Morning Glory is seemingly arena-ready, all set for thousands to chant along with the chorus. In an attempt to quantify, I’ve created the Oasis Anthem Index. A visual aid:
Without further ado/charts/graphs, here’s how the songs stack up almost two decades later, listed by (the dubiously calculated) AI score, from lowest to highest.
– Untitled instrumentals (tracks 6 & 11), AI score 
Both brief tracks were appropriately left blank in the running order. Neither adds nor subtracts from the proceedings.
– Hey Now!, AI score 
The song’s verses have potential but it’s the one full length song that lacks a dynamite chorus. It’s still perfectly acceptable material, just not quite ‘anthemic’ per se.
– She’s Electric, AI score 
The AI score doesn’t necessarily indicate my preferences, more so how the songs have resonated with the masses over the years. This one’s a hidden gem and, incidentally, my splendid wife’s favourite. I think at the time I found She’s Electric’s ending somewhat derivative. Now I see it as a nice homage to With a Little Help From My Friends.
– Roll With It, AI score 
In hindsight, a surprising choice for the album’s second single (Wonderwall seems like it was almost an afterthought, released as single #4!). This song’s claim to fame is being the Oasis entry in the “Battle of Britpop” against Blur’s Country House. Roll With It peaked at #2 on the singles chart but history will remember it as a case of Roll With It losing the singles battle and Morning Glory winning the album war.
– Some Might Say, AI score 
Released early in the year as a single and later included on the album. Great melody & echoing vocal finish. Bonus marks for its spectacular b-side, Acquiesce.
– Hello, AI score 
No shortage of swagger to open the album. “And it’s never gonna be the same” – stellar, if unfortunately prophetic, chorus. Appropriate tone-setter and certainly not as creepy as Lionel Richie’s Hello video.
– Cast No Shadow, AI score 
Just shy of timeless anthem territory, one of Liam’s best vocal performances. Great harmonies & nice hints of some solid future acoustic numbers to come (Little By Little, Let There Be Love).
And then there are the undisputed anthems:
– Morning Glory, AI score 
It’s saying something about the sheer magnitude of this album when its title track is only its fourth strongest anthem. One of their heavier tunes and one of my favourites.
– Don’t Look Back in Anger, AI score 
Many will point to the piano intro as being reminiscent of John Lennon’s Imagine. The Imagine comparison is apt when it comes to song quality as well. I’m a big fan of Noel’s vocals, his lone lead vocal track on Morning Glory. On the underrated 2005 effort, Don’t Believe the Truth, his singing was featured more frequently and I was fully supportive.
– Champagne Supernova, AI score 
A sprawling closer for the ages, a Paul Weller/Noel Gallagher duelling guitar feature to remember. Though its success may have been a blessing and a curse. However much I may enjoy this album’s follow-up, Be Here Now, it was undeniably bloated and I fear this tune may have been partially responsible for some of that neglected editing.
– Wonderwall, AI score 
Not even close to my preferred Oasis tune but then again, how many Nirvana fans cite Smells Like Teen Spirit as their favourite? Wonderwall’s durability is awe-inspiring, the cello is an inspired touch, and other groups have had big hits since with only slightly varied chord progressions & tempos. A campfire classic if there ever was one, maybe even the biggest crowd-pleaser in recent memory. “I said maybe.”
So if you thought Oasis was overplayed back in the day, you’re right. It would be wrong however to disregard the brilliance of this era-defining record.
Very glad I revisited this one.