Music lovers and Oasis. Because they need each other.
Cloned sheep, Labours return to power, George Bush's two terms as President, Be Here Now, football came home (but never stayed for too long), the second Iraqi war, Pokemon, the war on terrorism, Big Brother (TV show and the record label), Google, Princess Di's death, South Park, Family Guy, Standing on the shoulder of giants, Arctic Monkeys, bird flu, the film Titanic, iPods, MySpace, Harry Potter, the Euro, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Napster, Deal or No Deal, So Solid Crew, the millennium bug being a damp squib, Heathen Chemistry,a new Pope, total solar eclipse, several greatest Glastonbury's ever according to Michael Eavis, Don't believe the truth, George Harrisons death, The Lord of the Rings films, Nu-Rave and the launch of the RoomThirteen website.
These are just some of the events that have occurred since Oasis recorded a song they believe good enough to feature on the EP heralding the release from their first ever Best of Collection. That's over ten years of a bands history not making it onto the stand-alone companion that should be beating its chest and saying, yes, this is the best of the band. Be Here Now? It comes across as be there then.
So, its agreed, Oasis are no longer the critical force they once were, their latest album was a step in the right direction and Noel Gallaghers interviews are still spiked with a humour and honesty that many struggle to come close to and its unlikely that the "new" releases by The Beatles or U2 are being subject to such scrutiny, so is it harsh to be picking on the Gallagher boys and whoever else is around in this manner?
In a word, yes. And the reason for that is it would be hard to picture another band still making music today who could release two tracks that were "only" B-sides, a demo version of a single and a live run-through of a No.1 and still feel as though its one of the most important releases of the year. For all the hype and hyperbole, for all the bravado and swagger and the fights and brawls and everything else, countless bands would make a career out of 'Acquiesce' and 'The Masterplan.'
For all Noel may protest about the meanings of the song, most see 'Acquiesce' as an encapsulation of the Gallaghers relationship. Liam with the sneer and the venom belting out the verse only for Noel to shine through in the chorus, almost asking for calm and righting all the wrongs. It's a pretty outstanding track for a B-side rocker and quite rightly holds a strong place in many fans hearts. 'The Masterplan' is the other side of Oasis, the measured side, growing from Noels acoustic musings but developed with a big sound, it's a classic say nothing but manage to make it sound profound, that again has probably had more singsongs than some bands greatest hits.
Add to this versions of 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' and 'Some Might Say', which is often overlooked as 'Acquiesce' was its B-side but deserves to be recognised as one of the bands best, and it has to be said, no matter what year these tracks came out, this is a fantastic release and the only thing that should stop you buying it is already owning the tracks. Even then, get someone else to buy it for you.