Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

Oasis Familiar To Millions (2001)


All live albums should be recorded in the UK, preferably Wembley Stadium. Okay, I know Wembley is being rebuilt right now, but anyone who has heard a lve recording from there knows what I mean, but it’s less the building than the fans that make UK live records so moving. They just love to sing along, and not just casually sing along, but sing coherently. It’s an awesome thing to hear. Oasis’ music is tailor-made for stadium sing-alongs…good, straightforward rock music with rave-up choruses, and on Familiar To Millions, the band delivers one great sing-along song after the other.

But this is Oasis remember, and an Oasis live show is also incomplete without the snide, pernickety, taunting banter from the two Gallagher brothers. This album was recorded right in the middle of a controversial time for the band, with Noel Gallagher threatening to leave the band (he did for a while), frustrated at his brother Liam’s idiotic antics. You can feel the uneasiness on Familiar To Millions, but instead of bringing the show down, it elevates it. There’s a bit of an edge to every song, a feeling as if the band will implode at any moment.

It’s not a perfect performance, and the recording quality is barely a step above a soundboard recording, but it’s a memorable one. You can practically see Liam growling into the microphone in that disinterested way of his, while Noel plays the part of Rock God off to the side, ignoring little brother, while the other three members (they do have names, right?) do a workmanlike job in the background. Their Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants album is given a token mention with three songs in the setlist, and when that’s over with, the fun, and yes, the singing along, begins.

The great songs all there: ‘Supersonic’, ‘Acquiesce’, ‘Roll With It’, ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’, ‘Live Forever’, ‘Champagne Supernova’…proof that Oasis have built themselves up an impressive catalogue. ‘Step Out’, known by Oasis fans as the one that was yanked off the Morning Glory album because it blatantly ripped off Stevie Wonder, is a nice surprise addition (complete with co-songwriting credit given to Wonder, finally), as is Neil Young’s ‘Hey Hey, My My’ (the audience indifference to the cover song is a bit amusing). An ordinary version of ‘Helter Skelter’ from their US tour is tacked on at the end, for no other reason than to fill up some cd space.

The absolute high points are during ‘Wonderwall’, and especially ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, when the crowd takes over and sings as only the British can. It’s something to behold, something that sends shivers down your spine. However, my personal favourite moment from the show is right before ‘Live Forever’, which perfectly sums up the sloppy, uneasy, but memorable feel of the performance. Liam announces that it’s the last song they’ll perform, and right before the song starts, you hear Noel say incredulously, “Did he say it’s the last one?” Ah, brothers…

April 9, 2013 - Posted by | Oasis Familiar To Millions |

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