Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

Oasis The Masterplan (1998)


The Masterplan? Part of Noels ‘master-plan’ was that Oasis would be perceived as a great singles act in addition to a generally great albums band. All the groups he admired ( The Jam, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Beatles ) had wonderful b-sides. Noel forgot one thing though.

Even though all the aforementioned acts DID have great b-sides, these b-sides were very rarely better than either the a-sides or songs picked to go onto the albums. Noel tossed away so many songs as b-sides to prove how great his Oasis band was. Too many good songs ended up as b-sides to the general detriment of the regular albums. Fortunately for us, they decided to release this b-sides compilation! ‘Acquiesce’ is a sheer thing of splendorous wonder. Menace, rocking guitars, a great lead from Liam and effective counterpoint vocals from Noel in the chorus. Brilliant.

‘Going Nowhere’ appeared on the b-side of ‘Stand By Me’ from ‘Be Here Now’. Its rather lovely…..far better than at least half of what appeared on that album. Its quiet, un-ambitious, full of melody, tender effective vocals….

All of the ballads here are top-notch, affecting songs. We have ‘Talk Tonight’ which is Noel plus guitar and a few handclaps. That’s all. It’s refreshing to hear Oasis this way. For me, they sound so much more effective when they aren’t trying to bludgeon you round the head! ‘Half The World Away’ will be familiar to fans of English TV show ‘The Royle Family’. Brush-stroked drums and again, a stripped back and sympathetic production. ‘Rockin Chair’ appeared on the b-side to ‘Roll With It’ – lovely lilting melodies, an astutely judged vocal performance from Liam.

An absolute highlight on this set of alternative Oasis. ‘Listen Up’, ‘Stay Young’ but especially the very raw ‘Fade Away’ work as the highlights of the rockier songs. ‘Fade Away’ in particular has an addictive melody and impassioned but not over the top vocal performance. Some of the other songs here are merely OK, but none fail to offer at least a little to the listener.

I could have done without ‘I Am The Walrus’ but there you go. With their love of The Beatles, it was inevitable really.

April 20, 2013 - Posted by | Oasis The Masterplan |

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