Classic Rock Review

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Oasis Stop The Clocks (2006)


Stop The Clocks turns out to be an apt title for the first Oasis compilation, as it pretty much halts the band’s career at the 1996 mark, just after the release of the landmark masterpiece (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?.

This was the band’s heyday, commercially and musically, so it makes sense for a collection to focus on this peak…except that a) this is two discs and b) Oasis had four albums and a B-sides/rarities compilation between 1997 and 2006, the year of this release. Also, there are only 18 songs here, nine per disc, which is a bit skimpy and questionable in the CD era (each CD is about 40 minutes, or the length of an LP).

If this sounds like nit picking, it is, because the music here is without question fantastic throughout. There is nary a bad song to be found. Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory are two of the best albums of the ‘90s, hands down, and the assorted singles and B-sides from the era are good enough to have been included on those records. Of the remaining tracks, “Go Let It Out” and “Songbird” are excellent and “The Importance Of Being Idle” is one of the few highlights of the dull Don’t Believe The Truth disc. Only “Lyla” fails to excite; it could have been replaced with “The Hindu Times,” “F—ing In The Bushes” or anything from Be Here Now, which is unjustly ignored on this compilation.

If you already own the two aforementioned albums, there’s little here that you will need, and if you don’t, you should pick them tout suite. If you are an Oasis newbie, this is a fine introduction, although be warned it is not a comprehensive or balanced overview of the band’s career (that honor belongs mostly to 2010’s Time Flies).

Nearly all of the best songs from Morning Glory are here, from the acoustic ballad “Wonderwall” and the majestic “Imagine” rewrite “Don’t Look Back In Anger” to the classicist noise of “Some Might Say” and the epic one-two punch of the title track and “Champagne Supernova.” Only “Hello” is missing, but the B-sides “Acquiesce” and “The Masterplan” make up for it.

From Definitely Maybe we get the swagger of “Rock And Roll Star” (as clear a mission statement as any band has ever written, lyrically and musically), the giddy sparkle of “Supersonic,” the mini-masterworks “Live Forever” and “Slide Away,” and the T-Rex update “Cigarettes & Alcohol.”

All of these songs, as well as the B-sides and the three other songs mentioned above, are among the best of the decade and the best Oasis had to offer, and time has only cemented their status as classics, which is what the guys were aiming for. It’s not a perfect collection or a balanced overview, but it’s a solid collection of damn fine music.

April 8, 2013 Posted by | Oasis Stop The Clocks | | Leave a comment