I’m a fan of Noel Gallagher in nearly every way possible. I buy the attitude hook line and sinker. I make apologies for any statement he makes that might be offensive and there’s nary a song he’s written that I don’t enjoy. Obviously some more than others. I mean “I can see a liar” is nowhere near as good as “One Way Road” or “Carry Us All”, but it’s not without it’s good moments. For a songwriter to have several albums under his belt while in Oasis along with a solo career with the High Flying Birds stuff, for him to still produce speaks volume to his ability to know his limitations and work within what works. He doesn’t really reach and I’m sure someone can point out it’s a bit “meat and potato’s” but I’m ok with that. If you do something well focus on that. Don’t reach and produce crap. Though, I guess, you could say they reached during “Be Here Now”? At least according to the press, but if you read this site regularly you know how little I care for those opinions. And thus here are my Opinions on Noel Gallagher’s greatness.
Noel Gallagher’s Early Years
Greatness doesn’t come to the majority of people despite what our mums told us. Or at the very least for most of us it doesn’t come easily. In my view a series of events occur that lead people on a path that provides them to make excellent choices based on their knowledge of life at a given opportunity. I realize this dispels in a way the “i’m a special flower” notion that this writer, and surely many of the readers have. :dealwithit:. For Noel Gallagher the start most of us would kill and consider a peak is well documented as being a roadie with the Inspiral Carpets. Sure, they weren’t The Stone Roses, but they were/are a legitimate band. In my opinion the exposure to that lifestyle, and it is a lifestyle at that point, really prepared him for what was to come later with Oasis. Obviously the man had talent for writing songs early on as evidenced by the demo’s that he created in what people presume to be 1989. I will say songs like “what’s it got to do with you” and “hey you” are really smiths influenced on Guitar and not totally like what he later pulled out but a great start. And, no offense meant to smiths fans, but thank god for not trying to mimic Morrissey as we all know their can only be one Moz. And one Noel, right?
The story of Oasis is fairly well known but I’ll breeze through it. Liam Gallagher started it along with Bonehead, guigs, and some drummer and didn’t really produce anything of note. Liam would probabaly say otherwise but things didn’t happen until Noel Gallagher joined with his clutch of songs and the rest is history for people like us. Personally I don’t rate some of the later albums as high as the first few but holding them up against other bands “best” I would say even the throwaway albums, in music press terms and not mine, mind you, such as Standing on the Shoulder of Giants or Heathen Chemistry, still stand up to those bands. Even as Liam Gallagher’s voice started it’s slow decent downward due to poor posture while singing and more likely too much Cocaine, the band still made great songs like Stand by Me, Lyla, and Shock of Lightening. The magic of Liam’s voice and attitude along with Noel’s attitude and song writing made the magic happen. More to the point is there are many Noel Gallagher sung tunes that Oasis fans rate at the best. Obviously The Masterplan is one many point to. For me I always fell in love with Talk Tonight. It was one of the first songs that I tried to learn how to play on guitar. If you’re a super fan, and an old bootlegger like this writer, you might own “Noel gets to the Point” from Dublin in 1997 where he sang an entire and some songs not played afterwards like The Girl In the Dirty Shirt. He also sang D you know what I mean on acoustic – which you can listen to here and is beautiful. What I think is go great about the years Noel was in Oasis was that there almost always were two sides to the songs. The Noel side, which leaked out through various demo’s, and then the Liam side. There were changes vocally obviously, but the songs took on different emotions.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
It’s rather well documented Noel Gallagher leaving Oasis and by the two previous paragraphs where I breeze over Oasis and his years as a roadie this shouldn’t be much of a surprise, so I won’t even touch on that because what for? Personally ever since the 3-4 acoustic mid-set shows of the Morning Glory tour have I been waiting for a complete solo Noel Gallagher effort. I didn’t want it to come after the demise of Oasis however. I would have really enjoyed having just Liam and Noel appear on a track or maybe Gem or Andy contributing parts, but that is the case and so here we are. The jury is still a little out on Noel Gallagher as a solo artist (not really) because maybe he used many of the songs leftover from his Oasis days. Songs like Record Machine, Stop the clocks and let the lord shine a light on me are all, I believe, leftover songs. I will say I very seriously doubt that the 2nd, 3rd or 4th solo Noel Gallagher effort will be anything short of amazing for this writer, but there is always that chance that he falls into the Beady Eye traps and blow all of his good songs early on. Though many disagree with me on the last statement for a variety of reasons what makes Noel’s solo efforts so great is that his songs don’t immediately sound “Oasis-lite”. Sure, he’s been leaning this way with his songs on the Oasis albums; I point to the importance of being idle as a key indicator but there is, I feel, a difference. If you heard the demo’s of the High Flying Birds album off of the Blu-Ray dvd then you’ll hear even a far different album there as well. The songs sound more like they’re something the La’s could have made and man I would have loved that. It would have been a little similar to the first Ian Brown solo album.
Final Thoughts on Noel Gallagher’s Greatness
I realize I shill pretty hard for Noel and I think it’s ok to be a fan of most things. For me hearing noel tear down a song to it’s acoustic versions is one of the best things for my ears. I point to that video of “Aka..what a life” as my evidence. I also believe he’s got great taste in music from his love of The Stone Roses – a collaboration with Ian Brown on “Keep what you got” being a highlight of Ian’s solo career for me, to Northern Uproar to The La’s to The Jam and so on. His I say what I feel, even if it contradicts what he’s said before, attitude is great. We can’t all be like that but we do need guys like Noel so that we can have quote galleries because that’s entertainment. And Noel gives us the entire package.