Released on 21 August 1997, Be Here Now was the fastest selling album in British history.
At that time, Oasis were one of the biggest bands on the planet.
They played Knebworth the previous year, in front of more than 250.000 people, so the demand and hype surrounding Be Here Now was a monster.
The first single taken from the album was D’You Know What I Mean? and was a number one smash.
A few weeks later, though, the backlash happened.
It turns out that some of the fans weren’t too happy that nine of the album’s tracks were more than 5 minutes long.
The critics were now recanting their original positive reviews and were talking behind the band’s back, saying that they sounded like a bloody prog-Status Quo and that they had lost their musical heritage.
Nonsense; as over the last 20 years the real Oasis fans know the truth: Be Here Now is the band’s finest hour. This album kicks their debut into touch and here are 10 reasons why.
1. THEIR BEST EVER SINGLE – “STAND BY ME”
Some might say that this is Oasis’ best single and it’s a shame that the X Factor and The Voice don’t force their contestants to sing it.
2. THE BEST LIVE TRACK EVER – “MY BIG MOUTH”
Knebworth has gone down in history as the Woodstock for the Brit pop era. This has to be a definitive track from that show, the song that everyone who attended just couldn’t stop whistling on their way home.
3. THE BEST GUITAR SOLO EVER – “MAGIC PIE”
Noel has ripped his hands through a few guitar solo’s in his time: Champagne Supernova, Live Forever, Half The World Away. He saved all his powers for this humdinger and at four minutes and 33 seconds you can hear a solo that is up there with anything from that year including Silver Sun.
4. A HOLLYWOOD PIRATE ON GUITAR – “FADE IN OUT”
When you are making your finest album, you need to work with some of the greatest players and creative people in the world. In this case, Johnny Depp was available to lend a hand with some slide-guitar for this track, and elevated the song to glory.
5. MOST UNDERRATED SONG EVER – “GIRL IN THE DIRTY SHIRT”
Mention the Girl In The Dirty Shirt into a general musical conversation, and you will be surprised with the amount of eyebrows raised. The band didn’t tend to play this live, and the song has slipped into the shadows.
6. THE SONG THAT INFLUENCED THE MOST IMPORTANT MODERN GUITAR BAND, KASABIAN – “D’YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?”
The spelling may have gone a bit Slade, but this is the moment when the band reached the top of the mountain. This helped create Kasabian, and we must all bow down to that.
7. THOSE B-SIDES – “STAY YOUNG”
Noel Gallagher just had a knack for leaving some of his best tunes off the records, and this could be their best ever B-side since Rocking Chair. Though as this is included in the deluxe version of the album, it is yet another reason why this is Oasis’ best work.
8. THE SADDEST SONG RECORDED – “DON’T GO AWAY”
Oasis has recorded many emotional songs, but Don’t Go Away has to be their most saddening song. Liam Gallagher claims to have cried while recording its breathtaking vocal: “I just thought ‘Fuck that, I can’t be singing this song’ and I had to go away and sort myself out”.
9. WHEN OASIS TAKE ON THE BEATLES AND WIN – “ALL AROUND THE WORLD”
The Beatles are known for being a rather good beat combo from Liverpool who had some pretty decent tunes. But thank God for Oasis, they had the balls to take what Ringo and the boys had been trying to do for most of the late 60’s and bring it to another level. All Around The World takes the Beatles’ best hits Hey Jude, All We Need Is Love and all of Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band and turns it into one awesome track.
10. REPRISE – “ALL AROUND THE WORLD (REPRISE)”
They just keep on giving. Some may say that during the nine and a half minutes of All Around The World they had pretty much done all they needed to. No, Oasis knew we needed to hear more, and with this reprise we got to listen to some more horns, piano and guitar feedback. Thank you.