Oasis’ third album hasn’t reached its 20th anniversary yet, but the band are releasing a reissue.‘Be Here Now’ was released on August 21, 1997 when Oasis could lay claim to being the biggest band in the world.
After the release of Morning Glory and two sold-out nights at Knebworth, the expectation was enormous.
When Be Here Now landed, some fans walked away disappointed and others were still infatuated with the Mancunians at their most bombastic and production-heavy.
To mark the reissue, which features unearthed demos, live extras and b-sides, here are 10 things you may or may not know about Be Here Now.
1. My Big Mouth has 30 guitar tracks
If you listen to the vinyl version of ‘My Big Mouth’, it’s utterly deafening. That’s because there are reportedly 30 layered guitar tracks of blistering, distorted chords on the song.
2. Even Noel thinks it’s too long
Before the release of Be Here Now, the band showcased ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’, the first single, to radio pluggers.It suddenly dawned on Noel Gallagher that the album was way too long, and that the lead single was “out of order”.
3. Paul Weller wasn’t complimentary about the video
After the release of the preposterous ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’ video, Paul Weller made his thoughts clear to Noel, claiming it was “Apocalypse Yesterday”. Recently, Noel gave his opinion on the video, saying: “Look at all those helicopters, that cost a f***ing fortune.”
4. Pete Doherty waited in line for its release
Such was the expectation around the record that many shops in the UK opened their doors at midnight for the release of Be Here Now. And MTV bumped into an 18-year-old future Libertine Pete Doherty queuing and interviewed him about the album’s hype.
5. The NME didn’t like it
NME normally praise Oasis for most of their work, so you would expect them to back the band at the height of their career. Instead, they described Be Here Now as “an overcooked dog’s dinner knocked up by five dusty-nosed egotists”.
6. The ‘All around the world’ video was a challenge
To accompany the feel of the song, the band wanted to make a video similar to ‘Yellow Submarine’. Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, it took 24 computer animators and six months to make.
7. Not all the band disapproves it
Noel Gallagher has been an open critic of Be Here Now since he sobered up, repeatedly stating how unnecessarily bombastic it is. However, his brother Liam thinks it “rocks” while rhythm guitarist Bonehead thinks “it isn’t s**t”.
8. It killed Britpop
Music critic Jon Savage believed that Be Here Now was the moment that the Britpop movement died, stating that it wasn’t as colossal as expected at a time when there was more accessible and ambitious music around.The reprise of ‘All Around the World’ with the sound of a door slamming at the end has notoriously been referred to as “the end of the Britpop-era Oasis”.
9. It was promoted badly
To suppress the inevitable and overwhelming hype of Be Here Now, the band’s management company, Ignition, used several tactics that alienated A&R staff and inadvertently caused more exposure for the album’s release. The press was gagged too: every journalist wanting a copy for review was handed a contract to sign so they discussed details with nobody – even their partners at home.
10. Johnny Depp played guitar on a track
The band got cosy with Depp after the Gallagher brothers stayed with him and Kate Moss at Mick Jagger’s villa. Thereafter, Noel asked the movie star to play slide guitar on ‘Fade in-out’.