Few months ago we shared with you the best Noel Gallagher’s covers. NME now ranked Oasis’ 10 best covers – “the Gallagher brothers have taken on a fair whack of classic tracks – putting their Manchester spin on cuts from the likes of Slade, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles”.
Though the immediately recognisable, soaring riffs that open David Bowie’s 1977 masterpiece are replicated here with aplomb, there’s something about Noel’s everyman vocal that doesn’t quite tally. When you’re used to music’s most fantastical chameleon, then sadly, anything less just loses a little of the magic.
9. Helter Skelter
Slowing the tempo down into a baggier, less urgent groove, Oasis’ take on ‘Helter Skelter’ substitutes the original’s opening buzzsaw riffs and McCartney’s howling vocal for something altogether more chilled. Points for doing their own take (although some would argue Oasis had been playing their own take on Beatles songs for years…), but could do with more punch.
8. Whole Lotta Love
This would have likely ranked a lot higher had the band powered through the track’s entire five and a half minutes, however Oasis only ever gave us a cheeky teaser of their Zep capabilities (usually while segueing into ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’). Roaring out of the tracks, it’s enough to make us wish they’d continue.
7. Street Fighting Man
The B-side to 1998 single ‘All Around The World’, this cover of The Rolling Stones’ hit kicks off with an amusing moaning snippet from the session before launching into a prowling swagger of a tune. Beefed up from the original with added guitar effects and a denser wall of sound, it adds an aggression that hints they’re taking the title rather literally.
6. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
Another take on the Fabs here – this time, harking back to ‘Help!’ and one of Lennon’s gritty-voiced acoustic classics. Though you imagine Liam would be first in line to take the lead here, it’s actually Noel who steps up. And, though his smoother tones add a different quality to the track, it’s still a strong attempt that stays largely true to the original.
5. Merry Christmas, Everybody
“It’s Spring!” we hear you cry. “No-one wants to listen to a Christmas song now!” And normally, we would agree. However, Oasis’ laconic reinterpretation of this glam Slade stomper (recorded for the Christmas special of The Royle Family) actually turns an overplayed festive mainstay into something palatable for any season. Kudos.
4. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)
“Rock and roll can never die/ There’s more to the picture than meets the eye,” goes 1979 single ‘Hey Hey My My (Into The Black)’ – a message that the Gallagher bros have spent a lifetime enacting. Though on paper Oasis and Neil aren’t the most obvious of bedfellows, there’s a spirit at the heart of this track that makes perfect sense – in different ways – for both.
3. My Generation
One of the more well-known Oasis covers, the combination of Liam’s snarl (“People try to put us dyyyoooownnn”) and the general swaggering confidence of the track mean that it’s an obvious choice for the Manchester lads to tackle. The band brought their version out live a number of times over the years.
2. Cum On Feel The Noize
Noddy Holder and his bell bottom-clad crew might not be the go-to group to cover when you’re one of the biggest bands in the country, yet here we are again, with Slade offering no.2. ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’s ragged riffs and hedonistic call to arms were right up the Gallagher’s street and it shows – this is ace.
1. I Am The Walrus
It was never not going to be a Beatles track, was it? This is peak Liam, getting the chance to play his hero for a glorious six minutes and going at it full pelt. It was so good, in fact, that it even made it onto ’98 album ‘The Masterplan’ – the only cover to feature on the record.