Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday

Chasing Yesterday

At their peak of popularity, Oasis were the biggest band…in the UK. Though they had a few hits in the US, they never broke the US market like many expected them to in the mid 90’s. Driven to success with the double-edged sword of talent & sibling rivalry, it all fizzled out in 2009 after a pre gig fight between Liam and Noel Gallagher. Critics mocked their reverent worship of The Beatles, but I admired it. Is it really so different from the latest crop of post-punk bands who worship at the altar of Joy Division? At their best, Oasis could hang with The Beatles. At their worst, they were left in the dust by The Rutles. Where does a band go when it all crashes down?

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Ryan Adams – Wonderwall

wonderwall

Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

Following the dissolution of Alt-Country greats Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams immediately made an impact with his 1st two solo records, Heartbreaker and Gold. Those albums continued the roots based vibe, while adding a slightly more mainstream flavor that the Whiskeytown records had only hinted at. The accolades and good vibes were put to the side for the most part when it came to the Ryan Adams records of 2003 and 2004. Rock N Roll was Ryan Adams as The Strokes while Love Is Hell combined two EP’s that seemed to be a nod towards UK indie melancholy. Most of it didn’t really work for me, to be honest, but the cover of Wonderwall (originally by Oasis) is one of the best cover songs I’ve ever heard. The classic Britpop tune with nonsensical lyrics is here transformed into an acoustic lament. Liam Gallagher’s sneer is replaced by Ryan Adams’ country-ish twang. The song was released as a single and hit #27 in the UK. It even inspired Oasis to adopt the Ryan Adams version in concert for a short time. This is how cover versions should be done.

Oasis – Sad Song

1994oasisdefinitelymaybe600

Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

The early to mid 90’s Britpop movement brought a lifetime’s supply of musical gems. Dozens of bands put out albums and singles that looked to the 60’s British Invasion for inspiration, whilst putting their own spin on it. Among bands that broke into America, Oasis was #1 (Blur’s brief conquering of America was after their Britpop infatuation had passed). Punk rock attitude backed up by songs that were instant classics, Oasis was the 2nd coming of The Beatles (for just a moment in time). For me, they’ve been a hit or miss affair. Even some of their bigger hits featured lyrics that still make me cringe. But when they put all of the pieces of the puzzle together, I love them unreservedly. Sad Song was originally a bonus track on their debut record, Definitely Maybe, released in mid 1994. Bonus track meaning – only available on the vinyl and Japanese CD versions of the album. What a shame – this is one of the strongest songs Oasis ever cut to tape. This is an acoustic based song featuring Noel Gallagher on vocals instead of Liam. Haunting guitar licks, emotive vocals, and lyrics that resonate – the perfect package. The song is now easily available on the deluxe edition of Definitely Maybe so you can sing along to these words “and we cheat and we lie / nobody says it’s wrong / so we don’t ask why / cause it’s all just the same at the end of the day”

LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge

LCD Sound

Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

Grunge wasn’t REALLY born in Seattle, WA now was it? No, no – it has its origins in the grittier city of Tacoma, WA with the garage rock band The Sonics. Punk wasn’t REALLY 1st bandied about by the Sex Pistols now was it? Nope – have you heard of The Modern Lovers (later covered by the Sex Pistols). How about that band that featured Damon Albarn and Liam Gallagher? Sorry – made that part up. “Losing My Edge” by LCD Soundsystem is a song about hipsters, by a hipster, for hipsters, making fun of hipsters. If there is anything you’ve taken away from my writings I’d hope you understand – I’m in both camps constantly. As I’ve gotten older I’ve lost the self-important edge that goes with knowing all the complicated relationships and scenes from music over the years (though the knowledge has stayed in my brain). What does it all matter? Anyone can look up anything on the internet at anytime and be hip to the secrets of the indie elitist. This song features a repetitive and catchy dance beat as James Murphy spouts off about various scenes and bands from the last 50 years. He always comes back to the refrain “I was there – I was there” – which becomes funnier as the song progresses. The song was released as a 12″ single on July 8, 2002 on the DFA Record label (owned by James Murphy). The video features Murphy being slapped repeatedly as he mimes along (in an edited version). My beloved Sonics get a shout out at the end. Key lyrics:

I was there in 1968.
I was there at the first Can show in Cologne.
I’m losing my edge.

I was there in 1974 at the first Suicide practices in a loft in New York City.
I was working on the organ sounds with much patience.

I used to work in the record store.
I had everything before anyone.

I heard you have a compilation of every good song ever done by anybody.
Every great song by the Beach Boys. All the underground hits.