S-Tier Songs, Vol. 14

Here we are yet again for another edition of S-Tier songs. The list of prior entries and the criteria can be found here.

I’m at an odd place with this series – I’ve been looking to get a variety of artists on here before I start repeating acts. But also this has been running for almost a year and at some point in time I just have to say the hell with it and just go with the songs I want to put on. For the time being I will stick to covering artists not yet on this list, though today’s pick changes that shape a bit.

I had been working on a two-parter for this series that would see songs brought in from two different bands, though having the same singer. The songs have the same theme and fit together and are both worthy inclusions on this list, so I thought it would be a cool thing.

But then I thought about something – if I’m going to have my first two-time singer appearance on this list, who do I really want that to be? I pushed off the other picks for a bit and made my choice for the first guy to actually appear on the S-Tier list twice, though in different artistic entities.

Bruce Dickinson – Tears Of The Dragon

Today’s song is from Bruce’s second solo album Balls To Picasso. It was also Bruce’s first album after his infamous exit from Iron Maiden in 1993. Bruce had made a few attempts to start the record with other bands and producers, but he scrapped those efforts and hooked up with Roy Z and Tribe Of Gypsies. That band would back Bruce on this effort and the partnership with Roy Z would yield great results over the ensuing years.

Tears Of The Dragon is generally viewed as the best song from Balls To Picasso. The song has over 40 million streams on Spotify, which basically obliterates the totals from any other Dickinson solo tune. While none of the solo catalog did massive numbers sales-wise and The Chemical Wedding is widely hailed as a masterpiece, it is Tears Of The Dragon that is the first song recalled when talking about Bruce’s solo career.

Our song today is not a blazing metal scorcher. It would fit quasi-ballad territory – the song opens with soft, somber verses that build to a powerful chorus suiting The Human Air Raid Siren’s voice. It is replete with the standard fare you’ll find in any good hard rock/metal song, including a fast-paced solo and also a jazzy sort of interlude that, well, I guess you don’t find in every hard rock or metal song. And yeah, the very first time I heard the song I was really thrown off, but I’ve gotten used to the bit and now I can’t imagine the song without it.

Lyrically the song deals with the idea of overcoming one’s fears to “throw myself into the sea” and see what happens. The song revolves around Bruce’s decision to leave Iron Maiden and throw himself into the sea, to experience what else might be out there that he was missing. I can’t readily access the source material for this, but Bruce gave the info in an interview with Rolling Stone when he was promoting his biography in 2017. It was a huge gamble to cast off from Iron Maiden and go at it alone. And while it might not have been a lucrative prospect, in the end Bruce does have an acclaimed solo catalog from his endeavors.

And the song’s greatest strength is that it wasn’t specifically couched in the terms of him leaving Maiden – it was a song for anyone who was unsure about a course in life, who needed that push to go ahead and jump into the sea of doubt. I think music in general will grab people at places and times, be the right song in the right place for someone. That much doesn’t consider genre or form – people have benefited from a song bringing the right message at the right time.

But I think we know rock and metal have long been the refuge of the loner, the doubter, the unsure of foot. And Tears Of The Dragon is a call to anyone feeling those kind of emotions – metal is often at its best when it appeals to the outcasts, and this is a song for those on the margins that need a push for that motivation to succeed and overcome when the odds aren’t good or even known.

It’s the overriding reason why many of us chose this kind of music as our own. We didn’t fit, we didn’t like the same things as those around us, or whatever it was, we faced life with doubt and trepidation. It was shit like this that got many of us over the hump, just as this song did when I was just before the age of 17 in 1994.

While life wasn’t exactly great for Iron Maiden-Bruce Dickinson-hard rock and heavy metal fans in 1994, we still found our own way. And a fair bit of that had to do with the mainstays like Bruce offering viable product, updating with the times yet still staying the course. It would only come to pass years later that staying the course was the true line to walk, even in the turmoil of the early 90’s, and the greater turmoil of the years beyond.

Why is this an S-Tier song?

Tears Of The Dragon is a magnificent ballad of conquering self-doubt that offered its artist an early signature hit in a period of great uncertainty. While charts and sales figures weren’t entirely kind to Bruce’s solo efforts, the talk of the time and also the retrospective analysis paints his work away from Maiden in a fantastic light, and Tears is one of the main calling cards for his time in the 1990’s wilderness. It’s a song about conquering fears and embracing the unknown, which Bruce did by word and deed in a period where many thought rock and metal as we knew it was lost forever. Yet, by simply executing what he knew, we would be led back to a new legacy we couldn’t even begin to imagine.

You might recognize the guitarist here

Album Of The Week – April 18, 2022

This week it’s a look back to 1994 and the height of what came to be known as “alt-metal.” It was a strange time where a lot of different sounds got airplay as the fallout from 1991 left room for a variety of acts to get a moment in the sun. Our subject today would see his most commercially successful effort here. It would divide long-time fans and those who came on with the album but also serve as a point where he entered the wider public consciousness, a place where he has hung out in various forms since.

Rollins Band – Weight

Released April 12, 1994 via Imago Records

My Favorite Tracks – Volume 4, Disconnect, Divine Object Of Hatred

Weight was the fourth album from Rollins Band and came after a complete reconfiguration of the band, save namesake frontman Henry Rollins. Henry had done a lot to this point as the former vocalist of punk icons Black Flag, as well as a series of books and spoken-word albums on top of the Rollins Band.

Nothing about Henry Rollins screamed “put me on MTV and make me a star” but that is exactly what happened in 1994. Weight and its hit single would lift Rollins’ profile into the mainstream, where he remains a figure across several mediums to this day. Between acting, novels and his renowned spoken word tours, Henry Rollins has become a wizened “aging alternative icon” (his own words), and Weight is where the spotlight would first shine.

Anyone looking for Weight on Spotify will be disappointed, for reasons unknown to me most of the Rollins Band catalog isn’t there. It does appear in full audio form on YouTube, its digital presence is otherwise scarce.

Disconnect

Leading off is one of the album’s two singles and the lesser-celebrated one. No matter, the song is still worthy and one of the album’s highlights.

Disconnect is an anthem about getting away from all the information and chilling out. The notable thing about it is that it was written in 1993 and released in 1994, when the Internet was just getting out there. This isn’t a disconnect from the Internet, it’s a disconnect from the general shit of society that was still ever present even before the ‘Net.

The music employs a groovy feel along with a heaviness that stands out from the crowd and flows throughout the album. Henry Rollins and his talk/shout style of vocal delivery might be unconventional but works very well across the soundtrack to the shit that goes through his head.

Fool

The second track tells the tale of getting caught up in the wrong kind of lover and the feelings of uselessness and shame that come with that. It’s a well-versed song that communicates a message far too many of us have learned the hard way, sometimes more than once.

Icon

A fast-paced banger that outlines the rise and fall of a musical celebrity. I don’t know the backstory of the song so I’m not sure if it was just something Henry came up with or if it’s actually about someone in the industry. Around the time of the song there were many rock stars falling from grace so it can be seen as a look at how things really went even if it’s not based off anyone in particular. And the song is another shining example of how metal and groove can work together well, a lesson we’ve learned a lot about since.

Civilized

This harsh track sees Henry lamenting the life of crime and gun culture. It’s a topic close to home for Henry, who lost his best friend Joe Cole in an armed robbery outside their Venice Beach house in 1991, which Henry was able to escape from.

The song does not hold back and equates the armed criminal to the vulgar slang for that which hunts the criminal. For an album full of hard-spoken moments, Civilized is one where Henry is speaking straight from hard-earned experience.

Divine Object Of Hatred

It’s a masochistic turn into being the whipping boy here, as Henry is torn apart by people who can’t stand his existence. No telling where this song came from but it’s a pretty grisly and hard look at being a scapegoat. It’s also a very groovy tune for its hardcore subject matter.

Liar

This was a song that the band would jam out to in rehearsal as a warm-up. Someone from the record label told them they had something there and should make a full song out of it. After doing so, Rollins and company figured they had a b-side at best. The label disagreed and fought for Liar to be released as the lead single.

The label won the argument, of course. And the label was right.

The song keeps it quiet in the verses as Henry outlines how he takes advantage of someone’s fragile psyche and becomes a personal messiah. Then the very simple yet iconic chorus kicks up the volume while Henry screams “I’m a liar!” It’s the little twist in the adversarial relationship – Rollins is often talk/shouting about being on the “good” side of such things but in Liar he is playing the villain. And Rollins plays his part well. The third verse especially is a great example of acting in song, going from the plea for forgiveness into the inevitable result is just great song-work.

The song hit the Billboard charts and the video was a constant showcase on MTV. I’d wager that the video’s influence far outshines any charts or sales figures, everyone was abuzz about Liar in 1994. It’s odd to call a punk and alternative icon like Henry Rollins a one-hit wonder, but in the case of Liar, he truly was.

And for Rollins he wishes the one hit was anything else. Liar has become a bit of a pariah in the Rollins Band lexicon. I can understand it – the song was conceived in a jam session and was aired out as a warm-up joke, then it becomes the one song out of a long career that breaks mainstream. It goes to show the unpredictability of music and hit making. It also took someone who was a figurehead of the DIY punk ethos and made him a mainstream darling, something that did rankle long-time Rollins fans while also exposing him to a whole host of people who hadn’t previously heard of him. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

For my money, I think Liar is a great song. I’ve never been one to feel a band should be ashamed of making a hit or of more public exposure. Rollins can, of course, feel however he wishes about his art, but the merits of Liar and Weight have been something I’ve argued with others about on this here Internet many times over the years. And I don’t apologize for liking it more than other stuff he’s done that 35 people saw live in a bowling alley parking lot.

Step Back

This is a super heavy tune about confrontation and adversity. It’s basically Rollins punking someone out and it works very well. It’s a great song to get pumped up for working out or, uh, confronting someone I guess.

Wrong Man

The song deals with the issue of dating life and specifically not being like other guys who have been shitty to women. The song is fine but I’ve honestly never got that much into the subject matter. Back then I didn’t care because I’d never experienced anything like that. In these times the song feels a bit off – like, if some woman doesn’t want to date you for whatever reason, just go date someone else. I don’t know that a song-length treatise about how “I’m not that man” is really necessary. But here it is just the same.

Volume 4

This is a doom-influenced, plodding number that explores everyone’s favorite topic, the futility of existence and the existential crisis. The song is sometimes titled “Volume” as opposed to Volume 4 in some mediums. I don’t know why, I would hazard a guess that Volume 4 is used for the Black Sabbath reference as Henry is a huge fan.

The song stands apart from the rest of the album – here the groovy heaviness pounds the hopeless lyrics into the listener’s head. It is a wonderfully orchestrated dirge that culminates in the savage line “I walk around from day to day and wait around to die – like He did.” The capitalized “He” being an obvious reference and really bringing the brutality of the song home.

Tired

Things chill out for a moment, at least musically. It’s a trippy, sort of psychedelic jam that seems a bit out of place for the straightedge and straightforward Rollins. Lyrically it is the same sort of vibe as the prior track and being tired of stuff is a pretty universal thread.

Alien Blueprint

The album ends with two motivational or self-help tracks. This song outlines the futile grind of trying to fit in with a crowd that doesn’t want you. It’s better to be yourself and move on from the problem. It’s a pretty nice song and it switches direction quite a bit after the doom and gloom of the preceding few songs.

Shine

Another “self-help” track that gets into how there’s no time to mope around and the time is now to get it done. Though it’s odd subject matter for the sort of music I’m into the song does work well.

Weight would be the one true brush with success for the Rollins Band. It placed far higher on the Billboard charts than the band’s other work and Liar was a mega-hit on the airwaves. The group would not equal the feat with any future material and Rollins would eventually lay the band to rest in later years. Rollins himself would go on to acting roles, being a frequent contributor to music-related TV shows, hosting a long-running radio program and expanding on his spoken-word touring. To date he has remained in the public eye through many avenues.

No matter how Henry feels about his hit song, Liar and Weight fit right in the 1994 scene, with rock and metal going in every different direction after the cataclysm of 1991. You truly can just yell over your music and make something of it, provided you actually have something worth yelling about.

Album Of The Week – February 21, 2022

This week I’m going back to 1994 and taking a look at a landmark album that marked a huge transformation for the band on offer. A band once firmly in the hardcore and punk scenes would now ply their trade in stoner and southern metal and totally redefine their sound and identity. The album is getting a much-needed vinyl reissue this week as well and it’s one I’ll be glad to finally have on wax in my collection.

Corrosion Of Conformity – Deliverance

Released September 27, 1994

My Favorite Tracks – Seven Days, Broken Man, Albatross

CoC would undergo several lineup changes and stylistic shifts through the years, evolving from early harsh hardcore to a more groove-oriented sound. After solidifying what would be their most well-known lineup of Pepper Kennan on vocals and guitar, lead guitarist Woody Weatherman, bassist and sometimes vocalist Mike Dean and drummer Reed Mullin, the group began recording Deliverance and found major label Columbia Records quickly calling after they heard the demos. The band’s label Relativity Records turned down an offer to sell CoC’s contract to Sony, who in turn bought out Relativity and now had the group they wanted on their roster.

Deliverance put on offer a sound more rooted in stoner and southern rock than the the band’s past which saw hardcore and thrash albums, though 1991’s Blind did serve as a logical transition to the sound here. This beefy album features 14 tracks, though 3 are brief instrumentals and I will omit those from my recap so I can save space.

Heaven’s Not Overflowing

The album opens with a fast-paced rocker that also offers a bit of sardonic humor that can be found through a fair bit of the lyrical fare on the record. As the riffs slam along Keenen injects a series of odd and silly observations that overall add up to “jam out now because everyone’s screwed up and when it’s all over, well, the title lets you know where it all ends.”

Albatross

One of the album’s two singles that hit 19 on the Billboard charts and marks the band’s biggest mainstream success. Albatross is a haunting song that brings forth Sabbath vibes and is at home in the doom/stoner scene. It’s one of those beautifully sad songs that, while not being open about its meaning, just gets me every time. The song dirges on into a great solo from Woody in the song’s final few minutes.

Clean My Wounds

The other single from the record that also hit number 19 on the charts, this is likely the most recognizable CoC song from their entire catalog. The song and video were memed a bit before memes were a thing and it still pops up from time to time.

The song is heavy with a crunchy, simple verse riff while the music explodes in the chorus. Jesus makes his second of a few album appearances in this song and the line “Jesus help me clean my wounds/He said I cannot heal that kind” stands out as the oft-memed portion of the song. CoC would employ several musical styles on the record but this simple, to the point tune is the one that stuck with people outside of the fanbase and is still remembered today by 90’s kids.

Broken Man

After a brief instrumental the band gets back to business with a heavy yet still groovy song that offers lyrics in line with the mournful title. While stoner metal as a whole is a very repetitive genre, CoC breaks the mold and injects time changes and tempo breaks to keep the song interesting. The mix of flowing guitars and the militant verse riff create a massive song that shines on the album.

Senor Limpio

This track picks up the tempo and spirits a bit, at least musically. Lyrically the content is left a tad vague but the song seems to be about drug addiction and/or perhaps dealing and the ultimate fall from that. People have many of their own meanings for the song but a few lyrical hints do reinforce the drug theory.

Seven Days

Sandwiched between two instrumentals is my favorite song from the album. The music is heavy yet morose, entrenched in the duality of beauty and doom. The song invokes a lot of imagery from Christ’s betrayal and crucifixion and is likely from Jesus’ point of view during his final days. Of course the themes of betrayal, distrust and anger at a falling out could be universally applied but the multiple references to the crucifixion and other religious symbolism are clear.

My Grain

The tempo ratchets up again as the album rounds the corner into its final portion. The song’s meaning is a bit unclear, I’m not sure if this about migranes or if the title has some other symbolism. Whatever the case the song is a fun inclusion and picks up the headbanging pace a fair bit.

Deliverance

The title track sees Mike Dean take over vocals for a turn. The swampy tune takes aim at people under the spell of televangelists and dogmatic religious figures. Dean’s lower register drips with a smooth sardonic quality that is in contrast to Keenan’s gravelly vocals. It fits the song’s theme well and creates another standout track on the record.

Shake Like You

Another heavy as hell song that gets to the business of, well, Hell. The song attacks the war-mongering mentality of humanity and predicts the end of all things with most people burning in judgment. The lyrical fare is still sadly relevant 28 years after the album’s release, if not even more so.

Shelter

This acoustic track is a mournful dirge that might be about a breakup, at least that’s what it seems to convey. The song is almost a country track but still fits on the album. It’s a bit of a break from all the damn noise just before the record’s close.

Pearls Before Swine

The album’s closer keeps the pace slower and plods through to its conclusion. Still heavy, the doomy track references yet more religious symbolism in some kind of personal battle against people and “the devils in their eyes.” The sound of digging, perhaps a grave, closes out the record.

Deliverance was a landmark moment for Corrosion Of Conformity. It redefined the group’s sound and set them on a new trajectory that they have mostly seen through to this day. The album was the band’s biggest sales success with over 400,000 copies sold in the U.S. It was a case of found identity for a band who pounded through the 80’s underground with a variety of harsher styles.

Album Of The Week – January 31, 2022

Sometimes I know well ahead of time what the AOTW is going to be. Other times, like this current edition, I don’t really decide until I sit down to write. For some totally unknown reason not all related to last week’s music news cycle I’ve had Blur on the brain so now I’m going to visit one of the high points of their eclectic discography.

Blur – Parklife

Released April 25, 1994 via Food Records

My Favorite Tracks – Parklife, End Of A Century

Parklife represents the second of a trilogy of Blur records that would come to shape and define the emerging term Britpop. In fact, if one were to wonder why the term was called Britpop as opposed to the seemingly more suitable Britrock, Blur and Parklife would be the signpost for why.

The album is a collection of varied styles that examine the British life through many different lenses. While it is a musical hodgepodge, they exploration of styles does well to convey the mostly sardonic look at typical British life and style. Everything from dance beats to jangly riffs can be found as the record plows it course through England.

The album opens with a dance party on the hit single Girls And Boys. The song has a simple point – Damon Albarn was inspired to write it after watching people get drunk and hook up in night clubs. The song is not praise or criticism of the practice, rather just observation. I’d see the scenes described in the song play out a few year later when I was in Europe as part of the US military. And yeah, Girls And Boys pretty well nails it on the head.

While the musical stylings of Parklife are overwhelmingly upbeat in nature, the topical fare isn’t always a party. London Loves and Jubilee both take aim at the corrosion of substance in culture. The chill vibe of Badhead belies the heavier subject matter of falling away from a loved one. Tracy Jenks observes a man’s midlife crisis, while Trouble In The Message Center handles the inevitable hangover after a night of partying.

While the 16-track album is a wonderful listen in whole, I find my two personal favorite tracks toward the record’s beginning. The third song End Of A Century is a guitar-driven roll through the “late stage” phase of long-term relationships as well as a nod to the winding down of the 20th Century. The song hits at the mundane nature of life while also looking toward the new millennium. It’s a very identifiable vibe and also makes me want to scream at them to stay put and avoid 2020 especially. The refrain “it’s nothing special” truly defines the song’s context.

For all of the contemplation of British life and culture to be found through the album, nothing hit the nail on the head like the album’s title track. Parklife became the defining song from the album and its cultural significance rings true still nearly 30 years after its release. Blur recruited actor Phil Daniels to deliver the song’s verses in spoken-word fashion while Albarn handled the sung chorus. The bright and cheery tune masked a bit the absolutely sarcastic sneer at British park life.

The song hasn’t lost its touch in the decades since release. Left and right it’s easy to find people who still point to Parklife as the “ultimate British song.” It’s become a celebration of that aspect of Britain even while many can acknowledge the sneering intent behind the track.

Parklife the album would be a huge success for Blur. They sold a few million copies of the record in the UK and across the European continent. The band would line up for awards left and right, basking in the newfound acclaim as the “it” band in British rock. Their more artistic approach won out among the populist masses.

At least for one album.

Blur would get about a year to enjoy the accolades brought forth from the success of Parklife. The “Battle of Britpop” was just on the horizon, and while Blur won that battle, the downslide just after when the British music press turned on them would mark another uncertain chapter for the group, one ended when the band jettisoned the concept of Britpop and embraced alternative and garage rock instead.

None of that is the story of Parklife, however. The album remains a high water point for the Britpop movement and marked the point where Blur shook off their early failures and became a successful, noticed band. While the group weren’t working class stiffs themselves, they were able to offer up a view of British life that connected with a wide audience. Both the record and the title song are offerings whose significance outweighs even their successful record sales and awards. The album peered into British life and as a result became a foundation for Britpop to continue building on.

On Wednesday I’ll get into the Damon Albarn versus Taylor Swift thing that happened last week and dominated the news cycle until Neil Young came along.

Album Of The Week – September 20, 2021

This weeks marks the theatrical release of the Oasis – Knebworth documentary. It chronicles the two historic nights Oasis played in England at the height of their immense popularity in 1996. So I felt it fitting to make this week Oasis week around here. We’ll start with the usual Album Of The Week, and I’ll get straight into it.

Oasis – Definitely Maybe

Released August 29, 1994 via Creation Records

Favorite Tracks – Live Forever, Cigarettes & Alcohol, Columbia

Creation Records had been plagued with financial troubles, at least somewhat owing to the ridiculous saga surrounding the recording of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. Label founder Alan McGee sold half of the label to Sony and then needed to find a hit to stabilize finances.

He found his hit in the pubs of Manchester.

Oasis’ debut album was an instant success, smashing debut album records in the UK and also hitting platinum in the US. The “brothers’ war” between Noel and Liam Gallagher played out as great fodder for the British tabloids, both painting them as brash bad boys and keeping Oasis in the press. It was a case of instant success for some down on their luck blokes from Manchester, with that would come all the good and bad.

But let’s talk about the album itself. Definitely Maybe is a monster release and a stellar debut that belies the absolute inexperience of anyone in the band besides chief songwriter Noel Gallagher. These are songs of the hopes and dreams of working class people looking for something more than the doldrum of everyday life. It’s spelled out in the beginning on album opener Rock N Roll Star, and excellent banger than sets a hopeful, dream-laden tone.

The album contains several songs of varying scope and heft. Digsby’s Diner and album closer Married With Children are more fun tunes, not quite filler but also not exactly top-shelf stuff. Up In The Sky is a bright, rocking tune while Bring It On Down is a flat-out headbanger, on par with the title track from the second album.

Then there’s Columbia. This song is all about the atmosphere and vibe. This song isn’t about anything at all, or it’s about whatever you want or need it to be. Oasis would offer a few things like this, kind of “nonsense” songs, through their career. And honestly I love it – I just want to go full hipster and strut down the street with this as my theme music.

If one nonsense song wasn’t enough, the album brings another. Highlight single Supersonic is a heavy, mid-tempo affair with a whole lot of words that rhyme with each other and little else. It tells a story of … something or someone who does stuff on a helicopter and, well, that’s about all I get out of it. But it’s a solid song that stands out on a record filled with brilliance.

Sitting between the two “odd” tracks toward the album’s end is Slide Away. A masterful tune, this is a quintessential love song from the Britrockers. And it is actually a love song, unlike Wonderwall, which shocks some people when they find out it’s not a love song. (Seriously, go look up what Wonderwall is really about. Then sing Slide Away to your boo at your next drunken karaoke night. Then consider the existential dread that Wonderwall truly envelops. Then go back to another drunken karaoke night.)

Another favorite of mine is Cigarettes & Alcohol. Yes, both the products and the Oasis song. This tune is a nod to the hollow pursuit of substance abuse to alleviate the strain and nihilism of working class life. Damn, if that ain’t the truth. I’ve been there myself many different times, or perhaps even for just one very, very long time. It’s a statement similar to that of Pulp’s smash hit Common People, though the latter includes some different commentary about how the working class are viewed. No matter the perspective, it’s kind of damn bleak out here, and it wasn’t any different in the early ’90’s.

This album does have one song that, in my estimation, stands head and shoulders above the rest. The song was, metaphorically and literally, an antidote to grunge’s sometimes miserable self-flagellation. Noel told NME in 2013 that he wrote Live Forever as a response to the Nirvana song I Hate Myself And Want To Die.

Live Forever is an amazing song that expresses the bonds of friendship, family, romance, or whatever between people. The song could be, and has been, played anywhere – weddings, funerals, dances, or just hanging with mates. It is a sentimental, sweet, perhaps melancholy yet ultimately triumphant celebration of those deepest, most meaningful connections between people.

Live Forever has been voted among the best of Britrock’s songs in multiple polls, often sharing space with the aforementioned Pulp hit and a few other Oasis tunes. Noel has called it the best song he’s ever written and Liam has said it was his favorite song as well. And it’s number 3 on my list of all-time Oasis songs.

Definitely Maybe was an amazing debut album that helped set the stage for the scene of Britrock to take over the world in the mid ’90’s. Oasis themselves would truly conquer the planet the next year with their second record. But the debut is absolutely possessing of its own merits and is often, perhaps rightfully, regarded as their best overall record.

With the theatrical release of the Knebworth documentary coming this Thursday, I’ll take the rest of the week to discuss Oasis. On Wednesday I’ll pick out one song in particular, and on Friday I’ll address the “what if?” elephant in the room question that comes up when talking about Oasis these days.