As we continue to look back at one of the greatest passages of musical history in Britain—AKA Britpop—we thought we’d dive into the vaults and dig up this treat. The video below has Liam Gallagher’s eternally brilliant vocal on the Oasis’ iconic track ‘Live Forever’ isolated from the rest of the band and allowing the power of LG to ring out.
Although we’re focusing on Liam’s vocal in this instance it must be noted that this track, which is often seen as Oasis’ undying generational anthem (much more so than tracks like ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ or ‘Rock N Roll Star’), was written by his longtime feuding brother, Noel Gallagher.
The song was released as the third single from their debut album Definitely Maybe back in ’94 just prior to that album’s release and remains a fan favourite until this day. It came to typify everything that he band were in their infancy and that was simple: Noel wrote the songs, Liam lived the songs.
Though it was released in 1994, the song’s beginning actually started with Noel Gallagher back in 1991, before he joined his little brother’s band. He wrote the song after injuring himself while working on a building site. Injured and dejected, he was sent to take a less strenuous job in the storeroom and thus found more time to write. Allegedly inspired by the Rolling Stones’ ‘Shine a Light’, ‘Live Forever’ features a fairly basic song structure. Noel said: “It was the bit from ‘Shine a Light’ that goes [sings], ‘May the good Lord shine a light on you'”.
Where the band stood out was the lyrics, which against the grain of grunge, were actually designed to be uplifting and positive. The song was the first Oasis single to enter the top ten in the United Kingdom and garnered critical acclaim across the board, heralding a new turn for British rock music at the time. While ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Shaker Maker’ were the first singles from the Manchester band it was ‘Live Forever’ that set them on their way to stardom.
Noel Gallagher commented on the praise given to the song: “People said to me after ‘Live Forever’, ‘Where are you gonna go after that?’ And I was like, I don’t think it’s that good. I think it’s a fucking good song, but I think I can do better.”
It’s up for debate whether Noel ever did do any better. But one thing is for sure, as much as Noel is the man behind the song’s construction, it was Liam who translated that into the song, and indeed the band, we all know and love. He adds the fearless optimism of the song to his own incessant swagger and with it transforms the tune into a cooler than cool statement of intent.
Don’t take our word for it, find both the complete track and Liam Gallagher’s isolated vocals on ‘Live Forever’ below.