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Music

Noel Gallagher picks the best album of the last ten years

Noel Gallagher is mostly a well-respected voice within music. He was the brains behind Oasis’ astounding success and penned the majority of the band’s most iconic hits. As the mastermind behind one of Britain’s biggest cultural landmarks, solidifying himself as something of a national treasure himself, Noel Gallagher’s word regarding music is not taken lightly. 

When discussing his career journey, the former Oasis member once said: “Where I come from, people didn’t become rock stars. That happened to other people”. From a working-class background in Manchester, Gallagher, his brother Liam, and the other Oasis members managed to go against the grain and become rock stars, enjoying all of its trappings. 

The band were part of the disenfranchised generation that was labelled Generation X. During this period, a central facet of life was socio-political turmoil and a marked difference in outlook between themselves and their baby-booming parents.

Although it was not outwardly apparent, this generation was influenced by the ideals of the original punk movement of the 1970s. Too young to have been a part of the trend at the time but growing up in the ’80s, this generation took something tangible from the punk movement, its ethos and outlook, and augmented the themes for a new future.

The nascent grunge movement would highlight the plight of Generation X at the end of the ’80s. However, for Noel, Liam and other working-class teenagers in post-industrial Manchester, their days would be spent raving away at places like the Hacienda nightclub, with baggy culture in full swing and the ‘Second Summer of Love’ unfurling before them.

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Reflecting on a period of musical and cultural transition, Gallagher would state: “All the music that I listened to was The Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Smiths, The Buzzcocks, Joy Division, New Order. It was all kind of very big guitar music, it was like guitar pop music. And I am only a sum of my influences.”

However, there’s another iconic musician that Gallagher and many of his generation owe a lot to, even if the similarities between their music are scarce. To mark the ten year anniversary of his debut High Flying Birds album, 2011’s Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Gallagher was asked the huge question of what record of the past ten years was his favourite, excluding his own. His response came as a surprise to many, and he responded definitively, after a brief pause for thought: “David Bowie, The Next Day, amazing record”. 

An art-rock masterpiece, 2013’s The Next Day is overlooked in Bowie’s extensive back catalogue. Featuring cuts such as ‘Where Are We Now?’ and ‘The Next Day’, you can understand why Gallagher loves the record so much, as he attempted to follow this expansive yet minimalist form of rock on his later High Flying Birds records. 

Watch Noel Gallagher pick The Next Day below.

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