Over the last 30 years, Noel Gallagher has staked his claim for being one of the most vital British lyricists in the history of popular culture. While even though he may lack humility on occasion, often being the first laud the excellence of his own work, there’s one song specifically that the former Oasis man believes to be the best that he’s ever written.
Gallagher’s dynamic way with words has always been his forte, and the universality of his lyrics struck such a deep chord in the hearts of his listeners. The strength of the Oasis’ early songs catapulted the Mancunians at lightning speed from playing the grotty club circuit to the masses of Knebworth like a bullet. Gallagher was always the jewel in the band’s crown, and during the early days of Oasis, no songwriter could compete on such a prolific level to him.
Their debut, Definitely Maybe, single-handedly changed the musical landscape. Soon enough, you couldn’t walk down the high street without seeing Gallagher lookalikes, who imitated every aspect of the band, even to the way they walked.
Picking the best song he’s ever written is an arduous task for anyone, but when you’ve got a repertoire like Gallagher’s, it’s borderline almost impossible. When he appeared on the Australian TV programme, The Project, the presenter sprung the difficult question on Noel, who provided the definitive answer on the much-debated subject.
“It’s either got to be a toss-up between ‘Wonder-‘,” Gallagher says before stopping himself halfway through his answer after having a sudden change of heart. “I mean, ‘The Best’ — I don’t know, but the most famous are ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and ‘Wonderwall’. They are the ones that everybody in the world seems to know. Whether they are the best? I don’t know. Everybody would have a personal opinion on that.”
He added: “My personal favourite probably from the Oasis lot would be ‘Supersonic’, which was our first single, and because it was written, recorded and mixed in one night. So that holds a special place in the canon, but, I tell you, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, because when I play it every night, it brings the house down. That song means a lot to people and means more than I’ll probably ever understand, honestly,” Gallagher reflects.
Everything about ‘Supersonic’ sums up that era of Oasis. The fact that they had the capabilities to create a track of that stature within a night isn’t surprising, considering that everything they touched turned to gold during that heady period.
In those days, Noel was throwing tracks away as B-side’s that every other band in the country would do unspeakable things to have as their lead single. Whether it was the drugs or just their youthful energy, Oasis were supersonic throughout the early ’90s.
Noel and his brother, Liam, rarely sing from the same hymn book unless it’s ‘Blue Moon’ at the Etihad, but on ‘Supersonic’, they share identical perspectives. After being asked about his favourite lyrics of all time, Liam answered: “I need to be myself, I can’t be no one else, I’m feeling supersonic, Give me gin and tonic.” Speaking about the track, Gallagher said: “I like the words, I like the guitars in it and I still find it an odd tune,” in an old interview with Absolute Radio. “It’s not like your normal rock and roll tune and still enjoy singing it.”
‘Supersonic’ hasn’t paid for as many holidays as ‘Wonderwall’, nor does it make fans feel in the same way as ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, but for Noel, it represents the most exhilarating period in his life. The memories attached to creating the song inhabits a special place in Noel’s heart, which shows how precious those early days of Oasis still are to him.