We’re wishing Noel Gallagher, one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, a very happy birthday by revisiting this rare footage of a young Noel performing his most iconic song, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’.
The clip below is peak 1995 and sees not only Oasis at the top of their game, but also the moment Noel takes charge of the song all on his own with all the confidence of the bonafide rock star he had become in such a short time.
If you ever thought that ‘Wonderwall’ was Oasis’ most widely sung song in Britain then you’d be sorely mistaken. For most Britons knowing the lyrics to the 1995 Oasis hit ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ is like knowing the words to ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. The track has become our National Anthem.
The less-loud Gallagher once said of the song: “It reminds me of a cross between ‘All the Young Dudes’ and ‘Something’ might have done.” Speaking of the character ‘Sally’ referred to in the song he insisted: “I don’t actually know anybody called Sally. It’s just a word that fit, y’know, might as well throw a girl’s name in there.”
Noel Gallagher even said at a later date that Liam was to thank for the name in the lyric (from Uncut magazine August 2007): “We were in Paris playing with The Verve, and I had the chords for that song and started writing it. We were due to play two days later. Our first-ever big arena gig, it’s called Sheffield Arena now.”
Noel continues: “At the soundcheck, I was strumming away on the acoustic guitar, and our kid (Liam) said, ‘What’s that you’re singin’?’ I wasn’t singing anyway, I was just making it up. And our kid said, ‘Are you singing ‘So Sally can wait’?’ And I was like—that’s genius! So I started singing, ‘So Sally can wait.’ I remember going back to the dressing room and writing it out. It all came really quickly after that.”
Released as a single in 1996 the song was taken from Oasis’ iconic record What’s The Story (Morning Glory) and picked out Noel Gallagher is not only a formidable songwriter but a heartfelt and honest vocalist too. While the track is best heard screamed by thousands of fans, there is a sincerity to a stripped-back acoustic performance going back to the song’s basics like the below one-man showing.
Watch Noel Gallagher give a rare stripped-back performance of Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ below.