From The Beatles to The Smiths: Noel Gallagher picks his favourite albums of all time
In the annals of British music history, there will be countless names who claim to have the right to the crown of King or Queen of rock and roll. But we’re pretty sure there’s only one name that will feel he is already assured of his throne. Noel Gallagher.
Okay, including his brother and Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, there may be two names that feel they can claim the crown, but as they fight to the death over Twitter we thought we’d look back at the albums and musicians that influenced the Britpop juggernaut. Its a platter of British rock talent that would leave anybody stuffed.
Originally brought to us by John Doran and The Quietus, Gallagher’s list of favourite albums ranks as one of the most reflective. Across every selection, you can see the different threads and cords that have wound up being woven into the tapestry of Gallagher, Oasis, hell, even British culture entirely. Below we’ve not only got Gallagher’s picks but a complete playlist too.
Today he may well be the well-mannered half of the Gallagher brothers, though we’re not sure that counts for too much, but at one point or another Noel was charged with the kind of fervent energy one only gets from a certain kind of records, his first pick is Sex Pistols’ Nevermind The Bollocks.
Gallagher says of the track, “Of all the people who were a direct influence on Oasis, the line goes back to the Sex Pistols, whether that’s Joy Division/New Order, The Smiths, The Stone Roses or Factory Records, and if they hadn’t played those two gigs in Manchester who knows what would have happened?” Gallagher picked up two other albums from the aforementioned set.
Naturally, there would always be a spot for The Smiths, it being the only band Noel would ever consider joining, and the Oasis guitarist picked The Queen Is Dead despite, “Some people would say that The Smiths never really recorded one great album and that they were more of a singles band and I kind of see what they mean.”
The Manchester influence in Gallagher’s selection doesn’t end there as Noel also picks a selection of hits that turned The Hacienda nightclub into the only spot in Manchester anyone cared about, yet Gallagher wasn’t a fan of the super club to begin with. He remembers, “But then someone else took me the week after and said, ‘Have one of these.’ And put a little pill in my hand. And within an hour I thought that this music was the greatest thing that I’d ever heard in my entire fucking life. It was a life-changing experience.”
Another Manchester stalwart is given its dues when Gallagher picks The Stones Roses self-titled record as seminal moment in his life, “People forget how revolutionary they were at the time. I remember seeing them in town when they were a ‘goth’ band,” says Noel, “when this album came out after all the trouble they had it was just perfect.” Across the Mersey and Gallagher pays tribute to his friend and one of the greatest bands to have never really reached their potential, The La’s.
“People say Lee Mavers [The La’s] is mad or a tortured artist but he isn’t. He’s just lazy. Well, either that or he doesn’t want to tarnish the reputation of what he knows he’s already achieved,” muses Gallagher after selecting their self-titled debut. “I’ve got two CDs worth of unreleased stuff which would knock you out. It should have been released as an album but it won’t see the light of day.”
There were a couple of oddball selections, as well as The Amorphous Androgynous’ A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Vol. 1, The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ Behind The Music and the weirdest of all; U2’s Joshua Tree. “I just love the songs on this. I’m not into the whole religious aspect of the band but I’ve been a fan since I saw them on Top Of The Pops doing ‘Fire.'”
Next up on Noel Gallagher’s favourite albums list is a roll call of British rock royalty. First up is Pink Floyd’s The Wall, about which Gallagher says, “That track ‘Nobody Home’ just brings back so many memories for me. After leaving school, I just used to go round my mates house, skin up, and we’d listen to this.” He’s similarly lackadaisical about The Who album he picked, perhaps regrettably picking up a Best Of….
Gallagher says of the infringement, “On their studio albums there is always some half-arsed concept hung on a few good tunes. But, The Ultimate Collection is… fucking hell. If you’re of a certain age and you play guitar based music, they’re up there with the Beatles to me.“ Speaking of the Fab Four, the band’s influence on Oasis is undeniable and Gallagher made sure to include one of their most beloved records.
Picking up The Beatles Revolver Gallagher says of the album, Revolver was when the sitars really started to come in with The Beatles, and all the backwards stuff on ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. It’s their first drug album,” and clearly Gallagher’s favourite.
Another landmark on the map of rock history is The Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed, about which Gallagher is pretty knowledgeable, “Delia Smith baked the cake for the front cover of this album. I guess I could have got Yotam Ottolenghi to make me a meringue for the front cover of The High Flying Birds or got Heston Blumenthal to make me some barbed wire ice cream for it.” He continues after again admitting to firstly being introduced to the band through a Greatest Hits album, “this was the first album I heard by them when I really thought, ‘Oh yeah… this is what it’s about… they’re not just ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’.”
The final selection from Gallagher is another British stalwart of the sixties revolutions but perhaps a road less travelled, “The Kinks, like The Who, are one of those quintessentially great English singles bands but I’ve listened to this album so many times and I just fucking love it.”
Below we’ve pulled together the full list of Noel Gallagher’s favourite albums can be found below. You can find the full and extensive interview at The Quietus.
Noel Gallagher’s favourite albums of all time
Sex Pistols – Nevermind The Bollocks
Pink Floyd – The Wall
The Smiths – Queen Is Dead
Various Artists – The Hacienda Classics
The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
The La’s – The La’s
The Amorphous Androgynous – A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Vol. 1
The Soundtrack of Our Lives – Behind The Music
U2 – Joshua Tree
The Beatles – Revolver
The Kinks – The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society