There’s no point denying the influential shadow The Beatles cast over Noel Gallagher’s first band Oasis. The legendary Mancunian outfit may well have been the kings of britpop but the line between them and their Liverpool counterparts, the Fab Four, was an easy one to make for music journalists everywhere. While many saw it as a slight on the ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ band, the truth is, Noel, and his brother Liam, have always celebrated the fact they were inspired by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Over the years it has become a longstanding joke that without The Beatles Oasis would have no material. While that’s way off the truth, there are certainly similarities to be drawn. They both used their surroundings to inform their songs, both bands also saw an unprecedented level of fame and they certainly share the nuance of an outspoken frontman coupled with a musical maestro. Oasis’ version of Paul McCartney, AKA Noel Gallagher, has always been happy to share his admiration for the band, including picking his favourite Beatles LP.
It’s a hard thing for any Fab Four fan to do. In all likelihood, it’s probably a selection that changes from day to day, if not hour to hour. Still, given the opportunity to pick out his favourite album by The Beatles for the Liverpool Echo in 2009, Gallagher knew exactly which one to pick — the 1967 classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band saying it was “special for me because I was born on the May 29, and it came out on the June 1. So when I was being born in St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, it was being played on hospital radio.”
The singer confirmed that he’s come to appreciate the album more as time goes by, “because the songs are not rocking or having it, it’s very floaty and dreamy, I think the older you get the more you appreciate it.
And it still contains some of the greatest Beatles songs like ‘A Day in the Life,’ and ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.’ You can only be of your time. The Beatles were of their time . . . you can’t compare a band from today with one from the 1960s. Music doesn’t mean as much today as it did in the 1960s. That’s why there will never be another Beatles.”
However, his choice may have changed with time, perhaps proving his credentials as bonafide Fab Four fan as, during a conversation with The Quietus in 2011, he picked out The Beatles previous album Revolver as one of his favourite records of all time: “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 could rightly be seen as his favourite. He quite accurately proclaims: “The ’90’s would never have happened without this album.”
We’d bet that if somebody asked Gallagher today about his favourite album by The Beatles he may well have a different choice once more. It is this changing of preferences, the constant appreciation and re-evaluation of their work, that confirms Noel Gallagher as a true Beatles fan.
So, for all of those who can’t choose, we’ve got a stream of both Revolver and Sgt. Pepper below for you to try and pick your own, chances are Gallagher wouldn’t be able to stick with either for very long.