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(Credit: Matt Crockett)

Music

From The Rolling Stones to Young Fathers: Noel Gallagher's favourite tracks through the decades

@josephtaysom

With Oasis, Noel Gallagher penned the songs which would soundtrack an entire generation’s youth. His material changed the way people spoke, dressed, acted and generally lived their lives. So, one thing is for sure, love him or loathe him, Noel Gallagher is a songwriting aficionado. To embolden that claim, his list of favourite tracks from across the decades proves it once more.

When he came into the limelight, Gallagher already had a taste of things to come after working as a roadie for Inspiral Carpets. After returning, he joined his brother’s band, taking over the songwriting duties and shaping them in his identity. At lightning speed, the Mancunians went from playing the club circuit to selling 250,000 tickets at Knebworth and being the biggest band Britain had produced in an era. 

He was the jewel in the band’s crown, and without him, lead singer Liam wouldn’t have had anything to bellow out to the adoring masses. Their debut, Definitely Maybe, is still connecting with today’s youth in 2021 as it did in 1994, and even though Gallagher has moved on to pastures new, those songs have lived on to find new fans.

With his High Flying Birds, Noel has spread his wings sonically, and that’s reflected within his taste, too. When Absolute Radio asked Noel to name his favourite tracks from the ’60s until now, there’s a clear shift that’s taken place with him selecting Young Father’s ‘Get Up’ as his favourite song from the 2010s.

“I’m not sure how many people know this band,” Gallagher comments about the Mercury Prize winners. “When I seen Massive Attack one night at Brixton Academy, I got there early, and this band came on stage. I’d never heard the name or seen it written down, and I was blown away.

“This track called ‘Get Up’ is amazing. I was doing a gig in Bilbao on our last tour, it was a festival, and they were on the bill, so we got there early and came to see them. They were just truly astonishing and one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Incredible,” Gallagher adds.

Elsewhere on his list, Gallagher named ‘I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction) by The Rolling Stones as his musical highlight of the 1960s. He explained, “Great riff from a great band. It’s a youth anthem that I think still holds true today for young people and the way that you feel when you’re young.”

Aligning himself with the punk movement, Gallagher’s selection from the ’70s is the Sex Pistols’ ‘Pretty Vacant’. Commenting on his pick, he said: “If it wasn’t for that band, and that album. They influenced fashion, photography, journalism, music, politics. Everything you could think of. Truly one of the last great original rock ‘n’ roll bands ever.”

For the ’90s, surprisingly, Noel refrained from naming a song that came from his pen and instead chose The La’s ‘There She Goes’. Expanding on his decision, saying, “He (Lee Mavers) only made one album, but if you’re only going to make one album in your life, make that album. He’s an amazing songwriter, lazy bollocks, but we’ll put that to one side,” he half-joked. “The La’s are one of my favourite bands and still are,” he added.

Check out the entire segment with Gallagher from Absolute Radio below and the playlist comprising his choices.

Noel Gallagher’s favourite songs from each decade

  • The Rolling Stones – ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’
  • The Sex Pistols – ‘Pretty Vacant’
  • Bee Gees – ‘You Should Be Dancing’
  • U2 – ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’
  • The Smiths – ‘Panic’
  • The La’s – ‘There She Goes’
  • The Coral – ‘Dreaming Of You’
  • Young Fathers – ‘Get Up’