There’s no denying that by 1997, with the release of their third album Be Here Now, the Mancunian Britpop kings Oasis were bonafide rock ‘n’ roll legends. Their previous two albums Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory had cemented the band as the best British rock act around, their third album would be another wildly successful album.
Released on August 21st 1997, Be Here Now was written and recorded as a purely commercial product and in that regard at least, it was a huge success with sales far outstripping that of the two previous LPs—no mean feat, we can assure you.
It wasn’t an easy ride though as the band’s drug abuse and internal fighting marred the recording sessions and left a bad taste in the mouth of all those involved. With Noel Gallagher leading the band, the songs on the album are longer and more “colossal”, largely falling into the category of “anthemic”. It even featured a sunken Rolls Royce on the cover which took nearly £100,000 to put there.
With that said, it still makes for one of the finest rock albums released in the ’90s and although looking back, it may not match the band’s previous output, it is still a key indicator of the size and power of Oasis at their peak.
Oasis album Be Here Now ranked:
12. ‘All Around The World (Reprise)’
The first on the list is the last song on the album. An instrumental piece which is distinctly flavoured with Sgt. Pepper, this is a hint at the future for Oasis.
Low down in our list as we’re not sure it really constitutes a song, however as an ending to an album it works remarkably well.
11. ‘Magic Pie’
The beginning of the sprawling seven-minute track, sung by Noel Gallagher, acts as one of the quieter moments on the album before it shudders into gear that is.
Sounding about as close to The Beatles as Oasis can, it’s a powerful number that shows how Noel wanted to push the band forward.
10. ‘My Big Mouth’
At only five minutes long, ‘My Big Mouth’ is actually one of the speedier moments on the album and it spirals out the gates like an electrified buzzsaw.
With Liam’s powerful vocal feeling as visceral as possible, the song rings out as a reminder of Oasis’ power and is backed by a searing riff capable of pulling down the house.
9. ‘The Girl In The Dirty Shirt’
Perhaps influenced by the Abbey Road Studios in which they recorded some of the albums, ‘The Girl In The Dirty Shirt’ is another song flecked with the influence of the Fab Four, as the bouncing piano feels distinctly McCartney-ish. But the band still put their own spin on it.
While it would likely pain Noel to hear it, often that spin, the thing that makes a song distinctly Oasis, is Liam’s impeccable vocal. On Be Here Now he may well be nearing his peak.
8. ‘It’s Getting Better (Man!!!)’
The penultimate track on the album is another powerhouse performance from all the members of the band. If there was infighting during the recording sessions then it certainly doesn’t show in the songs.
This is an archetypal Oasis tune and isn’t only built out of their unique style and stance (could you imagine another band with a song title like that?) but out of some anthemic riffs and rhythm.
7. ‘I Hope, I Think, I Know’
As soon as the lead guitar comes snorting out of the blocks it’s clear that this song will be another crowd-pleaser. Gallagher’s vocal is clean and clear and he is amply backed by a band in the groove.
A little close to the poppier side of Britpop, there’s something charming about hearing Oasis in this slightly lighter frame of mind. When Liam Gallagher sings “you’ll never forget my name” you don’t only believe it yourself, but you’re 100% assured he believes it too.
6. ‘Fade In-Out’
“Shall we just go?” asks Noel on the recording of this somewhat stripped-back track. Starting things off with a little acoustic guitar, soon enough the sound is swelling around you and you’re engulfed by ‘Fade In-Out’.
The song once again hangs on Liam’s vocal performance as his scrawly sound comes flashing across the airwaves. To match the lyrics Noel and the rest of the band take the music to colossal new heights.
5. ‘Be Here Now’
The title track of the album always has a hard job on its hands. Often the focus of fans first listening, ‘Be Here Now’ matches up to the expectations and delivers a soaring song that ranks highly amid Oasis’ greatest.
Another hefty riff takes us back to the glory years of rock and Gallagher is clearly in the mood to follow suit with his vocals. Oasis are humourous and hungry on this song, showing their personality and adding a needed dose of charm to the album.
4. ‘All Around The World’
The third single from the album, ‘All Around The World’ is one of the most loved Oasis songs of all time. Written by Noel Gallagher, the track is deeply imbued with the same positiveness that you can hear on ‘Whatever’ and ‘Acquiesce’—in essence, everything’s going to be alright.
At nearly 10 minutes long it’s a wonder the song was ever released as a single but it was and it even hit the number one spot to boot. With its heavy horn and string section, there’s more than a doff of the cap to The Beatles. Any song that features Liam singing “shine” is a winner for us.
3. ‘Don’t Go Away’
The song may have its first showing on the album but had been knocking around the band’s back catalogue since 1993. It shows. One of the finer moments of the album it sees Oasis firmly in the groove that shot them to stardom.
Liam Gallagher claims to have cried whilst recording the track, as a result of his focusing on “a certain thing”. He said, in a 1997 interview, “I just thought ‘fuck that, I can’t be singing this song’ and I had to go away and sort myself out.”
2. ‘Stand By Me’
Perhaps the most universally known song from the album ‘Stand By Me’ is a barnstorming Britpop number. Powerful and macho at points but still splattered with sincerity and authenticity.
The song was apparently written while Noel was suffering from food poisoning. In a 1997 interview promoting Be Here Now, Noel said: “It starts, ‘Made a meal and threw it up on Sunday’. When I first moved to London me mam kept on ringing up and asking was I eating properly. Yes, Mam. So I tried to cook a Sunday roast and puked up for two days with food poisoning. It was back to Pot Noodles after that.”
It will rightly go down in history as one of Oasis best songs and if you needed any proof just listen to that first riff and the mega chorus and try to tell us we’re wrong.
1. ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’
The first song on the album and the first single released from the record ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’ is about as close to the pure distillation of Oasis as you’re ever likely to find. Naturally, when it was released in 1997 it topped the charts and became the third track to do so for the band.
Perhaps typified with the chorus, which is sung by the brothers in unison, you can almost hear the whole of Manchester singing “all my people right here right now, D’you know what I mean?”.
From there the song is menacing and swaggering in equal measure, never taking its foot off the gas as it stares you straight in the face, playing musical chicken. The fact is that not many people could match Oasis during their peak and it’s hard not to see this song as part of that Mount Olympus moment.