The forever-feuding brothers of rock and roll, AKA The Brothers Gallagher, AKA Noel and Liam, always had their sights set on the top of the pile. From their very inception, the band were like a pinpoint laser, zoned in on legendary status. It’s safe to say they hit the target.
The band first began to gain their reputation with the sneering putdowns of every contemporary band around. They were convinced of their iconoclasm from the very off. Yet, unlike the contemptuous punks and sanctimonious intelligence of the indie scene that had come before, Oasis paid their dues to the bands of the past – to the legends of British music.
Here we’re taking a look back at some of the best covers Oasis ever produced. While they didn’t produce many, clearly not seeing the need with a songwriter like Noel Gallagher in the ranks, the ones they did have a crack at are simply brilliant.
The band, crafted as they are, chose to take on some of the most iconic songs in British and rock and roll history, from Bowie to The Beatles, Oasis always shone through. Picking up the tracks at various points their career it’s a welcome reminder that Oasis were always going to be legends.
David Bowie – ‘Heroes’
“This is the first song I heard by David Bowie” remarks Noel in an interview mourning the Starman’s passing. “The sentiment is amazing: We can be heroes, if only for one day. We all can’t make it in life, but we can feel like we make it, for one day at a time.” This is the emboldening sentiment that ran through the veins of Noel Gallagher in 1981 and the same one he gave a generation of council estate kids in the ’90s.
This cover of Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ is one of our favourite Bowie covers of all time and within it, you can feel the adoration they hold for the man himself while still projecting their own rock star shadow.
The Beatles – ‘Helter Skelter’
Oasis’ love affair with The Beatles is so plainly obvious it’s almost not worth mentioning it. The band have been indefinitely inspired by the Fab Four and that has resulted not only in the name of Liam’s son being Lennon after John, nor the band covering their songs live, but they even feature one on their 1998 album Masterplan. That track was ‘I Am The Walrus’, a live favourite for Oasis fans for a long time.
Yet, we’ve picked this slowed down version of The Beatles’ ‘Helter Skelter’ as our favourite Beatles cover from the boys. The reason being that here the band perform their very own version of the song. It’s not a straight homage as it is with their covers of ‘I Am The Walrus’
Led Zeppelin – ‘Whole Lotta Love’
In 2001, while performing at Rock in Rio the band were in the middle of a sweaty set when, having finished their iconic tune ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ began to suddenly morph into the rock legends Led Zeppelin as they performed a version of ‘Whole Lotta Love’.
While the vocals are sadly missing following some technical issues, issues we’re sure somewhere deep inside Liam was grateful for, Noel’s playing is note-perfect. Clearly Jimmy Page was also an influence on the young man from Manchester.
The Rolling Stones – ‘Street Fighting Man’
Oasis didn’t release many covers but it would seem that 1998 was the year to do it. They released this brilliant rendition of The Rolling Stones’ 1968 hit from Beggars Banquet, ‘Street Fighting Man’, as the b-side to the single ‘All Around The World’.
Perhaps a slight dig at Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and his infamous temper, the song began with a snippet of LG moaning from a recording session. But he’s soon doing what he does best and delivering a brilliant vocal on this top-class cover.
The Who – ‘My Generation’
This may well be the cover that Oasis were always destined for. Though the band may have been undoubted fans of The Beatles, this song is more befitting of a band which completely changed the youth of Britain in the 1990s. The band changed the way people looked, the way they talked, and most certainly what was ‘cool’. No other band epitomises the a song ‘My Generation’ quite like Oasis.
Written by The Who as a rallying cry to the growing youth subcultures in 1960s Britain, an anthem of understanding for one another and deliberate fingers to the establishment that didn’t. Oasis, embodying that notion pretty much throughout their formative career are near-perfect on this cover of a classic.
Slade – ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’
While we find it impossible to put seventies glam rock act Slade in the same halls as the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Who, we do think this may be one of our favourite Oasis covers of all time.
The band take on the disco classic in front of 40,000 Mancunians the band performed some songs from their last two mega-albums, Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory and in the home stadium of their favourite football team Manchester City. That wasn’t all the band had planned though. The raucous performance was an iconic moment for all those in attendance.
For all those that weren’t, watch it here: