Following on from their debut album Definitely Maybe, the weight of expectation on the shoulders of Oasis was incredible as the whole world waited on a follow up from their faultless debut. The Gallagher brothers didn’t feel the pressure though, duly delivering in stellar fashion on (What’s The Story) Morning Glory when it was released on October 2nd, 1995, through Alan McGee’s Creation Records.
(What’s The Story) Morning Glory became one of the defining albums of the Britpop era and remains the sound of a band riding high at the peak of their powers, a group that could seemingly do no wrong. Oasis were much more than just a band and the way they carried themselves infected a whole generation who wanted to walk like a Gallagher. The record propelled Oasis from being a crossover indie act to a worldwide rock phenomenon, one that is seen by critics as a significant record in the timeline of British indie music. Morning Glory sold a record-breaking 345,000 copies in its first week, spent 10 weeks at number one in the UK Albums Chart and cemented itself as the band’s most commercially successful release.
Following an album like Definitely Maybe is an almost impossible task, there are few albums that define an entire generation. That said, their debut wasn’t just a good album, the record changed the way people spoke, what they listened to, who they listened to and what they looked like. It was all on the line with Morning Glory but they delivered twelve tracks of pure rock ‘n’ roll brilliance.
Take a look at our ranking of the seminal record to celebrate it reaching the milestone of soundtracking people for a quarter of a century. A slight caveat, the two ‘The Swamp Song’ interludes are exempt from the list.
Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory Ranked
10. ‘Hey Now’
‘Hey Now’ being ranked at the bottom of the list is no slight against the track and featuring on (What’s The Story) Morning Glory is an achievement in itself. However, the song doesn’t quite have the same gravitas that the rest of the album does and the sombre nature of the track doesn’t hit the same as Oasis at their euphoric swashbuckling best.
Noel Gallagher once explained the song’s meaning to Select magazine: “This is about looking back and going, ‘Well, we’ve got where we wanted to be, but it’s been fucking hard work.’ There was a lot of trauma along the way, tools, in America, getting shot of the drummer (Tony McCarroll), and all the rest of it. So, it’s not been as big a laugh as we thought it would be. This song is basically saying, ‘There’s no time for running away now.'”
‘Hello’ is a somewhat underwhelming start to the record considering the depth of quality which features elsewhere on the album and, although it does have a chorus the size of Manchester, it doesn’t quite get (What’s The Story) Morning Glory racing out of the traps as fast as it could.
It sets the expectation for the record at quite a low bar for an opener because of the sheer greatness of the record which then blows you away. It’s still a gut-punching anthem that deserves its place on the record but something has to rank at this position and if ‘Hello’ was on Be Here Now, there’s not a bat in hell’s chance that it would anywhere near so low.
8. ‘She’s Electric’
‘She’s Electric’ is sort of the ‘Digsy’s Dinner’ of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, it’s a daft playful nursery rhyme that Noel nabbed the chorus melody from the theme tune from 1970s UK preschool program You and Me but, despite the farcical lyrics, the song somehow carries a sincerity to it and Liam’s delivery managed to weave it into a thing of beauty.
Noel Gallagher once jokingly said the song is “about a boy who’s got a girlfriend, and he used to go out with her sister, that he fancies her mother, doesn’t get on with her brother, and, as somebody gets her cousin, pregnant, and everybody thinks it was him because he’s a bit of a fucking rum cunt, but it wasn’t. It’s not a true story,” he added. “Is it a true story? I’m saying fuck all me.”
7. ‘Roll With It’
‘Roll With It’ was picked as the second single from the record, one which saw the track go head to head with Blur hit ‘Country House’ for the top spot and narrowly missed out. It gets the album off to a more anthemic start than ‘Hello’ and helps set the tone for the rest of the record perfectly.
It has that typical Oasis feel to it of being proud of who you are and that swaggering confidence that provides all you need to know about the mindset of these five lads from Manchester. It embodies the spirit of Oasis and their optimistic nature, which made them the band of their generation.
6. ‘Cast No Shadow’
‘Cast No Shadow’ is written about Noel’s former friend Richard Ashcroft of The Verve who burst out crying tears of joy when he first heard it, although the two of them have since found themselves at a war of words, the song shows Noel’s softer side and him worrying about a friend who was constantly letting life weigh him down.
It’s a beautiful, tender and delicate track that many people reading will feel that it’s placed unfairly low on the list because of Noel’s incredible songwriting which is on show in ‘Cast No Shadow’. The song has found its way into becoming one of the most beloved Oasis tracks over the last 25 years, which people hold close to their hearts.
5. ‘Some Might Say’
‘Some Might Say’ is a glorious arm-waving anthem that was designed for huge stadiums, which the chorus filled with ease. It’s the sound of a band who are on top of the world in every sense, musically they oozed greatness and everything they touched turned to gold which then led to even more optimism.
The message that things might be shit now but things will turn out alright in the end resonated with adolescences across Britain, all of whom felt a powerful connection to the band and hung off every word that came from Liam Gallagher’s voice. ‘Some Might Say’ is an archetypal Oasis song which would go on to define what they were all about and that injection of hope they provided the country with duirng the mid-1990s.
4. ‘Morning Glory’
‘Morning Glory’ is a rip-roaring sermon that Liam Gallagher believes every word of what he’s preaching to the choir that is well and truly converted. “Another sunny afternoon, Walking to the sound of my favourite tune,” is a lyric that shines because of its simplicity, Noel Gallagher wrote in such a relatable manner that gave Oasis this authentic voice and helped distinguish them as the band of the people.
Noel’s thumping solo even all these years later takes you to this state of euphoria when coupled with Liam’s incredible vocal performance which makes it one of the true great Oasis tracks.
‘Wonderwall’ splits opinion and has suffered memeification in the age of social media because of it becoming one of the most overly performed tracks of all time. You know when you hear, “so anyway, here’s ‘Wonderwall’” you’re in for a ropey rendition of Gallagher’s vocal. Even Liam Gallagher has grown sick of it.
“At least there’s no ‘Wonderwall’ on there. I can’t fucking stand that fucking song! Every time I have to sing it I want to gag,” Gallagher said to WENN in 2008. “Problem is, it was a big, big tune for us. You go to America and they’re like: ‘Are you, Mr Wonderwall?’ You want to chin someone,” he added in a way that only he could.
Despite the countless tragic covers of the song which spectacularly fail to capture the greatness of the original and the magic that the Gallagher brother’s created on ‘Wonderwall’, an effort which made the track so ingrained into British culture in the first place. The track is another insight into the more loving, emotional side of the band which is hidden away on most of the record which is why it strikes such a significant chord in hearts far and wide.
2. ‘Champagne Supernova’
Oasis song ‘Champagne Supernova’ is a true piece of art, one that is high up in the echelons of Noel Gallagher’s creations. Liam proves yet again on the number that his mouth isn’t just good for firing off elite insults but his vocals are absolutely immaculate and on ‘Champagne Supernova’ he offers his finest vocal effort to date.
It’s almost impossible to listen to the album closer without not feeling uplifted and high on just being alive. The beauty of “Someday you will find me, Caught beneath the landslide, In a champagne supernova in the sky,” comes from that everybody has their own landslide that they find themselves caught between which makes you completely forget about the farcical image of a champage supernova in the sky which Liam sings with all the sincerity in the world.
When speaking to the NME in 1995, Noel Gallagher said this of the track which speaks volumes about why the song is such an exemplary piece of music: “It means different things when I’m in different moods. When I’m in a bad mood being caught beneath a landslide is like being suffocated. The song is a bit of an epic. It’s about when you’re young and you see people in groups and you think about what they did for you and they did nothing.”
1. ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’
‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ was the first-ever Oasis single to feature Noel on vocals and he made sure for his debut on singing duties that he was nabbing the best song from the record. The track is iconic and its brilliance is impossible to deny, its gargantuan chorus was one that could unite football hooligans on the terraces with even the most ardent of musos who all stood back in admiration of its magnificence.
The track has become an unofficial national anthem of Britain over the last 25 years and would take on a deeper, personal meaning for the people of Manchester when the city united to sing ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ in the face of terrorism following the tragedy that occurred at the Manchester Arena in 2017.
It was also Noel’s moment to prove that he wasn’t this Pete Townshend figure who was going to write all the tunes and let someone else take all the limelight. The older Gallagher wrote these songs which have a significant meaning to him and he wants the chance to be the one to sing them in jam-packed football stadiums.