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The Masterplan

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Album Review

For American audiences, the phenomenal worldwide success of Oasis was a little puzzling. That's because they only had part of the picture — unless they were hardcore fans, they didn't hear nearly three albums of material released on B-sides and non-LP singles. Critics and fans alike claimed that the best of these B-sides were as strong as the best moments on the albums, and they were right. None of the albums had a song that rocked as hard as "Fade Away" (cleverly built on a stolen melody from Wham!'s "Freedom"), "Headshrinker," or "Acquiesce." There was nothing as charming as the lite psychedelic pastiche "Underneath the Sky" or the Bacharach tribute "Going Nowhere"; there was nothing as affecting as Noel Gallagher's acoustic plea "Talk Tonight" or the minor-key, McCartney-esque "Rockin' Chair," nothing as epic as "The Masterplan." Most bands wouldn't throw songs of this caliber away on B-sides, but Noel Gallagher followed the example of his heroes the Jam and the Smiths, who released singles where the B-sides rivaled the A-sides. This meant many American fans missed these songs, so to remedy this situation, Oasis released the B-sides compilation The Masterplan. Oasis unfortunately chose to opt for a single disc of highlights instead of a complete double-disc set, which means a wealth of great songs — "Take Me Away," "Whatever," "D'Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman?," "Round Are Way," "It's Better People," "Step Out," a raging cover of "Cum on Feel the Noize" — are missing. But The Masterplan winds up quite enjoyable anyway. Apart from the sludgy instrumental "The Swamp Song," there isn't a weak track here, and the brilliant moments are essential not only for Oasis fans, but any casual follower of Britpop or post-grunge rock & roll.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Manchester, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Oasis shot from obscurity to stardom in 1994, becoming one of Britain's most popular and critically acclaimed bands of the decade in the process. Along with Blur and Suede, they were responsible for returning British guitar pop to the top of the charts. Led by guitarist/songwriter Noel Gallagher, the Manchester quintet adopted the rough, thuggish image of the Stones and the Who, crossed it with "Beatlesque" melodies and hooks, injected distinctly British lyrical themes and song structures like the...
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The Masterplan, Oasis
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