on 8 November 2013
Most of the songs from the first 3 Oasis albums were written prior to the release of Definitely Maybe, which makes it all the more galling that the best selection of those tracks were released within the 94-96 period. Ideally, the tracks that made up Be Here Now would have been decent enough B-Sides which would have allowed the tracks from The Masterplan to become the 3rd album which would have cemented Oasis as the best band in the world in 1997.
Of course, however, hindsight is a horrible thing in that respect. It is these songs though, the songs that WERE the B-Sides of the Def. Maybe/Morning Glory singles, that added to Oasis' meteoric rise leading into the end of 1996. Basically, Oasis were so good, their B-Sides were better than other bands' singles.
The Masterplan's release in 1998 left everyone facepalming with regret, but ultimately this album proves just how good Oasis were in that period where they dominated. Ignore what people say about Oasis from 2000 and onwards, they always released at the very least ok albums, with the last two being marked improvements on SOTSOG and Heathen Chemistry. However, from 1994 to 1996, nobody could touch them, not even Radiohead, because Oasis had the songs that brought people to life and that's what was needed in that time. It is this time period that cements Oasis' legacy as one of this country's great bands, but The Masterplan also exposes just how it went wrong so quickly.
Simply put, buy it, :)
on 16 April 2007
This is the album that could/should have been Oasis' third. It would have been a seminal achievement if this collection had been released as a normal album and not as a B-side compilation as it is presented here. Its not quite on par with "Definitely Maybe" or "(What's The Story) Morning Glory" but it does show Noel Gallagher for the fantastic songwriter he is. Aside from the messy "Swamp Song" and equally distorted live take on "I Am The Walrus", the songs are top-notch (not to say that the aforementioned tracks are bad...they are just not as good as one expects from Oasis). The opener "Acquiesce" is a stomping rocker, "Underneath The Sky" is a wonderful experimental piece, reminiscing of The Jam's work on "Sound Affects" while "Talk Tonight" is an acoustic highlight. It is Noel's song writing laid down in its most vulnerable form, only him and his guitar, and the result is nothing short of beautiful. "Going Nowhere" is a horn drenched sing-along, while "Fade Away" and "Listen Up" are another couple of good rockers. "Rocking Chair" is a slower electric guitar tune and "Half The World Away" is another fantastic acoustic track that will be known by most Brits as the theme tune to "The Royal Family". There then comes a trilogy of good rockers; "(It's Good) To Be Free", "Stay Young" and the best rocker on the album "Headshrinker". If the album ended here you would be pleased with the content, satisfied that a collection of B-Sides could be this good...but you still haven't heard the epic title track. "The Masterplan" has been sited by Noel as his best song, and I would be inclined to agree with him. It's positively spellbinding. But don't take my word for it, buy the album and see, it's worth the money just to hear this song.
In short; Oasis fans should buy, rock fans should buy, music fans should buy.
on 12 November 2002
With three albums under their belt, two of them generation-definers but the third a flabby ego-booster, it didn't seem like Oasis were going anywhere fast. Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants was a later indication of just that, but before that came about they took the time to release this gem.
Probably the most important fact is that most of this stuff is pre-Be Here Now, pre superstardom. Acquiese was written on a train, (It's Good) To Be Free during a bad tour. There's a raw edge to this, partially present in Definitely Maybe and absolutely absent in Be Here Now. It's what's good about the Gallaghers in the first place, sadly an essense now lost. They would do well to rediscover it, and it's surprising that, after The Masterplan, they still didn't.
But that's the future. As it is, the album has some of Oasis' best songs. Ever. Acquiese is heroic to put it simply - a Noel/Liam duet, and all the more memorable for it. Talk Tonight is an acoustic Oasis legend, and gems like Half The World Away are as yet unbearably unreleased (though it made it as the themetune for The Royle Family). The title track is a major curiosity. Packing more power than Wonderwall ever could, it's a deep, string-laden Whatever of a song, yet with Noel's best lyrics (trust him to put them in a B-Side) and a fantastic vocal. Frankly it's a mystery to the world why on earth he kept this masterpiece a B-Side.
Still, stuff like Underneath the Sky and Going Nowhere (fantastic lyrics and a great Baccarac tune, there) are no less sophisticated. Fade Away and Headshrinker are really, really raw Oasis. Fast, hummable, fantastic. The Swamp Song may only be a warmup song, but it feels like an essense rather than a song - a masterful wallop of a tune, stomping along from start to finish. We could perhaps do without the unnecessary influence reminder that is the I Am The Walrus cover... yes, we KNOW you love the beatles, but how about you carve out your own name for a change rather than plugging them... but all is made well again with decent tunes Listen Up and Rockin' Chair. (It's Good) To Be Free is one of the less happy moments of the album, but it's still an accomplished one. Stay Young is loathed by the band, but poppy or not it's well written and cheerful... and quite irresistable: "Hey, stay young and invincible."
This is distilled Oasis, the band at their truest and best. No egos have tainted it, no Wonderwalls have gotten too much in the way. It sounds like a bunch of guys making music, with or without the money. And it's times like that I wish Live Forever and Wonderwall had never occured - maybe then we'd get a career of Masterplan albums. Alas that wasn't to be, and they continued on with their "we're great, you're not" attitude to everything. Any self respecting fan should have this, as it will pretty much explain what it is you see in the band. Easily on a par with Definitely Maybe, this could well be the best they've done.
on 2 May 2004
Extremely rare fanclub boxset. The track listing is the same as the CD although it is contained on 7 vinyls all with indivdual artwork.
This album contains many excellent b-sides and it stands out from the hugely over-rated 'Morning Glory' by offering 4 masterpieces:
Talk Tonight, Going Nowhere, Half the World Away, and the Masterplan. The masterplan is a beautiful song with brass and strings complementing the guitar and Noel's voice wonderfully. The rest of the album ranges from good to brilliant - 'Aquiesce', 'Rockin' Chair' to mediocre - 'The Swamp Song,' 'Headshrinker'
Overall, buy this album - it's fantastic stuff.
on 30 March 2002
Having purchased bhn, I was slightly worried that oasis had lost the magic touch that made them immensly successful during the mid nineties.However this album expels all doubt that they werefinished. a collection of choons on all levels - soaring highs of acquiesce and fade away, and soulful notes of the masterplan and talk tonight and 'i am the walrus' somewhere in the middle. If i have one complaint about this album it is the glaring omissions, such as 'round are way','better people','dyer wanna be a spaceman' and 'the fame' & 'flashbax' from allaroundtheworld.
Imagine if we had another masterplan album. Those tracks would no doubt be on it, as would every b-side from standing on the shoulder of giants.
on 6 September 2006
Coming out just over a year after the bloated "Be Here Now", this collection of B-sides was a startling reminder of what made this band so significant in the first place.
There is no duff track on here aside from the superfluous "Swamp Song" and maybe you could live without "(It's Good) To Be Free."
Aside from that it's a line-up of first-rate songwriting and defiant, confident performances. "Acquiesce" should have been an A-side; "Talk Tonight" is disarming in its softness and frankness and "The Masterplan" is stunning.
Even tracks like "Listen Up" and "Fade Away" sound vibrant and involved.
Towers over every subsquent studio album released by Oasis.
on 23 June 2005
I got this album after reading the good reviews on Amazon. I was not dissapointed. Every track on here would get at least a four-star rating. The pick of the tracks are 1,2,3,5,13&14 for me.
The album starts off with Acquiesce, a good heavey song to start off the album, remeniscent of Rock 'n Roll Star on Definently Maybe.
The Next song is called Underneath the sky and after a couple of listens it has really grown on me. Great lyrics for this song.
Next is Talk Tonight a true acoustic classic which Noel sings throughout. Nice guitar piece in the background.
Track 5 is called Fade Away and the chorus will be familiar with many Oasis fans, even if they haven't heard the song.
Track 13, Headshrinker, sees Liam's best vocal part on the album.
Finally track 14 is The Masterplan. Noel says it's the best song he's ever written, and when you hear it you can see why. How is this a "B-side"?
Overall this is a great album. A few of the "B-sides" (notice the sarcastic speech marks) could easily boot "A-sides" such as Little James and Songbird (Two of Liams "contributions"). In fact some of these songs wouldn't look out of place on Definantly Maybe or (What's the Story) Morning Glory?. Overall a top album.
on 25 July 2006
I'm not taking the mick outta' Be here now, its a good album, but it is amazing how the biggest album of all time, can be beaten by some B-sides, but that is the case.
2.Underneath the sky. 4/5
3.Talk Tonight. 4/5
4.Going Nowhere. 4.5/5
5.Fade Away. 4.5/5
6.Swamp Song. 2/5
7.I am the walrus. 3/5
8.Listen Up. 4/5
9,Half the world away. 5/5
10.Good to be Free. 4/5
11.Rockin' Chair. 4.5/5
12.Stay Young. 4.5/5
Few would argue that the most essential Oasis albums are the first two, Definitely Maybe from August 1994 and (What's The Story) Morning Glory from October 1995, when they were young and mad for it, and Noel Gallagher had a pocket book seemingly stuffed to capacity with classic songs. So prolific was he that the singles from that brief period contained a further 20 new songs on the B-sides most of which were the equal of those on the albums, some arguably superior.
With the exception of their debut single, Supersonic, none of these had been released in America, hence the idea of compiling the best of the B-sides onto an album for their benefit. The track listing was apparently chosen by fans on the Internet with some influence from Noel Gallagher, and two of his justly favourite compositions, Underneath The Sky and The Masterplan, make it onto the album alongside obvious musts like Acquiesce and Fade Away. All date from 1994 and 1995 apart from two 1997 recordings that appear on singles extracted from Be Here Now.
The biggest omission is the non-album single Whatever, perhaps excluded on the grounds that it was not a B-side. Step Out (the B-side of Don't Look Back In Anger), removed from Morning Glory for legal reasons due to its similarity to Stevie Wonder's Uptight, misses out again, as does the anthemic Round Are Way, and the Slade cover Cum On Feel The Noize. However, rockers like Headshrinker and the Bacharach-inspired Going Nowhere easily earn their places in the company of the likes of the acoustic ballad Talk Tonight and the more recent (though written in 1990) Going Nowhere.
Completists should note that the live I Am The Walrus, recorded at a soundcheck in Gleneagles, fades at 6.24, whereas on the Cigarettes And Alcohol EP it is complete at 8.14. Listen Up has been shorn of 18 seconds from its guitar solo, and Half A World Away, now known to the nation as the theme of The Royle Family, inexplicably fades out just a couple of seconds short of its natural end as heard on the Whatever EP.
However, on the strength of these supposedly second division songs, perhaps there are actually three essential Oasis albums
on 29 May 2004
Before i start, im sure if you buy this album you will not forget it. So Buy it.
I call it a no nonsense album because there are songs like Acquiese, Headshrinker, Stay Young, Going nowhere and of course the Masterplan itself. Its quite simply a huge album. Full of character. Who wouldnt guess these are B-sides that Noel wrote to go with a 'better' song from an album. But here we have a complilation of instant B-side classics. Here's a song-by-song:
Acquiesce - An all time 'Shoulda bin an A-side'. Hints of Whats the story at the start, but then we get asong that you cant forget! Brilliant. Overall - 10/10.
Underneath the Sky - Lets be fair, a classic B-side that is only deserved of that. Nothing special, none the less very catchy and you wont skip it. But an album filler. Actually, i might be alone in these thoughts, as Noel himself see's this one as one of his favourites. Overall - 7/10.
Talk Tonight - Awesome. An Oasis accoustic classic. Noel sings this himself and does it brilliantly. There's nothing much to say about this song, you have to hear it. Overall - 10/10
Going Nowhere - Oasis's oldest track, written before they were signed about what they were going to do when the band was loaded. 'Im gonna get me a motor car maybe a jaguar maybe a plane or a day of fame'. Again Noels the singer (which i think has better vocals than his brother) and again we get a great song. Hear the brass and horn players in the background leading iint to the chorus. Heroic someone quoted. Overall - 10/10
Fade Away - elbowed off Definately Maybe by slide away. And arent we thankful. Poor, and a real racket. Shame as it has excellent lyrics 'while were living the dreams we have as children fade away' But maybe would have been better without the 5th guitar sound you hear. Overall - 6/10
Swamp Song - No lyrics to this, doesnt need it. Recorded live, Make your own mind up. Overall 7/10
I am the Walrus - Given the oasis sound. Critised by many simply because its an Beatles classic. But i love it. Even better when you know that Noel was drunk when recorded. Overall 8/10
Listen Up - Its a shame that this song is two minutes too long. Has a brilliant chorus but you have to wait to long to hear it. Tiresome but a worthy B-side track for the album. Overall - 7/10
Rocking Chair - Admittedly, its the only track i skip when i listen to the Masterplan. But i dont know why. It kind of sets it up by it fading in as it has nothing to the song. Poor lyrics and a let down, one of very few. poorly sag aswell by Liam. Overall - 6/10
Half the World Away - Sound familiar? From the Royal Family opening tune. Paul Wellers favourite Oasis tune. A solid tune with nothing special to make it a classic, but every one loves it. Overall - 8/10
(its good) To be free - hmmm Overall - 6/10
Stay Young - Ah, here we are. My favourite Oasis track and the best feel good song of all time. I was disgusted to hear that it was booted of the Be Here Now Album for 'Ihope i think i know', as this is 4 times better. Hear it and you'll know what i mean. Brilliant song along. Noel doesnt like this tune, but dont let the put you off, its huge. Brilliant. If it was to be released now it would be the Anthem of the year. Overall - 10/10
HeadShrinker - Liams finest Vocal display. Oh the freedom of a B-side. Takes a while to grow on you but then you'll love it. Roaring guitar. Heavy but controlled well. Overall - 9/10
The Materplan - Best song of all time? Nearly, behind Live forever and Stay Young. Noels favourite track he's ever made. I know why. Its got so many layers. 'No wonder god Loves them' this is for everyone. Id ont care if you are a oasis fan or Spice girl fan. This is a quality tune. Liam wishes he sung it, im glad he didnt. Has to be heared to be believed. Buy this ablum for this song alone. Overall - 11/10