“Another sunny afternoon, walking to the sound of my favorite tune.”
(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? is the second studio album by Oasis. It was a smash hit critically and commercially, spawning the hit singles “Roll with It”, “Some Might Say”, “Champagne Supernova”, “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, “Morning Glory”, and “Wonderwall”.
After the success of their debut album, Definitely Maybe, the bar was certainly raised high. After being recorded in just 15 days, it was released on October 2, 1995, to such success that it was reported that a copy was sold every two minutes. It has sold over 4.5 million copes in the UK and is currently the fifth-best selling album of all time there.
More infamously, however, is the album’s status as the arguable catalyst of the Loudness War. While CD mastering had been growing progressively louder since the format’s introduction in 1982, the heavy amount of dynamic range compression implemented throughout the album resulted in a loud, distorted sound that was unprecedented for its time, and not in a good way. After this album’s release, CD releases of albums saw a noticeable jump in both loudness and compression, rapidly escalating throughout the rest of the decade and the following one, to both consumer apathy and music enthusiasts’ vitriol. As music journalist Nick Southall put it, “if there’s a jump-the-shark moment as far as CD mastering goes, then it’s probably Oasis.”
Followed up by their 1997 album Be Here Now.
The album was listed at #378 in Rolling Stone‘s Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, at #67 on NME‘s response list, was included on Time‘s 2006 list of their all-time essential albums, and is currently the 77th-most-acclaimed album of all time according to Acclaimed Music‘s compilation of various critics’ lists.
- Liam Gallagher lead vocals, tambourine
- Noel Gallagher lead and acoustic guitar, vocals (lead on “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, “Talk Tonight”, “Step Out”, “The Masterplan”, “Bonehead’s Bank Holiday”, and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”), bass guitar, piano, Mellotron, e-bow, production
- Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs rhythm and acoustic guitar, piano, Mellotron, melodica, drunk vocals on “Bonehead’s Bank Holiday”
- Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan bass guitar
- Alan White drums, percussion
- Tony McCarroll drums on “Some Might Say”
- “Hello” (3:21)
- “Roll with It” (3:59)
- “Wonderwall” (4:18)
- “Don’t Look Back in Anger” (4:48)
- “Hey Now!” (5:41)
- “Some Might Say” (5:29)
- “Cast No Shadow” (4:51)
- “She’s Electric” (3:40)
- “Morning Glory” (5:03)
- “Champagne Supernova” (7:27)
Bonus Tracks (Deluxe Edition)
- “Talk Tonight” (4:24)
- “Acquiesce” (4:29)
- “Headshrinker” (4:42)
- “It’s Better People” (4:01)
- “Rockin’ Chair” (4:40)
- “Step Out” (3:45)
- “Underneath the Sky” (3:25)
- “Cum On Feel the Noize” (5:13)
- “Round Are Way” (5:45)
- “The Swamp Song”note excerpts are used as the untitled tracks on the album (4:23)
- “The Masterplan” (5:26)
- “Bonehead’s Bank Holiday”note inserted on vinyl edition between the first untitled track and “Some Might Say” (4:03)
- “Champagne Supernova”note mix by Brendan Lynch (6:59)
- “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” (2:18)
- Album Title Drop: It occurs during the chorus of “Morning Glory”.
- Anti-Role Model: In “Don’t Look Back in Anger”:
And please don’t put your life in the hands
Of a rock ‘n roll band
Who’ll throw it all away
- Bonus Track: “Bonehead’s Bank Holiday” was included on vinyl editions of the album.
- Broken Record: The endings of “Roll with It” (“I think I’ve got a feeling I’m lost inside…”), “Some Might Say” (“You know what some might say!”) and “Morning Glory” (the whole chorus).
- Careful with That Axe: Liam continuously yelling “WELLLLLLLLLLLLL” in “Morning Glory”. Live, it was done by Noel.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Technically, the excerpts from “The Swamp Song” are this, as the full song was featured as a B-side to the “Wonderwall” single, four weeks after this album was released.
- Epic Rocking: “Champagne Supernova”, the only song on this album longer than six minutes, goes for almost 7½ minutes.
- Excited Show Title!: “Hey Now!”
- Fading into the Next Song: “Morning Glory” → track 11 → “Champagne Supernova”. The Greatest Hits Album maintains this fade, but with the radio noise at the end of “Morning Glory”/start of track 11 leading straight into the water sounds at the end of track 11/start of “Champagne Supernova”, with the “Swamp Song” segment removed.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- “Hello” opens with “Wonderwall” playing on the background before the song starts proper.
- Two excerpts from “The Swamp Song” are passage tracks with no name in the album. The 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition’s second disc features the whole track.
- “Acquiesce” has a nice one hidden at the beginning and end of the track: Noel on a guitar, on what is apparently “Morning Glory”‘s demo. Note: “Morning Glory” is the one of the album tracks whose demo didn’t end up on the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.
- A second one, even more hidden on the same song’s intro, has a small conversation between Liam and co-producer Owen Morris played backwards.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: “All your dreams are made, when you’re chained to the mirror and the razor blade” in “Morning Glory” is just a really nice way of saying the song’s narrator is addicted to cocaine.
- Instrumentals: “The Swamp Song”, which is the source of the two untitled tracks.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The music video for “Morning Glory” has at least 20 actors in it.
- Longest Song Goes Last: “Champagne Supernova” goes for 7:27.
- Loudness War: One of the worst offenders, in fact. Also, the one album that started it all. The title track in particular is so rife with audible digital distortion (especially towards the end) that it borders on unlistenable for some.
- Lyrics/Video Mismatch: The music video for “Morning Glory” has the band performing the song loudly in an apartment complex, while the building’s other tenants come up to the door to bang on it and yell at them to keep it down. Justified, though; if they made a video depicting cocaine use (see Getting Crap Past the Radar above), it would never air on television.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Goes from 1 to 6:
- 1: “Wonderwall”, “She’s Electric”
- 2: “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, “Hey Now!”, “Cast No Shadow”
- 3: “Roll with It”
- 4: “Some Might Say”, “Champagne Supernova”
- 5: “Hello”, “Untitled/The Swamp Song”
- 6: “Morning Glory”
- No Title: Two tracks have just blanks where the titles should be. They are both excerpts from “The Swamp Song”.
- The Power of Friendship: What “Acquiesce” is all about, according to Noel.
- Ode to Intoxication: “Morning Glory” has a few not-very-subtle cocaine references, though it’s not the only example in their discography.
- The album title is a line off “The Telephone Hour” from Bye Bye Birdie, which Noel learned as a friend (who would inspire the B-side “Talk Tonight”) answered the phone like that.
- “Wonderwall” is a reference to George Harrison‘s album Wonderwall Music; it also has the line “And all the roads we have to walk are winding”.
- “Roll With It” has “‘Cause it’s all too much for me to take”.
- “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, along with an “Imagine”-esque piano intro, the second verse draws from a John Lennon quote during the Bed-In (“trying to start a revolution from my bed, because they said the brains I had went to my head”).
- Silly Love Songs: “She’s Electric”, probably the closest the band got to a straight-up pop song.
- The Something Song: The blank titles on tracks 6 and 11 are snippets taken from the B-side to “Wonderwall”, “The Swamp Song”. First included in The Masterplan, the complete song appears in the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.
- Special Guest: Paul Weller, who plays guitar in “Champagne Supernova” (and “The Swamp Song”, featured in the nameless excerpts). “Cast No Shadow” is dedicated to him.
- Splash of Color: The “Wonderwall” video is completely in black-and-white except for Paul’s guitar, which changes color from green to blue to yellow. There’s no indication it’s supposed to be important.
- Step Up to the Microphone: “Don’t Look Back in Anger” is the first track sung by Noel, which would lead to the band becoming a Vocal Tag Team.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: “She’s Electric” and “Wonderwall”.