Why Oasis are rubbish – the quantum explanation

"Today is gonna be the day ..."
"Today is gonna be the day ..."

NOEL Gallagher is not the only rubbish songwriter in the world. There are plenty of others, possibly myself, possibly yourself, certainly sacred cows like Bob Dylan.

Noel and Bob are purveyors of the impenetrable, proudly waving the nonsense flag of James Joyce and William Burroughs before a marching band of electric guitars.

A song must be about something. All the way through. Puff the Magic Dragon was about something, all the way through, therefore it is a song worthy of the name. All Along the Watchtower might be about something, but you wouldn't guess by listening to it. Maybe it has a meaning which could be explained. But if a song, or a painting, has to be explained, it wasn't worth doing in the first place. Only so its creator can add to their mystique and, usually, their earnings.

Poor Noel never wrote a meaningful sentence in his life. I reluctantly trawled through every single Oasis lyric for research and found not one line that even related to the next, let alone anything else in the 'song'. No, we can't keep saying 'song'. We must give a name to things like this. 'A series of words sung to a borrowed Beatles tunes'. Snappy? No. Noelistic. That'll do. A Noelism, My dictionary defines nihilism as: a belief in nothing; denial of all reality, or of all objective truth. Hmm. A 'song' full of nothing. That'll be a noelism.

As you now know, Noel is not the only rubbish songwriter in the world. The galling thing is that people not only think he is a great songwriter, but a songwriter in the first place. All the poor thing knows is that every two lines must rhyme. So he writes a stream of drivel which, to be fair, does scan (but then that's easy unless you are a clever poet trying to shoehorn words of meaning into the scansion) followed by another which ends in a rhyme with the last. Let's try it ourselves.

Walking slowly down the hall, faster than a ... Berlin Wall? Stuart Hall (British TV and radio figure)? Bloke named Paul? Pashmina shawl? Mobile call? Shopping mall? Whatever you like. Ice cream brawl, bad recall, wonderwall, anything you like, Mike, on your bike. This is idiot stuff, the kind of thing five-year-olds enjoy when they're just beginning to understand the rhythm of words. Poor Noel never progressed.

Cole (rhymes with Noel) Porter was a songwriter, a superb constructor of scansion and lyric. More than that, his tunes were superb and memorable and the wit so refined. It's odd that Cole, so privileged and educated, wrote similarly elegant stuff to his great contemporary, Irving Berlin, from a totally different background. Irving had worked his way up from his poor, Jewish New York background as a singing waiter, plinking and plonking on only the black keys of the piano in his breaks, using the white keys as an ashtray, to write Cheek to Cheek, White Christmas and the gorgeous What'll I Do. He could have stopped there, and I'm sure you and I would have, thinking it couldn't get any better, but he didn't and it did.

Both Cole and Irving (rhymes with deserving) won many awards, as has Noel. In 1996, he was named Songwriter of the Year at the Ivor Novello Awards. It's like you or I being named Milkman of the Year (apologies to any milkmen reading this). Talking of milkmen, one of the most perfectly constructed songs of recent years is Ernie (the fastest milkman in the west), by British genius Benny Hill. Of course it rhymes, scans, has a verse which tags the title and gallons of wit, but, most importantly, it's about something. All the way through. It tells a story, from beginning to end. Unbelievably, Benny Hill never won an Ivor Novello Award. But then he never shrouded himself with a mystical aura, never failed to explain himself with an inarticulateness which manifested itself as something so deep that it couldn't be explained. With Benny, what you heard was the truth. No air of mystery, no pretensions of omniscience. "A stale pork pie caught him in the eye and Ernie bit the dust." It doesn't get any better than that.

Students of quantum mechanics will understand that Oasis can be both rubbish and not rubbish at the same time, but never both. Some might say that they have sold out concerts around the world, sold millions of albums, etc, and therefore this could not have happened if they were rubbish. This is like saying that the ugly, bullying Windows operating system is a much better thing than the user-friendlier Macintosh, based solely on units sold. The biggest-selling newspaper in Britain is The Sun, which has pictures of topless women every day. The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles overflows with worthless junk which people bought by the shedload. In songwriting terms, Joe Dolce's Shaddup Your Face has no merit, but it reached number one on the British charts.

But how did Oasis achieve commercial success? Their music is derivative and although the guitars are turned up loud, lacks real energy. The biggest problem is the speed, or lack of. The clumping, dawdling tempo of most of their noelisms conveys the impression that they may never get to the end. So if we take away the lazy music and the lazier lyrics, all we are left with is what they look like.

Oasis are cool. It was their swagger, the constant assertions that they were the best band in the world, that won them fans. Many music journalists were trampled in the scramble to publish anything about Oasis, just like Beatlemania all over again. Beatle worshiper and plagiarist Noel may have noticed the irony. People will always be happy to associate themselves with a winner and bask in the reflected glory. It's easier than thinking.

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Comments 19 comments

Ben 6 years ago

Oasis were incredible in the 90's, their b sides outclassed most other bands A sides.

deal with it

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crassnsilly 6 years ago from leigh-on-sea Author

Yes, incredible that they fooled anyone in the first place. Thanks for reading.

Phil 6 years ago

Quite right. Everyone said Oasis were the new Beatles. The Beatles had wit, intelligence and charm. Oasis had no subtlety and were like brainless Neanderthals. Little James has the worst lyric ever... 'You play with your toys, thought they make noise... You like to play with plastacine, you've even got a tambourine...' I rest my case. Oh, and you can't 'Stand on the shoulder of giants' either.

crassnsilly profile image

crassnsilly 6 years ago from leigh-on-sea Author


Glad you agree. Don't get me started on the lyrics. "Slower than a cannonball"? Who is Sally? Where did she appear from? Why can she wait? How does she know it's too late? Oh, stop, I could be here all day.

SearchFriendlyName 6 years ago

So all songs must be little stories, eh? All of them? No room for artistic licence? Creating a mood..? Imagery? Psychedelia? No? Shame.

It's music, not literature. All that really matters is that it SOUND GOOD. Having EVERY song be about something would be as formulaic and dull as, well, Oasis.

crassnsilly profile image

crassnsilly 6 years ago from leigh-on-sea Author


You're talking about all music, not songs. It's not difficult to see the distinction is it? I'd love to read your stuff ...

NoFxdAbode fan 6 years ago

Great piece a hate oasis, Are thes lyrics good??? its a new band i have been listening to.

You walk in lights shine, drinks shine, lips shine

that girl over there shes mine.

You fall out cut face, sore face, broke face

nearly time for sunshine.

Theres a million different ways you could have fun

theres a million different ways you could have fun

and this is one.

You get home phone lost, wallet lost, friends lost

you always seem to drink the most.

The thing is do a care, do you care, do we care

our lifes are fucked and going nowere.

Theres a million different ways you could have fun,

theres a million different ways you coulf have fun

and this is one.

You walk in lights shine drinks shine lips shine

that girl over there shes mine.

You wake up high again

what's your name

play the game

she crys then laughs and wants another line.

Theres a million different ways you could have fun,

theres a million different ways you could have fun and this is one,

this is one, this is one, this is one,

this is.


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crassnsilly 6 years ago from leigh-on-sea Author


love the energy, and songs lasting 2:10 are always welcome. I hope this lot make a living from it. Bring back the 8-track. Heard Every Fallen In Love by The Buzzcocks the other day, and it sounds fresh 30-odd years later.



Craig nofxdabode fan 5 years ago


yea a just saw this band headline Glasgows king tuts last month n they were unbelivable,

a really hope they do well to, with all the bullshit music out there we need another honest rock band!!

givealittle 4 years ago

I can't believe I was once even fooled to having them stuck in my head. Such horrible thieves (not even trying to hide their die-hard copying), copy-cats, dreary-eyed pop band, and a man who just sings with his hands behind his back cannot be classified as a performer.

Time to bring in Bernie, Led Zeppelin or The Who. At least they would know what to do about all this nonsense.

best band ever 3 years ago

Biggest load of crap ever. Oasis had hidden meanings in their songs which you clearly missed. The Beatles and Bob Dylan are nonsense whereas have anything anyone with ears could want

Ippy123 3 years ago

Quite a good article but flawed because it criticises Dylan, comparing him to Oasis. Dylan is regarded by legions of critics and other major artists as one of the icons of music and hugely influential precisely because he DID have something to say in his poetry. Hence why his lyrics are studied at top universities around the world (I did a course on him as part if my englush degree at Oxford). I suspect the author of this blog has not listened to enough dylan, or doesn't understand it, because many of his songs have clear meanings. The surreal imagery in later songs is art, and that's what artists do - they try new things with new language and metaphor. You may not like it otlr get it, but plenty of other intelligent people do. On that note, I largely agree about Oasis - they are no artists, just heavily derivative and incapable of progression. Their lyrics are immature and they have nothing much to say apart from on the first album. That said, there is a visceral quality to rock music and they had that ability to excite in their early years.

crassnsilly profile image

crassnsilly 3 years ago from leigh-on-sea Author

You have an 'englush degree'. And you can get a degree that doesn't involve learning spelling or grammar. Fantastic. They could give one away free with every burger. Or book of Bob Dylan's 'poetry".

junglistsoldier 3 years ago

The person who wrote this knows nothing of noels work. Noel is an excellent songwriter and composer. People who agree with this page of drivel above and the person who wrote it just haven't got the imagination to interpret his words for themselves. Oasis are the best thing that happened to British music since, well, the Beatles

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crassnsilly 3 years ago from leigh-on-sea Author

And that's the beauty of the internet. The dunce above, hiding behind anonymity, who has never written anything (and why should it bother, because it has no grammar or punctuation or education) can make a dreary, wafer-thin comment, and think it matters. No. I'll bet the onanist can only type with one finger.

NecroBadger 2 years ago

Interesting piece. I agree that Oasis were dreadful - I grew up in the 90s and couldn't stand them. Their rhythm section was dull and plodding. Very limited musicality hindered any hope of real experimentation. Liam's nasal, grating vocals are painful to listen to, and there are misappropriated snippets and riffs all over their discography. And there's the rubbish lyrics, of course. Coming across as thoroughly unlikeable, moronic, arrogant louts doesn't help much either.

Dylan really is a sacred cow, and some of his work is rubbish. I find some of it incredibly powerful though - 'Blood on the Tracks' is a pretty raw listen given the context of his divorce. And I do have time for surreal, dream-like lyrics, but it's a lot harder to pull off without sounding crass or phony than most people realise.

Tom 2 years ago

Bob Dylan's songs aren't 'about anything?' That must be why legions of people thought he was the civil rights spokesman of a generation.

Hmm 2 months ago

Good songwriting in my opinion is a combination of rhythm, melody, harmony and lyrics that can invoke an emotional response from the listener. It's an emotional thing not an analytical thing, Noel has a great sense of melody which is more important than lyrics in my opinion. The good thing about music is that you LISTEN to it, if you want fancy words go read a book.

crassnsilly profile image

crassnsilly 2 months ago from leigh-on-sea Author

Thank you, anonymous. If you have nothing to say, don't bother others with it

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