(Planet Me)
Sunday, November 27, 2016
OASIS Be Here Now (Expanded Edition)

Oh God, I love drugs. Aren't they fantastic? They make you think everything is getting better man. And nobody could ever accuse you of not being brilliant and mad for it. Or something. Still, Be Here Now, Oasis third album, is rubbish. You know it. I know it. It's to long. There's too many verses, sometimes the word are drivel. There's long instrumental passages that seem to last longer than a boxset of Game Of Thrones. This album, given, undeservingly, a full belts and braces mega uber reissue treatment alongside a documentary, has aged very, very badly.

At this time, Oasis were bulletproof. They could put out a 70+ minute epic of overlong, meaningless drivel songs, overcompressed, overproduced and massively overthought, alongside a whole bunch of videos that clearly told us that this wasn't a hungry band anymore, but a bunch of newly-rich men who were starting to lose touch. So, for the original album, there's been no tinkering. Unlike some bands, who seem to re-record and alter the mixes for reissues, this is exactly as it was – albeit with a 2016 remix of “D'You Know What I Mean?”. Heaven help us. Be Here Now has a couple of great songs - “Don't Go Away” is the clear winner out of here – and some of the other stuff is very very good, but most of it is just.. dreadful. The songs are too long, the choruses are b-side fodder, the lyrics are “I / Saw A Pie / In The Sky / I / Am Just A Guy / Who Will Be Rock N Roll / I Will Never Die” and every song is full of lines that rhyme every single time even if they don't align with my mind

If you must buy this (and hey, I don't blame you), it's much, much better than the grab bag assortment of leftovers that made the other albums. Here you have a full set of album demos sung by Noel, and several unreleased songs – some of which are good indeed – including the acoustic version of “Setting Sun” which is a practically a brand new song.You also get most of the b-sides (but not the ramshackle covers of Bowie's “Heroes” or The Stones “Street Fightin' Man”, as Oasis were never the most... hip of bands).

“Be Here Now” has aged appallingly – a white elephant of drugs and self-indulgence – that could nearly have been a very good record but instead turned out to be the the first wrong move (of many) in their life. Whilst this deluxe 3CD version is the best edition to get, it doesn't redeem the album beyond it's deservedly low standing. Flawed, and fascinating.

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