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Oasis albums ranked

Oasis albums ranked discography

Oasis albums get ranked, usually, based on how well they stack up against Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, their career peaks.

However, this doesn’t tell the whole story of the band. In Noel Gallagher, the band had one of the best songwriters of their generation. In Liam Gallagher they had a very good rock n’ roll singer. This helped Oasis avoid truly horrific releases. Still, some may disagree about this.

I’ve taken the task of putting the Gallaghers’ Oasis discography in order from worst to best. Yes, I’ve bent the rules slightly to accommodate the excellent b-sides collection, The Masterplan. Otherwise, we’ve avoided live releases, solo albums, and Oasis best of album collections.

Looking to get into Oasis’ music? Here are their albums ranked. Check out the best of what their oeuvre has to offer and how far you’ll need to dig to unearth some real gems.

8. Heathen Chemistry (2002)

Noel Gallagher has never found himself entirely drained of good songs. Still, “Heathen Chemistry,” while charming, is also a testament to the band’s slow slide down the pop-rock hill.

The story of Oasis is the story of their meteoric rise to stardom. Anything less than that hurts the band’s brand.

While this is a good record, it was never going to be one that would put them back at the top of the charts.

Where “Standing On The Shoulder of Giants” felt like a transition, on this album, the Gallagher brothers sound like they’ve settled.

I can understand how this alone would be enough to crush the expectations of fans. In my experience, I’ve rarely heard anyone thinking that Oasis was either one of the greatest bands in the world or complete garbage. I find that they’re not exactly a band to which indifference sticks easily.

Still, the album reached the top of the UK Albums Chart and was certified three times Platinum in the UK. Heathen Chemistry also reached the top 40 in a number of other countries, including the United States and Canada.

Heathen Chemistry’s highlights

Yes, there are some incredible songs here. “She Is Love” and “Little By Little” flow seamlessly. On both, Boel Gallagher takes on vocal duties.

Meanwhile, it’s Liam delivering the most surprises. “Songbird” is the best song he’s written for Oasis. “Born On A Different Cloud” is also excellent.

For a while, at least, the British press used this opportunity to announce Liam Gallagher as the most promising songwriter in rock. Such grandiose news features about Oasis were nothing new.

Andy Bell and Gem Archer receive their one-song quota, but the album isn’t better off for this. In fact, a couple of Noel b-sides would have done nicely instead.

Also, the lead single, The Hindu Times, benefits from a good guitar riff but little else.

A good, if slightly misguided, and predictable release from Oasis.

7. Standing on The Shoulder of Giants (2000)

The true essence of “Standing on The Shoulder of Giants” is best appreciated by listening to the band’s live album that also came out in 2000.

On “Familiar To Millions,” Oasis play their biggest hits and some new selections. They also get to introduce new band members Andy Bell and Gem Archer to an excited stadium-sized crowd.

Bell joined the band as the bassist in 1999, replacing founding member Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan. Archer replaced rhythm guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs.

Andy Bell was originally the lead singer and guitarist for the beloved psych-rock band Ride, which disbanded in 1996. Gem Archer had played lead guitar for the band Heavy Stereo. Both musicians remained with Oasis until the band disbanded in 2009.

But, on “Familiar to Millions,” the biggest hits are rendered nearly unlistenable by Liam’s angry performance, ranting, and off-key singing. Meanwhile, Noel appears tense and anxious.

Yes, it’s a testament to the biggest band in the world falling apart. Or, at the very least, having to start all over again.

If Noel Gallagher was one of the best songwriters of his generation, I find that this is captured in some of the lesser-known songs here. However, I think it’s not shown in the record’s singles.

Most shockingly, their occasionally great lead singer seems to think that such a fate can’t befall a band of this stature. Oh, well.

“Standing on The Shoulder of Giants” was a moderate commercial success upon its release in 2000. It reached the top of the UK Albums Chart and was certified four times Platinum in the UK with sales of over 2.4 million copies. By the standards to which the band was accustomed, this was not a lot.

Standing on The Shoulder of Giants’ highlights

It’s not an album without some great moments. No, Oasis never did this to their fans. At least, not on studio releases.

The instrumental “Fuckin’ In The Bushes,” with its minimalist guitar riff, is the best Oasis album opener in their discography.

The paranoia surrounding songs like “Sunday Morning Call,” “Where Did It All Go Wrong?” and “Roll It Over” are accompanied by some great Noel Gallagher observations.

“Little James” sees Liam Gallagher dipping his toe into songwriting. Better results would follow, despite early signs not pointing toward them.

“Go Let It Out” and “Who Feels Love?” were the album’s singles. Neither one is bad. However, fans expecting something as immediate as the singles they were releasing only a few years prior would be disappointed.

6. Don’t Believe the Truth (2005)

On “Don’t Believe the Truth,” Oasis show that they’re Ok with not being the biggest band in the world… finally! Instead, they are confident about their strengths.

At the heart of it, Oasis was primarily a very good guitar-rock band. This is the record where Noel Gallagher accepts the limitations of his group.

This, after all, is an arena-rock band. Most of the tunes here are designed to be played in this setting.

This is, I must admit, a record I didn’t hurry to buy. I’d based my opinion on the singles. After giving it a fair shot, I found it to be a good Oasis album, and not quite the Britpop by numbers approach I may have expected.

“Lyla” is an incredibly simple construction. But, it’s also an efficient rocker that allows Liam Gallagher to bellow the lyrics with force.

“Let There Be Love” is the customary Oasis rock ballad. However, the quality of the melodies will make most listeners buy into the band’s vision.

Meanwhile, “The Importance of Being Idle” is a quirky, Kinks-inspired kitchen-sink drama. It’s atypical of Oasis’ familiar sound. It’s a wonderful Noel Gallagher tune, albeit one where the optimism of old is erased nearly entirely.

Fans partly bought into this idea, making this another number-one album in the UK for Oasis.

“Don’t Believe the Truth” is a relatively strong outing. However, it’s not one that will change anyone’s opinion of Oasis for better or worse.

5. Dig Out Your Soul (2008)

“Dig Out Your Soul” was something of a silent revolution for Oasis. It was one of their best releases in a long time. Arguably, it also showed its main songwriter a way forward.

By 2008, Oasis was a rock institution. The band still sold out stadiums. Their success was, however, most prominent in the United Kingdom. And, usually, they stuck to performing the hits.

Critics focused on the fact that most Oasis albums post-“Be Here Now” embraced a very similar structure. As one critic put it, like Motorhead or The Ramones, Oasis was great at releasing the same album over and over again.

If this did not sit well with Noel Gallagher, it showed. On “Dig Out Your Soul,” he goes back to the psychedelic sounds that lurked through some of the band’s best 90s releases. There’s even a suggestion of the Gallaghers’ collaboration with The Chemical Brothers or Death In Vegas here.

The lure of psychedelia is also represented in the artwork, one of the best Oasis album covers.

In an interview with Q Magazine, Gallagher spoke about the themes and ideas that influenced the songs on this album. He says that the record was “about people and their relationships with each other” and that it explored “the nature of love, the nature of life, and the nature of the universe.” Oasis had grown up.

The highlight of the record is “Falling Down,” a darkly psychedelic, slightly remorseful tone. It’s arguably the best Oasis song of this period.

Noel further explores strange sonic textures on “Waiting For The Rapture” and “(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady”.

Andy Bell’s “The Nature of Reality” and Gem Archer’s “To Be Where There’s Life” are better additions to an Oasis album than they ever provided.

Meanwhile, Liam Gallagher’s Lennon tribute on “I’m Outta Time” ends up being a genuinely moving piece of music.

Were the Gallagher brothers better off on their own anyway? Yes, and no. In the past, I reviewed works by Noel Gallagher and Liam positively. Noel’s “Who Built the Moon?” was especially impressive.

I, like many others, would buy tickets to an Oasis reunion gig. As of early 2023, this is no longer off the table. Yet, in other ways, it’s great that Oasis had an ending and of this quality. What more could this Manchester band have achieved?

This was the final Oasis album. As it turns out, it’s also a fitting way for one of the best bands of their era to go out.

4. Be Here Now (1997)

“Be Here Now” is an album that has never quite managed to escape its reputation as a career-ending disaster. Still, those who manage to look past its reputation are likely to be very handsomely rewarded.

Yes, this is an album of tremendous excess. But, not, it’s not true that this is unlistenable. Nor is it true that Noel Gallagher had completely run out of good songs for this one.

In fact, stripped of the blimped-out production, Oasis still sounds like a band practically ruling the world. Many, if not most, of the songs here are very good.

Naturally, critics of the Gallaghers’ rise to the top and abundance of confidence relish the opportunity to name this as a wasted opportunity. This is a theory worth reconsidering.

The album opens with the first single, encapsulating the whole problem with this project. “D’you Know What I Mean?” sounds exquisite when played acoustically by Noel Gallagher. It also sounds good on the 2016 remix.

However, on the original release, it’s covered in walls upon walls of guitars and vocals. It’s three minutes too long. And the excellent lyrics from the verse are trampled by the cheeky, rather ridiculous chorus. Noel Gallagher might admit the same.

Album highlights

I was aware of the album’s reputation when I first bought it. This is why it took me a while to give it a fair shot. Once I did, and forgot the context for a moment, I was mostly delighted with the songwriting and the band’s power.

The other singles included “Stand By Me,” “Don’t Go Away,” and “All Around The World.” All are alright songs. All of them tread on moderate-rock territory, however. Neither of these was a colossal hit nor received a public rating on par with “Live Forever.”

It’s the lesser-known tracks that are the most pleasant surprise here. “My Big Mouth” is easily the most energy-filled and the best song on the record.

“The Girl In The Dirty Shirt and “I Hope”, I Think, I Know” prove that Noel Gallagher’s love for McCartney-like melodies had paid dividends.

Meanwhile, the title track and “It’s Getting Better (Man!!)” prove that Oasis’ members were still super-confident, albeit not always realistic.

“Be Here Now” is a good record, one of Oasis’ best. Commercially it may have ruined the illusion that Britpop was to rule the world indefinitely.

Looking back, however, it’s a testament to the fact that the band had more to offer besides the excellent songs of their first two albums.

3. The Masterplan (1998)

Yes, yes, adding “The Masterplan” to our ranking of Oasis studio albums is technically cheating. Still, the sheer quality of the songs on here warrants its inclusion.

Furthermore, these were all B-sides rejected for the band’s first two studio albums. What ends up happening, of course, is that Noel Gallagher’s leftover tracks were, at this stage, better than what most bands would produce throughout their entire career.

The album’s highlights are “Acquiesce”, on which Liam and Noel Gallagher share vocals, and the prophetic title track, “The Masterplan.” Both would be included on several future Oasis retrospectives.

Fans of the band looking for clues into the Mancunians’ early ambitions will find plenty here. “Stay Young” and “Listen Up” zoom in on Noel’s bravado and optimism. Meanwhile, the gorgeous “Talk Tonight” and “Rockin’ Chair” display a romantic side of Oasis that is often forgotten.

I will admit to having a soft spot for this record. This is not least of all because of the fact that I am not often in a position to hear these songs, whereas more famous Oasis tunes are constantly played on the radio and elsewhere.

Overall, “The Masterplan” is an excellent document of a band at the top of their abilities.

As Noel Gallagher stated frequently, had Oasis released this as an official third studio album, debates over the identity of the best 90s rock band would be far fewer.

2. (What’s The Story) Morning Glory (1995)

Live Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory” is such a well-known, established album that it feels almost superfluous to add comments on its importance.

Its fame is justified. It’s a record filled with great songs that reflect exactly what Oasis wanted to say about themselves. It’s supremely confident, optimistic, and cheeky.

It features Beatles-like melodies, of course, but also a T. Rex stomp, a Sex Pistols menace, and even Led Zeppelin-like guitar-hero maneuvers.

If Definitely Maybe had turned Oasis into a well-respected alternative-rock band, it’s here that they became superstars. By their own admission, they were ready and more than willing to take up these roles.

While I have a hard time hearing the same songs for too long, I still get great enjoyment from hearing the entire album the whole way through. Many others feel the same way.

Morning Glory’s hit singles and great album tracks

The album features hit singles such as “Wonderwall,” “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” and “Champagne Supernova,” all of which became fixtures on radio stations and music television programs around the world. In fact, all of these songs were inescapable then as they are now.

However, Noel Gallagher’s claim as being the greatest songwriter of his generation is backed up by the rest of the songs here.

“Cast No Shadow,” a song dedicated to Verve’ Richard Ashcroft, and Some Might Say are moving pieces powered by gigantic choruses.

“Hello” and “Hey Now!” take glam-rock-style guitar riffs and transform them into stadium-rock numbers. Morning Glory is as instant as any 1977 punk-rock single.

And there’s even room for manic silliness on “She’s Electric.”

In terms of its sound, “What’s the Story Morning Glory?” sees Oasis expanding upon the raw, guitar-driven rock sound of their debut with a greater emphasis on melody and songcraft.

In the wake of the album, the Gallaghers made as much of an impression through their music as through their words. Both brothers consistently supplied the press with memorable quotes. Most of these surprised the duo’s confidence and poor opinion of their pop-rock competitors.

Upon its release, Morning Glory was met with widespread critical acclaim and became a commercial success. It has sold over 22 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums in British history.

The band’s bravado may have rubbed many the wrong way. With “Morning Glory,” however, Oasis had an undeniable masterpiece on their hands. Even their worst critics couldn’t deny them this.

1. Definitely Maybe (1994)

“Definitely Maybe” is the debut-rock album that any band wishes to make. It received the kind of praise that all rock musicians wish to receive.

Yes, it was a dream come true for the Gallaghers, Paul Bonehead Arthurs, Paul Guigsy McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll. And, it was an improbable success story.

Just months before, Oasis was stuck playing club dates in Manchester for dozen of attendees. A chance meeting with Creation Records’ boss Alan McGee secured them a record deal.

That was all well and good. But, to have an album that would make them known worldwide?

The album went on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide and became the fastest-selling debut album in British history at the time. Furthermore, there were few critics unwilling to heap praise on Oasis.

There was plenty of hype, but “Definitely Maybe” contains the songs to justify it.

For those of the right age living in Britain, it was a watershed moment. Something tremendous had happened, and they were a part of it. While I was not treated to this directly, I can easily understand the general excitement that this album elicited.

Definitely Maybe’s highlights

“Supersonic,” the first single, is a nursery-rhyme rocker. Few of the best British guitar bands of the 1980s had a tune of this caliber in their discography.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” “Cigarettes & Alcohol,” and “Shakermaker” presented Oasis as would-be working-class heroes. Sure, everything could hear they liked nicking a song idea here and there. But they sure had enough style to take from the best.

“Slide Away” and “Live Forever” are excellent Brit-pop power ballads. They work because they are excellently written in a style that avoids unneeded sophistication. And they work because Liam Gallagher’s performances on this stage are excellent.

Oasis hit their peak quickly. Just like child actors earning fame fast, they’d have to work to find themselves once some of the hype had died down.

Had Oasis broken up after releasing “Definitely Maybe,” which would’ve been a likely scenario, their reputation would be that of The Sex Pistols or Joy Division.

Fortunately, they gave the world other great songs and even more vitriolic quotes about the state of the world.

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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