Friday, 2 October 2015

50 songs to take to my grave #36 & #37: Don't Look Back....

#36: Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis
#37: Don't Look Back Into The Sun by The Libertines

I suppose both these bands most people either love or hate. I was always an Oasis fan, though not fanatically so. I can't defend some of their poorer output, but will always make a strong case for them being one of the best rock bands of our time, and one of the greatest singles bands ever. The Libertines on the other hand were just a bunch of twats who got lucky. That's the way I see it, anyway. In spite of this, they did make a few good tunes and one absolutely outstanding one. Oasis made a number of outstanding tunes and one in particular that just gets me every time.

Don't Look Back In Anger stood out the very first time I heard the 'Morning Glory' album. I bought it in Portsmouth while on my journalism training. I went back to my lodgings and it knocked me sideways at how good it actually was. But Don't Look Back In Anger really did take things to another level. I've always preferred Noel's vocals to Liam's, and his soaring chorus really shows just what a good singer and great songwriter he is. OK, so in essence, the song steals blatantly from Let It Be and Watching The Wheels, but that matters not to me. It's a real, proper, magnificent TUNE and still moves me some 20 years on.

I thought the first Libertines album was OK, but I wasn't fussed on the band themselves. I also thought their fans were a bit creepy and scary, kind of like besotted One Direction fans on heroin. Anyway, I was willing to accept they were not bad at the songwriting lark, but they just sounded a little too rambunctious to be taken seriously. Then they released Don't Look Back Into The Sun and suddenly it became clear. Not only is it the best song in the Libertines' repertoire, it's also a strong contender for song of the decade. Its intro reminds me of Another Girl Another Planet, the way the lone playful guitar starts things off, before being joined by the other instruments. Then, when it properly kicks in, there's a great little lead riff before the vocals start. Like Don't Look Back In Anger, it is an outstanding TUNE and really turns me into a grinning idiot.

Though the two songs are very different to each other, there are a number of parallels. The similarity in the titles for a start, and the fact that neither band ever bettered these efforts, although in fairness, Oasis got a lot closer to it than the Libertines (whose second album was rubbish). I'm not in the least bit interested in the Libertines reunion, nor was I ever even remotely fascinated by the various members' other projects. I am a fan of Noel Gallagher's solo stuff though, but Liam's Beady Eye output was very below par.

I suppose trying to compare these songs with any of their respective creators' other work is a bit like comparing a cappuccino served by a beautiful waitress on a sunny Italian piazza to a dodgy mug of Tesco own-brand instant coffee round your mate's house the night after a particularly heavy binge.

1 comment:

  1. As a Northerner living down south in the 90's, I was obligated to like Oasis more than Blur. But in truth I though they were both the same. Hit and miss. This one of theirs a definite hit. Noel is a very talented songwriter.
    The Libertines passed me by though. I think because they achieved their notoriety after I moved here to the USA so I didn't have that daily contact with what was happening in music as I did before. Still playing catchup with them and Noel's later stuff actually.