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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Alternative Rock: Oasis What's The Story Morning Glory, Don't Look Back In Anger

       Don't Look Back in Anger is amazingly enough, the fifth single to be released from What's The Story Morning Glory. Don't Look Back In Anger was enormously popular in England. And features Noel Gallagher's voice. His singing is John Lennon-esque because of the song structure, piano intro and influenced lyrics. The best music comes from knowing music history and skillfully combining the influences into a modern song. Noel Gallagher created the life of this song (with some help from Liam) in an haphazardly way. And lastly, I will share my feelings and listening experience of this song with the hope that the song becomes more pleasure-able to you.


How Big In England:
      Released in 1996, Don't Look Back in Anger was the second single to become number one on UK charts. The Oasis hit song went platinum. UK residents voted Don't Look Back In Anger as the forth most popular single in the last sixty years. The List of Popular music singles

Noel Translates His Musical Influences Into The Song
      David Bowie was a mammoth influence for Noel Gallagher. David Bowie's song "Look Back In Anger" was a basis for the title of Don't Look Back in Anger. But I firmly believe that Noel doesn't let his creativity stop flowing by worrying if he is copying any music of his influences. He is simply paying homage to his music heroes and develops his own killer riffs. Noel says of the song, "Don't Look Back In Anger reminds me of a cross between the David Bowie song "All the Young Dudes" and something the Beatles might have done.
        John Lennon had notorious bed-ins in 1969. John and Yoko stayed in bed for a week to protest the vietnam war twice. Once in Amsterdam and another week in Montreal. They promoted peace to the press. Noel found a tape of Lennon recording memoirs while he was living in the Dakota apartments in Manhattan, New York. He resided there from 1973 until his death in 1980. In the memoirs Lennon said, "he said he was trying to start a revolution from me bed, because they said the brains I had went to my head". Perfect lyrics.

       To make a broad paraphrase of Noel Gallagher. Some Might Say that the piano intro of Don't Look Back in Anger is  influenced by Imagine and Watching the Wheels (two Lennon classics).  But I say that someone reading this might investigate these great artists; David Bowie, John Lennon, Noel Gallagher and put it all together. The result will be original great music. No more boring, shitty, super original music that plays within the rules.

Have a listen, watch the music video

Story of Don't Look Back In Anger
     
       Noel excitedly shared a nameless version of this new song to a crowd in the Sheffield arena on April 22nd, 1995. Noel said of the character Sally, "I don't actually know anybody named Sally. It's just a word that fit, y'know, might as well throw a girl's name in there. It's gotta guarantee somebody a shag off a bird called Sally, hasn't it?"

       Noel Gallagher (from Uncut magazine August 2007): "We were in Paris playing with The Verve, and I had the chords for that song and started writing it. We were due to play 2 days later. Our first-ever big arena gig, it's called Sheffield Arena now. At the sound check, I was strumming away on the acoustic guitar, and our kid (Liam Gallagher) said, 'What's that you're singin'?' I wasn't singing anyway, I was just making it up. And our kid said, 'Are you singing 'So Sally can wait'.' And I was like – that's genius! So I started singing, 'So Sally can wait.' I remember going back to the dressing room and writing it out. It all came really quickly after that." Noel claims that the character "Lyla", from Oasis' 2005 single is the sister of Sally.

       Gallagher also admits that he was under the influence of illegal substances when he wrote the song and to this day he claims he does not know what it means.[7]

       Live performances 
Story. A favorite at Oasis concerts. Noel often lets the crowd sing the chorus. Noel has tinkered with his baby. But found the full band arrangement is best.

My listening Experience
I  can discuss here what I find cool about the song. And I can in no way state with any certainty that this is how Noel wanted his song interpreted. But I hope the music is open to interpretation:

Don't Look Back In Anger is:

A song with peaceful imagery.
Summertimes in bloom

Yet the song rocks. The true musical joy for me is hearing those sonic guitar notes that Noel is seen playing. The driver that looks like Tony Bennett. The beautiful women in white lip synching. Liam teleporting from beds to different places.

No cooler moments than on the verses where Noel does his best Lennon impression.

Take me to the place where you go  . . . 
The seering guitar solo. This song is all goodness. And Sally can be who you want her to be.

But underneath that all is serious attitude from the Gallaghers. Even the chorus lines have a bit of edge to them. You feel Sally is missing out on relationships, having her soul be saved by Christ.
So . . . Sally can wait
          She knows it's too late as we walk on by

          Her soul slides away

         But don't look back in anger

         I heard you say


Bill's experience
Piano intro sounds like imagine
I like it, real 90s rock
Not quite sure if its about just being focused on what you have in the present. That's my interpretation of it. You broke up with a girl. Well what do you have now. It's saying to value what you have in the here and now. I think. Guitar solos are really cool.

Conclusion
Noel bartered with Liam to sing on Wonderwall so Noel could sing on Don't Look Back in Anger. A song which owes its  influences to David Bowie as well as John Lennon. Liam helped to complete a song Noel had in the bag. I see Don't Look Back in Anger as a song that has pleasant imagery with a bit of an edge to it. Bill acknowledges the seering guitar solos.