100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s #2 Oasis – Rock N’ Roll Star

Released : 1994

As a manifesto it would’ve been pretty startling, Britpop’s Bash Street Kids, fronted by their own Ringo McCartney Junior, belting out “We don’t need no ed-yew-cation/”We don’t need no Free Trade Hall” to an audience made up of a million our kids and our kids kids as a helicopter submarine crewed by the Sky Blue Meanies floated overhead.

The monobrowed brothers Gallagher were not strictly prodigal sons of the phenomenon, given that before it had been the property of art school toffs who drank f**king wine, had a thing for Brecht and went on about girls who do boys like their girls doing boys, or something. Oasis would’ve almost certainly happened without the opportunist leg up from Kool Kat Tony B, but f**k that, who cared?

They lairy kings would win the war by losing the battle of course, but all that was in the future when Definitely Maybe was released, a record that didn’t give a toss about your common denominators. Now the old was the new new, Gallagher (Noel) bottling up a vision that crystalized early on while peering from little stages into empty rooms as a prophesy, one that megatons of hubris would later help them detonate on an unaware public.

There are probably as many ways to denigrate the album’s opener as there are to sit admiring the naked ambition of it’s writer, but Rock N’ Roll Star stuck an electrode onto each nipple of British popular music and flipped the switch before popping off for a smoke. That what this concrete alchemy woke up turned out to be a Frankenstein was a problem that could always be sorted out later after another round of drinks.


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