on this day

October 2, 1995 – Oasis released their second album “(What’s The Story), Morning Glory?”

OCTOBER 2, 1995 – Oasis released their second album “(What’s The Story), Morning Glory?” which entered the UK chart at #1. Produced by Owen Morris and the group’s guitarist Noel Gallagher, the structure and arrangement style of the album were a significant departure from the group’s previous record, “Definitely Maybe” (1994). Gallagher’s compositions were more focused in balladry and placed more emphasis on huge choruses, with the string arrangements and more varied instrumentation on the record contrasting with the rawness of the group’s debut album. “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” was the group’s first album with drummer Alan White, who replaced Tony McCarroll.
In May 1995, in the wake of the critical and commercial success of their 1994 debut album, “Definitely Maybe,” Oasis began recording new tracks at Rockfield Studios in Wales, with Owen Morris and Noel Gallagher producing. By the time they had finished in June 1995, Oasis were on the brink of becoming one of the most popular bands in the UK; the August 1995 Battle of Britpop incident in which Oasis and Blur had a chart battle over their singles “Roll with It” and “Country House” would propel them to mainstream awareness.
The band recorded the album quickly, averaging almost one song every twenty-four hours early on. However, tension arose between songwriter Noel Gallagher and his younger brother, lead singer Liam, when Noel wanted to sing lead vocals on either “Wonderwall” or “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” The younger Gallagher considered this tantamount to a temporary exile from his own group. The issue dissipated momentarily as Noel was pleased with Liam’s vocal take of “Wonderwall”. However, tension returned due to Liam’s strained attempts to sing the high notes on “Champagne Supernova”. When Noel subsequently took his turn to record his vocals for “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, Liam went to a local pub and came back accompanied by a crowd of people, including music journalist John Robb, who was producing the band Cable in nearby studio Monnow Valley, while recording was still ongoing. After an altercation with Cable that infuriated his brother, the siblings then began fighting viciously; the session was abandoned and recording was suspended.
When the Gallagher brothers were reconciled three weeks later, the group spent another two weeks working on the album, followed by post-production work in London. Despite the friction between the Gallagher brothers, Owen Morris reflected in 2010 that: “The sessions were the best, easiest, least fraught, most happily creative time I’ve ever had in a recording studio. I believe people can feel and hear when music is dishonest and motivated by the wrong reasons. Morning Glory, for all its imperfection and flaws, is dripping with love and happiness.”
Paul Weller joined them in the studio and provided lead guitar and backing vocals for “Champagne Supernova,” and harmonica for the two untitled tracks known as “The Swamp Song.” Noel wrote the last song for the album “Cast No Shadow” on the train as he returned to the studio.
Morris claimed the album was recorded in 15 days, at a pace of one song a day. “Some Might Say” proved problematic to record: the backing track was recorded in one take after Noel Gallagher and Morris drunkenly listened to the demo and decided the new version was played too fast, and Noel woke the rest of the band to re-record it. The backing track was faster than intended, with what Morris described as “a really bad speed up during the first three bars of the first chorus”, but the take had to be used because those involved were impressed with Liam’s vocals, and Morris had to mix the track three times, using delay and other processing to hide the mistakes. When the album was finished, Morris said it would “wipe the field with any competition … It’s astonishing. It’s the ‘Bollocks’ [The Sex Pistol’s debut album] for this decade.” Creation Records boss Alan McGee was similarly enthused, saying that “You just cannot slag this record. It’s gonna speak to real, working class lads in a way that a Suede or Radiohead could only dream of doing.”
The brickwall mastering technique utilized during the recording of the album has led to some journalists claiming that it was responsible for initiating the loudness war, as its heavy use of compression, first widely used by Morris on “Definitely Maybe,” was leaps and bounds beyond what any other album up until then had attempted. Music journalist Nick Southall, who has written extensively on the loudness war, commented, “If there’s a jump-the-shark moment as far as CD mastering goes then it’s probably Oasis.” In Britpop and the English Music Tradition Andy Bennet and John Stratton noted that as a result of this technique “the songs were especially loud. [Liam] Gallagher’s voice is foregrounded to the point that it appears to grow out of the mixes of the songs, exposing itself to execute a pseudo-live quality.”
The cover is a picture of two men passing each other on Berwick Street in London. The two men are London DJ Sean Rowley and album sleeve designer Brian Cannon (back to the camera). The album’s producer Owen Morris can be seen in the background, on the left footpath, holding the album’s master tape in front of his face. The location was chosen because the street was a popular location for record shops at the time. The cover cost £25,000 to produce.
The Daily Mirror reported the day after the album’s release that central London HMV stores were selling copies of the album at a rate of two per minute. At the end of the first week of sales, the album had sold a record-breaking 347,000 copies, making it (at the time) the second-fastest-selling album in British history, behind Michael Jackson’s “Bad.” After initially entering the UK charts at #1, it hovered around the top three for the rest of the year before initiating a six-week stay at the top in mid January, followed by a further three weeks at #1 in March. In total, the album did not leave the top three for an astonishing seven months.
The record propelled Oasis from being a crossover indie act to a worldwide rock phenomenon and according to various critics was a significant record in the timeline of British indie music. “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” sold a record-breaking 347,000 copies in its first week on sale, spent 10 weeks at #1 on the UK Albums Chart, and reached #4 in the US Billboard 200, making it the band’s most commercially successful release. Singles from the album were successful in Britain, America and Australia: “Some Might Say” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” reached #1in the UK; “Champagne Supernova” and “Wonderwall” reached #1 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, with “Wonderwall” also topping the Australian and New Zealand singles charts.
Although a commercial smash, the record received initially lukewarm reviews from mainstream music critics; many contemporary reviewers deemed it inferior to “Definitely Maybe,” with the songwriting and production particular points of criticism. In the ensuing years, however, critical opinion towards the album reversed, and it is now generally considered a seminal record of both the Britpop era and the 1990s in general, and appears on several lists of the greatest albums in rock music. At the 1996 Brit Awards, the album won Best British Album. Over several months in 1995 and 1996, the band performed an extensive world tour in support of the album. Among the most notable of these concerts were back-to-back nights at Earls Court in London in November 1995, which were the biggest ever indoor gigs in Europe at the time. They also performed two “homecoming” gigs at Maine Road in Manchester in April 1996. In August of that year, the band played to 80,000 people over two nights at Balloch Country Park at Loch Lomond in Scotland, before two performances a week later at Knebworth House to a combined crowd of 250,000 people.
At the 2010 Brit Awards, “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” was named the greatest British album since 1980. It is purported to have sold over 22.4 million worldwide. It is one of the best-selling albums of all time. As of October 2019, it is the UK’s fifth-best-selling album (third-best-selling studio album) of all time, having sold over 5.1 million copies, and was also the UK’s best-selling album of the 1990s. The album has gone on to sell over 22 million copies worldwide, and it won the award for the best British Album of the last 30 Years at the 2010 Brit Awards.
1) Hello
2) Roll with It
3) Wonderwall
4) Don’t Look Back in Anger
5) Hey Now!
6) Untitled (aka The Swamp Song — Excerpt 1)
7) Some Might Say
😎 Cast No Shadow
9) She’s Electric
10) Morning Glory
11) Untitled (aka The Swamp Song — Excerpt 2)
12) Champagne Supernova

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