Oasis – Be Here Now

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Has it really been nearly 20 years!!!! Oasis were my teen idols, so I had to buy this reissue.

Purchase and Packaging

I have known this album was going to be reissued for some time, so on the day of release out I went to pick it up.  There wasn’t the mass hype surrounding the reissue as with the original release.  If you can remember back to the summer of ’97 you will know exactly what I’m talking about.  The albums original release was an event that I have never seen before or since.  But in this digital age it does feel great to go out and buy an album in the same way as I did when it was first released.

The package itself is very nice, its a double 180 gram vinyl in a nice gatefold sleeve.  It also comes with a download code for the full album plus the remixed “D’You Know What I Mean” and other demos.  All for £25, this is about the standard price for a double vinyl set these days.  The front cover looks great on the enlarged vinyl sleeve.

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First Listen

Lets get this out of the way early on, this is not a great Oasis album.  As others have said in the past it’s over long and very badly mixed.  More on that later.

Lets look at the good points.  The vinyl improves the sound in many ways over both digital and CD.  You can pick out a little better the individual instruments, although there are so many layers to each track that is hard.  And it doesn’t all sound exactly the same on vinyl, tracks like “The Girl In The Dirty Shirt” have a playful sound to them that I have never really heard before.  Then there is the fact that you can just put side 3 on, and listen to 3 great tracks and miss most of the rest out!!!

It does have some great tracks in there:

“D’You Know What I Mean” is full of attitude and swagger.  A track that only a band at the height of their fame could pull off.

“Don’t Go Away” has some great lyrics and like nothing else on the album.  It might help that it’s one of the shortest tracks on the album and feels like it would fit as a b-side from one of the first 2 albums.

“Fade In-Out” has great guitar work on it, thanks to Johnny Depp.  I love this track more now than I did when it was first released, the way it builds.  It’s not a usual Oasis song and sounds very old west American.

To me this feels like the last Oasis album where they sound like a band and were all in it together, subsequent albums just seemed to be Liam’s tracks and Noels tracks put together.

Also I believe that Noel thought every track needed to be long and epic sounding, in the same way “Campaign Supernova” was.  Maybe 1 or 2 tracks on the album could have been but not 12 of them!  I guess they had to change their style, they had done 2 albums full of amazing tracks that Noel probably had been working on for years.  He must have run out of material by this album, so had to use the not so good tracks from the past (“All Around The World”, “My Big Mouth”) and come up with new material that was based on his life at that point.

None of this mattered at the time, it still had the big sound and great attitude that everyone loved about Oasis.  At the time Oasis were “The biggest band in the world” and for me and the rest of this country we all wanted to be part of it.  With time and reflection though you can see that the album as a whole is flawed by to much clutter and self indulgence.  Trying to listen to the whole album now is a bit of a slog, it’s hard to get all the way through to the end.  It’s a shame because if they had edited and mixed it differently it could have been as good as their first 2 albums.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately I can’t recommend you go and get this record because of its many shortfalls. As a piece of nostalgia for Oasis fans and anyone who remembers the 90s, this takes you back in time and should be a definite purchase.

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