Liam Gallagher released his debut album this morning, which seems like a weird thing to write about someone who has been omnipresent since he broke out of Manchester in 1994 and took on anyone and everyone who didn’t share the belief that Oasis were the fookin’ best band in the world, innit?
First things first, As You Were is a great album. Sounding like it was recorded in the early ’70s on tape and weed, and completely ignoring any modern-day conventions, the album is both a clear signal of Liam’s uncanny knack for a melody, and producer Greg Kurstin’s continued purple patch (Adele, Sia, Foo Fighters, Tegan and Sara).
It also showcases Liam’s evergreen devotion to The Beatles, and to a lesser extent other classic acts of the past fifty years. He doesn’t quite match Noel’s plundering (best example, from ‘D’ya Know What I Mean’ — “Blood on the tracks, and it must be mine. The fool on the hill, and I feel fine. Don’t look back ‘cos you know what you might see.” — that’s two Dylan titles, and two Beatles ones, within the first verse of the album) but it’s still impressive how often he weaves in a classic line that you’d call plagiarism if it wasn’t done with such reverence/arrogance.
Here are all the classic rock references on the album (yeah, the headline says ‘Beatles’, but you know how this works). Let me know if I missed any.
As you were.
You’d Better Run
Angels, give me shelter
Cause I’m about to fall
Stone cold, Helter Skelter
‘Gimme Shelter’ (Stones), and ‘Helter Skelter’ (Beatles) in one chorus. Impressive. Not the first time Liam’s has sang ‘Helter Skelter’ in a song, either.
I Get By
It’s only love, only love can break my heart
Only love, they say, will tear us all apart
‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ is one of Neil Young’s most popular singles, and the “they” who say “love will tear us [all] apart” is Joy Divison – fellow Mancunians.
Not to mention [as reader Geoffrey Ivins pointed out] the 1965 Beatles’ tune ‘It’s Only Love’ – one of the band’s more underrated early tracks.
Well the cops are taking over
While everyone’s in yoga
‘Cause happiness is still a warm gun
‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ is a Beatles song/lyric, although to be fair Lennon nicked it from the front of a magazine. Although, “the cops are taking over while everyone’s in yoga” is a killer line.
I’ve All I Need
Slow down, all things must pass
A reference to George Harrison’s debut solo album ‘All Things Must Pass’, in which he spews out three discs-worth of songs deemed not Lennon/McCartney enough for The Beatles (there’s some awful rubbish on it, to be fair)
Tomorrow never knows
The winds of change must blow
‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, the swirling psychedelic closer to The Beatles’ landmark album Revolver (a line Noel cribbed in ’95 in the title track of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
When I’m In Need
Look for the girl
This song opens with a melodic, vocal and lyrical… let’s say ‘nod’ to the “look for the girl with the sun in her eyes” line from ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.’
She’s got a spinning head
Like seeing Grateful Dead
More of a shout out, really. We’ll let this one pass. In fact, we’ll let them all pass. Oasis had a Beatles covers band open for them on tour when they were arguably at their peak, so they’ve more than owned their devotion.
As you were.