8 Oasis No. 1 UK Hits: 'Don't Look Back In Anger,' 'The Hindu Times,' 'Lyla' and More
Oasis, the most essentially-British band of the last 30 years (by both their own reckoning and ours), finally topped the charts in the Gallagher brothers' beloved UK 20 years ago today, with the single "Some Might Say," the first song off of the band's beloved album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? The band ended up topping the UK singles charts seven more times throughout its career (and only getting as high as no. 8 on the U.S. charts). Here are those no. 1 singles...be prepared for a few surprises (in terms of what didn't make it, if anything).
"Don't Look Back In Anger" (1996)
This is one of the band's songs that has become commonplace in both the United States and the UK, especially if you had a college roommate who played the "Big 3" from What's The Story at least three times a day through your dorm speaker system. "Don't Look Back In Anger" was the band's fifth single from the album (out of six) and the last to go to no. 1 in the UK. "Wait," you say. "What about 'Wonderwall'?" Indeed, the song that has become so popular worldwide— Jay Z can play it on guitar and London officially banned buskers from playing it on the street—never actually got to the top spot, halting its rise at no. 2. Even more interesting, the binge-drinking and pot-smoking anthem "Champagne Supernova" (again, based on our own college roomate experiences) only got to no. 154 on the nation's charts. Fine by us..."Don't Look Back In Anger" is the highlight of the bunch.
"D'You Know What I Mean?" (1997)
Thanks to the unbelievable success of What's The Story, Oasis found itself in the almost impossible position of one-upping it. Indeed, Be Here Now was a solid effort even if it's somewhat less legendary than its predecessor. The UK obsession with the band was evident, as the first single released from the album—"D'You Know What I Mean?"—went to no. 1 in the UK, and couldn't have happened at a better time by the band's reckoning. The Gallagher brothers have always been known for their distaste for any music that strays from rock 'n' roll, and the pair of songs that sandwiched "D'You Know" in the no. 1 spot probably made them blanch: "I'll be Missing You" by Puff Daddy and "Men In Black" by Will Smith, respectively.
"All Around The World" (1998)
There is a reason why Led Zeppelin, Rush and other heavier, more progressive rockers have never gotten to the top of the singles charts: They perform songs that stretch well beyond the recommended three minutes that a good single should be. Most listeners are impatient and, despite your soloing ability Mr. Page, those tuning into Top 40 don't want to hear it (their loss). Oasis was not about to go on a conceptual journey during "All Around The World" but it wasn't going to water down its rock 'n' roll chops either. The song was just less than five minutes in length but by God, the band was going to release it as a single. Creation Records must've been surprised to see it go to no. 1, making it—to this day—the longest single in UK charts history to hit the no. 1 spot, at 4:51.
"Go Let It Out" (2000)
The first single released from the band's LP, "Go Let It Out," also reach to the no. 1 spot on the UK charts, making it three straight albums where Oasis' first single got to the top spot. There's an interesting backstory to this one: As with the other singles listed already, "Go Let It Out" was only no. 1 for a single week, this time being knocked out by All Saints' "Pure Shores." This could be seen as revenge by the latter band, as Oasis had knocked its own "Never Ever" single out of the top spot with "All Around The World." As they say, if you can't beat them, join them: Vocalist Liam Gallagher married All Saints member Nicole Appleton during 2008.
"The Hindu Times" (2002)
Make that four-straight albums with the first single going to no. 1 in the UK for Oasis. The band kicked off its campaign for Heathen Chemistry with "The Hindu Times," a song named after a real newspaper, the title of which has little to do with the lyrics themselves. This may be the best example of the band being huge in the UK, compared to "just big" in the U.S.: While many American fans started losing interest in the band following the megalithic Morning Glory, the band remained almost equally relevant in the UK. "The Hindu Times" was only a no. 1 for a week, but its staying power was impressive, even making an appearance during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.
"Lyla" made in a well-rounded five consecutive albums where the first single went to no. 1 for Oasis...although the band wasn't necessarily happy about it. At the time of Don't Believe The Truth, the band had since signed to Big Brother, under the Sony Music umbrella. The major label wanted badly for "Lyla" to be the first single, and those who have listened to it know that it's an obvious choice. Too obvious for the band's liking. Guitarist Noel Gallagher described it as "annoyingly catchy." That tension led to Don't Believe The Truth being the last album Oasis put out under Sony...a switch that may have led to its final album being the first in six that didn't have its first single chart at no. 1.
"The Importance of Being Idle" (2005)
Although the band certainly couldn't complain about their success up until this point-seven no. 1 singles in the UK—they had yet to land more than one no. 1 during any calendar year. That finally came to an end with "The Importance of Being Idle," the second single of off Don't Believe The Truth. The bad news, of course, is that it was also the band's last no. 1 single before it broke up. It failed to break one other barrier that the band had never overcome however: None of the band's eight total no. 1 songs ever kept the spot for more than just one week. A reason to come back perhaps, just to get over that hump?