Certain Songs #1361: Oasis – “Slide Away”

Album: Definitely Maybe
Year: 1994

I think that one of the things that’s always impressed me about Definitely Maybe is just how confident it is. Some bands are a bit tentative on their debut album, like they’re all “hello world, we hope you like us,” but Oasis just automatically assumed that there was an audience out there for what they were doing, and the resulting swagger was at least part of what helped build an audience for their music.

And so, even on Definitely Maybe, the songs went on longer than they strictly needed to — let’s add Led Zeppelin to the list of influences! — but there was always so much going on that it really didn’t matter.

A case in point was “Slide Away,” which swaggered so slowly and inevitably that it probably should have fallen into the gutter. Instead, with Noel Gallagher layering on 1,000 guitars — possibly one of them the Johnny Marr guitar on which he claims to have written it — and Liam Gallagher never even breaking a sweat, it just steamrollers you, especially with the long long chorus.

Now that you’re mine
We’ll find a way
Of chasing the sun
Let me be the one that shines with you
In the morning we don’t know what to do
We’re two of a kind
We’ll find a way
To do what we’ve done
Let me be the one who shines with you
And we can slide away
Slide away
Slide away
Away

And the ending of “Slide Away” is pure sensory overload — like, oh I dunno, The Sex Pistols or Aerosmith, these boys know how to kill you that much more with their codas (codae?) — so while Noel is soloing like a fiend, he’s also trading off lines with Liam.

(Don’t know, don’t care
All I know is you can take me there)
Slide awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
(Don’t know, don’t care
All I know is you can take me there)
Slide awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
(Don’t know, don’t care
All I know is you can take me there)
Slide awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
(Don’t know, don’t care
All I know is you can take me there)
Slide awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Again, strictly speaking, there is absolutely no reason for this coda to exist, and yet it’s totally awesome on every level — no matter what you’re listening to, you’re missing like a half-dozen other things equally as compelling, until it just fades away on a guitar solo that might still be going.

“Slide Away”

“Slide Away” live at Glastonbury, 1995

“Slide Away” live at Knebworth, 1996

“Slide Away” live in London, 2009

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