Certain Songs #1362: Oasis – “Fade Away”

Album: The Masterplan
Year: 1995

While I’m sure that many of you are all, “what? Oasis sucks, man!” there are at least a few of you who are wondering just how deep I’m going on Oasis. And the answer is “pretty fucking deep,” as I think there are great songs on even their duffest albums, and a bunch of amazing b-sides that remain totally underheard, at least here in the colonies.

Today’s case in point is “Fade Away,” which was originally one of the b-sides of “Cigarettes and Alcohol,” and ended up being a key track on The Masterplan, a 1998 compilation of some — not all — of the ace b-sides they stuck on their singles.

The plain fact was that Noel Gallagher had more songs in the mid-1990s than he knew what to do with, and of course was young and cocky enough to assume it would be ever thus, so rather than stockpiling them for future releases, they would release multiple versions of the singles, each with a couple of b-sides. This was apparently inspired by groups like The Smiths and The Jam, who routinely debuted killer songs like “How Soon is Now?” and “The Dreams of Children” on the b-sides of their singles.

And, as a matter of fact, the latter song shows up on the lyrics of “Fade Away,” a punky raver that is full of focused fuzzy guitars and a relatively straight vocal from Liam Gallagher.

While we’re living
The dreams we have as children fade away
While we’re living
The dreams we have as children fade away
While we’re living
The dreams we have as children fade away
While we’re living
The dreams we have as children fade away,
Away, away
They fade away, away, away

While I love “Fade Away,” I’m also not quite sure it would have fit on Definitely Maybe — it doesn’t quite have the expansiveness of the best songs on that record, but it also showed that they could do big noisy songs without sacrificing the the instant sing-along melodies that buoyed their more mid-tempo songs.

“Fade Away”

“Fade Away” live in New York, 1994

“Fade Away” live in L.A., 2001

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