Certain Songs #1374: Oasis – “Mucky Fingers”

Album: Don’t Believe The Truth
Year: 2005

A decade after they temporarily took over the world, Oasis put out their sixth studio album, Don’t Believe The Truth, which continued the trends started by Heathen Chemistry. Once again, Noel Gallagher opened up the songwriting to the rest of the band, contributing only five songs, and once again, the album had an absolutely killer single, and a bunch of good-to-great songs.

One of the great songs was a complete rip-off of a song and a band that had heretofore not been considered an influence on Oasis: The Velvet Underground.

Wait, what?

That was pretty much my initial reaction the first time I heard the Noel-sung “Mucky Fingers,” which appropriated the forcebeat and piano pounding of “I’m Waiting for the Man” to such an extent that they probably could have called it “I’m Waiting for My Manchester.”

I know you think you deserve
An explanation on the meanings of life
But what you think that you heard
Slipped away at the back of your mind
You’ll get your mucky fingers burnt
You get your truth from the lies you were learned
And all your plastic believers will leave us
And they won’t return
(Walk on)

I guess that there’s some Dylan in there as well — dig how Noel phrases “your life” — as rhythm guitarist Gem Archer does double duty on both the John Cale keyboards as well as the harmonica solo that pops up out of nowhere. It’s all a complete an total piss-take, of course, but there’s a sense of looseness and fun that I almost never heard in Oasis, who were usually far more precise on their studio records than this.

End the end, bassist Andy Bell even does a series of bass runs that invoke the ending of “I’m Waiting For The Man,” just in case you hadn’t got it yet.

“Mucky Fingers”

“Mucky Fingers” live in Manchester

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