Today marks 20 years since Oasis released their second album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
One of the most iconic records of the ’90s, it was the record that catapulted the Gallagher brothers into the stratosphere, helped define a generation and changed the face of British music for good.
Despite the fist fights and fall outs that took place during the recording of the album, it spawned a set of songs that are still considered some of their finest to this day, six studio albums later.
On its 20th anniversary, here are 20 things that you (probably) didn’t know about WTSMG…
1. It was the second fastest selling album in British history
…behind Michael Jackson’s Bad. It sold 347,000 copies in its first week.
2. And it went on to become the biggest selling album of the decade
… comfortably ahead of Stars by Simply Red and Spice by the Spice Girls.
3. It has sold 22 million copies worldwide
…and was certified 14 times platinum – the most in British history until Adele’s 21 topped them in 2011.
4. ‘Wonderwall’ was recorded in less than a day
The album’s most globally recognised song was apparently laid down and recorded in less than a day. Despite being the band’s best ever selling single it never reached number one, beaten to the top spot by Robson & Jerome’s ‘Up On The Roof’. There is no justice.
5. But Liam despises ‘Wonderwall’
He has said: “Outside of England, it’s the one song we’re famous for all over the world, and it annoys the fuck out of me. It’s not a fucking rock’n’roll tune. There’s quite a vulnerable statement to it. When people come up to me and say it’s one of the greatest tunes ever written, I think, ‘fucking hell, have you heard ‘Live Forever’’?”
6. Noel on the other hand loves it…
"You can't get bored of 15,000 people shouting for 'Wonderwall'. That's better than drugs. You get a hard-on when you hear that.”
— NoelGallagher Quotes (@NoelOasisQuotes) March 6, 2014
7. The meaning of ‘Wonderwall’
Ever wondered what it all means? Liam explains:
“A wonderwall can be anything. It’s just a beautiful word. It’s like looking for that bus ticket, and you’re trying to fucking find it, that bastard, and you finally find it and you pull it out, ‘Fucking mega, that is me wonderwall.'”
8. ‘Some Might Say’ defines the band
Noel refers to track six from the album, ‘Some Might Say’, as “the archetypal Oasis song” and says it “defines what Oasis is”.
9. Liam recorded his vocal for the song in just two takes
“Fucking on fire singing” said producer Owen Morris.
10. Liam didn’t turn up to shoot the video for ‘Some Might Say’
…and so it’s made up of footage from the ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’, ‘Whatever’ and ‘Supersonic’ videos.
11. The recording of this album was when the fighting started to get serious between the brothers
Noel wanted to sing lead vocals on ‘Wonderwall’ but Liam wasn’t convinced and saw it as his brother trying to push him out of the band. A similar disagreement occurred when Noel disapproved of Liam’s vocals on ‘Champagne Supernova’.
12. The sleeve notes
The album’s sleeve notes give “Eternal respect to P.W. and P.H.” – that’s Paul Weller and the official Oasis biographer Paolo Hewitt.
13. It took 15 days to record the album
Producer Owen Morris claimed that the album was recorded in 15 days, with only a two-day break in the middle.
14. The album spent 10 weeks at number one in the UK album charts
…and stayed in the Top 3 for an impressive seven months.
15. Gary Glitter is listed as a co-writer for ‘Hello’
…as the “Hello, hello, it’s good to be back” lyric of the song is taken from his 1973 hit single ‘Hello, Hello I’m Back Again.’
16. Urban Cookie Collective recorded a dance version of ‘Champagne Supernova’
Noel – wisely – refused them permission to release it as a single.
17. ‘Cast No Shadow’ took two hours to write
Noel apparently wrote the song when he was on a train for two hours, on his way into the studio.
18. ‘Hello’ was actually written in 1992
Although the song was ready before the release of Definitely Maybe, Noel always wanted to save it to open their second album.
19. The record sparked the largest ever demand for concert tickets in British history
Off the back of the WTSMG, over 2.6 million people applied for tickets for their Knebworth shows, making it the largest ever demand for tickets in Britain, ever.
20. ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ pays direct homage to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’
Noel admitted in an interview with MTV that he took the opening piano riff straight from Lennon’s song, saying that he hoped it might guide new listeners to the Fab Four.
Main Image: Getty / Dave Hogan