A year after the release of their acclaimed debut album Definitely Maybe, Oasis went from Britpop newcomers to international sensation with their follow-up release (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? Morning Glory saw Oasis ascend to the top of the British airwaves and had them lauded as the second coming of The Beatles. With a notably softer sound than its predecessor, Morning Glory was not well-received initially by the press even though it came to be the band’s definitive album.
Though Definitely Maybe was great in its own right as a source for the band to show off their swagger and express their rebelliousness, the over-hyping of Oasis as Britain’s next big thing ultimately led the record to fall short of expectations. If Definitely Maybe was Oasis at the cusp of superstardom, Morning Glory was them launching to full-blown superstardom. Singles “Some Might Say” and “Roll with It” were mainstays on the UK singles charts long before the world would be force-fed the band’s megahit “Wonderwall.” While some fans may argue that it isn’t necessarily Oasis’ best song, “Wonderwall” is easily their most recognizable and the one that introduced the world to the brothers Gallagher.
Morning Glory had guitarist Noel Gallagher favoring more rhythmic and melodic arrangements in lieu of the brashness of Definitely Maybe. The feel of Morning Glory is reflective and free of tension, though ironically the tension between Noel and Liam had to have a hand in the production of the album and undoubtedly contributed to Oasis’ overnight celebrity. Although more infectious on Morning Glory, Noel’s guitar mellowed out from Definitely Maybe while still complementing Liam’s nasally vocals.
Morning Glory peaked at a time when The Beatles’ “Free as a Bird” was seeing significant airtime in the United States, and likewise, “Wonderwall” received the same treatment, only adding to the talk of another British Invasion with Oasis as the heir apparent to the Fab Four’s throne. All the hype that the immediate success of Definitely Maybe brought and all the arrogance that Noel Gallagher had exuded added to the intrigue of Morning Glory. Morning Glory was a smashing success more than just hype—the record was a masterpiece built of catchy hooks, pop melodies, and Liam’s seemingly heartfelt vocals.
Six of the 12 songs on Morning Glory were released as singles. Among those were the ’90s staples “Wonderwall,” “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” and “Champagne Supernova.” “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” among Oasis’ more memorable hits, is a piano-driven song that screams John Lennon. The dreamy “Champagne Supernova” is a standout that rode the coattails of “Wonderwall” to mainstream success.
Oasis will forever be remembered for their dominant mid-90s run. When at the top of their game, Oasis was a juggernaut, and when at their worst, they were equally as intriguing. The brash antics of the Gallaghers only fueled the legacy of the band, but they were more than a sideshow act and Morning Glory is a timeless example of a band ascending to their rightful destiny.