It was 1996. The Brit Pop phenomenon was at it's highest. Bands like Blur, Suede, Republica, and their like were storming up the chart, selling millions of albums. And at the top of the pile were two brothers from Manchester, Noel and Liam Gallagher, and their band, Oasis.
After the success of their 1994 debut album Definitely Maybe, 1996 saw the release of their second album, (What's The Story) Morning Glory. What made this release extra special was that at the time, their natural rivalry with Damon Albarn's Blur made for compelling reading both in the press and on television. Both bands seemed happy to stoke up the rivalry in an attempt to gain publicity, and therefore, sell extra records.
Morning Glory succeeded on many levels. Firstly, the songs were brilliantly written. As the band's sole songwriter at the time, a lot of pressure was put on Noel Gallagher to write the perfect song. Drawing heavily on his major childhood influences, The Beatles, Noel created an album of great songs, songs that he knew would be perfect for the unique vocal talents of his younger brother Liam.
Although Liam was and probably always will be considered the hothead of the two brothers, there is no denying his amazing vocal talent. The Morning Glory is a classic example of this. Songs such as the title track, Champagne Supernova, Roll With It, and especially Wonderwall were perfect for Liam. He may not be that animated when he sings the songs, he many not jump around on stage like a raving lunatic from a 70's heavy metal band, but put in front of a microphone and he can belt out one hell of a song.
However, in my opinion the best song on the album wasn't actually sung by Liam. Noel decided to keep Don't Look Back In Anger for himself, and this proved to be a wise decision. Some have likened this to many of the Beatles later songs. So what? It's still a damn good song.
Morning Glory is Brit Pop at it's finest. Excellent song writing, excellent vocals, and excellent musicianship, especially from Noel on guitar. This is without a doubt the finest album Oasis ever produced, and album they've produced since this has proved to be something of a disappointment. But then again, maybe this is because Morning Glory is so special.