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Monday, December 26, 2011

"Champagne Supernova"

Oasis - Champagne Supernova (1995)

Happy Boxing Day!

The last track off of their enormous hit album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, and the last single released from that album as well. This was the biggest song the band had, and seemed like just a highpoint with many more to come. Instead this song signaled the slow decline from one of the biggest acts in the world, to over hyped but still impressive, to good but not great, to basically forgotten in the US, to basically ignored, to breaking up.

The lyrics are notoriously confusing, with writer/guitarist Noel Gallagher admitting that he was "out of it" and the lyrics "might be" about reincarnation. Whatever the song is about Liam Gallagher sings with a controlled passion that keeps the song interesting for it's full length. Musically the song is 7:30 minutes long; a soaring psychedelic journey. It starts with water lapping at the beach and gently grows to a languid pop song volume with mellotron droning, acoustic guitar providing a percussive hit, and really short electric guitar quips. The drums eventually work their way in, driving the previously meandering pace. Within a few moments the volume picks up and we are in a full rocker. Around 3:00 we get a brief guitar solo that may actually be Paul Weller who was friends with the band and has a lead guitar credit on this track, as does Noel. The song builds back up again and as it fades at 4:30 you assume the song is about to find it's way out. Instead we get Beatle-esque non-lyrical harmonies floating along with rocking guitar solos over the mellotron and bass guitar sea. Then back to a fade out chorus. the song sounds like it could end again at 7:00, but holds on for a few more seconds.

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