Noel Gallagher just released two new versions of classic Oasis B-sides with his solo project High Flying Birds. The updated takes on "Going Nowhere" and "The Masterplan" were recorded at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London and released on Dec. 12.
Both tracks, of course, were originally recorded with Noel Gallagher on lead vocals, rather than his estranged brother Liam, who was Oasis' primary frontman.
"Going Nowhere" was released in 1997 as a B-side for the track "Stand By Me." The following year, it was included on the compilation album The Masterplan. A 25th anniversary version of that release came out in November and made it to the No. 2 spot on the U.K. Albums Chart.
High Flying Birds' performance of "Going Nowhere" was posted to YouTube, where it was well-received in the comment section. "Really happy this tune finally got its live respect in 2023. Only 25 years after it came out as a b-side," one person said. "Whats a song!" said another. "One of the most underrated B-sides from the Oasis days but the horns and synthesizers make this so grand."
Gallagher told Music News the track "The Masterplan" is the "best song" he's ever written. It was initially a B-side for "Wonderwall." He also gave the outlet a peek into the writing and recording process for the original version of the track.
"The singles had to have three B-sides and I was always coming up two songs short," Gallagher said. "I remember writing 'The Masterplan' at home in Camden and then going to Maison Rouge [Studios] in Fulham the next day and playing it on an acoustic guitar to silence. I'd write 'The Masterplan,' 'Talk Tonight' or 'Half The World Away' and nobody would say, 'Do you want to hold that back?' It's only as the years have gone along that I've realized that was mental. But we were all mad in the '90s – Alan McGee was off his [face] and he was running the label."
YouTube commenters also loved the new version of the song. "This is really good. The devil's in the details and they nailed it," one said. "Noel's voice aged like fine wine," said another. "The atmosphere that this song creates is beautiful," a different commenter said. "I remember watching the credits roll on the supersonic documentary for the first time, and the use of this song gave me goosebumps!"
Oasis formed in 1991 and split up in 2009. A particularly nasty backstage fight between the Gallagher brothers officially ended the band's career. The dispute was so intense that the group ended up canceling its set at the Rock en Seine festival in Paris that night.
Gallagher plans to return to the studio next year to record another solo album. He's not the only artist who's put out new versions of iconic tracks in recent years.
Pop star Taylor Swift is currently in the process of re-recording her first six studio albums in the wake of a publishing dispute with her former label Big Machine and its new owner Scooter Braun. Swift's re-recorded version of 1989 came out in October. It was the fifth album in her "Taylor's version" series.