Q Magazine

On This Day In Music… April 24, 1995: Oasis Release 'Some Might Say', Sparking the 'Battle of Britpop'

Alan McGee later remembered: 'Damon left the party thinking "F--k you, Liam, I'm going to teach you a lesson".'

oasis some might say
Source: Creation Records / Mega

'Some Might Say' would be the first of eight No. 1 singles for Oasis.

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In 2012, Noel Gallagher told the NME how convinced he was that Oasis’ sixth single, released on April 24, 1995, would give his band their first British chart-topper.

“As soon as I’d written ‘Some Might Say’ I was absolutely certain it would be a No. 1 and I was right,” he said. “I never had even the slightest doubt. That was the gin and tonic getting the better of me.

“Alan McGee didn’t think it sounded like a No. 1. He’s a great man but he has no idea how to pick singles.”

Noel was right. “Some Might Say”, the first single released ahead of Oasis’s second album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, shot straight to the top of the charts. It would be followed by another seven No. 1s and set a decade-long precedent for the lead singles from each of their subsequent albums also topping the charts.

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Source: JAMES VELLACOTT / Mirrorpix/Newscom/The Mega Agency

'Some Might Say' was the lead single from '(What's the Story) Morning Glory', which also hit No. 1 in October 1995.

It also represented a moment of transition for the band. Not only was it the last song to feature original drummer Tony McCarroll, but it was also the first song Noel Gallagher wrote after he moved from Manchester to London the previous summer. If Definitely Maybe had been the product of unemployment benefits, cheap beer and a desperate hunger for fame, “Some Might Say” was the beginning of a more assured Oasis about to hit heights they could only have dreamed of (and almost certainly did) back in Burnage.

Speaking to Q in 2011, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory producer Owen Morris explained how the track had originally been demoed at Chelsea’s Maison Rouge studios in the late summer of 1994.

“We’d demoed ‘Some Might Say’ in Maison Rouge six months or so before,” he said. “The version from there was slow and heavy and dark, really quite cool in a Rolling Stones way.”

The track lay all-but untouched until Morris was producing The Verve’s breakthrough album A Northern Soul in Newport, Wales. Gallagher remembered getting a call from the producer: “He said they were having the weekend off, why don’t I come down. So the demo is recorded with all their equipment.”

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oasis noel
Source: mega

'Some Might Say' was the first song Noel Gallagher wrote after moving to London in the summer of 1994.

“We spend the day doing lots of good versions, slightly faster than the demo,” continued Morris. “I edit the best bits together, backing track done! Then Noel wakes the band in the middle of the night, insists they get out of bed and re-record it. We do one take and decide we’re all f--king geniuses and that we’ve definitely nailed it.

“Next day, I wake up, hangover and hazy, Liam wants to sing. So Liam sings his lead vocal in two takes. F--king on-fire singing. Thing is, the backing track was faster than we’d ever intended, which Noel and I hadn’t noticed when drunk the night before. There was a really bad speed up during the first three bars of the first chorus. But we had to f--king use it because Liam’s singing was undeniably brilliant.”

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With the song selected as the band’s next single, a promo video needed to be shot. Once again, Liam’s erratic approach to professionalism threw a spanner in the works: on the day of the shoot he was nowhere to be found, and under pressure to deliver something to the TV networks, a makeshift video was cobbled together from the previous promos of “Cigarettes & Alcohol”, “Supersonic” and “Whatever”.

Nevertheless, “Some Might Say” made No. 1 on the first week of its release – despite some flak for its lyrical simplicity. Speaking to Select, Noel was typically honest about the writing process.

“The verses are quite deep,” he told the magazine. “Some of them are about homeless people, and people who can’t always get what they want, and how people who can get what they want always seem to be moaning more than people who can’t. That’s why it’s, ‘Tell it to the man who lives in hell.’

“So then I wanted something as deep and meaningful for the chorus… but in the end I just gave up and thought, ‘F--k it, I might as well just [write] stupid stuff about fishes and dishes and dogs itching.”

“Some Might Say” not only represented a transitional moment for Oasis, it also kick-started the famed “Battle of Britpop” that would reach its head with the band’s next single, “Roll With It”, released on August 14, 1995 – the same day as Blur’s “Country House”.

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Talking to Uncut in 1998, Creation boss Alan McGee explained how the rivalry, until that point existing only in the music press as an easy North vs South / Working Class vs Art School talking point, blew up in earnest at a party he threw to celebrate the song’s success.

“I’d been friends with Damon Albarn for some time, so I invited him to the ‘Some Might Say’ party after the record went to No. 1,” he said. “Liam, being Liam, spent the evening relentlessly taunting Damon. ‘Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. We’re No. 1, you’re not.’

“It was deliberately, offensively infantile and it really riled Damon. Liam was only 20. When you are just 20, you say silly things. It’s almost your job to talk total bo---cks. Anyway, Damon left the party thinking ‘F--k you, Liam, I’m going to teach you a lesson’. That’s why Blur upped the ante and moved the release date of ‘Country House’. To go up against us. The best thing that happened to Oasis was that Blur took them on and carried on taking them on.”


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