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Every Oasis Album Ranked

The Britpop sensations known as the all-conquering Oasis were best known for the confrontational interviews, powerful eyebrows, and even occasionally the music they produced/plagiarized. Prior to their mid-tour breakup in 2009 (just one of several occasions when Noel Gallagher decided to fuck off before a concert, and he’s the reasonable one), Oasis released seven albums that range in quality from transcendently era-defining to “alimony payments, innit?” Here they are, ranked from your pleasure.

7. Dig Out Your Soul (2008)

The final Oasis album sounds exactly like you’d expect after nearly two decades of touring, much-publicized sibling fights, and standing perfectly still while playing guitar: tired. “Dig Out Your Soul” might be the definitive workman-like album of all time, neither completely awful nor particularly interesting. After listening to these 11 tracks, they just kind of disappear from your mind as though they had never been played, which is not what any band likes to hear.

Play It Again: “I’m Outta Time” (The lone standout of the album is one of Liam’s surprisingly frequent, surprisingly effective stabs at ballad songwriting. Who knew he had it in him?)
Skip It: The rest of it

6. Don’t Believe the Truth (2005)

There are going to be some controversial choices in these rankings, so buckle up. “Don’t Believe the Truth” has some ardent defenders out there, but when a band can’t even decide on a lead single and ends up releasing a remixed demo with some dubs, it doesn’t mean good things ahead. “Don’t Believe the Truth” marked the phase of Oasis’ career in which every new release was hailed as a “return to form,” but that doesn’t make it good.

Play It Again: “The Importance of Being Idle”
Skip It: “Mucky Fingers” (Noel is capable of songwriting that will last for centuries and the laziest shit ever put to record. Guess which this is.)

5. Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants (2000)

Let’s put it this way: Noel played virtually every instrument on this album, wrote all but one of the songs, and he still says there was no reason for it to exist. Despite that, “Standing On the Shoulder of Giants” is not without its merits; tracks like “Go Let It Out” and “Who Feels Love?” experiment with drum loops and a trippier groove than previous albums, while “Sunday Morning Call” is low-key one of Noel’s best vocal performances. Lotta filler on here, though.

Play It Again: “Gas Panic!”
Skip It: “Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is”

4. Be Here Now (1997)

Oasis’ epic third album has been accused of essentially killing Britpop, if only because its drug-fueled production triggered a U.K. cocaine shortage. In this day and age of surprise album drops and streaming releases, it is hard to describe the feverish anticipation surrounding “Be Here Now,” which saw Gallaghers at the absolute pinnacle of their ambition and unfettered indulgence. For Noel, this meant layering literally hundreds of guitar overdubs onto tracks and nearly ten-minute songs that get still reprises, just because fuck you. For Liam, this meant inviting an entire pub’s worth of drunken fans into the studio while big brother was working, resulting in the inevitable “Noel hitting people with a cricket bat until they leave.” It is undeniable that “Be Here Now” is the moment that Oasis collapsed under the weight of ego and excess, but it also has some fucking bangers. Listen to “Don’t Go Away” and try to say you don’t feel what it is to be a homesick, hungover 20-something once again.

Play It Again: “Stand by Me”
Skip It: “I Hope, I Think, I Know” (No, I Don’t)

3. Heathen Chemistry (2002)

That’s right, we put “Heathen Chemistry” ahead of “Be Here Now.” Deal with it. Now, we’re not saying this is a perfect record; in fact, like all Oasis albums after 1995, it’s pretty spotty. But of any album after their early Imperial phase, “Heathen Chemistry” has the highest highs and manages to avoid the lowest depths of “Muck Fingers.” (Seriously, fuck that song). “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” is the kind of heartbreaking, universal song that Noel is capable of at his best, feeling incredibly familiar while still fresh and earnest. “Little by Little” is his periodic assertion that he can record a catchy anthem in his sleep (and probably has), while the brief, lovely “Songbird” is unquestionably the best thing Liam has ever written.

Play It Again: “Songbird”
Skip It: “A Quick Peep” (here’s a tip: if there’s an instrumental on an Oasis album, you don’t need to listen to it)

Honorable Mention: The Masterplan (1998)

Okay, it’s not actually an album, but we would be remiss not to mention “The Masterplan,” a collection of B-sides that very well might be the single best collection of Oasis songs that exist. Reportedly, Noel once told a record exec who was concerned that the title song was too good to be relegated to a B-side that that was because he didn’t “write shit songs.” Not yet, anyway.

Play It Again: “Acquiesce”
Skip It: “The Swamp Song”

2. Definitely Maybe (1994)

Alright, now we’re really getting to the good stuff. The difference between “Definitely Maybe” and every other Oasis release is that when Noel wrote these songs, he was a fucking nobody working in a warehouse, dreaming about being a rock star. After the release of the album, he and Liam were the real deal, but it’s no accident that their debut begins with a track angrily asserting “In my mind, my dreams are real.” Of course, the reason why those dreams actually became real is that “Definitely Maybe” is a collection of straight-up classics nearly all the way through, from the strutting glove-throw of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” to the nonsensical lyrics over a massive, undeniable riff of “Supersonic” to the bullish sensitivity of “Slide Away.” Even “Digsy’s Dinner” has an incredibly catchy vocal hook, and it’s a song about eating fucking lasagna, like Noel was reading Garfield too much.

Play It Again: Anything but the track below, which is just kind of whatever (not like the song “Whatever,” though)
Skip It: “Bring It On Down”

1. (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)

There was never any doubt it would come to this. “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” is simply the defining British album of the 1990s and you don’t have to believe it for it to be the truth. This is the album that elevated Oasis over every band in the world for a few chaotic years, the full blossoming of both Noel’s abilities as a songwriter and Liam’s dead-eyed, ineffable rock star charisma. While “Definitely Maybe” is a great album (see above), “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” is a great leap forward for the entire band. While Noel didn’t lose his love for a hard-riffing blast of a rock song (“Hello”), he had learned a few new tricks, like the arena balladry of “Don’t Look Back in Anger” and the quirky playfulness of “She’s Electric.” And let’s be serious: any album that has “Wonderwall” on it is going to be recorded in the annals of history, engraved on the acoustic guitars of a million bozos. Sure, maybe you never need to hear it again, but give it a try. It hasn’t lost bit of its power over the years.

Play It Again: “Champagne Supernova” (Jesus, Liam recorded his epic, career-best vocal in one fucking take?)
Skip It: “Untitled” aka The Swamp Song” (Again? really?)