Standing on the Shoulder of Giants is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Oasis, released on February 28, 2000. The album is the 16th fastest selling album in UK chart history, selling over 310,000 copies in its first week. It has so far sold over 600 000 copies in the UK, being certified double platinum (the band's lowest selling studio album in the UK) and also has sold around 200,000 copies in the U.S. Despite becoming their fourth number one album in the UK, it is also the band's lowest-selling studio album, selling 3 million copies worldwide.
In 1999, the year preceding the final release of this album, Oasis had lost two founding members (Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs and Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan) and hired a new producer (Mark "Spike" Stent) to replace Owen Morris. The album is an effective modern psychedelic record complete with drum loops, samples, electric sitar, mellotron and backward guitars, resulting in an album more experimental with electronica and heavy psychedelic rock influences. Songs such as "Go Let It Out", the Indian-influenced "Who Feels Love?", and the progressive "Gas Panic!" were a departure from the band's earlier style, "Fuckin' in the Bushes" has been considered to be the closest Oasis have come to hard rock with Led Zeppelin style riffs.
Missing a letter, the album title is grammatically incorrect: it has the singular form of "shoulder".
Due to the departure of Bonehead and Guigsy from the band while the album was still in production, their parts had to be re-recorded, for legal reasons. Thus, the album only features the Gallagher brothers and Alan White, and the sleeve of the album also features them.
After the dust had settled and some reflection critics and fans have said some of Oasis' best work was on the album with tracks "Go Let It Out", "Gas Panic!", "Sunday Morning Call" and "Roll It Over" being picked out as some of the band's best material . Noel has said, "Even though it wasn't our finest hour, it's a good album born through tough times. I worked harder on that album than anything before and anything since."
Q Magazine gave Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 4/5 stars and the B-side to "Go Let It Out", called "Lets All Make Believe" was featured in Q's top 500 lost tracks and said that if "Lets All Make Believe" were on the album "it probably would have carried the album to another star". By this logic, it would have earned 5/5, being a "Q Classic".
Although it received lukewarm reviews from the music press, many fans rank the album high on their favourites list and both Liam and Noel Gallagher have praised certain aspects of the record. During a Radio 1 interview with Gary Crowley in 2002 Liam said "Some people reckon the album is shit, but I think it's a great album...it's just a bit different", whilst Noel Gallagher has stated that he regards "Go Let It Out" as "up there with some of the best things that I've done". He also stated in a 2005 interview with Rock Profiles that he thinks "Fuckin' In The Bushes", "Go Let It Out", "Gas Panic" and "Where Did It All Go Wrong?" are "real pieces of music".
Standing on the Shoulder of Giants debuted at #24 on the Billboard charts in the U.S., selling about 55,000 units in its first week, but sales slumped its second week and fell to #84 with a 64% sales drop. The album did receive a huge sales hike following the VH1 airing of the groups' Behind the Music in April of 2000, jumping from #194 to #113 on the Billboard charts the week following the episodes' airing.
The track listing of the demo bootleg is:
At the time of the leak, four songs ("Carry Us All", "Revolution Song", "Just Getting Older" and "Let There Be Love") were not scheduled for release on either the album or as B-sides on the new single "Go Let It Out". These songs were also completely undocumented, apart from "Revolution Song", which had been mentioned by author Paolo Hewitt in his 1999 book Forever the People — Six Months on the Road with Oasis. As such, these four songs had made-up titles based on commonly-repeated phrases mentioned in the songs. Whilst "Carry Us All" and "Just Getting Older" were correctly guessed, the other two tracks were given titles which, in time, would prove to be incorrect. "Revolution Song" was given the title "Solve My Mystery" and "Let There Be Love" was given the title "It's a Crime". "Let There Be Love" was released on Don't Believe the Truth. Because Noel mentioned in a February 23, 2000 interview with Melody Maker magazine that "Revolution Song" had been demoed — but not released because Blur had recently released a similar sounding song ("Tender") — it can be assumed that these titles are correct.
Currently, only one song ("Revolution Song") remains commercially unreleased.