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cry on someones shoulder

Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

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.

History

The album's title was taken from the words made famous by Sir Isaac Newton: "If I can see further than anyone else, it is only because I am standing on the shoulders of giants". Noel Gallagher saw the quote on the side of a £2 coin while in a pub and liked it so much he thought it would be a suitable name for Oasis' new album. He then wrote the name on the side of a cigarette packet while drunk. When he awoke in the morning, he realised he had written "Standing on the Shoulder of Giants".

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.

Album cover

The album's artwork features the photo of New York skyline made from the rooftop of the Rockefeller Center. Some famous buildings can be seen here, for example the Empire State Building is seen in front and the WTC is seen in the back. This photo has a very special effect - it is impossible to say during what time of day it was shot. To achieve this effect, the photographer had to capture the same frame every half an hour in 18 hours during the whole day's course. Then the photos were digitally edited and united into the actual picture. All of the singles released from this album contained artwork that was based on the album artwork; the shot used for "Go Let It Out" can be seen above one of the buildings at the front.

Reception

The album received mixed reviews by the media. It was a darker album possibly reflecting the times, or perhaps reflecting the loss of two original members. But it was also seen by many as a change of direction, a more mature effort from the production to the lyrics and also a transitional period for the band after band members Bonehead and Guigsy had left halfway through the recording of the album. After the departures Noel was left to play lead, rhythm and bass guitar on the album.

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.

Track listing

All songs written by Noel Gallagher, except where noted.

  1. "Fuckin' in the Bushes" – 3:21
  2. "Go Let It Out" – 4:41
  3. "Who Feels Love?" – 5:46
  4. "Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is" – 4:29
  5. "Little James" (Liam Gallagher) – 4:17
  6. "Gas Panic!" – 6:10
  7. "Where Did It All Go Wrong?" – 4:29
  8. "Sunday Morning Call" – 5:15
  9. "I Can See a Liar" – 3:15
  10. "Roll It Over" – 6:31

Singles and Promo Singles

  1. Go Let It Out 7th February 2000
  2. Who Feels Love 17th April 2000
  3. Sunday Morning Call 3rd July 2000
  4. Where Did It All Go Wrong 16th October 2000
  5. Gas Panic! 15th January 2001

Notes

  • The album featured the debut of Liam Gallagher's songwriting skills with the song "Little James". Liam cited at the time that the inspiration for the song came from listening to John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" over and over again on a loop.
  • When Oasis released the single "Sunday Morning Call" many people believed it was evidence that the band was coming to an end, due to Liam's absence in any of the tracks on the single, including the B-sides. This was compounded by Liam and Noel falling out on tour. These rumors were quickly debunked by the band, however.
  • In the Japanese version, "Let's All Make Believe" - 3:33 appears as track 11 in the album

Demos

A bootleg of demo sessions recorded for this album was leaked onto the internet in January 2000. Most of these songs were recorded by Noel Gallagher with the help of a couple of friends in his home studio at Supernova Heights and at Oasis' own Wheeler End Studios complex. All of the songs, apart from "Little James", were sung by Noel.

The track listing of the demo bootleg is:

  1. "Carry Us All"
  2. "Who Feels Love?"
  3. "Fuckin' in the Bushes"
  4. "Little James"
  5. "Gas Panic!"
  6. "Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is"
  7. "Sunday Morning Call"
  8. "I Can See a Liar"
  9. "Go Let It Out"
  10. "Roll It Over"
  11. "Revolution Song"
  12. "Where Did It All Go Wrong?"
  13. "(As Long As They've Got) Cigarettes in Hell"
  14. "Just Getting Older"
  15. "Let There Be Love"

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.

Personnel

References

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