Flashback Album of the Week

Jeff Yerger

Oasis has been misunderstood here in America. The album “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory” was a massive hit here thanks to its timeless song “Wonderwall,” but that’s about as far as it goes for us. Many Americans never really got to appreciate how good Oasis is, and how much of a songwriting genius Noel Gallagher is. The 1998 album “The Masterplan” is a showcase of Brit-Pop at the peak of its success and of the underrated talent of the real Oasis behind “Wonderwall.”

“The Masterplan” is actually a well-constructed album, considering the fact that it is made up entirely of B-sides and it contains more charm and charisma than some Oasis A-Sides. There’s the psychedelic sensation of “Underneath the Sky”, the triumphant “Stay Young” and the rollicking “Fade Away” that all give this Oasis album a unique character that is much different from their previous three albums. “Talk Tonight” and the majestic “Going Nowhere” is Noel’s one-two punch which provides some of the most beautiful melodies the man has ever written.

As the album goes on, it gets harder to realize that these were indeed B-Sides. It’s hard to understand why they left any of these songs off a major release in the first place. The album opener, “Acquiesce,” is where Oasis turns up the volume to eleven, and as brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher trade vocals you can hear the swagger in their breath and the sibling rivalry that was about to erupt. On “Listen Up,” which seems to be an outtake of their early hit “Supersonic,” Liam’s voice sounds on the brink of cracking, but it’s the vulnerability of this song that makes it so endearing.

Of course, what would an Oasis album be without an epic ballad from Noel? And the title track does exactly this, capping off what is an enjoyable album. Besides the sludgy live version of “The Swamp Song” and the mediocre cover of “I Am the Walrus,” “The Masterplan” is just as brilliant and impactful as any traditional Oasis album to date. Who knew B-sides could be so fulfilling to listen to?