If you don’t like Oasis, then why are you reading this? Because secretly you know that you do, that’s why. Admit it and read on. This compilation of English B-sides is absolutely packed full of could’ve-been-hits. With its characteristic Oasis riff/hook/riff style, the opener “Acquiesce” is getting a fair amount of well deserved attention, but a full half of the tunes on this record are its equal. If it weren’t for the inevitable variations in production levels and style, there is enough quality and coherence here that one might mistake this collection for a concerted studio effort. Granted, a few of the tunes are notable more for their novelty, such as a live version of “I am the Walrus” and the very Buzzcocks-ish “Fade Away,” but overall, this is excellent material. It would have been a shame indeed if this music had never been released over here.
If I have to pick a single highlight, it has to be “Swamp Song,” an instrumental with an insistent chugging riff and manic free-form improvisational guitar breaks and harmonica from none other than the legendary Paul Weller. If you’re an Oasis fan, this is a bonanza. If not, it’s an opportunity for redemption.