Classic Gallagher interview here from 2014.
In a way, I see that he’s got a point, the likes of the bands he’s talking about (Manic, The Verve, Oasis, etc.) definitely don’t fill the charts like they did in the 1990s.
But then I can’t remember the 1990s as clearly as everyone else. I was only born in 1989 for God’s sake.
Is NG suffering a bit of the rose-tinted? Does he look back and see, in his imagination, wave after wave of Britpop when in reality there were only a few very good bands? A lot of people look back at the Beatles era and say it was a great time for music, as if the charts were full of decent music in the 1960s. But in reality if you look at the charts, the number ones were quite often just as poppy and flimsy as they are nowadays. My dad has a CD of number ones from about 1965-70. Some great tracks in there, no doubt. Some absolute classics. But it wasn’t wall-to-wall great music like some seem to suggest.
However, I do think the man has a point about the major bands. Oasis and their compatriots stand out in the 1990s as the cream of the crop. Perhaps it is about class, like he says. Kasabian, the Libertines and Arctic Monkeys just have a swagger and an attitude, whereas the likes of Coldplay and Two Door Cinema Club just seem a bit wet.
And now nobody is taking on carrying the torch. There aren’t any standout bands for me at the moment, only a few good songs. Why? Perhaps I'm already past it.
I have a theory that since everyone (including working class kids) started being forced to stay in school longer and encouraged more to go to university, their identity as strong-willed, independent people has been watered down by having to write essays when, in the past, they might have been having life experiences and writing songs. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but modern student bands usually tend to chuck out pretentious rubbish.
Speaking as someone who did go to University, I don’t doubt that this cultural change is good news for some kids. University is certainly good for boosting the career prospects of the scholarly.
But it's not for everyone and I can’t imagine it’s that inspiring for songwriters.