Although this album (Be Here Now) has been roundly pissed on by critics as the record that killed Britpop, I am actually a huge fan of it. It may have been peak Britpop (later albums somehow lacking that star quality of those before it) and greeted with disdain by some, but I wasn’t around then. Well I was, but I wasn’t listening to Oasis.
I actually discovered it roughly ten years late in 2007-8 during my early working life as a building site painter / decorator and then continued listening all through my university days. It was the soundtrack to my first year and echoed through the rest of my time there. It still sounds fucking great to me now.
The second reason for its panning was its depth, and I’m not talking about artistic depth. I’m talking about how the songs are literally buried under about a hundred guitar overdubs, redubs, echoes and feedback tones. It’s quite trippy in a very rock ‘n’ roll sense, but it’s obvious, as NG said, someone should’ve known when to stop.
The ultimate context for all of this was that the band were basically off their heads constantly in the studio and nobody had the balls to tell them. And I think this is why I like it - the album is an expression of the ultimate band attitude and swagger, as well as being a set of great tunes. The album name is an arrogant call to arms in itself. They had basically conquered every inhibition, including the record label.
Anyway, back to the point of this post. I like to think of this “Rethink” as the true “Do You Know What I Mean” without the unnecessary chaff. Without the 127 layers of extra guitars and other pointless stuff over the top, the song sounds reborn and fresh. It’s clear to see now that in the original, this excess sort of greyed out the natural rhythm of the song, levelling its ups and downs into a single wall of noise. In this “Rethink”, not only can you hear the thudding bassline, but LG’s vocals now sound oddly bold and powerful. I particularly like the intense strings and orchestral parts now audible in certain places too. That really is creative depth.
I’m not sure about buying the album again (even if it is digitally remastered) but I would definitely recommend giving this song a listen. This is the real gem of these new releases.
If anything else in this so-called “Chasing The Sun” edition of Be Here Now turns out like this, then I might take a look at them too. Let me know if any of you recommend it.