(Big Brother Recordings/Columbia)
In pouring over the contents of the four-disc collection (3
CDs, a DVD), it’s hard not to wonder about the purpose (or motives) of it all.
Especially in trying to understand why there isn’t a single photograph of the
band to be found. Were it not for the DVD of music videos, the uninitiated
could go on unawares as to what the members of Oasis actually look like. What
is made abundantly clear, though, is how beloved the band is by its worldwide
fanbase. This is represented throughout, in the form of photos depicting
massive crowds (presumably at Oasis shows) and short statements from devotees,
which comprise the majority of a not unsubstantial booklet, declaring things
like, “They’re fucking EVERYTHING to our generation.” Since a best of
collection ideal for newbies already exists, one might then assume that Time Flies… 1994-2009 is “for the fans.”
It’s them on the cover, after all. So does it do a fan justice? Not really.
Though it sort of depends on the fan, and whether or not they own and enjoy Dig Out Your Soul, Oasis’s most recent,
and thus final album.
The core of Time
Flies… is the two discs that collect every single from 1994’s
“Supersonic” to 2008’s “Falling Down,” and is simultaneously being released on
double-CD and quintuple-vinyl formats. Twenty-seven songs in all, and just the
singles. No B-sides or non-A-side album tracks are included, which is too bad.
It’s hard to imagine an Oasis collection that doesn’t have “Acquiesce” or
“Slide Away.” But the lion’s share of Oasis’s best songs are accounted for. And
they’re mostly on disc one, because disc one primarily focuses on the first
three albums, Definitely Maybe, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, and
the bloated yet underrated Be Here Now.
Disc two’s predominant focus is on everything since ’97,
which means it kind of sucks by comparison, and returns us to the issue of
which sort of Oasis fan this package is meant to appeal to: does or does not
enjoy Dig Out Your Soul. And the
disc-two-sucks argument should point that arrow away from the non-DOYS enthusiast – one who’d prefer Liam
never got any grand ideas about songwriting, and Noel stopped trying to blow
the fucking roof off. That settled, there’s still no obvious reason why a disc
two fan would want a collection of songs they probably already own.
Hence the box set. In addition to the singles collection,
there’s a DVD of music videos (with mildly entertaining and, to be fair,
totally interesting commentaries by Liam and Noel), and a CD of the band’s
final recorded concert, from July of 2009. The inclusion of the latter seems to
serve a dual purpose of providing a collectible goodie and shifting nostalgic
attention away from the ’90s to celebrate the band at the end of the line.
Sadly, Liam’s voice is hoarse, and by the end of the opener, “Rock ‘N’ Roll
Star,” he sounds out of breath. Often overshadowed by his brother, but not
here, Noel and the crowd belt out a highlight in “Half The World Away,” a
The last ten years don’t change the fact that at its height,
Oasis was an amazing thing to behold. Best when victoriously gloating, they
wanted to be the biggest and the best band in the world, and for a while they
were. To really appreciate it, though, you’ve got to dig deeper.
Standout Tracks: “Wonderwall,” “Live Forever” ZACH BLOOM