July 7, 2009

DO you know what I mean?

"D'You Know What I Mean?" is a song by classic British rock band Oasis. DYWIM was the first single from Oasis's third album, the great rock and roll swindle, Be Here Now and was released on the 7th July 1997.

DYKWIM reached #1 in the UK singles chart, the 3rd Oasis song to do so. It was written by Oasis mainstay, Noel Gallagher. It was certified platinum for UK sales.

At the time "D'You Know What I Mean" was released, Oasis were at the height of their fame, and as a result, the single, along with the album, was highly anticipated. Upon its release it was critically and commercially successful.

The guitar chords on both the verse and the chorus are similar to the chords used for the Oasis single "Wonderwall" (F#m7/A/Esus4/Bsus4).

The song also shows more of Noel's influences. References include Bob Dylan ("Blood on the tracks and they must be mine"), and The Beatles ("Fool on the hill and I feel fine"), and even their own earlier work ("Don't look back in Anger "). The song also features a drum loop from N.W.A.

The Morse code in the background translates to include such sayings as "bugger all", "pork pies" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." Oasis haven't performed this song since 2002.

One of the B-sides, "Stay Young", has become a popular Oasis song, so much so that fans voted it onto the B-sides collection The Masterplan - one of only two B-sides from the Be Here Now period which made the album. The song was originally intended to be the "Digsy's Dinner" of Be Here Now (the lighthearted novelty track, such as "Digsy's Dinner" on Definitely Maybe and "She's Electric" on (What's the Story) Morning Glory?), until Noel set it aside in favour of "Magic Pie". Gallagher claims not to be particularly fond of the track.
Interview with Noel Gallagher on the song:

In a 1997 interview promoting Be Here Now, Noel Gallagher had the following to say about the first single: "I was going to make up some profound statement in the chorus but I couldn't come up with anything that fitted. Then I just thought "All my people right here, right now. D'You Know What I Mean? Yeah, Yeah" Very vague, very ambiguous, that'll do. Look in the mirror and wink while you're singing it and it's quite saucy. And I f***ing love that line, 'Coming in a mess, going out in style'. We were a bunch of scruffs from Manchester and we're going out in a Rolls Royce."

In another 1997 interview, this time on BBC, Noel Gallagher said: "I cant believe I wrote it, it's going to blow people away."

"The morse code in the background was inspired by Strawberry Fields. We got hold of a code book and tried to tap out 'Bugger All' to follow that line 'Don't look back cos you know what you might see'. But if anyone can tell me what we really said, please let me know. Profound lagerisms..."
Seven Ages of Rock

In an interview with the BBC for their documentary Seven Ages of Rock, Gallagher said of the song, "Its eight and a half minutes, the first single, the drums haven't fuckin' come in for two minutes- its all feedback!". He also says that he expected someone to ask them to edit the introduction to the song down, but such was their status in Britain, nobody did. They even performed the song on Top of the Pops, still playing most of the lengthy introduction.

The performance on Top of the Pops ended with a stage invasion by surrounding fans- the second of three stage invasions in the whole history of the show (the first was Nirvana and the last Symposium).
Cover information

The single cover photograph, by Michael Spencer Jones and directed by Brian Cannon of Microdot, was taken in front of the 'Blind Steps', a staircase in Wigan so called because they run past the Blind Workshop, which can be seen to the left of the shot. The steps can still be found on Darlington Street. The shoot was shrouded in secrecy to protect mass media coverage, but newspaper The Wigan Evening Post got exclusive rights to cover the event and subsequently sold the photos to the Daily Mirror. At a lunchtime break, Liam Gallagher and sleeve designer Brian Cannon enjoyed a pint of beer in the nearby Crispin Arms pub by Birkett Bank.

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