January 20, 2010

Whatever, Trevor

Here’s some history on the Oasis song, Whatever.

"Whatever" is a classic Oasis, written by the band's lead guitarist Noel Gallagher. It was released on December 18, 1994 as a stand-alone single bridging the gap between Oasis' debut album, Definitely Maybe, and their second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?.

"Whatever" entered the UK Singles Chart at #3, Oasis’ first single to enter the top 5, something every Oasis single released since has also accomplished, aside from the download-only single "Lord Don't Slow Me Down", "I'm Outta Time" and "Falling Down". Like "Lord Don't Slow Me Down," this is a non-album release. 

The strings were played by the London Session Orchestra which featured former ELO violinist Wilf Gibson. The strings were arranged by Nick Ingham and Noel Gallagher.

Part of the song's melody was lifted from Neil Innes' song "How Sweet to Be an Idiot". Innes successfully sued Oasis for plagiarism and was awarded subsequent royalties. The portion of the melodic line in question accompanies the lyrics "I'm free, to be whatever I" of the Gallagher version.

When Oasis performed the song for Top of the Pops, they mimed and one of the cello players from the string ensemble was replaced by rhythm guitarist Bonehead, who clearly had no idea how the instrument was supposed to be played and mimed terribly. Towards the end of the song, he gave up the pretense and started using the bow to conduct Oasis.

As part of the show, Whatever was introduced by Damon Albarn of Blur who would later famously feud with Oasis. As Albarn introduced Whatecer, the Gallagher brothers made rude hand gestures behind him which only served to heighten the feud between the bands – Noel went on to infamously wish that Albarn would die of AIDS.

"Whatever" has been performed live by Oasis many times. They often ended live versions of the song with lyrics adapted from The Beatles song "Octopus's Garden".

They have also been known to add the lines "All the young blues....carry the news...," in reference to the Mott the Hoople song "All the Young Dudes". The "blues" in the lyric are the fans of the Gallaghers' beloved Manchester City Football Club. This line had to be omitted from the original studio version of Whatever because of copyright concerns.

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