Has Noel Gallagher missed the chance to make a great solo album?

To understand how Noel’s decision to go solo has come about, and why these questions are even being asked of the man that penned ‘Live Forever’ and ‘The Masterplan’, we need to take to look back in time at the later years of Oasis.

After releasing Heathen Chemistry in 2002, Oasis took a three-year break, before releasing Don’t Believe The Truth. The album was genuinely successful – it sold about as many copies as Heathen Chemistry and spawned a handful of hit singles. These included ‘The Importance of Being Idle’, which rightly takes its place in the pantheon as one of Oasis’ all-time great songs.

Except ‘The Importance of Being Idle’ doesn’t sound very much like an Oasis song, does it?  Nor does ‘Mucky Fingers’, another of the album’s strongest tracks, written and sung by Noel. They both differ in style significantly from everything we had heard from the band before. There’s nothing wrong with that; bands should mature and change direction. The problem is, it wasn’t the band changing direction – it was Noel. As for the rest of the band, if they were changing direction at all, it certainly wasn’t the same direction. Not only do these tracks not sound like Oasis, they don’t sound like anything else on Don’t Believe the Truth.

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Image: Stacey Kizer