Oasis’ Time Flies Proves Not All Hits Are Created Equal

On Tuesday (June 15), the most definitive set of hits from now-defunct English stadium-fillers Oasis hits stores. The two-disc Time Flies … 1994-2009 brings together 27 tracks, all of which could theoretically be referred to as “hits.” If there’s anything that this particular compilation drives home, it’s that Oasis were one of the most bipolar acts in recent rock history. They seemed to either be creating era-defining epics or sub-filler terribleness, with scarcely a point in between. Truly in the world of Oasis, not all hits are created equal.

That’s why we’ve taken those 27 tracks, ranked them and broken them up into tiers, so when you pick up your copy of Time Flies, you know exactly which songs to keep and which songs to trash.

Tier One
“Some Might Say”
“Live Forever”
“Don’t Look Back in Anger”
For all of their bluster, Noel and Liam Gallagher occasionally lived up to the hype they often created for themselves. These five tracks absolutely belong on the list of the greatest rock songs ever to come out of the United Kingdom. Note that all of these come from the band’s first two albums (1994’s Definitely Maybe and 1995’s (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?), and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” is ranked lowest because, although most of their best songs cribbed from the Beatles (among other sources), it borrows a bit too heavily from John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Tier Two
“Roll With It”
“Cigarettes and Alcohol”
“Go Let It Out”
These five tunes aren’t as legendary as “Supersonic” or “Wonderwall,” but they are most certainly among the group’s best songs and can proudly stand next to the legends with their metaphorical heads held high. This time, the majority of the songs come from the first two albums, though the lead single from 2000’s Standing on the Shoulders of Giants makes a strong play to be considered among the greats.

Tier Three
“Stand By Me”
“D’You Know What I Mean?”
“Champagne Supernova”
“Little By Little”
The third tier songs are all strong songs with at least one key flaw in each: “Stand By Me” is lovely but over-produced (as is most of 1997’s Be Here Now, the album it comes from); “D’You Know What I Mean?” is a tough-sounding track that gets a bit too noisy at the end; “Lyla” is the band’s best impression of a Kinks tune undone only by its repetitiveness; “Champagne Supernova” is a nice little psychedelic tune that unfortunately overstays its welcome by about four minutes; and “Little by Little” is nice but so anonymous that it blends in with a lot of the band’s latter-day singles. Nobody minds when these songs pop up during live sets, but there can’t be very many people who go to see Oasis play specifically for these tracks.

Tier Four
“All Around the World”
“Stop Crying Your Heart Out”
“Let There Be Love”
“Who Feels Love?”
“The Shock of the Lightning”
The fourth tier is full of songs that can be considered generally inoffensive. These are the sort of songs that you don’t skip when you’re listening to their respective albums, but only because the deep cuts aren’t nearly as good.

Tier Five
“The Hindu Times”
“Lord Don’t Slow Me Down”
“The Importance of Being Idle”
“She Is Love”
“I’m Outta Time”
“Falling Down”
Most of these tunes are from late period Oasis, a period that saw the band cycle through group members and chase its tail in an effort to stay afloat. If you’re a casual fan, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard these tunes, and while none of them are truly terrible, they definitely could have been left off of Time Flies.

Tier Six
“Rock ’n’ Roll Star”
“Slide Away”
“Talk Tonight”
“Force of Nature”
“Where Did It All Go Wrong?”
“Part of the Queue”
These are all the top-shelf Oasis songs not included on Time Flies. Not all of them were singles, but there seems to be no excuse to ignore “Rock ’n’ Roll Star.” Also, “Talk Tonight” was a b-side to “Wonderwall” and was included on the 1998 compilation The Masterplan — itself a stunning album even though it’s made up entirely of (theoretically) throwaways.

What are your favorite Oasis songs? Let us know in the comments!

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