And that, it would seem, is finally that. With the Gallagher brothers having now firmly declared their hands, it does appear that the Oasis story has finally limped to an ignoble, messy end. Time Flies seeks to bring it all together musically, if not in a complete fashion (singles only) but certainly in a lot more in depth than the historical revisionism of 2006’s Stop The Clocks.
What then does this double album tell us? The obvious point is that they started off superbly and then proceeded to drop the ball over the course of the following 15 years, which is an awful long time to get away with it. Those early singles will never lose their shine and to hear them in one place still provides an unmistakable joy. As pop records go they had it all – great melodies, arrogance of attitude and the twin weapons of Gallagher the singer and Gallagher the guitarist.
No one, bar perhaps Blur, was able to match them. Neither, sadly, could Oasis themselves. The truism that they went downhill from Be Here Now onwards is a point of view that is hard to counter. Whilst ‘D’You Know What I Mean’ promised much, the reality was the likes of the ghastly ‘All Around The World’. Inexplicably, Oasis had gone from the tightest, most focused band around to something baggy and ill-disciplined in the space of one record.
The albums didn’t get much better, although the singles did sometimes quicken the pulse. There’s very little that is bad here but, collected together, there is still the spectre of a band going nowhere. Although eschewing a chronological approach, the good stuff is still loaded to the front, with only ‘Whatever’ lifting its second half. It is a reminder of just how glorious they once were, a band with the world right at their feet and why the fact that they blew it was such a shame. If Time Flies seeks to tell the Oasis story then it succeeds. The sad thing is that it is the tale of a band that meant so much to so many but ended up overstaying their welcome.