Be Here Now is the third studio album by the English rock band Oasis, released at the height of their fame on August 21, 1997note .
Pressure was on the band after their breakthrough Definitely Maybe became an overnight sensation. They followed it up with the equally revered (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, successfully avoiding a Sophomore Slump. Music fans waited with bated breath as the band disappeared into the studio for six months.
What emerged was one of the most polarizing albums of The '90s. Clocking in at an incredible 75 minutes, Be Here Now is a sprawling, cocaine-fueled ode to the excess of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. Receiving almost ridiculously positive reviews from critics upon its release, it spawned four singles, two of which ("D'You Know What I Mean?" and "All Around the World") topped the UK singles chart ("Stand by Me" stalled at #2 and "Don't Go Away" was illegible to chart due to the fact that it didn't have a physical release). It was and still is the fastest-selling album of all time in the UK, selling over 650,000 copies in the week after its release. Things were looking great.
The massive sales dropped off after only being on the market for two weeks. By 1999, it was one of the most frequently donated albums to secondhand stores. Critics reconsidered and began to label it as a bloated, overlong mess with overwhelmingly excessive instrumentals and laughable Word Salad Lyrics. It is often cited as the death knell for Britpop, a genre that up until then had been one of the biggest musical revolutions the UK had ever seen, with the band as its front-runners. In the wake of the album's massive amounts of Hype Backlash, mainstream popular music in the UK began to shift in favor of a more musically and lyrically melancholic and introspective direction, influenced by the sudden success of another English alt-rock act and the album that they released just a few months before Be Here Now.
Noel Gallagher began to side with critics. He now self-describes it as "A bunch of guys on coke, in the studio, not giving a fuck."
Though it has been accused of aging terribly and is now considered an example of what not to do when making a third album, it has been somewhat Vindicated by History. Noel's opinion hasn't changed, but some Oasis fans now see it as a misunderstood masterpiece that doesn't deserve the hate it gets.
- Liam Gallagher vocals
- Noel Gallagher guitars, vocals, string arrangements, production, lead vocals and Mellotron on "Magic Pie"
- Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs guitars
- Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan bass
- Alan White drums, percussion
- "D'You Know What I Mean?" (7:42)
- "My Big Mouth" (5:02)
- "Magic Pie" (7:19)
- "Stand by Me" (5:56)
- "I Hope, I Think, I Know" (4:22)
- "The Girl in the Dirty Shirt" (5:49)
- "Fade In-Out" (6:52)
- "Don't Go Away" (4:48)
- "Be Here Now" (5:13)
- "All Around the World" (9:21)
- "It's Getting Better (Man!!)" (7:00)
- "All Around the World (Reprise)" (2:08)
"All my tropes right here, right now, D'you know what I mean? Yeah yeah.":
- Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: From "All Around the World":These are crazy days but they make me shEEYine
- After the End: The music video of "D'You Know What I Mean?", complete with helicopters, a crowd of people clad in army fatigues, and crumbling concrete buildings in the distance.
- Album Title Drop: Averted in the song "Be Here Now"; the words don't appear in the song.
- Anachronic Order: The music video for "Stand by Me", which begins with people doing illegal acts (tackling a woman, breaking into a car, stealing computers from a store), but ends with the clips played again with more context, which reveals they were helping people (getting her out of the way of an oncoming motorcycle, helping a man open his locked car, and getting heavy boxes off of a motorcyclist who crashed through the shop's window, respectively).
- The Cameo: Johnny Depp plays slide guitar on "Fade In-Out".
- Concept Video: "Stand by Me" attempts this, with some sort of crime-driven video, but if Noel's commentary on the Time Flies... special is any indication, they didn't do a very good job.
- Drugs Are Bad: According to Noel, the band was high on cocaine during most of the recording, resulting in the overlong tracks and excessive instrumentation. Many believe that the absurd lyrics are the result of this.
- Epic Rocking: Half the album's songs exceed six minutes, with "All Around the World" going over nine.
- Excited Show Title!: "It's Getting Better (Man!!)".
- Instrumental: The reprise of "All Around the World".
- Last Note Hilarity: "Magic Pie" ends with some random jazz and guitar samples from a Mellotron right after a rather chaotic Last Note Nightmare. After all that nonsense is done, somebody (presumably Noel) can be heard groaning "oh dear" at the very end.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Be Here Now" and the reprise of "All Around the World".
- Pep-Talk Song: "All Around the World":All around the world, you gotta spread the word
Tell 'em what you heard, you know it's gonna be okay
- Precision F-Strike:
- In an album mostly devoid of swearing, one instance in "The Girl in the Dirty Shirt" notably stands out:Get your shit together, girl.
- The song "Be Here Now" also hasYour shit jokes remind me of Digsy's.
- In an album mostly devoid of swearing, one instance in "The Girl in the Dirty Shirt" notably stands out:
- Questioning Title?: "D'You Know What I Mean?".
- Shout-Out: The license plate number on the submerged car in the pool, SYO724F, (itself a reference to stories about Keith Moon driving a car into a pool) is the same one that the black police car on the front cover of Abbey Road by The Beatles has.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: The group scream right before the guitar solo in "Fade In-Out". Doubles as a pretty effective Jump Scare as well.
- Surreal Music Video: "All Around the World". Noel's commentary on Time Flies... says it best:Noel: Is that a man with legs made out of sausages? That's not real. I know for a fact that has nothing to do with this song.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "All Around the World" begins with several verses and choruses in B, hops up to C for a couple of choruses (but only one in the music video), and then concludes in D for the final twenty- or thirty-ish chorus repetitions. (Some sheet music transcriptions of the song also notate a few bars as being in A: the "It's gonna be OK" repeats between the C and D choruses.) Noel Gallagher commented, possibly with tongue in cheek: "Imagine how much better 'Hey Jude' would have been with three key changes towards the end!"
- Word Salad Lyrics: One of the most common complaints against the album is its nonsensical and often quite silly lyrics. "Magic Pie" probably captures it best:Cause you see me, I've got my magic pie
Think of me, yeah, that was me, I was that passerby
I've been and now I've gone