D'You Know What I Mean?

"D'You Know What I Mean?" is a song by English rock band Oasis. Written by Noel Gallagher, it was released on 7 July 1997 as the first single from their third album, Be Here Now (1997).

"D'You Know What I Mean?"
D'You know what I mean (oasis single).jpg
Single by Oasis
from the album Be Here Now
B-side
  • "Stay Young"
  • "Angel Child" (demo)
  • "'Heroes'" (Bowie)
Released7 July 1997 (1997-07-07)
RecordedNovember 1996 – April 1997
Genre
Length
  • 7:42 (album version)
  • 7:22 (single version)
LabelCreation
Songwriter(s)Noel Gallagher
Producer(s)
Oasis singles chronology
"Champagne Supernova"
(1996)
"D'You Know What I Mean?"
(1997)
"Stand by Me"
(1997)
Be Here Now track listing
12 tracks
  1. "D'You Know What I Mean?"
  2. "My Big Mouth"
  3. "Magic Pie"
  4. "Stand by Me"
  5. "I Hope, I Think, I Know"
  6. "The Girl in the Dirty Shirt"
  7. "Fade In-Out"
  8. "Don't Go Away"
  9. "Be Here Now"
  10. "All Around the World"
  11. "It's Gettin' Better (Man!!)"
  12. "All Around the World (Reprise)"
Music video
"D'You Know What I Mean?" on YouTube

The song reached number one on the UK Singles Chart, the third Oasis song to do so. The single also claimed the number-one position in Finland, Ireland, and Spain, and it reached the top five in Italy, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden. In the United Kingdom, it sold 162,000 copies during its first day of release and 370,000 copies by the end of the week. It has sold 745,000 copies in the UK, achieving platinum status in the process, and it was the 12th-biggest-selling single of 1997 there. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 77 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[1]

An edited, remixed and remastered version of the song was released on 14 October 2016 entitled "D'You Know What I Mean? (NG's 2016 Rethink)". The reissue formed part of the wider rerelease of the Be Here Now album to celebrate its 20th anniversary.[2] This new version was intended to be part of a remix of the entire album, but Noel Gallagher reportedly lost interest in the project and stopped after the first track.

B-sidesEdit

One of the B-sides, "Stay Young", has become a popular Oasis song, so much so that fans voted it[citation needed] onto the B-sides collection The Masterplan – one of only two B-sides from the Be Here Now period which made the album. The song was originally intended to be the "Digsy's Dinner" of Be Here Now (the lighthearted novelty track, such as "Digsy's Dinner" on Definitely Maybe and "She's Electric" on (What's the Story) Morning Glory?), until Noel set it aside in favour of "Magic Pie". Gallagher claims not to be particularly fond of the track. On 28 October 1998, "Stay Young" was released as a CD single in its own right by Epic Records Japan.[3] One of the other B-sides is a cover of David Bowie's song "Heroes".

InterviewEdit

In a 1997 interview promoting Be Here Now, Noel Gallagher had the following to say about the first single: "I was going to make up some profound statement in the chorus but I couldn't come up with anything that fitted. Then I just thought 'All my people right here, right now, d'you know what I mean? Yeah, yeah.' Very vague, very ambiguous, that'll do. Look in the mirror and wink while you're singing it and it's quite saucy. And I fucking love that line, 'Coming in a mess, going out in style'. We were a bunch of scruffs from Manchester and we're going out in a Rolls Royce." In another 1997 interview, this time on BBC, Noel Gallagher said: "I can't believe I wrote it, it's going to blow people away."

"The morse code in the background was inspired by Strawberry Fields Forever. We got hold of a code book and tried to tap out 'Bugger All' to follow that line 'Don't look back cos you know what you might see'. But if anyone can tell me what we really said, please let me know. Profound lagerisms..."

In an interview with the BBC for their documentary Seven Ages of Rock, Gallagher said of the song, "It's eight and a half minutes, the first single, the drums haven't fuckin' come in for two minutes—it's all feedback!" He also said that he expected someone to ask them to edit the introduction to the song down, but such was their status in Britain, nobody did. They even performed the song on Top of the Pops, omitting most of the lengthy introduction.

The lyrics reference two Beatles songs—"The Fool on the Hill" and "I Feel Fine"—as well as the Bob Dylan album Blood on the Tracks and the Dylan documentary Dont Look Back. The line "I ain't good looking but I'm someone's child" is adapted from a line in Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues". The song also uses an Amen break.

PackagingEdit

The single cover photograph, by Michael Spencer Jones and directed by Brian Cannon of Microdot, was taken in front of the 'Blind Steps', a staircase in Wigan so called because they run past the Blind Workshop, which can be seen to the left of the shot.[4] The steps can still be found on Darlington Street. The shoot was shrouded in secrecy to protect mass media coverage, but newspaper The Wigan Evening Post got exclusive rights to cover the event and subsequently sold the photos to the Daily Mirror. At a lunchtime break, Liam Gallagher and sleeve designer Brian Cannon enjoyed a pint of beer in the nearby Crispin Arms pub by Birkett Bank.

Music videoEdit

The music video, directed by Dom and Nic, is set in an apparently post-apocalyptic world and shows the band playing as a growing number of military helicopters fly overhead. Several of the helicopters land while a crowd gathers to watch the band play and throw coloured smoke grenades. At the end, the band members board one of the helicopters and fly away.

The video's setting is unclear. It was filmed on location at Beckton Gas Works in London, which has also been used as a filming location by The Smiths[5] and Stanley Kubrick[6] among others. The phrases "Do you know what I mean?" and "Be here now" can be seen painted in Czech on one of the surrounding buildings. Liam Gallagher wears a snorkel parka and sports a unique pair of tailor-made sunglasses.

The helicopters used were British Army Westland Lynx AH.7s. One is an AH.7(DAS) variant, notable for the distinctive ALQ-144 (disco ball) infra-red jammer under the tail. The other is a straight AH.7, albeit with a TOW antitank missile sight mounted over the left-hand front seat. Although only two helicopters were used, post-production techniques such as split screen editing, and clever camera angling produced the numerous helicopters seen in the video.

The band was later accused of hypocrisy for hiring the helicopters for the video. In 2002, the band forced the British Army to pull a recruiting video that used "Morning Glory" as background music, stating their vehement opposition to war and the military.[7]

Track listingsEdit

All songs were written by Noel Gallagher except where noted.

PersonnelEdit

Oasis

Additional musicians

  • Mark Coyle – backwards guitar

Charts and certificationsEdit

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref(s).
United Kingdom 7 July 1997 (1997-07-07)
  • 7-inch vinyl
  • CD
  • cassette
Creation [51][52]
United States 8 July 1997 (1997-07-08) Contemporary hit radio Epic [53]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years". NME.
  2. ^ Oasis – "D'You Know What I Mean? (NG's 2016 Rethink)" Video – Stereogum
  3. ^ ESCA-7397. EAN 4988010739720. ASIN B000026X7L.
  4. ^ "Oasis – The Stories Behind Their Cryptic Album And Single Sleeve Art". NME. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  5. ^ "When Oasis came to Beckton Gas Works". London's Royal Docks.
  6. ^ Wise, Damon (1 August 2017). "How we made Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket". theguardian.com. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Top soldier blasts 'whingeing' star". Metro. DMG Media. 9 December 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  8. ^ D'You Know What I Mean? (UK CD single liner notes). Oasis. Creation Records. 1997. CRESCD 256.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  9. ^ D'You Know What I Mean? (UK 7-inch single sleeve). Oasis. Creation Records. 1997. CRE 256.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ D'You Know What I Mean? (UK cassette single sleeve). Oasis. Creation Records. 1997. CRECS 256.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  11. ^ D'You Know What I Mean? (UK 12-inch single sleeve). Oasis. Creation Records. 1997. CRE 256T.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  12. ^ D'You Know What I Mean? (US promo CD liner notes). Oasis. Epic Records. 1997. ESK 0979.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  13. ^ "Oasis – D'You Know What I Mean?". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Oasis – D'You Know What I Mean?" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
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  18. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3308." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
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  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – D'You Know What I Mean". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  26. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14 no. 32. 9 August 1997. p. 14. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 31, 1997" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  28. ^ "Oasis – D'You Know What I Mean?" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
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  30. ^ "Oasis – D'You Know What I Mean?". VG-lista. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  31. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  32. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
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  46. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Oasis – D'You Know What I Mean". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  47. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
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  53. ^ "New Releases". Radio & Records. No. 1204. 4 July 1997. p. 37.

External linksEdit