Supersonic (Oasis song)

"Supersonic" is a song by the English rock band Oasis, released as their debut single on 11 April 1994. It appeared on their debut studio album Definitely Maybe (1994). The single reached number 31 on the UK Singles Chart, 22 on the UK Indie Singles Chart and 11 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

"Supersonic"
Oasis supersonic sleeve.jpg
Single by Oasis
from the album Definitely Maybe
B-side
  • "Take Me Away"
  • "I Will Believe" (live)
  • "Columbia" (white label demo)
Released11 April 1994 (1994-04-11)
Recorded19 December 1993
StudioThe Pink Museum, Liverpool
GenreBritpop[1]
Length
Label
Songwriter(s)Noel Gallagher
Producer(s)
  • Oasis
  • Mark Coyle
Oasis singles chronology
"Supersonic"
(1994)
"Shakermaker"
(1994)
Definitely Maybe track listing
11 tracks
  1. "Rock 'n' Roll Star"
  2. "Shakermaker"
  3. "Live Forever"
  4. "Up in the Sky"
  5. "Columbia"
  6. "Supersonic"
  7. "Bring It On Down"
  8. "Cigarettes & Alcohol"
  9. "Digsy's Dinner"
  10. "Slide Away"
  11. "Married with Children"

"Supersonic" was written by lead guitarist Noel Gallagher and recorded at the Pink Museum Studio in Liverpool, England in December 1993. It was produced by the band alongside producer Mark Coyle, with no additional production or remixing through producer Owen Morris. Two music videos were produced for the song.

WritingEdit

"Supersonic" was written and recorded in a single day at the Pink Museum Studio,[2][3][4] now known as the Motor Museum,[5] in Liverpool on 19 December 1993.[6] Guitarist Noel Gallagher claimed that he wrote the song in half an hour,[3][7] while his studio colleagues were taking a break from recording to eat a Chinese meal.[8][9] Rather than joining them, Noel remained in the studio's backroom working on his guitar riff and finished writing before they returned.[9] Guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs recalled:

Noel's just sat there with the guitar and he just wrote the music, that will do, and then he wrote the words, any old fucking words and he came back in the room with us, with his guitar and he said, 'Look, I've just written another song.' He started singing it and we nailed it and mixed it that night, rapid, because that's what we'd been doing every night in the Boardwalk, you know, and it sounded massive, absolutely massive.[2]

In contrast, drummer Tony McCarroll wrote in his 2010 book The Truth: "Now, I know that Noel is the main songwriter for Oasis, but there were many instances like this where the band as a whole – and The Real People too – were integral to the composition of a song".[10] He also stated that Noel did not want to credit the Real People as co-producers of the song.[11]

The guitar solo has a striking resemblance to the riff to "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison, though Noel Gallagher has denied deliberately copying it.[12][13]

RecordingEdit

On 16 December 1993, Oasis performed at Liverpool's Krazy House club, supporting the Real People.[14] Shortly after the gig,[15] they went to the Pink Museum with engineer Dave Scott for a few days[a] to record "Bring It on Down" for a potential single release,[4] at the request of Creation Records co-owner Alan McGee;[2][3] however, the intended song recording was discarded due to a disagreement over McCarroll's drumming, according to Noel.[3][9] Oasis also attempted to record a studio version for "I Will Believe", but Scott dismissed it because he felt it sounded like an early 1980s indie pop song.[15] Instead, Noel wrote the song "Take Me Away",[17] which was quickly recorded acoustically.[15]

On the last day of the sessions after recording only one acoustic song, Oasis began jamming together, attempting to work on a new martial.[15] Bonehead began playing rhythm guitar over McCarroll's drumbeat, while singer Liam Gallagher rattled his tambourine.[10] Noel soon joined them and played a melody over the rhythm.[10] The Real People's bassist Tony Griffiths suggested them to develop their jam because it has the potential to be a hit single.[10] After Noel wrote the lyrics and melody, Liam's vocals were recorded in one take,[18] with Tony guiding Liam's vocals[b] through the melody.[10] Tony also contributed backing vocals to the track,[10] which were layered five times.[16] Scott had to remove a take of "I Will Believe" to record "Supersonic" because he did not have a spare tape.[16]

To record "Supersonic", Bonehead used a Gibson SG guitar owned by Scott and a Marshall JCM900 amplifier owned by the Real People's singer Chris Griffiths.[16] Noel played an Epiphone Les Paul guitar through a Watkins Dominator MKIII combo amp.[19] Additional overdubs for Noel's lead guitar were added.[16] To add handclap tracks, Scott had to remove McCarroll's hi-hats.[16] According to Scott, "Supersonic" was recorded and mixed in 11 hours,[16] while Noel said it only took eight hours to be completed.[20] Though it was originally recorded as a demo, it was never re-recorded or remixed,[3][16] and this refers to producer Owen Morris, who later reworked on some other tracks on Definitely Maybe prior to its release.[2] After finishing the recording, Oasis introduced the track to McGee for their then-upcoming debut single; he was impressed.[3] "Supersonic" was mastered by engineer Vlado Meller at Sony Music Studios in New York.[21]

Release and commercial performanceEdit

"Supersonic" was released as a single in Ireland on 5 April 1994, in the UK on 11 April and in the US on 11 September.[22] It was included as the sixth track on Oasis's debut album Definitely Maybe,[23] released on 29 August 1994.[24] The UK single was released by Creation on CD, 12 and 7-inch vinyls,[25][26] and peaked at number 31 on the UK Singles Chart,[27][28] the band's second lowest-peaking single after "Half the World Away",[29] which peaked at number 56 in November 2015.[30] However, "Supersonic" sold over 240,000 copies, making it their 14th biggest-selling single in the UK,[31] even outselling their 2002 number one single "The Hindu Times" and their 2005 number one hits "Lyla" and "The Importance of Being Idle".[29]

NME named "Supersonic" the "Single of the Week" in its issue of 9 April 1994;[32] the magazine included it on its compilation Singles of the Week 1994, released in January 1995.[33] "Supersonic" was Oasis's first single to chart in the US; it entered the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart at number 33 in early October 1994 and peaked at number 11 on 10 December.[34][35] By the end of October 1994, "Supersonic" was played on 38 US radio stations.[36] By the end of 1994, the song became the most track played on the WENZ Cleveland radio station.[37] "Supersonic" was included on the band's greatest hits albums Stop the Clocks (2006) and Time Flies... 1994–2009 (2010).[38][39]

CoverEdit

The cover depicts the band and their instruments at Monnow Valley Studios in Wales. Photographer Michael Spencer discussed the cover art in an interview:[40]

The shot was taken at Monnow Valley studios in Wales, where they had started recording Definitely Maybe. The idea was to have a cluttered studio environment with amps and cables strewn everywhere. Liam was only 21 at the time and already looked like a fully-formed rock star, so Art Director Brian Cannon decided to have him at the front of the shot. He thought it would be a nice twist if we had some tungsten lights in view, the idea being to put Oasis firmly in the ‘spotlight’ for their debut single. I cross-processed the film, which gives the shot its bluey tint.

Music videoEdit

There are two music videos for the song. In the UK version the band is playing at a roof of a hotel near King's Cross Station. The US version shows the band driving a car and playing in a hemispherical structure, nearly identical to the "Some Might Say" video.[41][42][43]

Other appearancesEdit

The song appeared on Rock Band on 1 September 2009 as a live version.

The song's title was used for Oasis: Supersonic, a 2016 documentary about the band by director Mat Whitecross.

Track listingsEdit

All tracks are written by Noel Gallagher.[c]

Credits and personnelEdit

Adapted from the CD single liner notes,[45] except where noted:

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[70] Platinum 600,000 

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Notes and referencesEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ The Pink Museum founder Hambi Haralambous said Oasis reserved the studio for four days,[15] Noel stated three days,[2] while Scott stated in an interview that they booked for only two days, Saturday and Sunday;[16] producer Mark Coyle also confirmed that the sessions took two days.[2]
  2. ^ Contrary to what McCarroll said, Scott said that the guide vocals for Liam were done by Noel.[16]
  3. ^ Except "Shakermaker" written by Noel, Bill Backer, Billy Davis, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway.[44]
  4. ^ The same tracks are played on both sides of the cassette tape.
  5. ^ Track 1 is on side A of the 12-inch vinyl and tracks 2 and 3 are on side B.
  6. ^ Track 1 is on side A of the 7-inch vinyl and track 2 is on side B.
  7. ^ The band members' instruments are not credited on the single liner notes; these instruments are listed based on the members' roles in the track recording process and their later live performances.

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ "How Oasis went 'Supersonic' 20 years ago today". itv.com. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Oasis (2021). Supersonic: The Complete, Authorised and Uncut Interviews. Headline Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4722-8546-1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Oasis: Definitely Maybe Documentary (DVD). Oasis. UK: Big Brother. 2004. RKIDDVD06.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  4. ^ a b Niven 2014, p. 69.
  5. ^ Newell, Philip (2017). Recording Studio Design (4th ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 259. ISBN 978-1-317-38194-5.
  6. ^ Oasis [@oasis] (19 December 2013). "20 years ago today, on 19th Dec 1993 debut single Supersonic was recorded at The Pink Museum Studios in Liverpool" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 13 May 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2022 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ Gallagher, Noel; Gallagher, Liam (2006). Tom Wolcott (ed.). "Lock the Box" (DVD). Interviewed by Colin Murray. Oasis. UK: Big Brother. 5 055019 603600.
  8. ^ Reed, Ryan (7 October 2016). "Watch Noel Gallagher Recall Writing 'Supersonic' During Dinner". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 31 December 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  9. ^ a b c Whitecross, Mat (director) (2016). Oasis: Supersonic Documentary (DVD). Oasis. UK: eOne. 5 039036 079020.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ a b c d e f McCarroll 2010, chpt. 4.
  11. ^ McCarroll 2010, chpts. 5–6.
  12. ^ "20 facts about Oasis' Supersonic 20 years after its first release". 10 April 2014.
  13. ^ "Original Oasis about stealing from other musicians". YouTube.
  14. ^ Gallagher & Christian 1996, p. 213.
  15. ^ a b c d e King, Chris (director) (1999) [First published 1996]. Oasis: The True Story (Behind Their Glory) Unauthorised (VHS). Visual Corporation Ltd. 5 031932 111682.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i Scott, Dave (2012–2013). "Oasis at The Pink Museum and Monnow Valley" (Interview). Interviewed by David Huggins. Oasis Recording Information. Archived from the original on 13 January 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  17. ^ Gallagher & Christian 1996, pp. 149–150.
  18. ^ Niven 2014, pp. 69–70.
  19. ^ Gill, Chris (6 August 2021). "The secrets behind Noel Gallagher's guitar tone on Oasis's Supersonic". Guitar World. Archived from the original on 8 August 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  20. ^ Boehlert, Eric (5 November 1994). "The Modern Age". Billboard. Vol. 106, no. 45. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 113. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 11 June 2022 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ a b c Supersonic (promo CD liner notes). Oasis. US: Epic. 1994. ESK 6464.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  22. ^ Gallagher & Christian 1996, pp. 214–215.
  23. ^ Middles 1996, p. 111.
  24. ^ Goodman, William (29 August 2019). "Oasis' 'Definitely Maybe' Turns 25: Here's Where the Rock 'N' Roll Stars Were Born". Billboard. Archived from the original on 19 May 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Oasis: Supersonic". NME. 9 April 1994. p. 42.
  26. ^ "Single Releases" (PDF). Music Week. 9 April 1994. p. 23. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 March 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2022 – via World Radio History.
  27. ^ Masterson 1996, p. 24.
  28. ^ Gallagher & Christian 1996, p. 154.
  29. ^ a b Polcaro, Rafael (17 January 2019). "Lars Ulrich reveals which song makes all his friends get excited". Rock and Roll Garage. Archived from the original on 15 June 2021. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  30. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. 13 November 2015. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  31. ^ "Revealed: Official Top 20 Biggest Selling Oasis Songs". Official Charts Company. 6 October 2016. Archived from the original on 26 April 2022. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  32. ^ Masterson 1996, p. 25.
  33. ^ Middles 1996, p. 114.
  34. ^ "Modern Rock Tracks" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 106, no. 40. 1 October 1994. p. 77. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 April 2022. Retrieved 11 June 2022 – via World Radio History.
  35. ^ "Modern Rock Tracks". Billboard. Vol. 106, no. 50. 10 December 1994. p. 95. Retrieved 11 June 2022 – via Google Books.
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  37. ^ Rosen, Craig (28 January 1995). "Modern Rock Flocks To U.K. Bands". Billboard. Vol. 107, no. 4. p. 1. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 11 June 2022 – via Google Books.
  38. ^ "Oasis: Stop The Clocks". NME. 14 June 2010. Archived from the original on 16 May 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  39. ^ Mackay, Emily (14 June 2010). "Album Review: Oasis – 'Time Flies…1994–2009 (Big Brother)". NME. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  40. ^ "Definitely Maybe by Oasis". Genius.com. Retrieved 3 January 2022.
  41. ^ Oasis – Some Might Say – Official Video, archived from the original on 11 February 2009, retrieved 23 September 2019
  42. ^ Oasis – Supersonic – Official Video. 7 September 2008. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 30 June 2017 – via YouTube.
  43. ^ Oasis – Supersonic – US Version, archived from the original on 13 December 2021, retrieved 23 September 2019
  44. ^ Harrop, Sam, ed. (2012). The Little Black Songbook: Oasis. Wise Publications. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-85712-909-3.
  45. ^ a b Supersonic (CD single liner notes). Oasis. UK: Creation. 1994. CRESCD 176.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  46. ^ Supersonic (CD maxi-single liner notes). Oasis. Europe: Helter Skelter. 1994. HES 660317 2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  47. ^ Supersonic (CD single liner notes). Oasis. Australia: Creation. 1994. 660317 2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  48. ^ Supersonic (MC single liner notes). Oasis. Australia: Creation. 1994. 660317 4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  49. ^ Supersonic (12-inch vinyl single liner notes). Oasis. UK: Creation. 1994. CRE 176T.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  50. ^ Supersonic (7-inch vinyl single liner notes). Oasis. UK: Creation. 1994. CRE 176.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  51. ^ Supersonic (7-inch vinyl jukebox single liner notes). Oasis. France: Helter Skelter. 1994. 660317 7.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
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  53. ^ Supersonic (CD extended play liner notes). Oasis. Japan: Epic. 14 July 1994. ESCA 6025.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  54. ^ a b Supersonic (MC single liner notes). Oasis. US: Epic. 1994. 34T77791.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
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  66. ^ "Commercial Alternative Cuts". CMJ New Music Report. Vol. 40, no. 9. CMJ. 21 November 1994. p. 8.
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SourcesEdit

External linksEdit