Supersonic (Oasis song)

"Supersonic" is the debut single by the English rock band Oasis. Written by lead guitarist Noel Gallagher, it was released on 11 April 1994 as Oasis' debut single and later appeared on their debut album Definitely Maybe in August 1994.

"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
Genre
Length
  • 4:43 (album version)
  • 3:38 (radio edit)
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"

BackgroundEdit

"Supersonic" was written and recorded in a single day at The Pink Museum recording studio in Liverpool. The band were there to record "Bring It On Down" but first, as a warm up, they started jamming together. Soon Noel Gallagher was humming a melody over McCarroll and Bonehead's rhythm until he called the jam to a halt as it was time to start recording "Bring It On Down". The intended song was not going too well so it was decided that they work on something new, based on a jam they had had earlier that day. The recording was completed in 11 hours and it was never remixed.[2] Noel has claimed that the actual writing of the song took place while his bandmates took a break from the recording studio to order and eat a Chinese takeaway. Instead of joining them, Noel stayed in the studio to develop his riff, and had written the entire song before they returned. He later remarked that it was an unbelievable experience to see their fans singing along to a song he had written at 3 am in the morning.[3]

Oasis recorded two videos for the song for UK and U.S. release. The UK version features the band playing on a roof, similar to the Beatles' rooftop concert. The rooftop is on the south side of Euston Road, London, with King's Cross station and the Great Northern Hotel clearly visible across the road. The U.S. version features outer-space views, the band in a car, big toy dinosaurs, and the band performing the song in a dark room. Scenes from this video were used in the music video for "Some Might Say", the debut single from their second album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?—albeit in black and white.

"Supersonic" was released with three B-sides: "Take Me Away", featuring only Noel Gallagher on acoustic guitar and vocals; "I Will Believe", a mid-tempo rocker taped live in 1993; and a demo of "Columbia", which would later appear on the band's 1994 album Definitely Maybe.

Release and rankingsEdit

Released on 11 April 1994,[4] the song and peaked at number 31 on the UK Singles Chart, the band's second lowest-peaking single, after "Half The World Away" which peaked at 56. However, over time it has amassed sales of over 215,000, making it their 13th biggest selling single ever in the UK, even outselling their 2002 number one "The Hindu Times", and both of their 2005 number ones, "Lyla" and "The Importance of Being Idle".

"Supersonic" was also the band's first single to chart in the United States, where it peaked at number 11 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart on 10 December 1994. The song was performed by the band on their debut national TV performance on Channel 4's The Word. It remains a favourite song of both the band and their fans (on the Definitely Maybe DVD, Noel cites it as his favourite Oasis song). The single went platinum in the UK in 2019.[5]

In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Supersonic" at number 20 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. In May 2007, NME magazine placed "Supersonic" at number 25 in its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever.

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:[6]

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.[7][8][9]

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.

PersonnelEdit

Oasis
Additional musicians

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Noel Gallagher. Recorded and mixed by Dave Scott. Produced by Mark Coyle.

7″ vinyl (CRE 176), cassette single (CRECS 176)
No.TitleLength
1."Supersonic"4:43
2."Take Me Away"4:30
Total length:9:13
12″ vinyl (CRE 176T)
No.TitleLength
1."Supersonic"4:43
2."Take Me Away"4:30
3."I Will Believe" (live)3:46
Total length:12:59
CD single (CRESCD 176)
No.TitleLength
1."Supersonic"4:43
2."Take Me Away"4:30
3."I Will Believe" (live)3:46
4."Columbia" (white label demo)5:25
Total length:18:24
Japanese double A-side EP (ESCA 6025)
No.TitleLength
1."Supersonic"4:43
2."Shakermaker"5:08
3."Columbia" (white label demo)5:25
4."Alive" (8-track demo)3:56
5."D'Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman?"2:41
6."I Will Believe" (live)3:46
Total length:25:38

ChartsEdit

Chart (1994–1995) Peak
position
Scotland (OCC)[10] 35
UK Singles (OCC)[11] 31
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[12] 11

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Platinum 600,000 

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "How Oasis went 'Supersonic' 20 years ago today". itv.com. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  2. ^ Dave Scott. "Oasis at The Pink Museum and Monnow Valley".
  3. ^ Supersonic, 2016 Documentary: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5213534/
  4. ^ "Single Releases" (PDF). Music Week. 9 April 1994. p. 23. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  5. ^ British Phonographic Industry. "Oasis Supersonic".
  6. ^ https://genius.com/album_cover_arts/184537
  7. ^ Oasis - Some Might Say - Official Video, retrieved 23 September 2019
  8. ^ Oasis – Supersonic – Official Video. YouTube. 7 September 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  9. ^ Oasis - Supersonic – US Version, retrieved 23 September 2019
  10. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Oasis Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard.
  13. ^ "British single certifications – Oasis – Supersonic". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 June 2021.

External linksEdit