Noel Gallagher from Oasis once revealed that his band merged the sounds of The Beatles and the Sex Pistols. He voiced his belief that deriving inspiration from iconic bands wasn’t an issue. Oasis’ rendition of The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus” distinctly set itself apart from the original.
In an interview from the 2009 book “The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters,” Gallagher delved into the origins of Oasis. He mentioned, “Imagine a blend of The Beatles and the Sex Pistols. That’s Oasis for you. Those bands held a special place in my heart during my formative years.”
Drawing a comparison, he stated, “Consider the moment Radiohead incorporated a hint of ‘Sexy Sadie’ into ‘Karma Police.’ Everyone thinks that’s sheer genius. But when I emulate something, I’m tagged as copying. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me.” To shed light on this, the piano sequence in “Karma Police” bears a similarity to the intro of “Sexy Sadie” from The White Album.
Explaining further about his inspirations, Gallagher said, “There are two primary influences. One, my Irish heritage and second, attending numerous football matches since childhood. The chants like ‘la la la lalala la ci-ty’ — that’s rooted in ‘Hey Jude!’ The transition of chart-toppers to stadium anthems, that’s the real essence.”
In the UK, some hit tracks are transformed into favorite football anthems, with “Hey Jude” being the ideal sing-a-long in such scenarios.
Discussing Oasis’ adaptation of The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus”, it can be described as an expansive psychedelic masterpiece by The Beatles, whereas Oasis gave it a harder rock vibe, infused with abundant guitar resonance, reminiscent more of Dinosaur Jr. than their usual style.
While this cover didn’t make its mark on the Billboard Hot 100, it found a spot on select versions of the album “Definitely Maybe,” which ascended to No. 58 on the Billboard 200, staying there for 21 weeks. This album outperformed many of the band’s subsequent releases. The Official Charts Company data suggests the cover didn’t hit the charts in the U.K. either. However, “Definitely Maybe” was a sensation, reigning atop the U.K. chart for a week and marking its presence for an impressive 505 weeks, only second to their album “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”
In essence, Oasis masterfully combined influences from The Beatles and the Sex Pistols, uniquely reinventing a renowned Beatles song.