Heathen Chemistry

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Heathen Chemistry
Studio album by Oasis
Released 1 July 2002
Recorded October 2001 – March 2002 at Wheeler End, Buckinghamshire and Olympic Studios, London
Genre Alternative rock, Britpop
Length 76:48
Label Big Brother, Epic
Producer Oasis
Oasis chronology
Familiar to Millions
(2000)
Heathen Chemistry
(2002)
Don't Believe the Truth
(2005)
Singles from Heathen Chemistry
  1. "The Hindu Times"
    Released: 15 April 2002
  2. "Stop Crying Your Heart Out"
    Released: 17 May 2002
  3. "Little by Little / She Is Love"
    Released: 23 September 2002
  4. "Songbird"
    Released: 3 February 2003

Heathen Chemistry is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Oasis, released in 2002 through Big Brother Records.

The album was written and recorded with a back-to-basics sound with a more rock feel to it; the more crude and simple sound differs from the musical grandiosity of their previous records, Be Here Now and Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, being more comparable to their early work.[citation needed]

Heathen Chemistry would prove to be last album to feature the band's longtime drummer, Alan White, who left in early 2004, with Noel Gallagher claiming White's commitment to the band was not adequate. He was effectively replaced with Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey.

The name "Heathen Chemistry" was taken from a second hand T-shirt that Noel had stumbled across.[1]

Recording[edit]

Heathen Chemistry was recorded during 2001–early 2002 and is the first Oasis album to have significant writing contributions from members other than chief songwriter Noel Gallagher. Front man Liam Gallagher contributed three songs, and new bassist Andy Bell and rhythm guitarist Gem Archer contributed one song each as well.[2]

Although most of the song's instrumentation was complete by mid-to-late 2001, Noel indicated that the release date of the album was being needlessly delayed by Liam's apparent reluctance to lay down his vocal parts at recording sessions, and went on to state that he was "livid" at the lack of work being done:

"I was really happy with (the album) until recently, but I'm fucking livid now. I finished my bits three-and-a-half months ago, and then we handed it over to Liam, and in three-and-a-half months he's done nothing. Just concentrated on his drinking habit again. It's just drifting at the moment.
All the backing tracks are done and it's a fantastic album of instrumentals. Hand it over to the singer and it just slows down and becomes this one really long, drawn-out, painful process. So, to be honest with you, I don't know when it'll come out now. It's down to him."[3]

Despite the setbacks during the recording process, when the album was finally complete Noel was confident that it was the group's second best album to date, behind their debut Definitely Maybe.[4]

The title of the album, according to Noel, came from a t-shirt he bought in Ibiza which featured a logo reading, "The Society of Heathen Chemists". Similarly, the name of the first single, "The Hindu Times", originated from a logo on a t-shirt that read the same thing, which Noel saw during a photo shoot for GQ's 100 Greatest Guitarists edition. The name was given to the track when it was just an instrumental and the name stuck once the track was finished.

Release[edit]

The release of the album was overshadowed by an Internet leak of all 11 songs almost three months prior to release, which was evident at a Las Vegas show the group performed where fans knew the words to several new songs before the album's release.[5] However, listeners of the commercially released album heard slight differences to two tracks, "Little by Little" and "Better Man."

The length of track 11 is 38:03, this is because of a hidden track called "The Cage", which begins after 30 minutes of silence.

The album has sold around one million copies in the UK, being certified triple platinum,[6] and 154,000 copies in the US.[7][8] Upon release, Heathen Chemistry went straight to number one in the UK, though it fared rather poorly in the US, only entering at number 23.

It was the 11th biggest selling album of 2002 in the UK with just over 800,000 copies sold.

It spawned four singles, each of which made the top three in the UK charts: "The Hindu Times", their sixth number one single in the UK, "Stop Crying Your Heart Out","Little By Little/She Is Love", the double A-side sung by Noel Gallagher, and "Songbird", the first single written by Liam.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 55/100[9]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars [10]
Blender 4/5 stars [11]
Drowned in Sound (1/10) [12]
Entertainment.ie 2/5 stars [13]
The Guardian 2/5 stars [14]
NME (8/10) [15]
Pitchfork Media (1.2/10) [16]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [17]
Spin (4/10) [18]
Stylus Magazine (D) [19]

Reception for the album, which garnered a Metacritic score of 55 out of 100 (indicating mixed to average reviews), varied wildly. Some reviewers noted that it was better than the band's last effort, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, with Blender writing that Oasis was "a band back on track".[citation needed] However, a number of other reviewers offered scathing assessments of the album; notably, Drowned in Sound, Pitchfork Media,[16] and Stylus Magazine.[19]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Hindu Times"   Noel Gallagher 3:46
2. "Force of Nature"   N. Gallagher 4:51
3. "Hung in a Bad Place"   Gem Archer 3:28
4. "Stop Crying Your Heart Out"   N. Gallagher 5:03
5. "Songbird"   Liam Gallagher 2:08
6. "Little by Little"   N. Gallagher 4:53
7. "A Quick Peep" (Instrumental) Andy Bell 1:17
8. "(Probably) All in the Mind"   N. Gallagher 4:02
9. "She Is Love"   N. Gallagher 3:09
10. "Born on a Different Cloud"   L. Gallagher 6:09
11. "Better Man" (Includes hidden track "The Cage") L. Gallagher/N. Gallagher 38:03

Personnel[edit]

Oasis[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Charts[edit]

Country Peak
position
Certifications
United Kingdom 1[citation needed] 3× Platinum[citation needed]
Australia 4[citation needed] Gold[citation needed]
Canada 5[citation needed] Gold[citation needed]
France 8[citation needed]
Germany 4[citation needed]
Ireland 1[citation needed]
Netherlands 32[citation needed]
New Zealand 16[citation needed]
Norway 3[20]
Polish Albums Chart[21] 27
Sweden 2[citation needed]
United States 23[citation needed]
Preceded by
The Eminem Show by Eminem
UK number one album
13–19 July 2002
Succeeded by
By the Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oasisnetofficial's channel on YouTube
  2. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon. "Oasis Turn to Heathens, Hedonism for Inspiration on New LP". mtv.com. 3 April 2002.
  3. ^ "Noel 'livid' as Liam delays new Oasis album", NME Online, 11 October 2001
  4. ^ Downey, Ryan J. "Oasis Set Up U.S. Tour Whether Liam Likes It Or Not". mtvnews.com. 16 May 2002.
  5. ^ Goldner, Jonathan. "Oasis Badger 'Thieving' Fans At Las Vegas Gig". MTV.com. 29 April 2002.
  6. ^ Heathen Chemistry certification. British Phonographic Industry. Accessed on 25 January 2009.
  7. ^ Cohen. Jonathan. "Oasis Pledges New 'Truth' In May". billboard.com. 7 March 2005.
  8. ^ Trust, Gary. "Ask Billboard: "English Beat". Billboard. 23 January 2009.
  9. ^ "Critic Review Scores for Heathen Chemistry". Metacritic. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Heathen Chemistry at AllMusic
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ Reed, Mark (11 July 2002). "Oasis - Heathen Chemistry". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Music Review | Oasis - Heathen Chemistry | Reviewed by". entertainment.ie. 1 July 2002. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Petridis, Alexis (21 June 2002). "CD of the week: Oasis: Heathen Chemistry | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  15. ^ Fox, Jason (25 June 2002). "NME Album Reviews - Oasis : Heathen Chemistry". Nme.Com. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Mitchum, Rob (10 July 2002). "Oasis: Heathen Chemistry | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  17. ^ Moon, Tom (6 June 2002). "Heathen Chemistry | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  18. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (August 2002). "Oasis - Heathen Chemistry (Epic)". Spin. Buzz Media. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Chakroff, Evan (1 September 2003). "Oasis - Heathen Chemistry - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  20. ^ VG-lista - Oasis / Heathen Chemistry
  21. ^ "OLiS: sales for the period 01.07.2002 - 07.07.2002". OLiS.