Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

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This article is about the Oasis album. For the metaphor, see Standing on the shoulders of giants. For the Tribe of Gypsies album, see Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (Tribe of Gypsies album).
Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
Studio album by Oasis
Released 28 February 2000
Recorded April–August 1999, Château de la Colle Noire in Montauroux, France; Olympic Studios, Supernova Heights, and Wheeler End Studios in London
Genre Alternative rock, neo-psychedelia
Length 47:53
Label Big Brother, Epic
Producer Mark Stent and Noel Gallagher
Oasis chronology
The Masterplan
(1998)
Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
(2000)
Familiar to Millions
(2000)
Singles from Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
  1. "Go Let It Out"
    Released: 7 February 2000
  2. "Who Feels Love?"
    Released: 17 April 2000
  3. "Sunday Morning Call"
    Released: 3 July 2000
  4. "Where Did It All Go Wrong?"
    Released: 16 October 2000

Standing on the Shoulder of Giants is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Oasis, released on 28 February 2000. The album is the 16th fastest selling album in UK chart history, selling over 310,000 copies in its first week. Standing on the Shoulder of Giants has been certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry[1] and has sold around 208,000 copies in the US.[2][3]

In 1999, the year preceding the final release of this album, Alan McGee closed Creation Records and Oasis had lost two founding members (Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs and Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan) and hired a new producer (Mark Stent) to replace Owen Morris.

The album is an effective modern psychedelic record complete with drum loops, samples, electric sitar, mellotron, synthesizers and backward guitars, resulting in an album more experimental with electronica and heavy psychedelic rock influences. Songs such as "Go Let It Out", the Indian-influenced "Who Feels Love?", and the progressive "Gas Panic!" were a departure from the band's earlier style.

History[edit]

The album's title was taken from the words made famous by Sir Isaac Newton:

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.[4]

Noel Gallagher saw the quote on the side of a £2 coin while in a pub and liked it so much he thought it would be a suitable name for Oasis' new album. He then wrote the name on the side of a cigarette packet while drunk. When he awoke in the morning, he realised he had written "Standing on the Shoulder of Giants".[5]

Due to the departure of Alan McGee and two original band members, Bonehead and Guigsy, while the album was still in production, their parts had to be re-recorded for legal reasons.[6] Thus, the album only features the Gallagher brothers and Alan White, and the sleeve of the album also features them.

Noel decided to drop the equipment used in the three previous albums and instead buy "loads of really weird pedals, old guitars, and small amps", as the lack of deadline to deliver the album allowed Gallagher to "take quite a few days just messing around" and attempt new musical sonorities.[7]

Album cover[edit]

The album's artwork features the photo of the Manhattan skyline taken from the rooftop of 500 5th Avenue (5th Ave/W 42nd St). Some famous buildings can be seen here, for example the Empire State Building is seen in front and the World Trade Center is seen in the back. To create the cover photo, the photographer captured the same frame every half an hour in 18 hours during the whole day's course; the photos were digitally composited into the final picture. All of the singles released from this album contained artwork that was based on the album artwork; the shot used for "Go Let It Out" can be seen above one of the buildings at the front, which depicts five men playing football. This shot was taken from the roof of a football stadium, and the footballers from the car park were edited onto the rooftop on the final cover.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[8]
Robert Christgau (neither)[9]
Entertainment Weekly B[10]
NME 6/10[11]
PopMatters 7/10[12]
Q 4/5 stars October 2000
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[13]

The album at first received generally mixed reviews from the media, with a metacritic score of 60 out of 100. It was a darker album possibly reflecting the times, or perhaps reflecting the loss of two original members. Noel has said, "Even though it wasn't our finest hour, it's a good album born through tough times. I worked harder on that album than anything before and anything since." Noel was forced to play nearly all the instruments on the album.

It was more warmly received when Q Magazine gave Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 4/5 stars and the B-side to "Go Let It Out", "Let's All Make Believe", was featured in Q's top 500 lost tracks and said that if "Let's All Make Believe" were on the album "it probably would have carried the album to another star."

Although it received lukewarm reviews from the music press, both Liam and Noel Gallagher have praised certain aspects of the record. During a Radio 1 interview with Gary Crowley in 2002 Liam said "Some people reckon the album is shit, but I think it's a great album...it's just a bit different", whilst Noel Gallagher has stated that he regards "Go Let It Out" as "up there with some of the best things that I've done." He also stated in a 2005 interview with Rock Profiles that he thinks "Fuckin' in the Bushes," "Go Let It Out," "Gas Panic," and "Where Did It All Go Wrong?" are "real pieces of music."

Standing on the Shoulder of Giants spent 29 weeks on the UK album chart,[14] the fewest for any Oasis studio album. It was the ninth biggest selling album of 2000 in the UK.

Standing on the Shoulder of Giants debuted at #24 on the Billboard 200 in the US, selling about 55,000 units in its first week,[15] but sales slumped its second week and fell to #84 with a 64% sales drop.[16] The album received a huge sales hike following the VH1 airing of the group's Behind the Music in April 2000, jumping from #194 to #113 on the Billboard 200 the week following the episode's airing.[17] In March 2000, the IFPI certififed Oasis for selling one million units of the album in Europe.[18]

Eleven years after its release, Noel Gallagher said he regretted releasing the album, saying he was not feeling inspired as a composer, particularly for going off his drug addiction with prescription drugs, "which is fucking worse because they come from a doctor." This was partly a motivation to relegate the songwriting to the other bandmembers in later albums, as Noel considered "I'd slowed down as a writer and didn't feel like I could keep writing 20 songs every two years."[19]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Fuckin' in the Bushes"   3:18
2. "Go Let It Out"   4:39
3. "Who Feels Love?"   5:44
4. "Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is"   4:27
5. "Little James" (Liam Gallagher) 4:15
6. "Gas Panic!"   6:08
7. "Where Did It All Go Wrong?"   4:26
8. "Sunday Morning Call"   5:12
9. "I Can See a Liar"   3:13
10. "Roll It Over"   6:31
Japanese Bonus Track[20]
No. Title Length
11. "Let's All Make Believe"   3:51

Personnel[edit]

Oasis
  • Liam Gallagher – lead vocals, tambourine
  • Noel Gallagher – guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Where Did It All Go Wrong?" and "Sunday Morning Call", bass, keyboards, production
  • Alan White – drums, percussion
Additional personnel
Production
  • Mark 'Spike' Stent – production, engineering
  • Paul Stacey – engineering
  • Wayne Wilkins – assistant engineering
  • Paul "P-Dub" Walton – assistant engineering
  • Aaron Pratley – assistant engineering
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering
  • Jan "Stan" Kybert – programming, Pro Tools
  • Steve "Rambo" Robinson – studio assistant

References[edit]

  1. ^ Standing on the Shoulder of Giants certification. British Phonographic Industry. Accessed on 25 January 2009.
  2. ^ Downey, Ryan J. "Oasis Set Up U.S. Tour Whether Liam Likes It Or Not". mtvnews.com. 16 May 2002.
  3. ^ Trust, Gary. "Ask Billboard: "English Beat". billboard.com. 23 January 2009.
  4. ^ Letter from Isaac Newton to Robert Hooke, 5 February 1676, as transcribed in Jean-Pierre Maury (1992) Newton: Understanding the Cosmos, New Horizons
  5. ^ Oasisnet "A Bum Title" which was also missing a letter due to him actually meaning to write "Album title Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. [1]
  6. ^ "Interview with Noel Gallagher of Oasis: Is There Life After Drugs? (NY Rock)". Newyorkrock.com. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  7. ^ "Interview with Noel Gallagher". Guitar One (Harris Publications). October 2002. Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  8. ^ Standing on the Shoulder of Giants at AllMusic
  9. ^ "CG: Oasis". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Browne, David (3 March 2000). "Standing on the Shoulder of Giants Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "NME Album Reviews - Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants". Nme.Com. 24 February 2000. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Zupko, Sarah. "Oasis: Standing on the Shoulder of Giants". PopMatters. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Kot, Greg (16 March 2000). "Standing on the Shoulder of Giants | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Oasis / Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  15. ^ Weiss, Neal. "Santana's 'Supernatural' Fights Off Strong Debuts By Bone, Pumpkins". yahoo.com. 8 March 2000.
  16. ^ Boehlert, Eric. "My, how the Giants Have Fallen: Oasis, Pumpkins Suffer Huge Sales Slides In Second Week". rollingstone.com. 15 March 2000.
  17. ^ Skanse, Richard. "Big Pun Can't Shake 'N Sync, Santana". rollingstone.com. 12 April 2000.
  18. ^ Shoulder to Shoulder, Billboard
  19. ^ "Noel Gallagher After Oasis". Grantland. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Oasis (オアシス) - Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants". hmv.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
Preceded by
Rise by Gabrielle
UK number one album
11 March 2000 – 17 March 2000
Succeeded by
The Man Who by Travis