Supersonic (Oasis song)

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"Supersonic"
Single by Oasis
from the album Definitely Maybe
B-side "Take Me Away"
"I Will Believe" (Live)
"Columbia" (White Label Demo)
Released 11 April 1994
Format CD single, 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, cassette
Recorded December 13, 1993, at The Pink Museum, Liverpool
Genre Britpop[1]
Length 4:43
Label Creation
Writer(s) Noel Gallagher
Producer(s) Oasis, Mark Coyle
Oasis singles chronology
"Supersonic"
(1994)
"Shakermaker"
(1994)
Definitely Maybe track listing

"Supersonic" is a song and debut single by the English rock band Oasis, written by lead guitarist Noel Gallagher. The song appears on their debut album Definitely Maybe, released in August 1994.

Release and rankings[edit]

The song was released on 11 April 1994 and peaked at number 31 on the UK Singles Chart, Oasis's lowest-peaking single. 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.

"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 silver in the UK in 2006.

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.

In an interview, Noel Gallagher has said that it is his favourite Oasis single, and he kept playing the song live after the band broke up.

Background[edit]

"Supersonic" was written and recorded in a single day at The Pink Museum recording studio in Liverpool with Chris and Tony Griffiths of The Real People. The Recording Engineer was Phil Antigua, as Dave Scott who was scheduled to record the session had gone home to feed his dog. The band was 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". Real People's Tony Griffiths then entered the room, informing them that their "jam" had the makings of a hit record. A few minutes later, during which Gallagher wrote the lyrics in a corner, "Supersonic" had been born. Tony Griffiths guided Liam through the tune and provided backing vocals.[2] The recording was completed in 11 hours and it was never remixed.[3]

The identity of "Elsa" has caused confusion. The lyrics say: She done it with a doctor/On a helicopter/she sniffin' in a tissue/Sellin' the Big Issue. Gallagher has remarked: "Someone told me "Supersonic" was about teenage prostitution. Shit!". It has since been revealed that Elsa was a nine-stone rottweiler with a flatulence problem. The dog belonged to the sound engineer Dave Scott and was in the studio on the day the song was written, hence the line "she's into Alka Seltzer".

Gallagher has said in interviews that despite their similarities, "Supersonic's" guitar solo was not a deliberate copy of the riff to George Harrison's 1971 single "My Sweet Lord".

Oasis recorded two videos for the song for UK and US 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 US 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 can be seen on their debut single from their second album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, on Some Might Say, only on this video, the scenes are in black and white.

The single 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 later appeared on the band's début album Definitely Maybe.

In a 2009 interview with the Dutch radio station 3FM, Noel Gallagher said that after "Supersonic" was written and recorded, he and the rest of the band gathered at guitarist Paul Arthurs' house as the song played at a certain time on BBC Radio 1.

Cover[edit]

The cover depicts the band and their instruments at Monnow Valley Studios in Wales. The black Rickenbacker is Johnny Marr's guitar.[4]

Other appearances[edit]

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

Personnel[edit]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Noel Gallagher Recorded and mixed by Dave Scott. Produced by Mark Coyle.. 

7" vinyl (CRE 176), cassette single (CRECS 176)
No. Title Length
1. "Supersonic"   4:43
2. "Take Me Away"   4:30
Total length:
9:13
12" vinyl (CRE 176T)
No. Title Length
3. "I Will Believe" (live) 3:46
Total length:
12:59
CD single (CRESCD 176)
No. Title Length
4. "Columbia" (white label demo) 5:25
Total length:
18:24

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 31
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.itv.com/news/2014-04-11/how-oasis-became-supersonic-20-years-ago-today/
  2. ^ McCarrol, Tony (2010). Oasis: The Truth, Blake Publishing, ISBN 1843582465
  3. ^ Dave Scott. "Oasis at The Pink Museum and Monnow Valley". 
  4. ^ Johnny Marr (14 June 2011). "The Smiths make their Top of the Pops debut". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 

External links[edit]