D'You Know What I Mean?

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This article is about the Oasis song. For the Lee Michaels' song, see Do You Know What I Mean.
"D'You Know What I Mean?"
D'You know what I mean (oasis single).jpg
Single by Oasis
from the album Be Here Now
B-side "Stay Young"
"Angel Child" (Demo)
"Heroes"
Released 7 July 1997
Format CD, 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, cassette
Recorded November 1996 - April 1997
Genre Alternative rock, neo-psychedelia
Length 7:21 (Single version)
7:42 (Album version)
Label Creation
Writer(s) Noel Gallagher
Producer(s) Owen Morris, Noel Gallagher
Oasis singles chronology
"Champagne Supernova"
(1996)
"D'You Know What I Mean?"
(1997)
"Stand by Me"
(1997)
Be Here Now track listing
YouTube
Oasis - D'You Know What I Mean? (Official Video). OasisVEVO.
Music sample

"D'You Know What I Mean?" is a song by the English rock band Oasis. Written by Noel Gallagher, it was released as the first single from their third album Be Here Now (1997).

The song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, the third Oasis song to do so.[1] The song also claimed the number one position in Ireland, Finland, and Spain as well as reaching the Top 5 in Canada, Norway, Sweden, and New Zealand. It sold 162,000 copies in its first day in the shops and 370,000 by the end of the first week. It is Oasis's second biggest selling single in the UK with sales of 745,000, achieving Platinum status in the process.[2] It was the 12th biggest selling single of 1997 in the UK.

In October 2011, NME placed it at number 77 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[3]

In July 2016, an edited, remixed and remastered version of the song was released, entitled D'You Know What I Mean? (NG's 2016 Rethink). The reissue will form part of the wider rerelease of the Be Here Now album to celebrate its 20th anniversary.[4]

B-sides[edit]

One of the B-sides, "Stay Young", has become a popular Oasis song, so much so that fans voted it[citation needed] onto the B-sides collection The Masterplan - one of only two B-sides from the Be Here Now period which made the album. The song was originally intended to be the "Digsy's Dinner" of Be Here Now (the lighthearted novelty track, such as "Digsy's Dinner" on Definitely Maybe and "She's Electric" on (What's the Story) Morning Glory?), until Noel set it aside in favour of "Magic Pie". Gallagher claims not to be particularly fond of the track. On 28 October 1998, "Stay Young" was released as a CD single in its own right by Epic Records Japan.[5]

One of the other B-sides is a cover of David Bowie's song, "Heroes".

Interview[edit]

In a 1997 interview promoting Be Here Now, Noel Gallagher had the following to say about the first single: "I was going to make up some profound statement in the chorus but I couldn't come up with anything that fitted. Then I just thought "All my people right here, right now, d'you know what I mean? Yeah, yeah." Very vague, very ambiguous, that'll do. Look in the mirror and wink while you're singing it and it's quite saucy. And I fucking love that line, 'Coming in a mess, going out in style'. We were a bunch of scruffs from Manchester and we're going out in a Rolls Royce."

In another 1997 interview, this time on BBC, Noel Gallagher said: "I can't believe I wrote it, it's going to blow people away."

"The morse code in the background was inspired by Strawberry Fields. We got hold of a code book and tried to tap out 'Bugger All' to follow that line 'Don't look back cos you know what you might see'. But if anyone can tell me what we really said, please let me know. Profound lagerisms..."

In an interview with the BBC for their documentary Seven Ages of Rock, Gallagher said of the song, "Its eight and a half minutes, the first single, the drums haven't fuckin' come in for two minutes- its all feedback!". He also says that he expected someone to ask them to edit the introduction to the song down, but such was their status in Britain, nobody did. They even performed the song on Top of the Pops, omitting most of the lengthy introduction.

The lyrics reference two Beatles songs; "The Fool on the Hill", "I Feel Fine" as well as the Bob Dylan album Blood on the Tracks and the Dylan documentary Dont Look Back. The line "I ain't good looking but I'm someone's child" is adapted from a line in Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues." The song also uses an Amen break.

Packaging[edit]

The single cover photograph, by Michael Spencer Jones and directed by Brian Cannon of Microdot, was taken in front of the 'Blind Steps', a staircase in Wigan so called because they run past the Blind Workshop, which can be seen to the left of the shot. The steps can still be found on Darlington Street. The shoot was shrouded in secrecy to protect mass media coverage, but newspaper The Wigan Evening Post got exclusive rights to cover the event and subsequently sold the photos to the Daily Mirror. At a lunchtime break, Liam Gallagher and sleeve designer Brian Cannon enjoyed a pint of beer in the nearby Crispin Arms pub by Birkett Bank.

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Dom and Nic, is set in an apparently post-apocalyptic world and shows the band playing as a growing number of military helicopters fly overhead. Several of the helicopters land while a crowd gathers to watch the band play and throw coloured smoke grenades. At the end, the band members board one of the helicopters and fly away.

The video's setting is ambiguous; it was filmed on location at Beckton Gas Works in London, but the phrases "Do you know what I mean?" and "Be here now" can be seen painted in Czech on one of the surrounding buildings. Liam Gallagher wears a snorkel parka and sports a unique pair of tailor-made sunglasses.

The helicopters used were British Army Westland Lynx AH.7s. One is an AH.7(DAS) variant, noticeable for the distinctive "disco ball" infra-red jammer under the tail. The other is a "stock" AH.7, albeit with a TOW antitank missile sight mounted over the left-hand front seat. Although only two helicopters were used, post-production techniques such as split screen editing, camera angles and CGI produced the huge number of helicopters seen in the video.

The band was later accused of hypocrisy for hiring the helicopters for the video; in 2002 the band forced the British Army to pull a recruiting video that used "Morning Glory" as background music, stating their vehement opposition to war and the military.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  • CD CRESCD 256
  1. "D'You Know What I Mean?" - 7:22
  2. "Stay Young" - 5:06
  3. "Angel Child" (demo) - 4:28
  4. ""Heroes"" (David Bowie, Brian Eno) - 4:09
  • 7" CRE 256
  1. "D'You Know What I Mean?" - 7:22
  2. "Stay Young" - 5:06
  • 12" CRE 256T
  1. "D'You Know What I Mean?" - 7:22
  2. "Stay Young" - 5:06
  3. "Angel Child" (demo) - 4:28
  • Cassette CRECS 256
  1. "D'You Know What I Mean?" - 7:22
  2. "Stay Young" - 5:06
  • CD (NG's 2016 Rethink) RKIDSCD86P
  1. "D'You Know What I Mean?" (NG's 2016 Rethink) (radio edit) - 4:50
  2. "D'You Know What I Mean?" (NG's 2016 Rethink) (full length version) - 7:24

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans
UK Singles Chart number-one single
13 July 1997 – 19 July 1997
Succeeded by
"Men in Black" by Will Smith featuring Coko
Preceded by
Fly by Sugar Ray
Canadian RPM Rock/Alternative 30 number-one single
25 August 1997 (first run)
8 September 1997 (second run)
Succeeded by
"Fly" by Sugar Ray
"Anybody Seen My Baby?" by The Rolling Stones

References[edit]

External links[edit]