Heathen Chemistry

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Heathen Chemistry
Heathen Chemistry.jpg
Studio album by
Released1 July 2002
RecordedOctober 2001 – March 2002
StudioWheeler End, Buckinghamshire and Olympic, London
GenreAlternative rock, pop rock
LabelBig Brother, Epic
Oasis chronology
Familiar to Millions
Heathen Chemistry
Don't Believe the Truth
Singles from Heathen Chemistry
  1. "The Hindu Times"
    Released: 15 April 2002
  2. "Stop Crying Your Heart Out"
    Released: 17 June 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 English rock band Oasis. It was released on 1 July 2002 by Big Brother Recordings. It is the first Oasis album recorded with guitarist Gem Archer and bassist Andy Bell, who both joined the band after work on previous album Standing on the Shoulder of Giants had been completed. It would also 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.


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 lead guitarist Gem Archer contributed one song each as well.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.


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.[4] However, listeners of the commercially released album heard slight differences to two tracks, "Little by Little" and "Better Man".

The length of track 11, "Better Man" is 38:03; this is because of a hidden track called "The Cage", which begins after 30 minutes of silence. In the Japanese and digital versions, "Better Man" and the hidden track "The Cage" were separated and the 30-minute silence was removed.

The album was certified triple platinum in UK,[5] and 154,000 copies in the US.[6][7] 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 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.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[9]
Blender4/5 stars[10]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[11]
The Guardian2/5 stars[12]
Los Angeles Times2/4 stars[13]
Q2/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[17]

Reception for the album varied wildly. On Metacritic it had a score of 55 out of 100 based on reviews from 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[8] 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".[10] However, a number of other reviewers offered scathing assessments of the album; notably, Drowned in Sound,[19] Pitchfork,[15] and Stylus Magazine.[20]

Track listing[edit]

1."The Hindu Times"Noel Gallagher3:46
2."Force of Nature"N. Gallagher4:51
3."Hung in a Bad Place"Gem Archer3:28
4."Stop Crying Your Heart Out"N. Gallagher5:03
5."Songbird"Liam Gallagher2:07
6."Little by Little"N. Gallagher4:52
7."A Quick Peep" (Instrumental)Andy Bell1:17
8."(Probably) All in the Mind"N. Gallagher4:02
9."She Is Love"N. Gallagher3:09
10."Born on a Different Cloud"L. Gallagher6:08
11."Better Man" (song ends at 4:20, includes hidden track "The Cage", which begins at 33:13)L. Gallagher / N. Gallagher38:02
Total length:1:16:45
Japanese and digital version
11."Better Man"L. Gallagher4:20
12."The Cage"N. Gallagher4:50
13."(You've Got) the Heart of a Star"N. Gallagher5:24
Total length:53:18

In the Japanese and digital versions, "Better Man" and the hidden track "The Cage" were separated and the 30-minute silence was removed.



Additional musicians[edit]


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[46] Gold 20,000^
Australia (ARIA)[47] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[48] Gold 50,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[49] Gold 10,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[50] Platinum 200,000^
Sweden (GLF)[51] Gold 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[52] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] 3× Platinum 1,104,616[53]
United States 154,000[55]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon. "Oasis Turn to Heathens, Hedonism for Inspiration on New LP". mtv.com. 3 April 2002.
  2. ^ "Noel 'livid' as Liam delays new Oasis album", NME Online, 11 October 2001
  3. ^ Downey, Ryan J. "Oasis Set Up U.S. Tour Whether Liam Likes It Or Not". mtvnews.com. 16 May 2002.
  4. ^ Goldner, Jonathan. "Oasis Badger 'Thieving' Fans At Las Vegas Gig". MTV.com. 29 April 2002.
  5. ^ Heathen Chemistry certification. British Phonographic Industry. Accessed on 25 January 2009.
  6. ^ Cohen. Jonathan. "Oasis Pledges New 'Truth' In May". billboard.com. 7 March 2005.
  7. ^ Trust, Gary. "Ask Billboard: "English Beat". Billboard. 23 January 2009.
  8. ^ a b "Reviews for Heathen Chemistry by Oasis". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Heathen Chemistry – Oasis". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  10. ^ a b Collis, Clark (August 2002). "Oasis: Heathen Chemistry". Blender (8): 120. Archived from the original on 28 September 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  11. ^ Willman, Chris (12 July 2002). "Heathen Chemistry". Entertainment Weekly: 84. Archived from the original on 7 November 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  12. ^ Petridis, Alexis (21 June 2002). "Yawning glory". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  13. ^ Hilburn, Robert (30 June 2002). "Oasis, 'Heathen Chemistry' Epic". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  14. ^ Fox, Jason (25 June 2002). "Oasis : Heathen Chemistry". NME. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  15. ^ a b Mitchum, Rob (10 July 2002). "Oasis: Heathen Chemistry". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Oasis: Heathen Chemistry". Q (192). July 2002.
  17. ^ Moon, Tom (4 July 2002). "Oasis: Heathen Chemistry". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  18. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (August 2002). "Oasis: Heathen Chemistry". Spin. 18 (8): 113. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  19. ^ Reed, Mark (11 July 2002). "Album Review: Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  20. ^ Chakroff, Evan (1 September 2003). "Oasis – Heathen Chemistry – Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  21. ^ http://fasterlouder.junkee.com/noel-gallagher/825523/3
  22. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Hung Medien.
  23. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry" (in German). Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry" (in French). Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "Oasis Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard.
  27. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Hung Medien.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  29. ^ "Oasis: Heathen Chemistry" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  30. ^ "Lescharts.com – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Hung Medien.
  31. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  32. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Oasis". Hung Medien.
  33. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Hung Medien.
  34. ^ "Charts.nz – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Hung Medien.
  35. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Hung Medien.
  36. ^ "OLiS: sales for the period 01.07.2002 - 07.07.2002". OLiS.
  37. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  38. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Hung Medien.
  39. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Hung Medien.
  40. ^ "Oasis | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  41. ^ "Oasis Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  42. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  43. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 2002". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
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  45. ^ "2003 UK Albums Chart" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
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  47. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2002 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 27 July 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  48. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry". Music Canada. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  49. ^ "香港唱片銷量大獎 2002". IFPI Hong Kong. Archived from the original on 2 July 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  50. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Oasis – Heathen Chemistry" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 14 January 2021. Select 2002年6月 on the drop-down menu
  51. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2003" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  52. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Oasis; 'Heathen Chemistry')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  53. ^ Hanley, James (31 July 2017). "Noel Gallagher continues Sony/ATV relationship". Music Week. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
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External links[edit]