Oasis’ iconic ‘Be Here Now’ turns 20 – here’s 10 things about the album you (probably) didn’t know

Coined as one of the greatest masterpieces from the band’s discography, Oasis’s 3rd studio album Be Here Now (released 21 Aug 1997) was produced at the height of their career, following up from their previous breakthrough album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?Recorded in London’s famed Abbey Road studios and then after Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey, the album was considered a difficult one with it’s long record length and high expectations, conceived in folly by the ego-driven minds of Noel and Liam Gallagher. It was a tumultuous time for the band, but still, it went on to become one of the biggest and fastest selling British albums of all time, going platinum 6 times in England, and debuted at No.1 in more than a dozen countries worldwide.

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Though never receiving the same kind of attention and affection unlike it’s previous release, many still consider this record to be one of the greatest rock albums in the 90s. Here we pay tribute to that, with 10 facts about the album that you may or may not have known already:

About The Album Cover Photoshoot
After a difficult attempt to photograph each band member in different parts of the world and due to it’s costly nature, guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthur came up with the idea of having a Roll’s Royce dunked in a swimming pool, and the rest was history. Taken at Stock’s House, it’s a mansion built in 1773, and was also formerly home to Playboy executive Victor Lownes.The photoshoot was reported to have been a messy one, as the hotel was soon filled with fans and paparazzi, with people working on the set getting increasingly drunk as time dragged, and one of the generators blew. The record sleeve itself reportedly cost $99,000 to produce.

My Big Mouth has 30 guitar tracks in it
Listen back to the vinyl version of ‘My Big Mouth’ and you’ll realise it’s utterly deafening. That’s because there are reportedly 30 layered guitar tracks of blistering, distorted chords on the song.

George Harrison never really liked the band
Oasis has always made it known that the band admired The Beatles – and even paid tribute to George Harrison more than once, with their biggest hit named after Harrison’s 1968 album Wonderwall Music, and Be Here Now after Harrison’s 1973 track. However, George Harrison never returned the same kind of love, and during the time of Be Here Now’s release he called Oasis “rubbish” and “not very interesting,” even suggesting Oasis would be better off without Liam. Ouch.

The album was far too long… and even Noel agrees
Prior to the official release of Be Here Now, the band first introduced ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’, the first single, to radio, and even Noel Gallagher said that the album was way too long, and it was “out of order”.

Pete Doherty of the Libertines waited in line for its release
There was much anticipation for the release of the record that many shops in the UK opened at midnight to serve the crowds of people waiting in line. MTV covered the event and interviewed the then 18-year old Pete Doherty about the album.

“All Around The World” Was One Of The First Songs Noel Gallagher Ever Wrote For Oasis
Thought only released much much later, Noel had actually kept this track hidden until he could realise the entirety of his vision for the track. There’s even footage of the band jamming to this song, and by 1997, the band finally had enough money to record it the way Noel planned for. A 36-piece orchestra was enlisted to assist on what would be the longest ever track to chart number one on the UK Charts.

… and making the video for the song was a real challenge.
The band had wanted to make a video similar to ‘Yellow Submarine’ to accompany the feel of the song. It took 24 computer animators and six months to make.

They did a hell lot of cocaine.
Most know that the album was literally laced with cocaine. Gallagher has described the record as “the sound of a bunch of guys, on coke, in the studio, not giving a fuck.” Producer Owen Morris once said “In the first week, someone tried to score an ounce of weed, but instead got an ounce of cocaine. Which kind of summed it up.” Alan McGee, who owned Creation Records, also said, “I used to go down to the studio, and there was so much cocaine getting done at that point … Owen was out of control, and he was the one in charge of it. The music was just fucking loud.”

The album’s release was supposed to be top-secret.. but it backfired.
In an effort to suppress information on the release of Be Here Now, the band’s management company, Ignition, used several tactics that alienated A&R staff that backfired, causing more exposure for the album’s release. Press was gagged, and every journalist wanting a copy for review had to sign a strict contract that prevented them from talking about it even in the home.

Johnny Depp played guitar on “Fade In/Out”
The band got close with Depp after the Gallagher brothers stayed with him and Kate Moss at Mick Jagger’s villa. Noel asked the movie star to play slide guitar on ‘Fade in-out’ thereafter.

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