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Band releases landmark retrospective album

James Rudy | Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oasis has been a rock icon for nearly a decade, headlining the world stage with a comfortable and cocky attitude. On Nov. 20, 2006, the clocks stopped to reflect upon the tremendous contribution that Oasis has made and continues to make to rock and roll. Often incorporating release dates directly into its albums, Oasis marked the day as time to celebrate its first ever retrospective collection, pulling together the years of multi-platinum albums, number one singles and – unique to Oasis – instantly familiar B-sides into one 18-track double album, “Stop the Clocks.”

Oasis vowed on multiple occasions it would never release a greatest hits album unless the band was about to split, so “Stop the Clocks” created immediate – and understandable – concern among the band’s fans. To address the speculation, Oasis issued a press release at the same time as the album, affirming that they are merely taking a well-earned sabbatical following the end of its recording contract with Sony BMG Music Entertainment before starting work on new material.

“Stop the Clocks” focuses on Oasis’ most popular albums. “Definitely Maybe” (1994) and “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” (1995) are represented with five tracks each, including “Supersonic,” the band’s debut single, “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova.” Also a major contribution is the band’s platinum B-side album, 1998’s “The Masterplan.” Four songs are taken from “The Masterplan,” including “Acquiesce,” arguably the greatest B-side ever. Oasis’ most recent album, 2005’s “Don’t Believe the Truth,” only received two nods, while “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants” (2000) and “Heathen Chemistry” (2002) contributed one track each.

Not surprisingly, the only album not represented is “Be Here Now” (1997), which failed to live up to massive expectations at the height of Oasis’ popularity.

It also created mixed feelings among the band members when it became the fastest selling album in chart history, selling 500,000 copies on the first day.

Lead guitarist and lead songwriter Noel Gallagher, who co-anchors the band with his brother and fellow vocalist and songwriter Liam Gallagher, chose all of the tracks for “Stop the Clocks.” Arguments about the track listing sprung up in typical Gallagher fashion, but in the end Noel cast the deciding opinion.

Noel Gallagher also told Billboard Magazine he was approached about including previously unreleased songs, but saw their addition as taking the focus away from the band’s intention of releasing a retrospective album.

In an exclusive Radio 1 interview, Liam Gallagher said he was happy with the selections, although he would have liked to include “Rockin’ Chair” and “D’You Know What I Mean?” Noel Gallagher wrote all of the tracks featured on “Stop the Clocks” except for “Songbird,” which was written by Liam.

To further celebrate the release of this dream set list, Oasis began to unveil its first full-length film, “Lord Don’t Slow Me Down,” shot during its last world tour for “Don’t Believe the Truth” in 2005 and 2006. The film is set to be released in 2007, but until then, the band continues to showcase it at private screenings around the world to winners of fan competitions.

With “Stop the Clocks,” the members of Oasis continue to use what has made them the “kings of Britpop” to find similar levels of success around the world