Monday, August 8, 1994

Oasis released “Live Forever”

Live Forever


Writer(s): Noel Gallagher (see lyrics here)

Released: August 8, 1994

First Charted: August 20, 1994

Peak: 39 BA, 38 GR, 10 AR, 2 MR, 10 UK, 70 CN, 11 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.6 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 55.9 video, 219.41 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Live Forever” was “a bittersweet and alluring gem of poetry and melodic craftiness” AMG released as the third single from Oasis’ debut album Definitely Maybe. It was the group’s first top-10 hit in the UK and also reached #2 on the Billboard alternative rock chart. NME magazine said the song was an improvement over previous singles, calling it “a terrific record.” WK Pitchfork called it the band’s best song. WK

Noel Gallagher, the lead guitarist, wrote the song in 1991 when he was a roadie for the Inspiral Carpets. SF He was listening to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street while playing chord progressions and incorporated a vocal melody from “Shine a Light.” WK The song helped convince Liam Gallagher to let his brother join his band. SF

Liam has said it is his favorite Oasis song; that it “is how a lot of people feel when they’re down on their luck.” SF The lyrics, which advocate for optimism, has been interpreted as an ode to the Gallagher’s mother, Peggy. Noel explained that it was a reaction to grunge, specifically Nirvana’s “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die.” He said that while he liked Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s lead singer, he thought, “Kids don’t need to be hearing that nonsense.” WK

Drummer Tony McCarroll said the band were awed by it. WK Alan McGee, the head of Creation Records who signed the band, said, “It was probably the single greatest moment I’ve ever experienced with them.” WK

In 2006, a Q magazine poll rated “Live Forever” the greatest song of all-time. The next year, an NME and XFM poll of the 50 greatest indie anthems ever also put the song at the top. In 2018, Radio X ranked it #1 in their Best of British poll. WK


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First posted 2/9/2021; last updated 8/24/2023.

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