Don’t Look Back in Anger
Writer(s): Noel Gallagher (see lyrics here)
Released: February 19, 1996
First Charted: March 2, 1996
Peak: 55 US, 41 BA, 33 CB, 24 GR, 32 RR, 10 MR, 11 UK, 24 CN, 19 AU, 13 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, 3.0 UK, 3.35 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 416.9 video, 734.82 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
With their second album, 1995’s What’s the Story Morning Glory?, Oasis produced not just a staple of Britpop, but one of the most successful albums of any genre. It ranks among the top 100 of all time according to Dave’s Music Database, having sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and spending 10 weeks atop the UK charts. The album generated six chart hits, including four which peaked at the top or runner-up position on the UK charts. “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” the fifth single from the album, was one of the chart-toppers. It was the group’s first single to feature Noel Gallagher, the band’s chief songwriter, on lead vocals instead of his brother Liam.
“Oasis have always been accused of being musical magpies, with critics likening them to a hip-hop producer sampling his tunes from bits of other people’s records… ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ is comprised of the intro to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine,’ some scrapbook lyrics by the same author and a hint of their own ‘Whatever.’” XFM Noel acknowledged that he took lines such as “Trying to start a revolution from my bed / Because they said the brains I had went to my head” from memoirs Lennon had put on tape. WK He also said the song “reminds me of a cross between ‘All the Young Dudes’ and something the Beatles might have done.” WK
Noel explained that the song is “about not being upset about the things you might have said or done yesterday…It’s about looking forward rather than looking back. I hate people who look back on the past or talk about what might have been.” WK Regarding the night he wrote the song, he said, “If I’d have known what I know now about people playing it at fucking funerals and weddings, I’d never have finished the song. Too much pressure.” WK
In 2020, listeners of Absolute Radio 90s voted this the greatest song of the 1990s. WK “It was this track and ‘Wonderwall’ that came to define Oasis’ ascension to the status of Britain’s favourite band and their ultimate victory over Blur in the Britpop wars.” XFM
First posted 8/25/2023.