Time Flies...1994-2009

[Big Brother/Sony]

Say what you will about Oasis, but the Manchester quintet went out on top. Granted, when their demise came about, after 15 years of scandals, sackings and spectacular sibling rivalry--pardon the alliteration--they were not the once heralded Brit pop saviors of the mid-to late '90s; a band whose 1996 appearance at Knebworth was the fastest selling ticket in British concert history. Yet, this group of veterans still retained a numerous, loyal international fan base and their swansong was actually one of the finest albums in their catalog.

Promoted as a celebration of that decade and a half of music making, the 2-CD set Time Flies includes every one of Oasis' UK singles, plus US hit "Champagne Supernova", 27 tracks in all. Great, right? Not quite. We could bitch about the lack of a chronological order but that's a highly subjective matter and we've got bigger fish to fry here. Namely, the absence of important pieces of the musical puzzle that was the band's output.

One of the things that made Oasis great was not how good their best songs were but how many outstanding ones there happened to be. And a sizable portion of those were throwaway b-sides and album tracks. So many in fact, that when The Masterplan collection was released to remedy that situation in 1998, it's appearance as a single disc was deemed a disappointment by those who argued that appreciation of Noel Gallagher's prolific output was shortchanged by not making it a two disc set. That feeling has returned.

Unfortunately, none of those brilliant b-sides and album tracks are to be found here. So if you are looking for a sprawling recap of the Oasis catalog, this is not the place. (The deluxe edition of Time Flies doesn't help in that regard, although it does include an extra CD with a London concert from the summer of 2009, and a DVD with every single one of the band's video clips.) However, as an entry level document for experiencing the magic the Gallagher brothers and assorted co-horts frequently made, Time Flies is a more than apt introduction. But one can't help feel like this is a missed opportunity to properly tell the story of a band that put their Beatles fixations to good use, and along the way helped bring back guitar-based pop music to the top of the British charts. It's not enough, some might say.

Track listing:

Disc 1

1. Supersonic
2. Roll With It
3. Live Forever
4. Wonderwall
5. Stop Crying Your Heart Out
6. Cigarettes & Alcohol
7. Songbird
8. Don't Look Back In Anger
9. The Hindu Times
10. Stand By Me
11. Lord Don't Slow Me Down
12. Shakermaker
13. All Around The World

Disc 2

1. Champagne Supernova
2. Some Might Say
3. The Importance of Being Idle
4. D'You Know What I Mean?
5. Lyla
6. Let There Be Love
7. Go Let It Out
8. Who Feels Love?
9. Little By Little
10. The Shock Of The Lightning
11. She Is Love
12. Whatever
13. I'm Outta Time
14. Falling Down