Lyla

"Lyla" was the first single from British rock band Oasis' sixth album Don't Believe the Truth, released in May 2005.

The song was written by Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, who has varyingly described the track as "specifically designed for pogoing", "annoyingly catchy", and the “poppiest thing since "Roll With It". Noting the varied influences of the song, Gallagher says that it's "a bit like... The Soundtrack of Our Lives doing The Who on Skol in a psychedelic city in the sky, or something".

Similarities

However critics have argued that "Lyla" is perhaps more than simply influenced by other bands, noting the striking similarities between the song and "Confrontation Camp" by The Soundtrack of Our Lives and to a lesser extent "Street Fighting Man" by the Rolling Stones. The first line of the song reinforces the notion that the song was also partially inspired by The La's.

Noel has also joked with the fact that the Lyla in the song is actually the sister of the Sally mentioned in the Oasis single "Don't Look Back in Anger". Also, he had said that the song is a "love song", being about Sally Cinnamon's sister.

Originally claiming that he wasn't very fond of the song, Noel has said that "Lyla" isn’t "even the fifth best track on the album". The song had existed as a demo since the early recording sessions for the album but was all but forgotten until practically the last minute. However, on the Lock the Box feature on the Stop the Clocks, Noel admitted that he "didn't realise how good it was until [we] played it live," and admitted he loved the "guitars, the drums, and the vocals" of the song.

Origins

Noel says that the song existed in an early form as a song called "Sing" and dated from the Heathen Chemistry-era. He also says that the title for the final song should have been "Smiler", but was changed seeing as guitarist Gem Archer's previous band, Heavy Stereo, also had a song called "Smiler".

Sony's insistence that it should be released as the first single from the album has helped to fuel the tension between the band and their record label, which has led to Oasis not renewing their contract with the record label following the release of Don't Believe the Truth.

"Lyla" became the band's seventh UK number one when it reached top spot in its first week of release. The song also debuted at #31 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and has reached #19 since then. It is the first Oasis song to appear on any US singles chart since 2000 when "Go Let It Out" hit No.14 on the Modern Rock chart.

Live Performance

When performing on the UK music chart show Top of the Pops, Liam, who was forced to mime to the music, made no secret of the fact, walking away from the microphone with his mouth closed mid-way through lines that he was supposedly 'singing'. It would be Liam's last performance on the programme before its demise in late 2006. However, Noel and the rest of the band would return in August 2005 to perform "The Importance of Being Idle."

The song leaked on the internet during late March 2005, weeks before its May release date, after an unauthorised early airing on Polish radio station Radiowa Trójka.

'Lyla' was covered by Foo Fighters during a performance at BBC Studios.

The song is included on Oasis' compilation album Stop the Clocks. It is also included in FIFA 06 as a track.

Track listing

CD RKIDSCD 29
"Lyla" (Noel Gallagher) - 5:12
"Eyeball Tickler" (Gem Archer) - 2:47
"Won't Let You Down" (Liam Gallagher) - 2:48
 
7" RKID 29
"Lyla" (Noel Gallagher) - 5:12
"Eyeball Tickler" (Gem Archer) - 2:47
 
DVD RKIDSDVD 29
"Lyla" - 5:14
"Lyla" (demo) - 5:29
"Can You See It Now?" (Documentary) - 9:22
The DVD also contains a hidden piece about new drummer Zak Starkey. The video lasts for 1:16 and is accessed by highlighting the word 'Credits' on the main menu, then pressing right until you see the name Zak appear. Then press 'Play' or 'Enter' to view the video.

OASIS - Lyla