Whatever

"Whatever" is a single by British rock band Oasis, written by the band's lead guitarist Noel Gallagher. It was released on December 18, 1994 as a stand-alone single bridging the gap between Oasis' debut album, Definitely Maybe, and their second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?. "Whatever" entered the UK Singles Chart at #3, their first single to enter the top 5, something every single released since has also accomplished, aside from the download-only single "Lord Don't Slow Me Down." Like "Lord Don't Slow Me Down," this is a non-album release. The strings were played by the London Session Orchestra which featured former ELO violinist Wilf Gibson. The strings were arranged by Nick Ingham and Noel Gallagher.

"Whatever" was released as a contender for the coveted position of Christmas #1, 1994. It is a testament to Noel Gallagher's all-conquering self confidence that he should predict "Whatever's" success before he was even given a record contract, saying "In the beginning, there was a masterplan, to the extent that I knew that 'Whatever,' one of the first songs I ever wrote, would be a Christmas Top Five hit, but I think anyone who heard the song could have told you that."

When Oasis performed the song for Top of the Pops, they mimed and one of the cello players from the string ensemble was replaced by Bonehead, who clearly had no idea how the instrument was supposed to be played. Towards the end of the song, he gave up the pretense and started using the bow to conduct. A woman played his rhythm guitar. The song was introduced by Damon Albarn of Blur who would later famously feud with Oasis. As Albarn introduced the song, the Gallagher brothers made hand gestures behind him, which only served to heighten the feud between the bands.

"Whatever" has been performed live by Oasis many times, sometimes with the string arrangement which accompanies the single version, sometimes without. They often end live versions of the song with lyrics adapted from the Beatles song "Octopus's Garden." They have also been known to add the lines "All the young blues....carry the news...," in reference to the Mott the Hoople (originally written by David Bowie) song "All the Young Dudes." The "blues" are the fans of the Gallaghers' beloved Manchester City Football Club At their famous performances at Knebworth in August 1996, the song was accompanied throughout by harmonica player Mark Feltham and is generally regarded by fans as one of the highlights of their set.

The b-sides of "Whatever" were quite famous as well. One of them, "Slide Away" was already featured on their debut album, Definitely Maybe. The other two - "(It's Good) To Be Free" and "Half the World Away" - were later featured on The Masterplan, a collection of Oasis' best b-sides. "Slide Away" and "Half the World Away" would also be featured on Oasis' 2006 compilation album Stop the Clocks, but "Whatever" itself was not included.

"Whatever" spent a total of 50 weeks on the UK Singles chart, more than any Oasis single to date.

Track listings

CD CRESCD 195
"Whatever" - 6:21
"(It's Good) to Be Free" - 4:18
"Half the World Away" - 4:25
"Slide Away" - 6:31

7" CRE 195
"Whatever" - 6:21
"(It's Good) to Be Free" - 4:18

12" CRE 195T
"Whatever" - 6:21
"(It's Good) to Be Free" - 4:18
"Slide Away" - 6:31

Cassette CRECS 195
"Whatever" - 6:21
"(It's Good) to Be Free" - 4:18

Japanese EP ESCA 6127
"Whatever"
"(It's Good) to Be Free"
"Fade Away"
"Listen Up"
"Half the World Away"
"I Am the Walrus (Live at the Glasgow Cathouse)

OASIS - Whatever