"Whatever" is a single by British rock band Oasis, written by the band's lead guitarist Noel Gallagher. It was released on December 19th 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. The strings were played by the London Session Orchestra, arranged by Nick Ingham and Noel Gallagher.
The song joins the infectious pop-rock melodies of Definitely Maybe with the more sophisticated lyrics of (What's the Story) Morning Glory, preaching universal tolerance and the acceptance of all ideas and beliefs in a typically straightforward, Mancunian way. The first lines ("I'm free to be whatever I/Whatever I choose/And I'll sing the blues if I want") may have been Noel's reaction to his father's insistence that he join the building trade.
"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 symphony was replaced by Bonehead, who clearly had no idea how his instrument is supposed to be played. Towards the end of the song, he gave up the pretense and started using the bow to conduct. A woman plays 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 ambitious symphony 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 song "All The Young Dudes". The "blues" are the fans of the Gallaghers' beloved Manchester City F.C.. 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's best b-sides. "Slide Away" and "Half the World Away" would also be featured on Oasis' 2006 "best of" album Stop the Clocks, although "Whatever" itself was not included.
'Whatever' spent a total of 50 weeks in the UK Singles chart, more than any Oasis single to date.
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