Metallica are choosing to replicate Jay Z in performing a version of Wonderwall at their Glastonbury headline slot, but what are the best Oasis covers?
In a similar fashion to the announcement of Jay Z in 2008, metal titans Metallica’s headline slot at the iconic Glastonbury Festival has been met with a wave of criticism and derision from commentators who have deemed the Metallica’s headline position as both a lazy, predictable booking and one that is incompatible with Glastonbury’s demographic. However, whereas criticism towards Jay Z in the vein of what was unleashed by the Gallagher brothers was a scathing attack on hip hop as a genre, laced with a degree of barely concealed racism, Metallica’s backlash largely stems from elsewhere.
Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher performing at the Universal Ampitheatre in 2000. [Photo: Getty Images, Credit: Dan Callister]
Firstly, this is a band that hasn’t produced an album of any merit for well over a decade and what’s more, considering they were announced long after tickets had sold out, how many of Glastonbury’s middle class bohemians will actually want to watch the band? Metallica have themselves responded to the criticism by announcing they may open their set with a cover of “Wonderwall”, copying Jay Z’s act of protest back in 2008. However, it does appear that Jay Z’s version carried a greater amount of symbolism, given that it was the Gallagher brothers who were the most vocal opponents of his appearance.
Whereas Jay Z and Metallica chose to cover the Oasis classic to protest against dissenters, other acts have completed covers of Oasis songs for much more artistically relevant reasons based on the aural merits of the tracks themselves. Here is a selection of the finest and most inspired re-workings of the Gallagher’s Britpop classics:
Maroon 5 – Don’t Look Back In Anger
Recorded as part of the hugely successful Radio 1 Live Lounge series, future The Voice judge Adam Levine and his then funky-addled pop cohorts performed this version of Don’t Look Back In Anger in 2004. It’s a fairly stripped-back affair that is actually rather touching and probably quite a bit better than any of the band’s recent attempts to penetrate the nightclub market.
Keane – Cast No Shadow
After a very public and scandalous cancellation of their 2009 V-Festival performance it was left to the other acts on the bill to provide the crowd’s much needed fix of Oasis material. Up stepped soft pop-rockers Keane and their version of Cast No Shadow. Keane have frequently been the subject of derision from both Gallagher brothers who have never hesitated to unleash expletives towards Keane at any given opportunity.
Weezer – Morning Glory
Delivered to a crowd in Camden, New Jersey, pop rock types Weezer perform this stellar version of the Oasis anthem whilst wearing matching red tracksuits and following on from a drum solo of sorts. Rivers Cuomo does a fine job replicating Liam’s Mancunian nasal twang although he eschews Liam’s trademark parka and tambourine.
Jake Bugg – Slide Away
With just Bugg’s guitar and vocal, this version of Slide Away from Radio One’s Live Lounge series is beautifully rendered by the young skiffle enthusiast. As such it’s a jauntier and folkier affair than the original whilst Bugg’s natural Northern twang sounds not too far from Liam’s own vocal, albeit minus the bloated egotism and decades of abuse by fags and booze.
Robbie Williams – Wonderwall
There are about seven million covers of Wonderwall on Youtube but Robbie Williams cover is perhaps the most pertinent given the fact that Liam Gallagher and the ex-Take That member have endured a monumental and very public feud. In the late 90’s, William’s became engaged to Nicole Appleton but after the pair split in 2000 she began dating Liam, much to Robbie’s chagrin. The feud endures to this day, and Robbie’s version of Wonderwall is laced with malice towards the erstwhile Oasis singer.