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Friday, June 15, 2007
Oasis' Special' Beatles' Session
Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher talks about covering the Beatles, and why there will never be another band like them.
Oasis have recorded a version of the Beatle's Within You Without You to celebrate 40 years since the release of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
They were among a number of bands - including Razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs, Bryan Adams and The Magic Numbers - who recorded contemporary version of songs from the iconic 1967 album.
Gallagher - who also turned 40 this year - said it was an album close to his heart.
'Floaty and dreamy'
"Sgt Pepper is special for me because I was born on the 29 May, and it came out on the 1 June," he said.
"So when I was being born in St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, it was being played on hospital radio.
He added: "Because the songs are not rocking or having it, it's very floaty and dreamy, I think the older you get the more you appreciate it.
"And it still contains some of the greatest Beatles songs like A Day in the Life, and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
Gallagher said his brother Liam chose to do their own version of the George Harrison solo Within You, Without You.
"When we were approached, I wasn't overly enthusiastic. I was thinking it was a bit pointless going there to copy the Beatles because it was never going to be as good.
The Beatles were of their time... you can't compare a band from today with one from the 1960s
"But I said if Liam wants to do it, I'll do it, so he was up for it and decided he was going to pick the song.
"I just assumed he would say A Day In The Life, but he came back with Within You Without You , and I was like 'what? There's no guitars on it!'
"There's nothing on it apart from singing and an Indian orchestra, but he said 'I can hear it in my head', and I said okay, brilliant.'"
Gallagher said the band was inspired by the Beatle's soundtrack compilation album Love, when it came to recording the song.
"The one good bit on the Love album, is a bit where they briefly cross Tomorrow Never and Always with Within You, Without You, so we said if we are going to do it, lets do it like that, because that sounds really exciting, and it also means we can all play on it."
While Geoff Emerick - the engineer in charge of the original 1967 sessions - used the same equipment to record the new versions, Gallagher says only Oasis got to use the original desk.
"We - maybe arrogantly on my behalf - said if we are going to do it we want to do it at Abbey Road, with the actual equipment or we are not interested," he said.
The Kaiser Chiefs
Gallagher said he was 'embarrassed' for The Kaiser Chiefs
"The BBC bent over backwards and managed to book a couple of days in the studio.
"The desk was in Lenny Kravitz studio, and somehow they managed to convince him it would be a good idea to rip it out, ship it to England, let us work on it, and ship it back again."
Razorlight performed the track With A Little Help From My Friends, The Fray covered Fixing A Hole with the Magic Numbers playing She's Leaving Home.
Getting Better was sung by the Kaiser Chiefs.
Gallagher said the bands taking part in the recordings and working on the original equipment had a number of challenges to face.
"Number one - you've all got to be able to play in the same room together," he said.
"I was watching Kaiser Chiefs and Razorlight on the documentary and with the greatest respect to those two bands, it was embarrassing. I was embarrassed for them.
"Luckily for us we grew learning to play together in the same room, so we didn't do a great many takes. I think we got it on the sixth."
Gallagher said it was impossible to compare the bands of today with the Beatles.
"You can only be of your time," he said.
"The Beatles were of their time... you can't compare a bad from today with one from the 1960s. Music doesn't mean as much today as it did in the 1960s.
"That's why there will never be another Beatles."
Gallagher added that Oasis were due to start recording their seventh studio album on 3 July.
"The songs are written... but don't hold your breath because the last album took three-and-half-years and three goes!
"It would be great if it was done by the end of the year and we could get out on the road by next summer, but that's insane wishful thinking."
Noel Gallagher was talking to the BBC's Colin Paterson.
Sgt Pepper's 40th Anniversary is on BBC Radio 2 at 2000 on Saturday 16 June.
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