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"Whatever" is a song and single by the English rock band Oasis, and initially credited as being written by the band's lead guitarist Noel Gallagher. A subsequent lawsuit awarded a co-writing credit to Neil Innes.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 History

History[edit]Edit

Like many other songs in the band's catalogue, "Whatever" preaches the importance of being yourself and being able to do what you choose. At six minutes and twenty-one seconds, it was the longest single the band had released up to that point (it would soon be surpassed by "Champagne Supernova" and later "D'You Know What I Mean?" and "All Around the World") and was a more lavish affair than their previous singles, as it was the first of many Oasis singles that included a prominent string section. The song begins with a simple verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure, with the main hook of the song occurring in the verse rather than the chorus. The song suddenly changes key during the bridge, before returning to the main chord progression of the song, which repeats for a two-and-a-half-minute outro in which, one by one, each instrument cuts out until only the strings are playing. Finally, the song ends with an extended, recorded applause track. A common word on the Japanese festivalsmikoshi is used at the end of the song.

The single was released on 18 December 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 number 3, their first single to enter the top 5, something every Oasis single released since has also accomplished, aside from the download-only single "Lord Don't Slow Me Down", "I'm Outta Time" and "Falling Down". Like "Lord Don't Slow Me Down", this is a non-album release, but as it is a single it has been included on the compilation album Time Flies... 1994–2009 which features all 26 of Oasis' officially released singles. The strings were played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra which featured former Electric Light Orchestra violinist Wilf Gibson. The strings were arranged by Nick Ingham and Noel Gallagher.

"Whatever" spent a total of 51 weeks on the UK Singles chart, more than any other Oasis single to date.

"Whatever" re-entered the UK Singles chart on 20 June 2010 at number 64, due to the release of Time Flies, and the first time that "Whatever" has been available to purchase digitally.[1]

Recently the song has been used by Coca-Cola in its new campaign celebrating its 125th anniversary [2] and also in Italian Vodafone Commercials.[3]

Authorship dispute[edit]Edit

Part of the song's melody was lifted from Neil Innes' song "How Sweet to Be an Idiot". Innes successfully sued Oasis for plagiarism and was awarded subsequent royalties.[4] The portion of the melodic line in question accompanies the lyrics "I'm free to be whatever I" of the Gallagher version. Innes made reference to this in the Rutles song "Shangri-La".

Music video[edit]Edit

The video is filmed in a white room in black and white. Members of the LPO and ELO can be seen throughout the video.

Live performances[edit]Edit

"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 Beatlessong "Octopus's Garden". They have also been known to add the lines "All the young blues [sic]....carry the news...," in reference to the Mott the Hoople (originally written by David Bowie) song "All the Young Dudes". At their famous performances at Knebworth in August 1996, the song was accompanied throughout by harmonica player Mark Feltham.

B-sides[edit]Edit

One of the single's B-sides, "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 B-side compilation The Masterplan. "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. "Half the World Away" would later be chosen as the theme tune to The Royle Family.

Track listings[edit]Edit

  • CD (Promo) SAMP 2529
  1. "Whatever" (Radio Edit) - 3:58
  2. "Whatever" (Album Version) - 6:21
  • CD CRESCD 195
  1. "Whatever" - 6:21
  2. "(It's Good) To Be Free" - 4:18
  3. "Half the World Away" - 4:25
  4. "Slide Away" - 6:31
  • 7" CRE 195
  1. "Whatever" - 6:19
  2. "(It's Good) To Be Free" - 4:18
  • 12" CRE 195T
  1. "Whatever" - 6:19
  2. "(It's Good) To Be Free" - 4:18
  3. "Slide Away" - 6:31
  • Cassette CRECS 195
  1. "Whatever" - 6:19
  2. "(It's Good) To Be Free" - 4:18
  • Japanese EP ESCA 6127
  1. "Whatever"
  2. "(It's Good) To Be Free"
  3. "Fade Away"
  4. "Listen Up"
  5. "Half the World Away"
  6. "I Am the Walrus" (Live at the Glasgow Cathouse)

Chart positions[edit]Edit

Chart (1994-1995) Peak

position

Australia (ARIA)[5] 40
France (SNEP)[6] 15
Germany (Media Control AG)[7] 73
Irish Singles Chart[8] 5
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[9] 48
Polish Singles Chart[10] 13
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 10
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 24
UK (Official Charts Company)[13] 3
Chart (2010) Peak

position

UK (Official Charts Company)[13] 64
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