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Oasis: Stop the Clocks

Oasis: Stop the Clocks (Columbia)

It’s been over a decade since sparring Manchester brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher and their band burst into the mass consciousness. As the self-proclaimed “greatest band in the world,” Oasis did almost enough to make that tag the truth with a successive international chart hits, sold-out soccer fields and—perhaps most importantly—more than enough headline-grabbing swagger and bravado. Finally they’ve put together the obligatory “best of” album. The success in this tight, two-disc set is that even beyond the obvious supernova hits like “Wonderwall” and “Live Forever,” there’s a lot of meat here. Oasis overlord Noel picked the tracks and shrugged off a number of obvious choices from the band’s stash of singles, replacing them here with superior B-sides. That means Stop the Clocks really does represent the best of Oasis, with the breezy, pastoral “Half the World Away” and the brash and brotherly rock-and-roll sparring of “Acquiesce.” The set is weighted in favor of Oasis’ first three years, and while some might say the quality of Oasis’ output has been on a downward trajectory in the last few years, you need look no further than a pair from the band’s most recent album—the stadium stomp of “Lyla” alongside the Ray Davies-ish “The Importance of Being Idle”—to find they’ve lost little of their magic. As if Stop the Clocks weren’t already overflowing with enough Beatlisms to cram a yellow submarine, with so much of Oasis’ output owing grand debt to the Fabs, the band enlisted famed pop artist Peter Blake to design the cover art.