The Oasis song Noel Gallagher called a “mistake”

In the vibrant tapestry of the 1990s music scene, Noel Gallagher emerged as a veritable alchemist, seemingly able to transmute everything he touched into pure gold. Yet, amidst the gleaming treasures of his songwriting repertoire, there lay a gem that Noel himself regarded with ambivalence—a track that, had it been solely up to him, would have likely languished in obscurity.

For most bands, compilation albums serve as niche offerings, cherished mainly by die-hard enthusiasts who bear their lyrics like sacred inscriptions. However, for Oasis, the release of their 1998 compilation of rarities and B-sides, “The Masterplan,” marked an unexpected chapter in their discography, morphing into what could be aptly deemed their unofficial third album, seamlessly extending the sonic narrative initiated by “Definitely Maybe” in 1994.

Even upon its 25th-anniversary reissue in 2023, “The Masterplan” demonstrated enduring popularity, resolutely clinching the second spot on the charts in the United Kingdom—a testament to its timeless allure. The album brimmed with fan favorites such as the eponymous title track, the wistful “Half The World Away,” the heartfelt “Talk Tonight,” the anthemic “Acquiesce,” the introspective “Going Nowhere,” and the melancholic “Rockin’ Chair.” Yet, nestled among these cherished tunes lay one composition that Noel Gallagher reluctantly permitted to grace the collection.

At the heart of Gallagher’s reservations stood “Stay Young,” a song he wrestled with but ultimately conceded to include in “The Masterplan,” albeit with some reluctance. Originally conceived during the recording sessions for “Be Here Now” in 1997, “Stay Young” failed to secure a coveted spot on the album’s final tracklist.

In a candid interview with Melody Maker in 1998, Noel offered a frank assessment of the track: “I don’t like it,” he confessed. “I wrote it by mistake for the last album.” Despite its genesis during the “Be Here Now” sessions, the song found itself sidelined, supplanted by tracks like “Magic Pie.” Gallagher’s dissatisfaction extended to the song’s sound and its guitar solo, which he found wanting.

Reflecting on the song’s inclusion in “The Masterplan,” Noel disclosed to NME that its presence was primarily to mollify his younger brother, Liam, who championed its cause. Yet, despite his reservations, Noel conceded to the song’s inclusion, acknowledging its appeal to others. However, he admitted, “But that’ll be the one I’ll be skipping past.”

While “Stay Young” enjoyed a brief stint in Oasis’ live performances following its release as a B-side to “D’You Know What I Mean?” in 1997, it vanished from their setlists after the conclusion of the “Be Here Now” tour. Neither Noel nor Liam has revisited the song in their solo endeavors, cementing its status as a relic of the ’90s Oasis era, cherished by some but relegated to the annals of their discography.

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