Whatever (Oasis song)

"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.

Single by Oasis
Released18 December 1994
RecordedRockfield Studios, November 1994
  • 6:21 (original single version)
  • 4:54 (remastered strings version)
  • 3:58 (radio edit)
Oasis singles chronology
"Cigarettes & Alcohol"
"Rock 'n' Roll Star"
Music video
"Whatever" on YouTube


At six minutes and twenty-one seconds, "Whatever" was the longest single the band had released up to that point (it was later surpassed by "Champagne Supernova", "D'You Know What I Mean?" and "All Around the World"). The song follows an AB structure, which differs from Verse-Chorus, as the main hook occurs at the beginning of the song. 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.

The Christmas single[2] 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 27 of Oasis' singles released in the UK. The strings were played by the London Session Orchestra which featured former Electric Light Orchestra violinist Wilfred Gibson. The strings were arranged by Nick Ingman and Noel Gallagher.

"Whatever" has sold 540,000 copies to date.[3] The song re-entered the UK Singles Chart on 20 June 2010 at number 64, due to the release of Time Flies, and was the first time that it had been available to purchase as a music download.[4]

The song has been used by Coca-Cola in its 2012 campaign celebrating its 125th anniversary[5] and also in Italian Vodafone commercials.[6] It was also used by Asahi Breweries for their Asahi Off beer commercials in Japan.[7][8]

Authorship dispute

English musician Neil Innes sued the band claiming the song borrowed portions of his song "How Sweet to Be an Idiot". Innes and Oasis settled a plagiarism lawsuit and Innes received songwriting credit.[9] The portion of the melodic line in question accompanies the lyrics "I'm free to be whatever I" of the Gallagher version.

Innes would later make reference to "Whatever" in the Rutles Archaeology track "Shangri-La".

Music video

The video was filmed on 15 December 1994 in a white room in black and white at Malcolm Ryan Studios in London. Members of the London Session Orchestra can be seen throughout the video.

Live performances

"Whatever" had been performed live by Oasis many times, sometimes with the string arrangement which accompanies the single version, sometimes without. They often ended live versions of the song with lyrics adapted from The Beatles song "Octopus's Garden". They had 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.

Noel Gallagher later revisited "Whatever," adding the song to his setlist during his first tour with his band High Flying Birds.


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" was chosen as the theme tune to The Royle Family. "(It's Good) to Be Free" has been mentioned by Liam under the name "Live by the Sea", before its official release.

Track listings

  • 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)

Charts and certifications


  1. Rabid, Jack. "Oasis – Whatever". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  2. "Noel's Notes". NME. 3 November 1998. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  3. Myers, Justin (6 September 2014). "Revealed: Official Top 20 Biggest Selling Oasis Songs". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  4. "Yahoo! UK & Ireland omg!". Yahoo!. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  5. "Commercial Coca-Cola: "Razones Para Creer" 2011 (Fullscreen HD) Whatever / Oasis". YouTube. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  6. "Whatever By Oasis Used In Italian Vodafone Commercials". Stopcryingyourheartoutnews.blogspot.com. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  7. "アサヒオフ:【新発売】.m4v" (in Japanese). YouTube. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  8. "アサヒオフ:山口智子【】.m4v" (in Japanese). YouTube. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  9. Michaels, Sean. "Have Oasis plagiarised Cliff Richard?". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  10. "Australian-charts.com – Oasis – Whatever". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  11. Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  12. "Lescharts.com – Oasis – Whatever" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  13. "Offiziellecharts.de – Oasis – Whatever". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  14. "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (4.2 '95 – 10.2 '95)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 4 February 1995. p. 20. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  15. "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Whatever (Re 1)". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  16. "Dutchcharts.nl – Oasis – Whatever" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  17. "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  18. "Swedishcharts.com – Oasis – Whatever". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  19. "Swisscharts.com – Oasis – Whatever". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  20. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  21. "Årslista Singlar – År 1995" (in Swedish). Topplistan. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  22. "British single certifications – Oasis – Whatever". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Whatever in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
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