The word ‘legend’ is banded around pretty frequently in modern society, especially within the world of music, yet no frontman is more worthy than Liam Gallagher.
For those on the outside, oblivious to LG’s genius, they may find themselves questioning what exactly it is which makes Liam adored by so many and what it is which puts him at an elite level so many other frontmen fail to reach.
I adored Oasis, I still do. I loved Beady Eye. And Liam Gallagher, well, it’s a love where the flames have needed no further fanning. So much so, I’m going to explain why William John Paul Gallagher is simply the greatest rock star we’ve ever had, without doubt the best of our generation.
Before embarking on this mission to educate the uninformed as to LG’s appeal, I tormented myself as to whether I could do him justice. Not only in terms of maintaining objectivity, but also whether I could accurately express how he and his music has made me feel for 24 years, writing something equally emotive and original.
At the age of 46 – Happy Birthday Liam! – what is it about a man, who sings while rooted to a central point on stage, draws crowds focus while also creating euphoria? Liam has always made me feel like no other person or band could ever matter as much.
Growing up in a time when friends were consumed with either Take That or East 17, when I heard my godparents playing Definitely Maybe, something inside me clicked. My ears pricked and ever since that moment, no other voice has captivated me to the same extent. I’ve searched and tried, but to no avail.
Hitting my teenage years, and listening to every word my idols said, even listening to their own influences and heroes – The Beatles, The Stone Roses – the experience never felt like a patch on Oasis and Liam’s voice.
And it all stemmed from Rock’n’Roll star – a song with lyrics which now grace my body in black ink:
I always loved the infamous picture of Oasis – taken by Jill Furnovsky – with the slogan behind them: ‘The best there was, the best there is, the best there ever will be’.
Well, I say the same about Liam – who else has the heart, the soul, the passion, the swagger, the attitude, the style, all rolled into one electrifying human being, which Liam so effortlessly possesses and portrays?
It doesn’t exist.
We can’t always explain our feelings – there’s no rational explanation for emotions – but Liam and his voice have had a hold over me and an army of others for the majority of our lives. The same way I, and thousands like me, affiliate with a football club, I feel an uncompromising allegiance to Liam.
— Latest Oasis News (@scyhodotcom) February 13, 2013
His brother, Paul Gallagher, explained to UNILAD why Liam still has this affect on his fans:
Liam does exactly what it says on the tin. He’s a frontman. A singer. A rock’n’roll star. That’s it. And it’s working so why change for the sake of it?
Listen, it’s who he is – man of the people – there ain’t many left, if any at all, that do what he does, but he’s still got so much more to offer. Musically.
In fact, I’d say he’s just starting out. He’s only mid 40s you know – that’s a teenager by today’s standards.
People can relate to him. He’s one of them. From the streets. A Working class hero and it’s intergenerational. It’s not old Oasis fans who’d be late forties/early fifties, it’s kids – anyone from three upwards.
It’s nice to see that music really is the only power that unites and Liam’s at the forefront – 25 years or so on from the 90s heyday.
I’ve always felt if it wasn’t for that band, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Subconsciously – or maybe even consciously, I feel I’ve incorporated parts of Liam’s outlooks and attitudes. Those who know and accept they’re hardcore fans will understand.
I always said if I got married, I want Liam’s voice present, when I die, the same applies. Anyone who knows me knows my biggest passion in life, along with my football team, is all things LG.
Growing up with Oasis at the centre of my life, in my teenage years, I was always torn between the two Gallagher brothers – Liam and Noel. Eventually, it would always be answered the same way – 51 per cent Liam, 49 per cent Noel – something I used to be ostracised for as people thought the latter brother was the talent. They’re still incorrect.
I could never explain it rationally, or logically at times, but that’s the answer in itself – the sheer emotion Liam conveys to and draws from fans across the world. Over two decades on and we’re still latched on to him like a moth to the flame.
I explain my decision in a unique way, but I put it simply as this. Liam was the beating heart of Oasis. Noel was the brain. If a brain no longer works, the body is still alive. But when you take away the heart, what’s there and working?
Seeing Liam Gallagher perform to over 50,000 people in Manchester at the end of August cements my theory even more. Who else, individually, can garner a fan base like that while still having every fan in attendance gripped for every single, last second of the show, while making them feel like they did so many years ago. No one! It’s nostalgia, adoration and euphoria.
This isn’t fan hysteria, this is honest admiration, acknowledgement of talent, and adoration for the country’s greatest ever frontman, who manages to hold a connection with his fans, 24 years on from when he first burst onto the music scene belting out the line: ‘I need to be myself, I can’t be no one else?’
Throughout his career, Liam exudes a stoic yet raw power and energy, statuesque-like, while his band bring down the house around him. Any other frontman has to resort to costumes or theatrics, you name it – yet Liam needs only his mic – and possibly a tambourine.
It’s inexplicable infatuation. Men, women, children, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, Liam held our hearts, our eyes and our minds and continues to do so.
But don’t just take my word for it.
Back in 2010 – a year after the band had called it quits – Q Magazine readers voted him the greatest of all time, beating the like of John Lydon, (The Sex Pistols), Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, and Freddie Mercury to name a few.
Three years later, and Radio X– who conducted the same poll via listener votes – had the same outcome. So much so, he out-polled the number one pretender, Freddie Mercury, a whopping two votes to one.
The boy from Burnage said of his accolade, in true Liam fashion:
Greatest frontman? I knew that anyway! There’s not many of us about. There are a lot of pretenders out there. But I’d like to thank everybody for voting and stuff. Nice one.
As he embarked on a solo career many were dubious as to what the end product would be, but of course, Liam smashed it.
Let’s just start with the facts of As You Were shall we. It went straight to number one on the official album chart, selling a total of 103,000 units – outselling the rest of the Top 10 combined. At the time of its release, it was both the best-selling and most streamed album of the week, and was the third fastest-selling of 2017.
Finishing the year, it was in the top 10 for the biggest selling albums, and more impressively, with 16,000 copies sold, it gave ‘Rkid’ the biggest one-week vinyl sales in over 20 years, topping the Official Vinyl Albums Chart and Official Record Store Chart in the process.
People still adore Liam – you can’t argue with facts. The Liam show is still flying.
It's official Rock n Roll is No1 congratulations to you to me congratulations to all of us for making it happen as you were LG x
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) October 13, 2017
He tweeted at the time to say:
It’s official Rock n Roll is No1 congratulations to you to me congratulations to all of us for making it happen as you were LG x [sic]
No matter who it is you adore – whether musically, or in the sporting world, etc – when you’re in awe of someone, you either see it or you don’t, and if you see it, you’re hooked.
Sebastian Lindholm, whose quote was used for Oasis’ Time Flies album wrote:
They mean everything. The swagger. The melodies. The attitude. The lyrics. The mentality. Oasis is not a band, it’s a generation.
While his words are more than appropriate, when I asked him about Liam’s part in all of this, he told UNILAD:
He has that charisma around, and with age, he hasn’t changed a bit. He continues to be Liam Gallagher. Refusing to stand in line, refusing to give up, and refusing to grow up, in the more normative sense.
For me he’s the ultimate persona. I don’t need any Marvel figures or X-Men. Having LG stand still in front of an audience of people in full escapism is all I need. There and then, nothing else means a single thing.
The fact that he can still make young people feel like that, and older people feel like they did back when, is what makes him unique.
Liam is a man of the people – not just men. His tag of being the frontman for ‘lad rock’ is highly unfair and something which has never sat right with me.
Growing up, particularly as a young female, our supposed gender icons were far and few between. Yet Liam made me feel just as included as the thousands of men who used to, and still do, stand side-by-side with me when we watched Oasis, and continue to watch Liam.
There’s a unison in the euphoric feeling and regardless of the tabloids trying to brand his behaviour as ‘thuggish’ or ‘laddish’, a Liam Gallagher gig is filled with nothing but love and a sense of escapism.
There’s a depth to Liam. Despite people calling him an enigma – I’ve never met him so can only express how I feel when watching from afar – his realism and authenticity speaks to us all. The message of liberation is felt across the crowd and as a woman, it’s extremely captivating yet intense.
With Liam, it’s not just the ‘working-class’ image he was once so famously affiliated with either which enables him to speak to so many. His peers, from the world of music in particular, share the fandom on the same level.
Dave Grohl, formerly of Nirvana and frontman of Foo Fighters, Skepta, Tom and Serge from Kasabian, Richard Ashcroft, Lewis Hamilton, Miles Kane – they all love him too.
British singer-songwriter Tom Grennan, told UNILAD what Liam means to him:
He’s the benchmark of cool, rock’n’roll and front man royalty. Name me a more recognisable vocal/front man from the past 25 years – a quarter of a century he’s absolutely bossed it!
He’s been a constant across my 23 years, from the oasis years, right up until his incredible solo record, a record I buzz of that much i even robbed his producer to mix my debut album.
Liam is a shining light and a whirlwind of power on every level. I buzz off the incredible energy. When he enters the room you can feel it, even if your eyes aren’t on him, the quality of the air changes, they cal it STAR QUALITY, he pretty much reinvented it!
Liam is also, in my opinion, very misunderstood probably because of the way certain parts of the media portray him. He’s an incredibly thoughtful and warm man who listens, resonates love and offers incredible thought provoking advice.
God Bless Liam Gallagher, may he LIVE FOREVER.
Lars Ulrich, of Metallica, told The Guardian what Oasis meant to him and how the band changed his life – Liam of course, at the forefront:
If you didn’t live in England at the time, it may be difficult to truly understand the cultural impact and significance Oasis had on all things English in the mid 90s.
Wherever or whoever you were when it was going down, you felt it … in the streets, in the pubs, the music press, on the radio, in the gossip rags, the concert halls, and affecting everything from the way people dressed, the way they cut their hair, what football team they supported, the way people communicated, one’s accent … the list goes on and on.
The Oasis phenomenon cut across all shapes, sizes, boundaries and classes. Everybody knew Oasis, and in some way were impacted by them. And if they didn’t love them, it was often the polarising opposite. But most importantly, nobody didn’t care. Everyone had an opinion. Everybody had a thought. Nobody ignored them. No one.
Check out this form Lars and Dave Grohl:
Dave Grohl talking to Lars Ulrich about Liam Gallagher on Beats 1
Posted by Oasis Mania on Monday, 18 September 2017
Being a frontman, is arguably the hardest job in music. You’re the first in the firing line for critics, and as the main focus, it’s down to you to embody the true ethos of the band.
You’ve got to direct your songs in a precise way as well as being the spokesman for all your fans. This is Liam down to a tee.
It’s been said, a great frontman leads their band into the history books and has a power and influence unparalleled. It’s at this point, true Icons are born – LG has long cemented himself in this position.
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The Mancunian, self-assured swagger, unpredictable, funny, and honest mouth, have not only taken Liam to the front covers of countless newspapers and magazines, but it’s his power and primal instinct too. It has a hold over fans – both on stage and on records.
Liam has his haters – all those at dizzying heights do – but he doesn’t give a f*ck and neither do his legions of fans.
Happy birthday to the world’s greatest frontman, William John Paul Gallagher – the best there was, the best there is, the best there ever will be!
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]