Updated: Dec 3, 2020
A review of Liam Gallagher's 'All You're Dreaming Of'. Can the touching festive ballad be Christmas number 1?
I always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Oasis. As a kid I was obsessed with their first two albums, Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory, though as the band moved past their third album, I completely lost interest, feeling they'd become a watered-down shadow of their former selves.
At the same time - as a character - Liam Gallagher has always fascinated me. I'm always drawn to anything he does, even if it's just him telling tales of meeting Diego Maradona (or any story about the 90s!). And three years ago, at Benicassim Festival in Spain's west coast, I eagerly watched his set in the biggest crowd of the weekend. As he stormed through the beginning of his set with early Oasis classics like 'Rock 'n' Roll Star' and 'Morning Glory', the place was absolutely jumping. Not for long, however.
After a few Oasis numbers, Liam announced it was now time for some solo songs. Oh dear, this news went down like a lead balloon, providing a cue to many members of the crowd to race to the bar to get fresh alcoholic beverages in time for the 'Wonderwall' finale. It was clear that - to many - the new songs were an unwanted sideshow not worthy of attention. And I'd be lying if I said I was different.
Since then, however, he's had success with two solid-enough rock albums that will satisfy the Oasis fandom without ever really winning any new fans along the way. Though, I'm happy to admit that perhaps that's going to change with his latest single!
On Friday (27th November), Liam Gallagher dropped his festive-inspired new song 'All You're Dreaming Of' and it might be the best song he's released yet (plenty of cynics are saying "it wouldn't be hard...".
Many artists have written Christmas songs over the year and many have missed the mark (The Killers 'Don't Shoot Me Santa' comes to mind), so it's refreshing that the bold Liam has delivered on this festive charity single! There's a delicacy to the song we're not used to, a proper tear-jerker with positive vibes. It's one of these songs you can just imagine soundtracking a John Lewis advert about love conquering all at Christmas, albeit a little less corny!
The song came about after Gallagher and co-writer Simon Aldred spoke about how there weren't enough songs about hope these days. The tender ballad feels powerful with Liam singing in the chorus "Oh what are you dreaming of/ is it the kind of love/ that'll be there when the world is at its worse". By the end, I felt an emotion I wouldn't often associate with the former Oasis singer and had to instantly hear it again! I never expected that to happen.
Liam's voice was often accused of being the weak link in latter-day Oasis live shows, those years of cigarettes and alcohol ultimately taking their toll on his throat. However, time (and some care - an older Liam instead opting for a pre-gig routine of tea rather than beers and cocaine) has been been a clear healer.
Proving it wasn't a fluke, he performed the song live on The Jonathan Ross Show on Thursday 28th November, with a full backing band. He hits the higher notes he maybe wouldn't have in years past, giving one of the best vocal performances I can remember.
In a statement about the song, Liam gave us his view on the song in the most Liam way possible.
“All You’re Dreaming Of’ is an instant classic that is perfect for this time of year. Considering the year that we’ve all had, I hope this brings back some much needed love and hope. Bing Crosby would have been proud."
Whether it's an instant classic, only time will tell - and we can reassess that in a few years time - but it's already an early favourite for Christmas Number 1.
With the proceeds from the tracks going to Action for Children, what a wonderful thing it would be if this song hit the festive top spot. It has my vote, anyway.