What does the title of the Oasis album Dig Out Your Soul mean?

7 October 2019, 18:07 | Updated: 7 October 2019, 18:11

Oasis in Hong Kong in 2006: Gem Archer, Noel Gallagher, Andy Bell, and Liam Gallagher
Oasis in Hong Kong in 2006: Gem Archer, Noel Gallagher, Andy Bell, and Liam Gallagher. Picture: Lo Sai Hung/AP/Shutterstock

It was the final outing for Liam and Noel Gallagher in 2008, but what’s the thinking behind that ponderous title?

Dig Out Your Soul, the seventh and final Oasis album, was released on 6 October 2008. At the time, of course, nobody knew that it would be the last hurrah for Liam and Noel Gallagher as a creative team… well, at least for now.

Described by Liam as a “colossal” and “rockin’” album, the record featured the storming single The Shock Of The Lightning and the more wistful (and prophetic) I’m Outta Time, written by the younger Gallagher.

But The Shock Of The Lightning was almost the title of the album as a whole, as Noel Gallagher revealed.

He told the BBC in 2008: “Originally it was going to be called Bag It Up [the opening track] and then it was going to be called The Shock Of The Lightning and then it was going to be called Standing On The Edge Of The Noise.”

Oasi - Dig Out Your Soul album cover
Oasi - Dig Out Your Soul album cover. Picture: Press

He went on: “I couldn’t think of any ideas and then somebody had taken bits of the lyrics out and Dig Out Your Soul was what came up. I was like, You know what? Titles become themselves.”

The song in question was To Be Where There’s Life which was written by guitarist Gem Archer - the track features the lines:

“Dig out your soul, 'cause here we go
We gotta move, it's what we do”

Gem Archer, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher and Andy Bell of Oasis at Wembley in October 2008
Gem Archer, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher and Andy Bell of Oasis at Wembley in October 2008. Picture: The Fa/Shutterstock

The line was about a club DJ digging into his Motown records, according to Noel Gallagher.

While the songwriter admitted that Oasis album titles weren’t the best, he explained “Dig Out Your Soul was the best one on a day when we had to choose one.”

The line was about a club DJ digging into his Motown records, according to Noel Gallagher.

While the songwriter admitted that Oasis album titles weren’t the best, he explained “Dig Out Your Soul was the best one on a day when we had to choose one.”

Gem Archer in May 2018
Gem Archer in May 2018. Picture: Adam Gasson / Future Publishing/Shutterstock

Archer claimed that Noel encouraged him to finish the song in the first place: “I played him To Be Where There’s Life when it was just an instrumental,” he told Clash magazine in 2008. “I went, ‘Well, I’ve got this,’ and he was like, ‘Have you got any words?’ ‘No.’ ‘Right, get some together.’

“I finished To Be Where There’s Life in one weekend - it all just came.”