Why Oasis were sued over the song Whatever

19 June 2018, 17:14 | Updated: 10 September 2019, 12:38

Get the tale behind the 1994 standalone Oasis single and its famous lawsuit.

Whatever was released by Oasis on 18 December 1994.

Written by the band's guitarist and songsmith Noel Gallagher, the six minutes and 21 second-long track preached in importance of freedom and self-determination, no matter the outcome.

Watch its Mark Szaszy-directed video above.

"I'm free to be whatever I
Whatever I choose
And I'll sing the blues if I want"

The standalone Christmas single - which was released to fill the gap between Oasis's debut album Definitely Maybe and it's follow-up (What's the Story) Morning Glory? - debuted at No.3 on the UK Chart, becoming their first Top 5 single ever.

If the song wasn't impressive enough, its b-side was just as strong-featuring Slide Away and Half The World Away.

Oasis - Whatever single
Oasis - Whatever single. Picture: Artwork

The track's iconic strings were arranged by Nick Ingham and Noel Gallagher and were played by the London Session Orchestra, which featured former ELO violinist Wilfred Gibson.

Despite its success, not everything about the single was sweet sailing.

The opening line and main referain of the song bore a similarity to the melody of the How Sweet To Be An Idiot, which comedian/musician Neil Innes wrote in 1973 and performed at some of Monty Python's live shows.

Innes' publishers EMI hit the band with a plagarism lawsuit, claiming it borrowed heavily from his track.

Listen to it here:

Oasis settled the suit and Innes a received songwriting credit on their successful single.

Ironically, Innes went on to create Beatles parody group The Rutles, who ended up becoming a real touring band, while Oasis continued to be compared to The Fab Four.

Innes later referenced Whatever song at the very beginning of The Rutles' Shangri-La track, which was taken from their 1996 Archaeology album.

Listen to the intro here:

Well played.