2011: 15 of the Best. #2…

December 15, 2011

02. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If I Had a Gun…

From: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Released: November 8, 2011
Label: Sour Mash/Mercury
Buy it: Here.

Oasis fans got pretty excited when someone managed to capture a recording of this song in its formative stages during a soundcheck on the band’s final tour. I don’t know that the hunger was that rampant for new Oasis material at the time—Dig Out Your Soul was less than a year old, although it did lack the flag-waving staple Noel delivered on previous records (“Let There Be Love,” “Stop Crying Your Heart Out,” “Sunday Morning Call,” etc.)—the only real contender for the candlelight was Liam’s “I’m Outta Time.” But certainly after Oasis split and Noel went into a 2-year-long radio silence, fans’ need for this song quickly turned from hunger into bloodthirsty starvation. Why? Well, my theory is that even in that soundcheck recording, Noel’s sketches of lyrics displayed a vulnerability and hymn-like quality that he rarely shows, but when he does (“Talk Tonight,” “Slide Away”), the songs are usually considered among his best. Noel chose to go with a muscular backing for the song on his debut solo album, and while some of the words changed between the 2009 soundcheck and the 2011 release, the heart and intent remained intact. By the time of the final chorus that begins “Let me fly you to the moon …” every girl with a heart within earshot should be head over heels. If some teen drama injected this song into an episode, I’d bet chances are high that Noel would feel a surge of “Wonderwall”-like popularity again, but it’d probably be a little shorter lived than it was in the 1990s. Which is OK, as Noel seems to be in no hurry to recapture that. At best, Oasis fans got the song they’d waiting so long for and detractors got all the ammo they needed to pen their “All this guy does is rewrite ‘Wonderwall’” critiques. I would say those people are missing the point (of course I would). What we have here is as direct a love song from Noel Gallagher as we’re ever going to get, and it’s appropriate that (without reducing myself to hyperbole) it’s one for the ages.


  1. Great song.

    I’m wondering if his sibling will snag the top spot? And if so, will it be a certain B-side? If so, there’s still time to change your mind. I beg you. You can still take it back…

    • …booya.

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