Columbia

Album: Definitely Maybe (1994)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This was the first song that Noel Gallagher wrote with Oasis. He recalled to Q magazine: "One Sunday afternoon I was at home watching EastEndersd when our kid rings up and says, 'You coming down for a jam?' I'd never played with anyone else ever. I went, 'Alright.' I'm asking, 'Do you know any Beatles songs?' 'No.' 'Not Ticket To Ride?'

    "We sit there for hours and hours, dead hot and sweaty, and its great," Gallagher continued. "Same the next Sunday and – just because they didn't know any Beatles, really – we decide to write a song ourselves and I come up with what turns out to be Columbia."
  • Oasis opened their first gig at Manchester's Boardwalk on (probably) January 15, 1992 with this song. Noel Gallagher recalled to Q magazine: "It went down like a f---ing knackered lift (laughs). We played this epic, six minute, stone-grooved song, dow, wow, dow, duh duh, the total crossing of rock music and dance music beyond anything that's been heard before and everyone's like (blank face). Soul destroying. This bowl of silence."
  • This was Bonehead's favorite song to play live. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Daragh - Dublin, Ireland
  • Noel Gallagher explained the song's background in the liner notes to Definitely Maybe's 2014 reissue: "When we started, we didn't have a lot of songs so we would jam out current Acid House favourites and f--k about. 'Columbia' derived from one of those nights. It was an instrumental and we played it the first night I ever did a gig with Oasis. When we started at The Real People's studio, somebody had the idea of adding lyrics and it's still a bone of contention to this day who actually wrote the words. We were all on acid at the time but I know I wrote 90 percent of them. It's named in honour of the hotel (in London). Because when I was a roadie with Mark Coyle working for the Inspiral Carpets, we loved that hotel, it was the scene of many nights of nonsense. And it sounded like a good title. I mean, why call anything anything?" >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 6

  • Dr Kecks from SpaceCompletely ripped off from "Blue Cat" by the Clouds from their Bingo Clubs Millenium Ball EP from 1992
    https://youtu.be/MA0Je3odOkY
  • Lukas from Panevëþys, Lithuaniathere was made a documentary about oasis named "There we were, now here we are". those lines are from song lyrics
  • Simon from London, EnglandJust a rocking tune, typifies London of the early 90's, under a blizzard of coke. Stick the tune on, turn up to 10 and imagine just being there when they played this live.Awesome !
  • Ben from Whittier, Canoel wrote this song while working in the british gas Company. he lift a gas tank but another one fell on his foot shaterd it badly so he work in a storehouse for a while in his free time he played guitar and claims that he wrote Columbia also other songs.
  • Brendan from York, Englandits called columbia cos thats the hotel they were stayin in at the time
  • Matt from Bristol, EnglandThe lyrics are about cocaine. They just called it columbia cos thats where Noel was when he wrote it
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino EditionMusic Quiz

Whether he's splitting ears or burning Nazis, Quentin Tarantino uses memorable music in his films. See if you can match the song to the scene.

Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.

Yacht Rock!

Yacht Rock!Song Writing

A scholarly analysis of yacht rock favorites ("Steal Away," "Baker Street"...) with a member of the leading YR cover band.

Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds

Jim McCarty of The YardbirdsSongwriter Interviews

The Yardbirds drummer explains how they created their sound and talks about working with their famous guitarists.

Bill Withers

Bill WithersSongwriter Interviews

Soul music legend Bill Withers on how life experience and the company you keep leads to classic songs like "Lean On Me."