Noel Gallagher started writing this song when he was a roadie for The Inspiral Carpets. It helped convince his brother Liam to let him join his band, Oasis.
The melody is based on The Rolling Stones' "Shine A Light
" from Exile on Main St
. The part Noel took was from the chorus: "May the good Lord Shine a Light on you." Noel wrote it in his flat in Manchester using the melody from the song. He took it to the band and they rehearsed it once and played it that night at a gig.
Nick - Southampton, England
This is one of the most enduring songs in Britain, but it was never a hit in America. Oasis never came close to matching their UK success in the States.
The lyrics are partly a tribute to Gallagher's mother. She was an avid gardener, and her garden is mentioned in the song.
Some of the video was shot in New York's Central Park.
This was voted Oasis's best song in a poll taken on the band's official website.
Adam - Dewsbury, England
On the cover of the CD single is John Lennon's childhood home, 251 Menlove Avenue. It was bought by Yoko Ono who donated it to the National Trust.
Connagh - London, England
According to Q magazine, the opening couplet, "Maybe I don't really want to know/ How your garden grows" was inspired by Gallagher's childhood memories of waiting around, bored, on his parents' allotment.
Liam Gallagher told Q magazine October 2008 that this is his favorite Oasis song. He explained: "I think the words still mean something powerful. You talk about Oasis capturing a spirit, and I think that song is how a lot of people feel when they're down on their luck. I think I first heard it in the Boardwalk in Manchester when our kid (Noel Gallagher) was trying it out. Even when we're starting it now I always feel like we're going to perform our best version of it. It makes me think of me mam. And it's the song that makes me feel I have the best job in the band. I may not have written it but I get to sing it. It's weird cos it's outlasted other tunes."
Noel Gallagher seems to be pretty proud of this tune. He told Q magazine in 2011: "With every song that I write, I compare it to The Beatles. I've got semi-close once or twice, with 'Live Forever,' for example... the solo on that is one of the greatest things in rock music."
Co-producer Owen Morris also mixed Definitely Maybe. He recalled to Q magazine: "When Noel's solo on Live Forever goes high on the second half, all I could think of was Slash in leather keks with a wind machine on the Grand Canyon. So I muted it and thought I was making it cooler. I had a message from Noel not to cut it in half on the final mix."
This was recorded in Clear Studios at Manchester, England.
Bertrand - Paris, France
Noel Gallagher told NME
May 11, 2013 how this was inspired by a Nirvana B-side. "It was written in the middle of grunge," he explained, "and Nirvana had a tune called 'I Hate Myself And I Want To Die
.' I was like, 'I'm not f--king having that,' Kids don't need to hear that nonsense. Here was a guy who had everything and was miserable about it. We had f--k all, and I still thought getting up in the morning was the greatest f--king ever."
Noel took a shot at his brother's high-pitched vocals on this song during his commentary for the 2010 box set, Time Flies. "Yeah, matey boy soon gave up singing the falsetto bit after that," recalled the Oasis guitarist. "I think he thought he was a bit gay, though there's nothing wrong with being gay, obviously."
Noel Gallagher said during a Reddit AMA that he never had a life goal until he penned this song. "Where I came from, and the times that I grew up in, it was best not to have any ambitions. It was quite a bleak time," he said. "I never had a life goal until I wrote 'Live Forever.' And then when I wrote 'Live Forever,' I wanted to be in the biggest band in the world."
In an interview with Daniel Rachel (The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters), Noel said the line "the brains I had went to my head" was inspired by the antics he and his friend would get into that nobody else could understand, like driving all night in the rain to go to discos, get drunk, and sleep in bus shelters. "It was like a thing between me and him; they don't get it, we get it," he said.