"Some Might Say" was written by the lead guitarist of the English rock band Oasis, Noel Gallagher, and released as the first single from their second album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? in 1995. The song captured the spirit of the day, that something was about to happen - "Some might say we will find a brighter day" - and it was no surprise when it became Oasis's first UK #1.
The head of Oasis' record company, Alan McGee, wanted to release the single as a double A-side with "Acquiesce
." However, Noel Gallagher disagreed and stood firm, so despite becoming a concert favorite, "Acquiesce" remained only this song's B-side.
(What's the Story) Morning Glory? producer Owen Morris recalled the recording of this song in the February 2011 edition of Q magazine: "We'd demoed 'Some Might Say' in Maison Rouge (France) six months or so before. The version from there was slow and heavy and dark, really quite cool in a Rolling Stones way. Then we turn up in Loco studios in Wales and spend the day doing lots of good versions, slightly faster than the demo. I edit the best bits together backing track done! Then Noel wakes the band in the middle of the night, insists they get out of bed and re-record it. We do one take and decide we're all f--king geniuses and that we've definitely nailed it.
Next day, I wake up, hangover and hazy, Liam wants to sing. So Liam sings his lead vocal in two takes. F--king on-fire singing. Thing is, the backing track was faster than we'd ever intended, which Noel and I hadn't noticed when drunk the night before. There was a really bad speed up during the first three bars of the first chorus. But we had to f--king use it because Liam's singing was undeniably brilliant."
This was the last Oasis track to feature drummer and founding member Tony McCarroll, who was asked to leave the band during the recording sessions for (What's the Story) Morning Glory? when tensions arose between the percussionist and the Gallagher brothers. The rest of the tracks on the album feature Alan White on drums. McCarroll would go on to win a settlement for "unlawful dismissal."
This was the first song Noel Gallagher wrote after moving down to London from Manchester. He has said listening to The Faces was a major inspiration for it.
Noel was confident it would be the band's first chart-topper. He recalled to NME December 29, 2012: "Alan McGee didn't think it sounded like a #1. He's a great man but he has no idea how to pick singles. As soon as I'd written 'Some Might Say' I was certain it would be a #1 and I was right. I never had even the slightest doubt. That was the gin and tonic getting the better of me."
Photographer Brian Cannon did the sleeve artwork for the single. He recalled to NME: "Noel said that he wanted all the lyrics represented in the image. That was a tough one. We came up with the concept of a disused railway station because of the lyric, 'Standing at the station. In need of education. In the rain.' We drove all over Derbyshire and the one we found, near Matlock, was a masterpiece. I never used actors - I used friends, my mum and dad, and barmaids from the local. By that stage, Oasis were massive, so we didn't have the chance to reshoot. We were like the SAS: everyone knew their positions and exactly what they were doing."
Noel Gallagher told the story of the song to Select magazine: "The verses are quite deep," he said. "Some of them are about homeless people, and people who can't always get what they want, and how people who can get what they want always seems bemoaning more than people can't. That's why it's, 'Tell it to the man who lives in hell.'"
"So then I wanted something as deep and meaningful for the chorus," Gallagher continued, "but in the end I just gave up and thought, 'F--k it, I might as well just goes stupid stuff about fishes and dishes and dogs itching."
Noel attributes the melancholy verses to his Irish heritage. He told Daniel Rachel for the book The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters: "Because I'm first-generation Irish there's always a melancholy, but a kind of uplifting sadness. 'Some Might Say' is quite a sad and melancholy lyric but the sound of it is so euphoric, and the melody, it's like everything's going to be all right. That's the Irish in me."
On the lyrics "Some might say they don't believe in heaven, go and tell it to the man who lives in hell," Noel says: "Social comment, there. I'm not religious and I'm not spiritual, I don't think. I guess it was maybe directed at myself. Poor people tend to be exploited by religion a lot. The poorest people in the world have got God - that's all they've got. Fat Westerners like us: 'What you talking about? Money's where it's at, man.' I guess it's the idea of heaven is what keeps the poor going. The rest of us don't see God on a daily basis, do we?"
Noel Gallagher recorded the demo for "Some Might Say" with producer Owen Morris at Loco Studios in Wales. It was the only demo done for (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
Gallagher recalled to Q
magazine that Morris was recording The Verve's album A Northern Soul
at the time. "He said they were having the weekend off, why don't I come down. So the demo is recorded with all their equipment."
Gallagher added that the train on the way back to Manchester broke down in the tunnel, and that's where he wrote "Acquiesce