One of the first articles released on this site was an analysis of the most common chords used in songs by The Beatles which reached number one in the charts. The article was entitled Is G minor really all it’s cracked up to be? And can be found at the following link: https://musiceconomics.com/2017/03/16/is-g-minor-really-all-its-cracked-up-to-be/
The article found that the most commonly used chord in number one songs by The Beatles was the G chord followed by the C and D chord. The aim of the article was to show the concept of efficiency in songwriting by seeing was there a “most efficient” chord which tended to be used in the most commercially successful of The Beatles songs. It is no great secret that Noel Gallagher, the primary songwriter for Britpop giants Oasis was a huge admirer of The Beatles. So, I thought it may be interesting to see if there were any overlaps in the chords used in Oasis number one singles and the chords used in The Beatles number one singles.
Now to do this in a manner that is at least some way fair I had to hold the analysis to the same rule as I did with the analysis of The Beatles songs. So, I will only be analysing Oasis songs which reached number one in the charts. So, while some Oasis classics like Wonderwall and Supersonic have gone down as some of the most anthemic and brilliant pieces of music to come out of the Britpop era, they won’t be featuring in this analysis because they did not reach the number one spot as a single.
According to Oasis’s official UK chart history, the link to which can be found at the end of this article, Oasis have had 8 number one singles in the UK. They are Some Might Say, Don’t Look Back in Anger, All Around the World, Go Let it Out, The Hindu Times, Lyla and The Importance of Being Idle. The most common chords from the analysis can be seen graphed below.
So, out of Oasis’s 8 number one songs G is the most common chord being used in 7 out of the 8 songs. Then tied for second are the chords C and E which were used in 5 out of the 8 songs. The results of this analysis seem to match that of The Beatles one fairly similarly with G being the most common chord found in both analyses and C to being the second most common in both analyses as well. Maybe it’s just a coincidence or maybe there really does seem to be something very efficient about the chords G and C with regard to making number one songs.
By Daragh O’Leary