I recently contacted Owen Morris and asked whether the demo version of Some Might Say included on the Japanese import CD single of the song is the version that they recorded at Maison Rouge in June 1994. He very kindly got back with the following info about the demo session, as well as the mixing of the final studio version.
Owen: David, Yes… that import CD version of Some Might Say is definitely the demo version we recorded at Maison Rouge on the Whatever session. On that session, we first recorded Whatever (probably three days in total recording), then Listen Up (which took two days), and then quickly did that b-side version of Fade Away (pretty much as a live take, which I later regretted… ’cos it is such a good song – we should’ve made more of an effort. But it was in the spirit of keeping it “live”). And then Noel got the band (without Liam, obviously) to quickly run through and record this version of Some Might Say, which I guess he’d recently written; certainly it was the first time the band or myself had heard the song… very typical Noel Gallagher: at some stage during a session, he’d quietly tell you he’d got a new song (Acquiesce and Wonderwall are examples of this).
The mixing [of the final studio recording] was a bit muddled. I initially tried a quick mix at Loco Studios on the last day of the recording session (this was the session we also recorded Acquiesce… but it didn’t sound that great when I got it home).
So then I went to London, a week or so later, and tried mixing at Orinoco for the first time. The band were on tour, so, as on Definitely Maybe, Marcus Russell turned up to listen. I put a mix down there that me and Marcus were extremely happy with. I remember this specifically because we were so confident that this was the master mix, that when the assistant engineer asked me should he do a recall of all the studio sessions (in case we needed to return to the mix at a later stage to make any adjustments), I, very unprofessionally, told him not to bother: “We have the mix!” (recalls of studios are a right pain for assistants to do, and never totally work in my experience).
Anyway… I can’t remember why: but we decided the mix needed changing (could have been me not being happy, or Noel wanting a guitar louder?). Orinoco wasn’t available, so I went back to Loco for a night to get it mixed (we were against a deadline to deliver the master mix ’cos it was being released soon). I had become increasingly irritated by the first few bars of chorus one, where there is a noticeable speed up… the story is that we had recorded a really good, solid backing track of Some Might Say on day one in Loco… all very happy. Very late at night, Noel and I listened back to it, and decided that it was too fast; we wanted a slightly slower version, more like the demo you have. So we got the band back into the studio, and Noel told them they were playing it again… a bit slower. They played it in one take and Noel pronounced himself very happy with this version. Actually, I think it was even faster than the one we ditched.
Next day, Liam gets up, listens to it, wants to sing it [and] goes in and sings it amazingly… like he did then. And that was that: ’cos Liam’s vocal was so good, we kept the slightly dodgy “late at night” version. But when mixing it, it really bothered me that any “groove” was completely lost in the first few bars of the chorus. So I tried various ways of covering up the dodgy backing track. The mix I ended up using was the third mix I put down that night in Loco.
When the single was mastered at Abbey Road, I thought it sounded terrible: ’cos I didn’t master it à la my Definitely Maybe “brick wall” mastering… it sounded weak and thin. I did, however, enjoy mastering it myself for Morning Glory. I think it sounds OK. In fact it is now one of my very favourite of all my Oasis recordings. I think it is one of my favourite songs of his. And I never hear the timing problems anymore…
(Owen Morris, July 2014)
(Interview by David Huggins. Answers © Owen Morris. Published on Oasis Recording Info, July 2014).