Reaching your half-century is a milestone in anybody's book, and especially so for someone who spent most of the 1990s in a haze of drugs and booze, as Noel Gallagher did.

Whether you're a fan of the Mancunian musician's former band Oasis or not, you can't dispute the fact that he has written some cracking songs in his time.

So, to celebrate the elder Gallagher brother's 50th birthday today, we've picked 11 of his best songs for your listening pleasure:

1. 'Slide Away' (1994)

Gallagher wrote this song for his girlfriend at the time, Louise Jones, whom he described as his 'soulmate' before they split in 1994 – later saying 'I don't think I'll ever get over it.' What a declaration of love, and when that chorus/key change kicks it, only the most cynical heart will fail to soar.


2. 'Live Forever' (1994)

Another track taken from Oasis's debut album 'Definitely Maybe', Gallagher reportedly wrote this track while working in a building company in Manchester. Not bad for something you knock off in your spare time – and it's regularly hailed as one of his finest compositions.


3. 'The Masterplan' (1995)

Perhaps the most philosophical song that Gallagher has ever written, he himself regularly cites it as one of his best – although he's also said that he's annoyed that it was released as a b-side. We defy you to watch the famous Knebworth performance of this song and not get goosebumps in the process.


4. 'Don't Look Back in Anger' (1996)

Many of Oasis's songs have become iconic because of Liam's vocal delivery, true – but this one is all Noel. Like many of his best songs, it seems so simple on paper; there are no particularly tricky chords or key changes in there, but when it's all put together, there's an indefinable magic to it. It's no surprise that the song still has longevity, 21 years after it was released.


5. 'Cast No Shadow' (1996)

A hugely underrated and overlooked song taken from Oasis's second album '(What's the Story) Morning Glory', it's one of Gallagher's best ballads – and proved what a versatile writer he really is. The song was dedicated 'To the genius of Richard Ashcroft' and once led the Verve frontman to joke with him: "'Am I a vampire? What are you trying to say man?'"


6. 'Talk Tonight' (1995)

It's hard to believe that 'Talk Tonight' was a b-side, but that's often been the case with much of Oasis's back catalogue; the bolshy anthems were released as singles (in this case, the excellent 'Some Might Say') and the more considered fare made up the flip-side. The song documents a troubled period for Gallagher and Oasis in 1994, when there was in-fighting in the band in Los Angeles and they came close to splitting. Noel left the hotel and went to stay with a girl he'd befriended on a previous tour, who talked him out of turning his back on the band. She also inspired a cracking track.


7. 'Sunday Morning Call' (2000)

Wait, wait, wait. Hear us out. Okay, so we all know that 'Standing On the Shoulders of Giants' is far from Oasis's best album, but there are a number of great little songs in between the nonsense and excess, and this is one of them. Reportedly inspired by Kate Moss and sung by Noel, it's a underrated gem in a sea of silliness.


8. 'The Girl in the Dirty Shirt' (1997)

Wait, wait, wait. Seriously, hear us out. Again. Be Here Now may have been released at the peak of Oasis's coke-and-booze era, but we have a serious soft spot for the album and we don't care what anyone says – this is a great song, even if Noel might not think so himself. ("It's the sound of ... a bunch of guys, on coke, in the studio, not giving a fuck," he said of the album. "And all the songs are really long and all the lyrics are shit and for every millisecond Liam is not saying a word, there's a fuckin' guitar riff in there, in a Wayne's World stylee."


9. 'The Importance of Being Idle' (2005)

Taken from their penultimate album 'Don't Believe the Truth', this is possibly one of the last great songs that Gallagher wrote with Oasis in mind. It may not have a whole lot of lyrical depth, but a) his voice sounds great and b) that jaunty little melody is impossible not to sing along to.


10. 'Half the World Away' (1994)

He admitted that it was heavily influenced by Burt Bacharach's 'This Guy's In Love With You' - ("It sounds exactly the same. I'm surprised he hasn't sued me yet!"), but this track – which later became the theme tune to The Royle Family – is such an irresitible little number that he just about gets away with it.


11. 'In the Heat of the Moment' (2015)

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds may not have set the world ablaze in the same way that his former band did, but Gallagher continues to write great songs, nevertheless. Taken from his second album 'Chasing Yesterday', it's a blistering (pun intended), punchy, driving rock number and one of the highlights of work in latter years.