Oasis – Wonderwall

This song is awash in sixties influence…which isn’t surprising by Oasis. It caught my attention in the 90s seeing that it had a mod mid-sixties influence. The song peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100 and #2 in the UK in 1996.

This song was supposedly about Noel Gallagher’s then-girlfriend Meg Mathews, who is compared with a schoolboy’s wall to which posters of footballers and Popstars are attached. He said: “It’s about my girlfriend. She was out of work, and that, a bit down on her luck, so it’s just saying, ‘Cheer up and f—in get on with it.'” Noel later married then divorced Meg Mathews.

Noel also said… “The meaning of that song was taken away from me by the media who jumped on it. And how do you tell your Mrs. it’s not about her once she’s read it is? It’s about an imaginary friend who’s going to come and save you from yourself.”

 

 

From Songfacts

The music is based on Wonderwall Music, an instrumental album George Harrison wrote for the movie Wonderwall in 1968. This was the first solo album released by any of The Beatles.

The concept of the “Wonderwall” is based on a ’60s film called Wonderwall – from Psychedelia to Surrealism, starring Jane Birkin. She lives next door to a man who becomes fascinated with her,so he slowly makes holes in his wall so he can watch her through it. This is the “Wonderwall.” Warning: this movie is supposedly terrible.

In 2002, the British army produced a recruitment video that used this under footage of soldiers conducting exercises. The producers of the video didn’t realize they needed permission to use the song, and when Oasis denied, they had to recall all the videos.

The album is the second-best-selling in British history. The best selling album in UK history is Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. 

This was the first single Oasis released in the US, and is their biggest hit in that country. >>

Initially, Noel wanted to sing this song, but he gave his brother Liam Gallagher the choice, and Noel ended up singing “Don’t Look Back In Anger.”

What sounds like a cello was played on a Mellotron tape-playback keyboard, although the video features shows someone playing the cello.

At live shows Noel plays his acoustic guitar on a Fender Telecaster. It’s one of the few songs where he uses a Fender guitar rather than a Gibson.

The opening track of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory is the track “Hello,” which starts off with the opening riff of “Wonderwall” playing extremely quietly; this stops once the guitar noise comes in.

The original title was “Wishing Stone.”

In an interview conducted in Australia around the time of the release of Be Here Now, when asked which 3 songs he would like to be remembered for, Noel immediately responded with “Live Forever” and “Wonderwall” and then proceeded to list several others, including “Champagne Supernova,” “Magic Pie” and “Cigarettes & Alcohol.”

At the very end of the song, the intro to “Supersonic” can be faintly heard being played on acoustic guitar.

Radiohead recorded a bootleg cover of the song in which Thom Yorke sings many incorrect lyrics and cuts out mid-chorus when a background voice says, “Is this abysmal or what? It’s always good to make fun of Oasis.” 

This was prevented from reaching #1 in the UK by Robson & Jerome’s Double A-side, “I Believe”and “Up On The Roof.”

The song’s music promo won the Best Video at the 1996 Brit Awards.

Jay-Z opened his set at the Glastonbury Festival in 2008 by singing a few minutes of this song – quite poorly. The famous UK festival was known for rock acts, so having Jay-Z perform stirred things up. After Noel Gallagher made public remarks taking issue with a rapper’s invitation to the festival, Jay responded with the on-stage mockery of “Wonderwall.”

The It’s a Shame About Ray episode of the HBO series Girls closed with Lena Dunham’s character Hannah singing this song in her bathtub, followed by a segue into Oasis’ original version. The day after its original broadcast on February 2, 2013, the tune re-entered Billboard’s Rock Digital Songs at #50.

This was voted #1 on the state-funded Triple J youth network’s “Hottest 100” countdown of the best songs released between Jan. 1, 1993, and Dec. 31, 2012. The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” was runner-up. More than 940,000 votes were cast for the poll, which was held to celebrate two decades of Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown. “Wonderwall” previously topped the annual “Hottest 100” in 1995, a time when Oasis were at the peak of their powers.

Noel on the song’s drum placement (The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters by Daniel Rachel): “I write songs purely for feel. Like the drums coming in on ‘Wonderwall’: people were going, ‘Why have they come in there, it’s an eighth of a bar too early?’ ‘What’s an eighth of a bar?’ I struggle to understand people’s perceptions. It comes in there because to me that’s where it sounds right to. ‘That’s wrong.’ I’m like, ‘Wrong to who? How can it be wrong?'”

This topped a 2016 survey commissioned by the website Sunfly Karaoke ahead of Father’s Day to find the favorite karaoke songs of dads around the UK. The song narrowly beat Blur’s “Parklife,” which came second in the poll.

Ryan Adams covered the song for his 2004 Love is Hell album. His version was supposed to be an inside joke with his then girlfriend, with whom he would debate the merits of Oasis vs Blur, but Adams managed to put a much darker spin on the song. He told Uncut: 

“It occurred to me that I was singing it from the perspective of someone in danger of committing suicide. That’s not what I was thinking about when I first did it, but it did have a different meaning. It’s someone saying, you’re my last hope. 

But in the second verse, that hope it’s not happening, and I’m singing like that person would sing if that’s the last thing they’re ever going to sing. That’s how I feel in that moment. It’s not a perversion to tap into these those things. I can let my body sing this way and let my mind go there, and I can feel all those things because they’ve been real things in my life at some point.”

Wonderwall

Today is gonna be the day
That they’re gonna throw it back to you
By now you should’ve somehow
Realized what you gotta do
I don’t believe that anybody
Feels the way I do, about you now

Back beat, the word was on the street
That the fire in your heart is out
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before
But you never really had a doubt
I don’t believe that anybody
Feels the way I do about you now

And all the roads we have to walk are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
There are many things that I
Would like to say to you but I don’t know how

Because maybe, you’re gonna be the one that saves me
And after all, you’re my wonderwall

Today was gonna be the day
But they’ll never throw it back to you
By now you should’ve somehow
Realized what you’re not to do
I don’t believe that anybody
Feels the way I do, about you now

And all the roads that lead you there are winding
And all the lights that light the way are blinding
There are many things that I
Would like to say to you but I don’t know how

I said maybe, you’re gonna be the one that saves me
And after all, you’re my wonderwall

I said maybe, you’re gonna be the one that saves me
And after all, you’re my wonderwall

I said maybe, you’re gonna be the one that saves me
You’re gonna be the one that saves me
You’re gonna be the one that saves me

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

42 thoughts on “Oasis – Wonderwall”

  1. A great song. One of my sweetie’s alltime favorites, which I guess isn’t a big surprise since she is a very big Beatles fan. I always wondered if there was any real connection between this song and “Wonderwall Music”, this explains that a bit more clearly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not to give anything away– a small spoiler alert…… in the movie “Yesterday” where no one but one fella knows of The Beatles- no one knows of Oasis either….. Wonderwall a great song! Their best maybe.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We will be able to talk about it soon…I plan to see it either by this weekend or on the weekend.
      I don’t mind knowing things about movies…hints never bother me much at all. Bailey is the opposite…I’ve heard some about it and I can’t wait to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was only a small little part I won’t give away anything more– other than The Osmonds became as big as The Beatles… just kidding…

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Did you see the movie, Yesterday, yet? I promise I’m not giving away much since this happens at the beginning, but there’s that funny scene when Jack discovers he’s the only one to know of The Beatles existing, and when he Googles Oasis, they don’t show up either. He simply says, “That figures.” Oh my gosh, hanspostcard beat me to this! I just discovered that, haha! Well, great nostalgic minds think alike. It’s too bad the Oasis brothers constantly butted heads. Who knows where they’d be today…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to see it this week or weekend…plans are already made…if not Thursday then Saturday…
      It doesn’t bother me to know things about movies but I won’t tell my son…he doesn’t like knowing anything. ..

      Like

      1. Yes it doesn’t bother me if I know the end… I have missed a few BAD movies because I knew the end. For the most part I don’t go looking but it doesn’t upset me. That is why I’m careful though doing movie reviews.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not a huge fan of the band, but I admire (sort of like Morrissey) how Noel Gallagher will tell you if a band is awful if he truly feels that way unlike Americans musicians who are goody-goody and never want to rain on anyone’s parade.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. They are upfront about things I totally agree…along with their bickering with each other…they hold nothing back.
      After grunge in the 90s it was nice to hear something different.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lots of info about this song. It evoked visceral responses, good, bad, and ugly! Would like to hear Radiohead’s version. Interesting about Ryan Adams’ spin on it. It fascinates me when people try to tell others how to interpret art. How each sees things is their own personal realm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it’s a song people either love or hate…I think that is mostly the band people are reacting to. I’ve always liked them…They bicker in public…the brothers do but they are open.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I don’t love the song… It’s cool to hear about where their name came from and The Beatles connection. I’m curious about the movie, even if it is terrible. I wonder if it’s out on youtube…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well after grunge of the 90s I did like them and Blur playing more power pop stuff. It was good to see the influence of the mid sixties…but they are an arrogant lot.
        Don’t get me wrong…I still would rather hear the real thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Max, does it show I started following your blog today? If so, not sure how I “unfollowed” so it must have been a WP glitch. I hadn’t seen your posts in my feed and thought it was just off-timing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No it didn’t and that has happened to me a lot! For a week I didn’t see Dave’s posts pop up…I had to go looking for them…I unfollowed somehow…or WP did.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to have a theory that most pop/rock songs should be shorter than 4 minutes or longer than 6 minutes – in between it’s a dead zone where a song’s dragged out. I just checked What’s The Story’s tracklist, and of the 10 songs, all but 2 are between 3:59 and 5:41, all in the danger zone.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is a good measuring stick. Yea there are a few songs that get by with it such as A Day in the Life or Like a Rolling Stone but on the most part yea…it gets too repetitive.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yup, there are definitely exceptions, and those two are both terrific. ‘A Day in the Life’ is a multi-part song, it would normally be over 6 minutes, but The Beatles are very succinct. The only Beatles songs that drag are from their late period – Ballad of John and Yoko and I Want You (She’s So Heavy). And Like A Rolling Stone has a story to tell, it doesn’t really waste time.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hey Jude may push the envelope but I’m usually caught up in the joy of the song for more of the same.
        I agree with you though. It’s usually repetitive after 4 minutes.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yea after a few times I get tired of it.
        The Ramones are all the better for doing what they did…no solo no anything but a 2-3 minute song. Churn out a quick pop song and then start over.

        Like

    1. Yes it was their only top 20 hit here…I like their other songs though. As someone said their songs go on for a little longer than I like.
      After the grunge era…it was nice hearing this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love them. Don’t listen to them as much as I used to, but they really dominated pop music as I grew up.

        Yes, some of their songs do drag on… Noel is pretty open about it being down to the huge amount of cocaine they were consuming. But hey, it means they hold the record for the longest ever number one single.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They openly showed their influences and I loved that…plus they delivered the goods. I was never a big fan of grunge and it was huge here…to hear melodies again was great.

        It’s just a shame they can not work together in peace…but brothers in Rock and Roll don’t have a good track record in some cases.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The friction would cause creative peaks…I totally agree with that. You have to take the good with the bad. I haven’t checked on them in a while…is anything beginning to thaw? Are they any better than they were?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Nope, seems not. Plus they’re both doing pretty well in the UK with solo stuff so I doubt they’ll reunite any time soon… There was talk of them getting back together for the concert after the bombing in Manchester a couple of years ago, but even that didn’t happen.

        Liked by 1 person

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