Song of the Day: Wonderwall by Oasis

According to Gallagher, “Wonderwall” describes “an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself”.
Wonderwall” is a song by English rock band Oasis, written by the band’s guitarist and main songwriter Noel Gallagher.

The song’s title was appropriated from Wonderwall, a 1968 film whose soundtrack (Wonderwall Music) was provided by George Harrison. It remains one of the band’s most popular songs; on 9 June 2013, it was voted number one on Triple J’s “20 Years of the Hottest 100”, a music poll that consisted of nearly a million votes to determine the greatest song of the past twenty years.

Lyrics:

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

——

“Wonderwall” was written for Gallagher’s then-girlfriend, Meg Matthews, as Gallagher told NME in 1996: “It’s about my girlfriend, Meg Matthews.”However, after Gallagher divorced Matthews in 2001, he said the song was not about Matthews: “[the song was] about an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself.”

The sleeve artwork was inspired by the paintings of the Belgian surrealist René Magritte, and was shot on Primrose Hill in north London. The hand holding the frame is that of art director Brian Cannon. The original idea was to have Liam in the frame before Noel vetoed that idea whilst the shoot was taking place. Instead a female figure was deemed necessary and Anita Heryet, aCreation Records employee, was asked to stand in as cover star for the shot.

“Wonderwall” has been one of the most-frequently covered songs in recent history. The most famous cover version was an easy listening arrangement by The Mike Flowers Pops, which reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart, just as the Oasis original had done two months earlier. Gallagher mentioned that when BBC Radio 1 premiered the song, they jokingly claimed that they had found “the original version of Wonderwall”. Gallagher, who had been in America at the time, was surprised to be asked by one of his record company’s executives if he had actually written the song. The Mike Flowers Pops cover was used in the 1997 film The Jackal, and also in the 1999 film Superstar.

Ryan Adams’ version, first performed in 2001, and later released in 2003 on Love Is Hell pt. 1 EP, was well received by Noel Gallagher.

“Wonderwall” was featured in the popular mashup “Boulevard of Broken Songs” mixed by Party Ben in late 2004, which also contained parts of both Travis’s “Writing to Reach You” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. In late 2006, Gallagher accused Green Day of ‘ripping off’ “Wonderwall”, saying “If you listen, you’ll find it is exactly the same arrangement as Wonderwall. They should have the decency to wait until I am dead [before stealing my songs]. I, at least, pay the people I steal from that courtesy.”.

At the beginning of his set at Glastonbury 2008, Jay-Z performed a cover of “Wonderwall”. Noel Gallagher had previously been critical of Jay-Z’s booking as a star performer at the festival, so it is probable that his cover was intended to be ironic. Jay-Z’s mock performance boosted the song’s sales, making it a challenger for the top 100. The original album had a 200% increase in sales and the compilation album had a 140% increase. Jay-Z references the above event and sings part of “Wonderwall” on his song “Jockin Jay-Z”, which was cut from his 2009 album The Blueprint 3.

One Direction released a cover version in August 2012. It was recorded while on set for another music video and it received mixed reviews.

Oasis

Origin Manchester, England
Genres Rock, Britpop, alternative rock
Years active 1991–2009
Labels Creation, Epic, Columbia, Sony Music,Big Brother, Reprise
Associated acts The Rain, Beady Eye, Ride, Heavy Stereo, Hurricane No. 1, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Website oasisinet.com
Past members Liam Gallagher
Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan
Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs
Tony McCarroll
Noel Gallagher
Alan White
Gem Archer
Andy Bell

image by `spacecoyote

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Music and Musicians / Song of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s