If you can’t think of ten, you don’t really love it.
1) What the heck is a Wonderwall? A bit of intrigue about a song title is always welcome. (Apparently it’s an imaginary friend who’s going to come and save you from yourself. It’s absolutely NOT about Meg Matthews).
2) The instrumentation is beautifully introduced. Firstly we get the acoustic guitar strum through the first four lines of the song, then the mournful cello comes in for “Backbeat the word is on the street…” and finally and rather deliciously, the drum hits precisely on “street that the …. (fire in your heart is out)”.
3) And that’s it for instruments (save for a bit of bass). No big rock guitars, which defined the band at the time. It was kind of left field compared to what we were used to from Oasis.
4) The drum beat is jittery and restless all the way through, particularly just before the long note comes in.
5) Let’s talk about the long notes. It’s pretty simple as a chorus. “May-beeeeeeeeeeee, you’re gow-na be the one that saves meeeeeeeeeee. And after aaaaaaaaaaaall, you’re my wonderwaaaaaaaaaall” Simple is sometimes so incredibly effective, and it is nailed on as a singalong for the masses.
6) Listen carefully and you can hear the insistent tambourine alongside that chorus.
7) Here comes verse two. Pause. Drum beat. Then adding to the simplicity is the fact that the lyrics to the second verse vary only slightly from the first.”Today is gonna be the day” becomes “Today was gonna be the day” and “Realised what you got to do” becomes “Realised what you’re not to do”. Let’s call it genius rather than laziness. An indication of the passage of time, which adds to the story telling.
8) The sentiments of the song represent someone waiting to be saved. Wanting to be saved. I simply never thought those Gallagher boys were sensitive enough to feel like that.
9) The song was number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in America for ten weeks. By contrast in the UK, a swiftly released easy listening cover by Mike Flowers Pops was simultaneously in the charts. Both songs reached parity at number two. The song keeping it from the top was Robson and Jerome’s I Believe. It’s one of those quirks of the British charts that sometimes crap beats class.
10) Finally a quote from Noel. “People ask us if we get bored of it. You can’t get bored of 15,000 shouting for Wonderwall. It’s better than drugs. You get a hard on hearing that.”
I’ll leave you with that thought guys.