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Music

The classic Oasis song that Liam Gallagher despises: "Every time I have to sing it I want to gag"

In 1995, Oasis were on top of the world. Manchester’s favourite sons, fronted by warring brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher and backed by Alan McGee’s Creation Records, emerged as a hit-making machine as they announced a Britpop battle against chart rivals Blur.

After signing to Creation in 1993, Oasis flew out of the traps with their debut album Definitely Maybe. While many would sit back and bask in the glory, the Gallagher brothers got back to work, releasing their second full-length record, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? just a year later. An LP jam-packed with hits, Oasis had tracks such as ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, ‘Morning Glory’, ‘Champagne Supernova‘, and ‘Roll with It’ that they could dine out on for years. However, the more attentive readers among us will notice a glaring omission from that list.

Oasis classic ‘Wonderwall’, a track which many people would argue propped up the band’s faultless 1995 album, is widely regarded as being a turning point in the history of indie music. The record, it goes without saying, achieved unparalleled commercial success for a band fighting for the guitar-led revolution.

The song, originally titled ‘Wishing Stone’, was later renamed ‘Wonderwall’ after George Harrison’s debut solo album of the same name. However, the true origins of the track have often come into question. Noel Gallagher told NME in 1996 that ‘Wonderwall’ was written for Meg Mathews, his then-girlfriend and later wife. However, after Gallagher and Mathews divorced in 2001, he changed his tune: “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 a song about an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself.”

Despite the somewhat murky and unconfirmed inspiration that birthed ‘Wonderwall’, one aspect is irrefutable: Liam Gallagher despises it. Discussing the track during a past interview, the lead singer said: “Every time I have to sing it I want to gag,” Gallagher told MTV News. “Problem is, it was a big, big tune for us. You go to America and they’re like: ‘Are you Mr. Wonderwall?’ You want to chin someone,” he added.

In truth, Oasis’ relationship with America has never been straightforward. Arguably one of the biggest bands on the planet for a period of time, their very British-focused music often failed to translate to those across the pond. That factor, and a crystal meth-induced nightmare, meant that the Gallagher brothers never really managed to ‘crack’ the US.

While Liam offered up his reasoning for disliking ‘Wonderful’, Noel was quick to dismiss it. Although it was clear Liam was against the song, the source of his frustration is up for debate. Reminiscing on the formative process of the song as part of an interview with Mojo, Noel was asked if he had plans for the track to be “a song would be sung by you or Liam”. Noel, reflective on Oasis’ output more broadly, replied: “The only time I laid down the law was ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’.”

He added: “I was so fucked off with him walking off stage and me having to take over and do the gig. I remember thinking, if I’m going to do this, I want a big fucking song to sing. I said, ‘You’re singing one or the other, but not both’. He hated ‘Wonderwall’. He said it was trip-hop. There speaks a man who’s never heard trip-hop.”

Noel continued: “He wanted to sing ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, but it became apparent during the recording that Wonderwall was going to be the tune. If I’m being honest, I shouldn’t have sung either of them because I wasn’t really a singer then.”

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