As an artist, not every release is going to hit the mark. While a musician develops, matures, and sharpens their craft, the overall sound emerges into a finely tuned piece that fully represents the creator as intended. However, with those artists that sit atop the musical mountain for decades at a time, some of their past work lingers like a dirty smell. For Liam Gallagher, the former frontman of the Manchester Britpop band Oasis, one track has relentlessly followed him around for 30 years.
What Oasis achieved during their time together is nothing short of remarkable, and they’ll live long in the history books. Their debut album, Definitely Maybe, managed to change the musical landscape in a way that looks implausible in the Gen-Z age. Not only did the album bring a generation together, all singing from the same hymn sheet, but they changed the way the people dress, how they speak and architected a masterpiece that transcended music in the process.
The weight of expectation on the shoulders of Oasis loomed as the whole world waited on a follow up from their faultless debut. The Gallagher brothers didn’t feel the pressure, though, and duly delivered in stellar fashion in the shape of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory. However, ‘Wonderwall’ has taken on a life of its own, one of which Liam has grown to resent.
While in Britain, Oasis isn’t just known for ‘Wonderwall’, with tracks like ‘Live Forever’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ maintaining a fonder place in the heart of Britons, unlike in America where the Gallagher brothers are seen somewhat as one-hit wonders. A notion that seems absurd to anyone from their native shores.
‘Wonderwall’ continues to split opinion. In 2008, Liam Gallagher lamented the track during the press run for Dig Out Your Soul, crushingly stating: “At least there’s no ‘Wonderwall’ on there. I can’t fucking stand that fucking song! Every time I have to sing it, I want to gag.
“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 a way that only he could.
Noel Gallagher rarely sees eye to eye with his brother, but on this subject, they are firmly in agreement: “Outside of England, it’s the one we’re famous for all over the world, and it annoys the fuck out of me,” Noel Gallagher once said. “It’s not a fucking rock and roll tune. There’s quite a vulnerable statement to it.”
While ‘Wonderwall’, in isolation, is by no means a bad song, it’s the fact that the track has been overplayed to such a degree that very few pieces of music could endure the barrage. Unfortunately, the initial magic that made ‘Wonderhall’ a hit upon initial release has waned gradually with each passing play, not least with the Gallagher brothers, who would happily never play the track again if they wouldn’t face a backlash. However, despite Liam Gallagher’s scornful words about ‘Wonderwall’, it remains his fourth most-played track since becoming a solo artist.