- Noel Gallagher revealed Oasis’ “Wonderwall” was inspired by a groupie he met.
- The tune was also influenced by George Harrison’s debut album.
- Oasis’ “Supersonic” was also inspired by George’s guitar playing.
Oasis’ “Wonderwall” is one of the most important classic rock songs from the 1990s. Oasis’ Noel Gallagher said the tune had a different title until Oasis listened to a George Harrison album. In addition, he revealed “Wonderwall” wasn’t the only Oasis tune inspired by George.
Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ was inspired by a groupie and George Harrison’s ‘Wonderwall Music’
According to a 2009 interview in the book The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters, Gallagher discussed the evolution of “Wonderwall.” “Its original title was ‘Wishing Stone,’” he recalled. “We played the Cathouse in Glasgow, where it says on the record we recorded ‘I Am the Walrus,’ but that’s actually from a Sony conference we played; but that night we played with The Verve I ended up with this capo.
“I met some girl and we went back to my hotel room and she had this stone in her pocket that she insisted I had,” he said. “You meet these kinds of divvy birds all over the place. I thought it was a great title and the song came out of that. I don’t recall where I was when I wrote the lyrics.” For context, “bird” is English slang for a woman.
George’s first solo album changed everything. “It was called ‘Wishing Stone’ for ages until we were listening to Wonderwall Music by George Harrison and it was like, ‘Brilliant, I’ve got a Beatles connection!’” Gallagher remembered.
Noel Gallagher revealed Oasis’ ‘Supersonic’ was inspired by George Harrison’s work as well
Gallagher felt that he took heat from the press for drawing influence from The Beatles. He didn’t think there was anything wrong with doing so, and he was fine with other musicians drawing influence from him.
“Wonderwall” wasn’t even Oasis’ only hit to take ideas from George. Gallagher wanted a riff from Oasis’ “Supersonic” to sound like a George riff. In addition, Gallagher said he had other musical influences, including The Kinks, The Who, and the Sex Pistols.
How ‘Wonderwall’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom
Oasis’ “Wonderwall” became the band’s biggest hit in the United States. There, it reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 20 weeks. The tune appeared on the seminal album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? That album climbed to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 78 weeks.
The Official Charts Company reports Oasis’ “Wonderwall” became a big in the United Kingdom as well. In the U.K., “Wonderwall” reached No. 2 and stayed on the chart for a whopping 86 weeks. Meanwhile, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? topped the U.K. chart for 10 weeks. It lasted on the chart for 607 weeks altogether.
Oasis’ “Wonderwall” is one of the most important songs of the 1990s and it wouldn’t be the same without George’s record.