The general consensus is that this song is about Noel Gallagher's then-girlfriend Meg Mathews, who is compared with a schoolboy's wall to which posters of footballers and Pop stars are attached. He told Select magazine at the time: "It's about my girlfriend. She was out of work, and that, a bit down on her luck, so it's just saying, 'Cheer up and f---in get on with it.'" Noel later married then divorced Meg Mathews.
However, according to Q magazines 1001 Best Songs Ever, this was not about Mathews. Noel is quoted as saying, "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 about an imaginary friend who's going to come and save you from yourself."
The music is based on Wonderwall Music, an instrumental album George Harrison wrote for the movie Wonderwall in 1968. This was the first solo album released by any of The Beatles.
The concept of the "Wonderwall" is based on a '60s film called Wonderwall - from Psychedelia to Surrealism, starring Jane Birkin. She lives next door to a man who becomes fascinated with her,so he slowly makes holes in his wall so he can watch her through it. This is the "Wonderwall." Warning: this movie is supposedly terrible.
In 2002, the British army produced a recruitment video that used this under footage of soldiers conducting exercises. The producers of the video didn't realize they needed permission to use the song, and when Oasis denied, they had to recall all the videos.
The album is the second-best selling in British history. The best selling album in UK history is Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
by The Beatles.
This was the first single Oasis released in the US, and is their biggest hit in that country.
Initially Noel wanted to sing this song, but he gave his brother Liam Gallagher the choice, and Noel ended up singing "Don't Look Back In Anger
What sounds like a cello was played on a Mellotron tape-playback keyboard, although the video features shows someone playing the cello.
At live shows Noel plays his acoustic guitar on a Fender Telecaster. It's one of the few songs where he uses a Fender guitar rather than a Gibson.
The opening track of (What's the Story) Morning Glory is the track "Hello," which starts off with the opening riff of "Wonderwall" playing extremely quietly; this stops once the guitar noise comes in.
The original title was "Wishing Stone."
In an interview conducted in Australia around the time of the release of Be Here Now
, when asked which 3 songs he would like to be remembered for, Noel immediately responded with "Live Forever
" and "Wonderwall" and then proceeded to list several others, including "Champagne Supernova," "Magic Pie" and "Cigarettes & Alcohol."
At the very end of the song, the intro to "Supersonic
" can be faintly heard being played on acoustic guitar.
Radiohead recorded a bootleg cover of the song in which Thom Yorke sings many incorrect lyrics and cuts out mid-chorus when a background voice says, "Is this abysmal or what? It's always good to make fun of Oasis."
The song's music promo won the Best Video at the 1996 Brit Awards.
Jay-Z opened his set at the Glastonbury Festival in 2008 by singing a few minutes of this song - quite poorly. The famous UK festival was known for rock acts, so having Jay-Z perform stirred things up. After Noel Gallagher made public remarks taking issue with a rapper's invitation to the festival, Jay responded with the on stage mockery of "Wonderwall."
The It's a Shame About Ray episode of the HBO series Girls closed with Lena Dunham's character Hannah singing this song in her bathtub, followed by a segue into Oasis' original version. The day after its original broadcast on February 2, 2013, the tune re-entered Billboard's Rock Digital Songs at #50.
This was voted #1 on the state-funded Triple J youth network's "Hottest 100" countdown of the best songs released between Jan. 1, 1993, and Dec. 31, 2012. The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army
" was runner-up. More than 940,000 votes were cast for the poll, which was held to celebrate two decades of Triple J's Hottest 100 countdown. "Wonderwall" previously topped the annual "Hottest 100" in 1995, a time when Oasis were at the peak of their powers.
Noel on the song's drum placement (The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters by Daniel Rachel): "I write songs purely for feel. Like the drums coming in on 'Wonderwall': people were going, 'Why have they come in there, it's an eighth of a bar too early?' 'What's an eighth of a bar?' I struggle to understand people's perceptions. It comes in there because to me that's where it sounds right to. 'That's wrong.' I'm like, 'Wrong to who? How can it be wrong?'"
This topped a 2016 survey commissioned by the website Sunfly Karaoke ahead of Father's Day to find the favorite karaoke songs of dads around the UK. The song narrowly beat Blur's "Parklife
," which came second in the poll.
Ryan Adams covered the song for his 2004 Love is Hell album. His version was supposed to be an inside joke with his then girlfriend, with whom he would debate the merits of Oasis vs Blur, but Adams managed to put a much darker spin on the song. He told Uncut:
"It occurred to me that I was singing it from the perspective of someone in danger of committing suicide. That's not what I was thinking about when I first did it, but it did have a different meaning. It's someone saying, you're my last hope.
But in the second verse, that hope it's not happening, and I'm singing like that person would sing if that's the last thing they're ever going to sing. That's how I feel in that moment. It's not a perversion to tap into these those things. I can let my body sing this way and let my mind go there, and I can feel all those things because they've been real things in my life at some point."