“Wonderwall” is a song by English rock band Oasis, written by the band’s guitarist and main songwriter Noel Gallagher. Fittingly, as widely and self-acknowledged Beatles imitators, “Wonderwall” was a 60s film & soundtrack written by George Harrison, and the title of his first solo album. Released as the third single from (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? in October 1995, “Wonderwall” peaked at number two in the UK Singles Charts and proved to be their American breakthrough, reaching number eight on the Hot 100 singles chart and giving them their only top-ten U.S. hit. It also proved a hit in Australia, reaching number one in February 1996. “Wonderwall” is perhaps their most popular song, with only British TV stars Robson & Jerome‘s “I Believe“/”Up on the Roof” keeping it out of the top slot. “Wonderwall” continues to have enduring popularity in Oasis’s canon; as of 2008, it was 76th in the UK’s list of best-selling singles, and sold over a million copies in single and download sales in the UK, where it went platinum.
According to Noel the song was written about a girl he met at a concert when he was touring with Oasis. It is often claimed that “Wonderwall” was written for Gallagher’s then-girlfriend, Mathews. Gallagher married Mathews in 1997, but the couple divorced four years later. Gallagher now claims that the song was not about her at all, but he felt he had to go along with the rumour, saying “The meaning of that song was taken away from me by the media who jumped on it. 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.”
In 2008 Liam Gallagher was quoted as saying about the song: “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.” Noel has said that Liam, “…thought we had gone too dance when I wrote ‘Wonderwall’ because the drums didn’t go boom-boom bap, boom-boom bap.”
An alternative version, possibly a bootleg recording, exists and is viewable online. It features a single fixed camera shot, the same as is seen in the more common video, of the five band members miming to the song.
The song won Best British Video at the 1996 Brit Awards.