The Original vs. The Cover – “Wonderwall”

For this month’s This Original vs The Cover is the song “Wonderwall” originally by the band Oasis.  The song was released in October 1995 and on the band’s album ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory’. The song did really well and went to #8 in the U.S. and #1 in several countries and charts.  The cover version we are battling with is Ryan Adam’s cover which was released back in 2003 on his album ‘Love is Hell, pt 1’ EP.

The song was written by Noel Gallagher and was originally titled “Wishing Stone.  There is a little mix up on who and what the song is about.  Originally the thought was the song was about his girlfriend at the time Meg Mathews who later became his wife and then even later became his ex-wife.  It was after that divorce that the story of the song changed.  It was no longer about his ex-wife, it was now about an imaginary person or friend that shows up and helps you save you from yourself.  Ok.  Noel has stated that it was the media’s fault for the confusion and once it was out in the universe he didn’t want to spoil it for his girlfriend/wife.  But now that they are divorced, I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.

That is enough backstory.  Let’s get to the song and we will start with the original version as well always do, no need to change now.

OASIS

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From the opening cough, to the acoustic guitars, to the cello playing, you are instantly mesmerized by the sound.  Except the cello isn’t a cello.  It is a Mellotron tape-playback keyboard.  The psychedelic vibes are colorful and vibrant and mixed with British style sonics and even slight dance groove, the song is musically stunning.  There is an intensity to the sound as well that was captured using a technique called “brickwalling”.  Go to Wikipedia to understand it because I can’t explain it…but it worked.

Noel Gallagher might have wrote the lyrics, but it is Liam singing as Noel chose to sing “Don’t Look Back in Anger” on the album instead.  Liam’s vocals are unique to say the least. But that uniqueness is what is makes the song so memorable.  That high pitched, not quite squeaky (but close) voice captures the essence and vibes of the song that blends so well with the music.  It truly is spectacular.

RYAN ADAMS

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Ryan Adam’s interpretation of the song, according to Noel in 2008 in Spin, “is the only person who ever got that song right.”  That some high praise right there.  Ryan goes full on acoustic with this one other than a little keyboards giving an eerie hum throughout the song and a bass guitar adding the heartbeat of the song.  The piano plays a heavy part at the end of the song which adds more to the drama-filled song.

Now Ryan’s vocals are so hauntingly sad and gloomy.  He takes the song in a completely different direction than anyone thought this song could go.  Not too many times can a person find such a unique take on someone else’s song, but Ryan made this song his own by stripping down to its bare essence and exposing it for an even more beautiful song than you original thought it was.

THE VERDICT

Okay, this might be the hardest choice I have had to make on The Original vs The Cover series and I have been doing this for probably close to three years now.  Both versions are so well done and stunning in their own rights.  As much as I love Oasis, the Ryan Adams version is so freaking dark and sad and then with the piano at the end, it kind of brings it home for me.  Although I do like the more upbeat feel of Oasis’ version and it is one of my favorite Oasis songs, but I will stick with the Ryan Adam’s version.  Yes, that is my choice.  There, I decided.  And for the record, I don’t like Ryan Adams so that made this choice even harder.  But to be fair, I have never given him a proper listen and maybe that should change.

I am really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks of these two songs.  Let me know which version you like the best and why.  Feel free to leave a comment and talk about the song and tell me how right or wrong I am on this one.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Original Oasis Lyrics…

“Wonderwall”

Today is gonna be the day
That they’re gonna throw it back to you
By now you should’ve somehow
Realized what you gotta do
I don’t believe that anybody
Feels the way I do about you nowBack beat, the word is on the street
That the fire in your heart is out
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before
But you never really had a doubt
I don’t believe that anybody feels
The way I do about you nowAnd all the roads we have to walk are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
There are many things that I would
Like to say to you
But I don’t know howBecause maybe
You’re gonna be the one that saves me
And after all
You’re my wonderwallToday was gonna be the day
But they’ll never throw it back to you
By now you should’ve somehow
Realized what you’re not to do
I don’t believe that anybody
Feels the way I do
About you nowAnd all the roads that lead you there were winding
And all the lights that light the way are blinding
There are many things that I would like to say to you
But I don’t know howI said maybe
You’re gonna be the one that saves me
And after all
You’re my wonderwallI said maybe (I said maybe)
You’re gonna be the one that saves me
And after all
You’re my wonderwall

I said maybe (I said maybe)
You’re gonna be the one that saves me (saves me)
You’re gonna be the one that saves me (saves me)
You’re gonna be the one that saves me (saves me)

Written by Noel Gallagher

17 thoughts on “The Original vs. The Cover – “Wonderwall”

  1. Never heard the Ryan Adams one before. Interesting spin on it and eerie is a good word that you used John but I’m going to go with those nut jobs Liam and Noel on this one.
    The pace of the track is the key thing here for me. Adams does a good job and at least he doesn’t carbon copy Wonderwall.

    Great stuff dude.

    Have a good day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I think this is a song for me that I will flip flop over depending on my mood. I like when an artist transforms the song in to something that is their own sound. Ryan definitely did that.

      Have a good day as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oasis and Ryan Adams are musicians that seem to get a ton of love, but neither clicked with me. I own their stuff, but never really sit down and listen to either of them enough. One day perhaps.
    I will give Oasis props for not trying to hide where they come from. Their British accent shines through, and when the band came out, it made me notice them. Unfortunately, their spoiled, bratty stupidity made me notice them even more.
    If I had to choose, I would go with Ryan Adams because I have probably heard the original enough for 20 lifetimes.
    Cheers and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ryan hasn’t been getting much love since his abusive womanizing allegations came out, but yes, you are right. I do like Oasis, but never a fan of Ryans. And after the post, I have taken a break from this song for awhile. I have heard it enough now.

      Like

  3. I can’t stand the original (please don’t hate me), but Ryan Adams’ rendition has always been one of my favourites. His album Love is Hell is beautiful in its entirety.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the original by Oasis, and though I’d never heard Ryan Adams’ version previously, I really like it a lot too. I can’t choose one over the other, so will have to say it’s a draw for me.

    It’s interesting how often Adams has covered other artists’ music. I liked his cover album of Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ better than her originals. I couldn’t stand TS’s ‘Bad Blood’, but Adams’ version is wonderfully haunting. It does reveal what a decent songwriter TS is though.

    Liked by 1 person

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