Liam and Noel back in the day. Picture: Jill Furmanovsky
Liam and Noel back in the day. Picture: Jill Furmanovsky

Mystery girl who inspired biggest Oasis song

It's the question to sort out the Britpop diehards from the casual fans at the local trivia night.

What's the original title of Wonderwall, the song that has united millions in festival and backyard BBQ singalongs for 25 years?

Oasis celebrates the silver anniversary of their greatest record (What's The Story) Morning Glory? with special vinyl releases this week - and a Wonderwall Lip Sync Challenge on social media.

The record has sold more than 22 million copies since its release in 1995 and carried them into the streaming era with hit singles Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In Anger alone generating in excess of two billion streams.

 

Liam and Noel at the Wonderwall video shoot on Sept 29, 1995. Picture: Supplied/Jill Furmanovsky
Liam and Noel at the Wonderwall video shoot on Sept 29, 1995. Picture: Supplied/Jill Furmanovsky


Back in 1995, when Paul Keating was Prime Minister, festival men wore Kangol hats, festival women sported wonderbras under their fave band T-shirt and Oasis were booked to headline the Big Day Out but cancelled because the singer lost his voice, Liam and Noel Gallagher were either deified or detested.

As millennial and Gen Z music fans discover the band courtesy of their parents' record collections and playlists, an Oasis anniversary serves as both a boost to the Gallaghers' super funds and the regeneration of these Britpop legends - and their enduring and entertaining family feud - into the pop culture present.

In tribute to (What's The Story) Morning Glory? here's the stuff you may not know

 

 

 

 

WONDERWALL WAS ORIGINALLY CALLED …

"The original title was Wishing Stone," Noel has stated.

His version of events has the songwriter going back to his hotel room with future wife Meg Mathews after a gig with The Verve.

"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 … I thought what a great title and the song came out of that," the charmer said back in 2013.

"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!'"

 

OASIS at Glastonbury in June 1995. Picture: Supplied/ Jill Furmanovsky
OASIS at Glastonbury in June 1995. Picture: Supplied/ Jill Furmanovsky

 

 

 

NOEL'S "MUHAMMAD ALI" MOMENT

Champagne Supernova is one of the band's biggest hits and its songwriter has his own colossal ego to thank for its over-the-top title.

"It's like I'm saying, 'I am Mr. Noel Gallagher. Do you know who I am? I am the greatest. I'm like Muhammad Ali'," he told the Sunday Times.

"When I'm straight, you get Roll With It - little pop ditties. When I'm out of it on drugs, I get a seriously cocky bastard. Understand?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who's Sally?

Sometimes the mystery is … just a misheard lyric. A million minds have wondered who the hell is Sally as they belted out the chorus of Don't Look Back In Anger.

It turns out "So Sally can wait" is what Liam thought he heard his brother sing as he was noodling on the work-in-progress during soundcheck in Paris.

"Liam came up with the word Sally. I was doing it at soundcheck. I was singing 'So … didn't have that word," Noel recalled.

"He said 'Who's Sally?' I went 'What do you mean?' He said 'So Sally can wait?'

"And I went, 'F---ing genius. You're not having any money for that by the way'."

 

Aww, the brothers have an occasional happy moment. Picture: Supplied
Aww, the brothers have an occasional happy moment. Picture: Supplied

 

But there is some tenderness at the heart of the lyrics of the song for all of the Gallagher bluster.

"St Patrick's Day every year my Mam would take a picture of us and send it back to my Grandma in Ireland," Noel said.

"It would always be beside the fireplace. It was just a council house with a little gas fire. She would say, 'Stand up there beside the fireplace while I take a picture of you.' There's a lot of childhood memories in those first few albums."

 

Would Oasis have been as big in Britain without Blur rattling their cage? Picture: Supplied
Would Oasis have been as big in Britain without Blur rattling their cage? Picture: Supplied

 

 

 

THE BLUR EFFECT

If you think beef between rappers is a thing, you missed one of the Greatest Rock'n'Roll feuds in history.

Oasis and Blur were two of the architects of Britpop, the former hailing from the great Beatles pop tradition while the latter took experimental tangents to arrive at the top of the charts.

Their battle for No. 1 reached its peak in August 1995 when they released competing singles on the same day.

Blur's Country House outsold Roll With It but ultimately (What's The Story) Morning Glory would claim sales supremacy over The Great Escape.

The war of words between the bands - stirred up by the British tabloids - was both entertaining and juvenile, generating sledges such as Oasis describing Blur as "Chas & Dave chimney sweep music", while Blur referred to their opponents as "Oasis Quo".

 

 

Musical pals...Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher have been working together for 25 years. Picture: Getty Images
Musical pals...Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher have been working together for 25 years. Picture: Getty Images

 

 

 

THE SPECIAL GUEST

On guitar and backing vocals on champagne Supernova and the Untitled instrumentals of the record is a British music legend, who is still collaborating with Noel 25 years later.

"It's just a jam, really … It was originally called, inspiringly, The Jam," Noel explained.

"But once Paul Weller played on it we thought we'd better change it, cos it might sound like we were taking the piss. You know: 'Paul Weller plays The Jam.'"

 

* (What's The Story) Morning Story?, 25th anniversary edition is released on October 2.

 

 

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Originally published as Mystery girl who inspired biggest Oasis song


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