One Song/Three Versions – Wonderwall

Note – a short while back I wrote a post about a jazz-rock ensemble from the Seventies called Dixie Dregs. I had a feeling they might get back together again for a brief tour. Lo and behold, that happened. They’re coming to Boston in March. I’m going. If you dig them, search on ‘Dixie Dregs’ on Ticketmaster and check their web site for the (currently) short list of cities.

‘One Song/Three Versions’ is where I take a song you probably know and throw in a couple of alternative versions that maybe you don’t know. I did find a jazz version and a (I think) metal version as well. I usually prefer doing that for a bit of the old radical reinvention. But, well, I liked these. 

You all know Oasis, yes? A band from Manchester formed by the Gallagher Brothers, Liam, and Noel in 1991. Known equally for their adventures in the British tabloids, they put out some great melodic stuff.

They were heavily influenced by, among others, the Beatles and may well be the greatest band since the Beatles. Go ahead. Just ask either one of them. They’ll tell you.

In 1995, Oasis put out a massively popular album called (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? They were big everywhere in the world for a time. But even though I heard them on the radio fairly frequently, I don’t believe they were ever as huge in the States as the brothers might have liked or even as it might have seemed.

The song “Wonderwall,” supposedly about Noel’s then-girlfriend, has a title that actually comes from an album called Wonderwall Music by George Harrison. Released in 1968 as a companion to a “psychedelic” movie called Wonderwall, it was actually the first solo Beatles album. Other than that, let us just say that George’s solo career didn’t really take off till All Things Must Pass.

But anyway, this post isn’t about Harrison. And so without further ado, Oasis and “Wonderwall:”

Spotify link

Cat Power is a singer-songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. She’s been performing since 1992 and she’s listed in a number of musical categories. (Indie rock, folk-rock, blues-rock and whatever the fuck sadcore is.)  But with her breathy, casual voice and her staccato strumming, this has “indie” written all over it.

Near as I can tell, this was recorded for a covers album but was left off. So I don’t know how it managed to make its way to YouTube but I am unaware of an official release:

Vimeo version (no Spotify)

I hear a lot about Ryan Adams from the blogosphere and I admit that there are a lot of people who know his stuff way better than I do. But the door was opened to listening to him so when I found out he had a version I decided to give it a listen.

Glad I did. Nice finger-picked arrangement with maybe just a hit of strings or whatever they use to simulate those these days. This is from his optimistic-sounding Love is Hell album:

Spotify link

Bonus: And if you’re really bored, check out this swingin’ version from Paul Anka. Yeah, baby!

21 thoughts on “One Song/Three Versions – Wonderwall

    1. It’s fun to hear him sing “A mosquito, a libido,” etc. By his own admission, Cobain would admit his lyrics were dashed off. But Anka comes from that era where those (mostly) romantic lyrics matter. I wonder what he thinks.

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        1. Yeah, it would not have been pretty. Not as decadent as, say, Led Zep but off the charts. BTW, it might interest you to know thst my son and I just came from a 70MM screening of Lawrence of Arabia. Magnificent. A local Boston-area theater has a yearly 70MM festival. I might go see North by Northwest next.

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        2. I’m more than a little “interested” in that film fest. ‘Lawrence’ would be ‘magnificent” for sure. When you talk about great filmaking, it’s at the top of the list. Seeing it inthat format is the way Lean visioned it.

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        3. Didn’t finish my comment. I’m more than a little jealous. Is there a link for the line up of films? What a great way to spend time with your son. Thinking of that film in that format gives CB goose bumps.

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        4. In his words, epic. I had given him some of the history because it’s not well explained in the movie. He saw 2001 last year and loved it. He’s not a big film guy but he’s seeing the difference between the classics and some of the dreck today.

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  1. Adams’ Love Is Hell album contains some of his finest and my vote goes to the ex-Whiskeytown man. I think Noel has said the same too. Oddly enough over here there was a really bad version by someone called Mike Flowers Pops that was jokingly marketed as “the original” with some less attentive music journos taking the bait and reporting as fact

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    1. Interesting. I just sort of stumbled on that one. I know a lot of people like him and I’ve been looking for something to listen to by him. Thanks. I’ll give it a listen.

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