Sunday, October 30th, 2011
Ryan Adams covers Oasis
Frank YangOasis had more than a few hits back in the day, but if you were to have to pick a signature tune – for all the rock and bombast in their repertoire – you’d probably have to pick their acoustic 1995 single, “Wonderwall”. And yet its been a rather mutable song; never mind the million versions that’ve graced coffee houses and open mics around the world, even Oasis fans would be split between favouring the original (What’s The Story) Morning Glory version with Liam Gallagher on vocals or the Noel-sung version that was frequently performed live.
Ryan Adams has done a pretty good job of making it his own as well. He included it on his 2003 Love Is Hell, Part 1 EP and it became a staple of live sets, both solo and with The Cardinals, for years to come. His reading didn’t differ wildly from the original – mainly a looser, more boozy phrasing and tempo – but it was enough to make it feel his own and influence Noel Gallagher to adjust his own performance style to mirror it, at least for a while. Two live Adams recordings – one in-studio at BBC Radio 1 in 2004 and one at the Telluride Blues Festival in Colorado with The Cardinals circa 2008 – demonstrate his take on the tune and a stream of a Noel Gallagher & Gem Archer performance in a 2005 radio session show how it affected the original.
Ryan Adams released Ashes & Fire earlier this month and will be at the Winter Garden Theatre on December 10. Noel Gallagher has two dates at Massey Hall next week on November 7 and 8 and though his solo debut Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is ostensibly the reason for the visit, there’s pretty much no way you won’t be hearing the elder Gallagher play this song at the shows. No way at all.
MP3: Ryan Adams – “Wonderwall” (live at BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, January 15, 2004)
MP3: Ryan Adams – “Wonderwall” (live at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, June 19, 2008)
Video: Oasis – “Wonderwall”
Stream: Noel Gallagher & Gem Archer – “Wonderwall” (Ryan Adams arrangement)