Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed to genuflect will get my full hurricane-force winds, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t take shots at a jukebox hero overplayed when I was at a college bar drinking a cranberry vodka in a plastic thimble-sized cup.
PEAK CHART POSITION #8 in March 1996
This was a hit. At my desk in the MetLife office building in Kendall, I heard the excitement in the deejay’s voice. To paraphrase him, he said, “This is Oasis, a rock group from England? You might remember them from ‘Rock and Roll Star’ last year. Her they are with…’WONDERWALL.'” On first listen I liked the strings. The pathos of Liam Gallagher’s singsong “There are many things that I/Would like to say to you/but I don’t know HOWWWWW…” But the chorus disappointed me. On and on it went, a drag. Was it songwriter Noel Gallagher’s attempt to place the Harrison-ist drone in a Western rock context? (Harrison, of course, had done it already in the Beatles with “It’s All Too Much” and “I Want to Tell You”). After the second set of verses and a return of the chorus, “Wonderwall” has nowhere to go yet insists on filling its allotted time of 3:45. Presto — cultural phenomenon! Continue reading