Wonderwall Music

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Wonderwall Music
Soundtrack album by George Harrison
Released 1 November 1968 (1968-11-01) (UK)
2 December 1968 (US)
Recorded December 1967 in England,
9–15 January 1968 in Bombay, India
Genre Rock, Indian, folk rock
Length 45:43
Label Apple
Producer George Harrison
George Harrison chronology
Wonderwall Music
(1968)
Electronic Sound
(1969)

Wonderwall Music is the soundtrack to the film Wonderwall, and is George Harrison's debut studio album. The songs are virtually all instrumental, except for some non-English vocals and a slowed-down spoken word track. The songs were recorded in December 1967 in England, and January 1968 in Bombay, India. Wonderwall Music is notable for being the first official solo album by one of the Beatles[1] as well as Apple Records' first LP release. The album is currently out of print.[2]

Recording[edit]

Billboard ad for Wonderwall Music, December 1968

The recordings for the album were started in December 1967 in England.[3] The rest was recorded on 9–15 January 1968 in Bombay, India.[3] Also recorded during the Indian sessions was the backing track to "The Inner Light" (which became the B-side to "Lady Madonna", the final Beatles single on Parlophone Records) and The Remo Four song "In The First Place".[4][5]

Some of the musician's credits are pseudonyms for Harrison, Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr.[6][7] Harrison is listed merely as producer, arranger and writer for the album. Peter Tork of the Monkees also played banjo (specifically, one borrowed from Paul McCartney), but was not credited.[citation needed] Tork has stated that his brief recording features in the movie, but not on the soundtrack album.[8] Part of the track "Crying" was used as a coda to Harrison's 1981 album Somewhere in England, at the very end of "Save the World".[citation needed]

All of the tracks were composed by Harrison, and it was the first official solo album by a Beatle. It was the first album release on the newly formed Apple Records, appearing in November 1968, a few weeks before The Beatles. It would also be the first Apple record to be deleted, though it was remastered and reissued on CD in 1992.

In the CD liner notes, Harrison's description of the recording done in England is revealing: "I had a regular wind-up stopwatch and I watched the film to 'spot-in' the music with the watch. I wrote the timings down in my book, then I'd go to Abbey Road, make up a piece, record it." While the tracks recorded in England were made on multitrack recording machines and remixed, the Indian portions were recorded live to two-track stereo.

Chart history[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars [9]

Wonderwall Music did not chart at all in the United Kingdom, but reached #49 in the United States in early 1969, making Harrison the first of the Beatles to chart a solo album.

Wonderwall Music soundtrack album insert featuring a photograph of George Harrison.

Cultural impact[edit]

Britpop band Oasis, who were influenced by The Beatles, had a hit which was arguably their biggest and most well-known song called "Wonderwall" in the 1990s. The title may refer to the movie or to George Harrison's soundtrack album [10] although, most likely, the lyric, "Maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me, and after all, you're my Wonderwall." is a direct reference to the film, in which Jack MacGowran saves the life of the girl who lives next door to him, who has attempted to commit suicide.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by George Harrison.

Side one
  1. "Microbes" – 3:42
  2. "Red Lady Too" – 1:56
  3. "Tabla and Pakavaj" – 1:05
  4. "In the Park" – 4:08
  5. "Drilling a Home" – 3:08
  6. "Guru Vandana" – 1:05
  7. "Greasy Legs" – 1:28
  8. "Ski-ing" – 1:50
  9. "Gat Kirwani" – 1:15
  10. "Dream Scene" – 5:26
Side Two
  1. "Party Seacombe" – 4:34
  2. "Love Scene" – 4:17
  3. "Crying" – 1:15
  4. "Cowboy Music" – 1:29
  5. "Fantasy Sequins" – 1:50
  6. "On the Bed" – 2:22
  7. "Glass Box" – 1:05
  8. "Wonderwall to Be Here" – 1:25
  9. "Singing Om" – 1:54

Tracks 2, 5, 8, 10, 11, 14, 17, and 18 were recorded in England, while tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, and 19 were recorded in India.

Personnel[edit]

England (December 1967)[edit]

India (January 1968)[edit]

The track "Dream Scene" has either several or one overdubbed melodica which may be what is referred to in the listing as "harmonica".

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The soundtrack of the film The Family Way, composed primarily by Paul McCartney, was issued in January 1967, but the album contains only incidental music, not performed by McCartney.
  2. ^ "George Harrison Wonderwall Music". George Harrison. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Castleman, Harry; Podrazik, Walter J. (1977). All Together Now – The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961–1975 (Second ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 68. ISBN 0-345-25680-8. 
  4. ^ Martin Lewis, "The Story of 'In the First Place'", Abbeyrd's Beatle Page (retrieved 17 June 2013).
  5. ^ "The Remo Four 'In the First Place'", Allmusic (retrieved 17 June 2013).
  6. ^ Igoe, Ed. "Dr. Winston O' Who?". The Internet Beatles Album. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "2 December 1968: US LP release: Wonderwall Music by George Harrison | The Beatles Bible". The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Peter Tork radio interview - Strange Dave Show (January 2010). Retrieved 18 November 2011
  9. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r62082
  10. ^ Ingham, Chris (2003). The Rough Guide to the Beatles. Rough Guides. p. 162. ISBN 1-84353-140-2. 

External links[edit]