Wonderwall Music is the debut studio album by George Harrison, released in 1968. It was released as a Solo Side Project while he was still a member of The Beatles. The album is the Cult Soundtrack to the film Wonderwall from 1968, making Harrison the second Beatle to compose a soundtrack and release it as a Solo Side Project after Paul McCartney's score for the film The Family Way from 1967. Wonderwall Music was the first release on the Beatles' label Apple Records and thus promoted as the first official "solo" Beatles record.
Sessions for this album took place both in Bombay/Mumbai, India as well as London. Harrison worked together with classical pianist and orchestral arranger John Barham, as well as Indian classical musicians Aashish Khan, Shivkumar Sharma, Shankar Ghosh and Mahapurush Misra. The rock sections feature contributions from Tony Ashton and the Remo Four, Eric Clapton, Peter Tork of The Monkees and Ringo Starr.
John Lennon's Solo Side Project Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins was released a week later and became so notorious for its cover and Avant-Garde Music noise that it effectively and unfortunately put Harrison's album a bit in the shadow, despite getting better reviews and higher sales.
- "Microbes" (3:42)
- "Red Lady Too" (1:56)
- "Tabla And Pakavaj" (1:05)
- "In The Park" (4:08)
- "Drilling A Home" (3:08)
- "Guru Vandana" (1:05)
- "Greasy Legs" (1:28)
- "Ski-ing" (1:50)
- "Gat Kirwani" (1:15)
- "Dream Scene" (5:26)
- "Party Seacombe" (4:34)
- "Love Scene" (4:17)
- "Crying" (1:15)
- "Cowboy Music" (1:29)
- "Fantasy Sequins" (1:50)
- "On The Bed" (2:22)
- "Glass Box" (1:05)
- "Wonderwall To Be Here" (1:25)
- "Singing Om" (1:54)
- Avant-Garde Music: "Dream Scene" is a very experimental track, complete with tape loops playing backwards and stock sound effects. It was also created several months before John Lennon and Yoko Ono created "Revolution #9" on The White Album from 1968.
- Broken Record: "Singing Om" features singers droning the word "om", though they do sing other words as well.
- Continuity Nod: Part of "Crying" would later be re-used at the end of the track "Save The World" of Harrison's 1981 album Somewhere In England.
- Country Music: "Cowboy Music" is played as a country song, complete with a mouth harmonica and banjo.
- Creepy Monotone: A slowed down male voice can be heard during "Dream Scene".
- Cult Soundtrack: The album is the soundtrack to the nowadays forgotten film Wonderwall from 1968, which starred Jane Birkin, who would later work together with Serge Gainsbourg on several of their projects. A lot of music that can be heard in the film doesn't appear on the soundtrack, though.
- Design Student's Orgasm: The album cover is a surreal painting by American artist Bob Gill.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: "Dream Scene" is sang in Indian language.
- Instrumental: All tracks are instrumental. "Dream Scene" has some lyrics in Indian and a slowed down voice of an English man, while "Singing Om" features people singing mantra's.
- One-Word Title: "Microbes", "Ski-ing" and "Crying".
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis: The album is nowadays more well known than the movie it was originally written for.
- Record Producer: George Harrison. On the original release Harrison didn't mention his own musical contributions, leading many to incorrectly believe he was just the producer and arranger.
- Repurposed Pop Song: "Party Seacombe" sounds suspiciously like "Flying" from The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour from 1967.
- Separated by the Wall: The album cover. On request of Harrison and chagrin of the original artist a brick was removed from the wall, so that "the fellow on the other side would be given a chance." The back cover shows the Berlin Wall.
- Shout-Out: The album inspired Oasis' 1995 hit song "Wonderwall" from (What's the Story) Morning Glory?.
- Solo Side Project: This album was recorded while Harrison was still in the Beatles.
- Special Guest: Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr play together on "Ski-ing".
- Spoken Word in Music: "Dream Scene" has a spoken word segment, but it's slowed down and difficult to decipher what is being said.
- Stock Sound Effects: Halfway through "Drilling A Home" the sound of thunder and rain can be heard. Near the end of "Dream Scene" a police siren, church bells, grunting pigs can be heard.
- Subliminal Seduction: Both "Dream Scene" and "Ski-ing" make use of backwards playing guitar loops.
- Title Track: "Wonderwall To Be Here".
- World Music: The majority of tracks are played on sitar, tambura note , swarmandal note , dilruba note , tablas note and other Indian instruments like the shehnai note , the sarod note and the santoor note .