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Oasis' 'Wonderwall' Declared UK's Most Streamed Song From the '70s, '80s and '90s

Despite never having actually topped the charts, the song from '(What's the Story) Morning Glory' has beaten out bangers by Queen and Fleetwood Mac

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Source: Ferguson John / Mirrorpix/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher of Oasis in 1998

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Thanks to the Official Charts Company, at last it can be told: Oasis’ “Wonderwall” is the most streamed song of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s in the UK.

The song, which hails from the Manchester band’s sophomore LP, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, was already confirmed as the biggest-selling Britpop track of the 1990s, but this takes the song’s success to another level, in that it beats out such iconic tunes as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Don’t Stop Me Now” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and “Everywhere.”

Other songs that made it into the top 10 of this list: “Africa,” by Toto; “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” also by Oasis; “Iris,” by the Goo Goo Dolls; “Don’t Stop Believin’,” by Journey; and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” by Whitney Houston.

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The actual list, which can be accessed by clicking right here, provides the top 300 most-streamed songs within the aforementioned three decades, which – as the subhead of the list underlines – confirms that “these songs have truly stood the test of time.”

“This chart is always a fascinating look at which Greatest Hits are not only still resonating with audiences today, but also which songs are getting a new least of life thanks to film, television and viral moments on social media,” said Andy Ashton, network content director for Greatest Hits Radio. “The whole chart has given us a brilliant Bank Holiday weekend of music thanks to some legendary songs and, of course, the legendary voices behind them."

Among the tracks in the upper third of the list that might surprise American readers:

  • Toploader, “Dancing in the Moonlight”
  • John Denver, “Take Me Home Country Roads”
  • Bob Marley and the Wailers, “Three Little Birds”
  • Faithless, “Insomnia”
  • The Jam, “Town Called Malice”

Other Oasis songs to be found within the 300 tracks include "Champagne Supernova," "Half the World Away," "She's Electric," "Supersonic," and "Stand By Me."

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To focus in more specifically on “Wonderwall,” the track was written by Noel Gallagher, of course, and it was the fourth single released from (What’s the Story) Morning Glory.

Originally titled “Wishing Stone,” the song was penned for Meg Matthews, or at least that’s what he told NME in 1996. At the time, Matthews was Noel’s girlfriend and later became his wife and then even later became his ex-wife, and it was after that final shift in their relationship that Noel suddenly changed his tune about the song’s origins.

“The meaning of that song was taken away from me by the media, who jumped on it,” Noel said in a 2001 interview with BBC Radio 2. “And how do you tell your Mrs. it’s not about her once she’s read it is? It’s a song about an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself.”

Whatever the song means, it clearly managed to capture the attention of a lot of listeners...and, indeed, a lot of other singers as well. It was famously covered by Ryan Adams as a B-side, and the Mike Flowers Pops did a lounge version that made it all the way to No. 2 on the UK Singles chart, but there are many other renditions out there...so many, in fact, that Q has kindly compiled a playlist containing 20 different covers, although rest assured that we did indeed kick things off with the original.

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