Ryan Adam's rolls with it as he covers Oasis' What's the Story (Morning Glory)?

Friday, November 17, 2023
Ryan Adams, an American singer-songwriter and musician, has long been celebrated for his unique approach to music, especially when it comes to covering songs. Known for his prolific output and genre-spanning works, Adams has carved a niche for himself in the music world, not just through his original songs but also through his distinctive covers of popular tracks.

One of his most well-received covers is his rendition of "Wonderwall" by Oasis, featured on his 2004 album "Love is Hell." This particular cover stood out for its emotive and raw acoustic style, a stark contrast to the original's Britpop exuberance. It showcased Adams' ability to take a well-known song and reimagine it in a way that felt entirely new, yet deeply respectful to the source material.

In 2023, Ryan Adams took his affinity for covers a step further by undertaking an ambitious project: covering Oasis' entire "Morning Glory" album. This move not only highlights his daring as an artist but also underscores his deep appreciation and understanding of the music he chooses to cover. This article will delve into Adams' journey through his cover projects, with a special focus on this latest endeavor, exploring how it fits into his broader artistic trajectory.

ryan adams oasis morning glory cover

Ryan Adams’ cover of "Wonderwall," originally performed by Oasis, stands as a seminal point in his career. Released on his 2004 album "Love is Hell," this version strips down the Britpop anthem to its emotional core. Adams’ rendition is a subdued, introspective take, featuring a gentle acoustic guitar and his characteristic, introspective vocal style. This transformation of the song into a melancholic ballad redefined its essence and introduced it to a new audience.

The original "Wonderwall" by Oasis is characterized by its upbeat tempo, rich instrumentation, and Liam Gallagher's distinctive vocal delivery, resonating with the Britpop era's vibrant energy. In contrast, Adams' interpretation presents a starkly different soundscape. His version is slower, more reflective, and deeply personal. The acoustic guitar and soft vocals replace the original's electric fervor, highlighting the song's lyrical vulnerability. By doing so, Adams transforms "Wonderwall" from a pop anthem into an intimate confessional.

Ryan Adams' cover of "Wonderwall" had a profound impact on his career and reputation. It not only won critical acclaim but also resonated with a wide audience, including Noel Gallagher, the original songwriter, who praised Adams' version for its emotional depth. This cover demonstrated Adams' exceptional skill in reinterpreting songs in a way that is both respectful to the original and artistically innovative. It cemented his status not just as a talented songwriter and performer but also as a masterful interpreter of others' works. The success of this cover paved the way for future projects, showcasing Adams' unique ability to bridge genres and eras through his music.

In 2023, Ryan Adams embarked on an audacious musical endeavor: covering Oasis' iconic album "Morning Glory" in its entirety. This project was not just a tribute to one of the seminal albums of the 90s but also a testament to Adams' ambitious artistic vision. "Morning Glory," known for its quintessential Britpop sound and anthemic tracks, presented a unique challenge and opportunity for Adams to reimagine these classics through his distinctive lens.

Adams approached "Morning Glory" with a deep reverence for the original, yet infused it with his own artistic identity. His rendition is characterized by a more subdued, introspective atmosphere compared to the original's high-energy, guitar-driven sound. Where Oasis relied on bold, expansive production, Adams opted for minimalism and simplicity. His version leans heavily on acoustic arrangements, soft vocal harmonies, and a contemplative mood that brings a new level of emotional depth to the album.

Key tracks like "Wonderwall" and "Don't Look Back in Anger" are transformed from anthemic sing-alongs into poignant ballads. "Champagne Supernova," known for its sprawling, psychedelic sound, is reinterpreted with a stripped-down arrangement, highlighting the song’s lyrical introspection.

Comparing Adams' covers with the original Oasis versions reveals a fascinating study in contrasts. For instance, the original "Morning Glory" is a product of its time, encapsulating the Britpop era's swagger and vitality. Tracks like "Roll With It" and "Some Might Say" are replete with electric guitar riffs and a sense of rebellious optimism.

A Pattern of Reinvention: The '1989' Album Cover

Ryan Adams' decision to cover Taylor Swift's "1989" in 2015 was a continuation of his pattern of reinterpreting entire albums, adding a unique twist to existing masterpieces. This project followed his well-received cover of Oasis' "Wonderwall" and preceded his ambitious reimagining of the "Morning Glory" album. By choosing "1989," a pop album vastly different from his usual style, Adams demonstrated his versatility and fearless approach to music.

The reception of Adams' "1989" was notably positive, both critically and among fans. His version offered a complete reworking of Swift's synth-pop sound into a style more akin to heartland rock and folk. This transformation was seen as a bold artistic statement, bridging the gap between pop and indie genres. Critics applauded Adams for not only paying homage to Swift's songwriting but also for adding his own emotional depth and maturity to the songs.

The success of this album had a significant impact on Adams' career. It introduced him to a broader audience, some of whom were more familiar with pop music than indie or alternative genres. The project also reinforced Adams' reputation as a versatile and daring artist, unafraid to cross genre boundaries and reinterpret contemporary hits in his own style.

On "1989," Adams' stylistic choices are a departure from the original's upbeat, synth-driven production. He reimagined the album with a moody, introspective vibe, using acoustic guitars, piano, and a softer vocal delivery. This approach brought a new level of emotional gravity to Swift's lyrics, which, in the original, were often overshadowed by the upbeat pop arrangements.

Tracks like "Shake It Off" and "Bad Blood," known for their high-energy pop beats, were transformed into melancholic, introspective ballads. "Out of the Woods," originally a fast-paced synth-pop track, was reinterpreted with a slower tempo and a focus on the lyrics' storytelling, bringing a sense of earnestness and vulnerability.

Exploring Diverse Musical Legacies: The Elvis Covers

Ryan Adams ventured into the realm of classic rock 'n' roll by covering songs from the legendary Elvis Presley. These covers, interspersed throughout his career, are a testament to Adams' respect and admiration for the musical giants who preceded him. Covering Elvis, an icon known for his distinctive voice and charismatic stage presence, was a challenge that Adams approached with his unique blend of introspection and reverence.


The Elvis covers hold a special place in Ryan Adams' discography. They represent not just a nod to the roots of rock music but also a personal homage to an artist who has influenced generations of musicians. These covers are distinct from Adams' other projects, such as his complete album reimaginings, as they delve into a more traditional and foundational era of music. They highlight Adams' ability to bridge the gap between contemporary indie rock and the classic rock 'n' roll of Elvis Presley.

In covering a song like "Can't Help Falling in Love," Adams turns the original, a buoyant and romantic ballad, into a deeply moving and reflective piece. His version emphasizes the song’s inherent poignancy, showcasing his skill in reinterpreting well-known tracks in a way that uncovers new layers of meaning and emotion.

Similarly, his cover of "Suspicious Minds" transforms the upbeat, rhythm-driven original into a somber, contemplative piece, focusing on the song's themes of mistrust and relationship turmoil. This reinterpretation exemplifies Adams' ability to recontextualize a song, turning a classic pop track into a deeply personal and emotionally resonant performance.

Ryan Adams’ inclination towards covering a diverse range of songs and entire albums offers a window into his broader artistic philosophy. This tendency reflects a deep-rooted respect for musical history and a desire to connect with and reinterpret the work of other artists, ranging from contemporary pop stars like Taylor Swift to rock legends like Elvis Presley. Adams' covers are not just tributes but are explorations that blend his unique sensibilities with the original artists' intents, creating a bridge between different musical eras and genres.
Powered by Blogger.

Search This Blog

Blog Archive

Back to Top