What especially held my fascination with that discography was the inclusion of the letters “OOP” next to certain entries. The letters standing for “Out Of Print”, in other words NOT AVAILABLE. Beatles records? Not available? Sure enough – there were indeed some titles that you just couldn’t find easily – at least not in MY neck of the woods. Some of those were understandable – like the naked John and Yoko album “Two Virgins”. But those OOP records became a challenge for me to find. When I started getting my hands on them over time I could see why they’d gone out of print. Experimental stuff like the John and Yoko records……….but one of those OOP deals became a favorite: George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music.
This was George Harrison’s first solo album, but he barely plays any instruments on it himself and there’s not a lot of vocalizing on it because it was movie soundtrack music. I have never seen the film, but I hear it’s bad (I just wonder if it’s one of those “so bad it’s good” kinda deals…..). Just as well for me since I’ve found the music on this record to be so fun and interesting I’ve had years to imagine what kind of movie theses little compositions could possibly go with. Considering the diversity of motifs, styles and vibes to be experienced on this album – it must be a pretty wacky film indeed! There’s a good amount of Indian music here. Some really beautifully recorded stuff. Some western sounding business……generic cowboy music………some psychedelic sound-collage stuff……..and one genuine rockin’ track featuring Eric Clapton (kinda short and sweet though……) called SKI-ING. The whole record is just one crazy grab-bag of tracks.
I found an imported copy of this LP many years ago and I must have played it a lot since it’s got some extra pops and clicks here and there (and I usually take really good care of my stuff!). It was issued on CD around the early 90s with a lot of the Apple catalog (Wonderwall Music has the distinction of being the first long-playing Apple Records release – well prior to the White Album in fact!). I wish I’d grabbed a copy then, because would you believe – OOP! Buggers!! So, I’m sorry to say – the only way to get to hear this record is to either seek out an expensive used copy, borrow one from a friend or wait until the Harrison Estate gets in gear and re-releases it. Personally, I’d love a Deluxe Edition – with the original MONO mix (I haven’t seen or heard this yet!) and maybe a nice 5.1 surround edition for kicks!
So here’s my plea to Olivia and Dhani Harrison: RE-RELEASE WONDERWALL PLEASE!!!! Cut and paste this message and send lots of emails to the George Harrison website. It’s a CRIME that this cool album is MIA. With any luck, we could see a new version of this – and when you get your copy, here’s my recommendation: go to the local convenience store and pick up a roll of these to munch on while you listen: