Oscillate Wildly

"Initially the very notion of instrumentals was motivated by me. I suggested that 'Oscillate Wildly' should be an instrumental; up until that point Johnny had very little interest in non-vocal tracks. There was never any political heave-hoing about should we-shouldn't we have an instrumental and it was never a battle of powers between Johnny and myself. The very assumption that a Smiths instrumental track left Morrissey upstairs in his bedroom stamping his feet and kicking the furniture was untrue! I totally approved but, obviously, I didn't physically contribute."

- Morrissey

"Morrissey was very, very reluctant to use synthesizers or anything electronic. The only way Johnny and I could get around that was by trapping guitar notes into these extended infinite reverbs that would hold for a long, long time then use the fader to bring it in at the right moment. It sounds like a string-type effect but really it's just guitar notes. That's the way 'Oscillate Wildly' was built up. Johnny was still working with guitars but we were trying to stretch the possibilities and sounds of what we could do with it."

- Stephen Street

"There was never any plan for it to have lyrics. It was always going to be an instrumental and Morrissey encouraged me all the way."

"We did it really quickly in just one evening, but it came together so beautifully."

"'Asleep' was another one worked out on the upright I inherited when I moved into to the house in Bowdon, the same piano I wrote 'Oscillate Wildly' on. It had a pleasingly eerie quality about it. You could only play certain things on it. Weird, doomy music, which suited us fine."

"I don't walk around with a smile on my face, but I'm a lot happier. I play more and I enjoy making music. Of course, I'm in a position to say I'm happier because I know where the rent's coming from, but I don't want to take it for granted, I want to carry on making music. I've got a lot of faith in people who understand what I've been trying to do as a musician, from the start, but I've got no time for anybody who writes me a letter one week and says 'I stay up all night with headphones on, listening to "Oscillate Wildly"', and then, because of something they read in the music papers, they completely change their opinion of me. The thing about The Smiths split is that it's far too personal to explain."

- Johnny Marr

I uploaded a Guitar Pro file here.

Here's the complete band score from the "Louder Than Bombs:Off The Record" book:

Here are the scans from the Strangeways PVG book(thanks to MorrisseyScans for these sheets):

Here's a pretty definitive cover by mef1975:

And here is ianfilz:


Jenna said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I've been trying to transcribe it by ear but the beginning foxed me completely. Very grateful to you for solving my problem!

Anonymous said...


It is missing the 233.jpg