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Daydreaming (Radiohead song)

“Daydreaming” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead and produced by Radiohead’s longtime producer Nigel Godrich. It released as download on 6 May 2016 as the second single from their ninth studio album A Moon Shaped Pool, accompanied by a music video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

“Daydreaming” was written by singer Thom Yorke; the rest of the band created the final arrangement.[1] For the song’s introduction, the band slowed the tape, creating a pitch-warping effect.[1] The strings, recorded at RAK Studios in London,[2] were arranged by guitarist Jonny Greenwood and performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Brunt. The orchestra had previously worked with Greenwood on his score for the 2012 film The Master.[3][4] Cellist Oliver Coates said: “Nigel, Jonny and Thom all have this awesome relationship, and were so animated during the recording. I remember we were laying down the cello part at the end of ‘Daydreaming’ and Thom said, ‘That’s it – that is the sound of the record.'”[5] Greenwood had the cellists tune their cellos unusually low for the song, creating a “growling” sound.[6]

“Daydreaming” is an ambient song[7][8] with a “simple, sad” piano motif, “spooky” backmasked vocals, and electronic and orchestral elements.[9] The song ends with reversed, warped, and slowed vocals; when reversed, Yorke seems to be singing “Half of my life”, “I’ve found my love”, or “Every minute, half of my love”.[10][11] Several critics felt the lyrics were coloured by Radiohead singer Thom Yorke’s separation from his partner of 23 years.[12][13][14][15]

The “Daydreaming” music video was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, for whom Greenwood has composed several film scores.[16] In the video, Yorke walks through a series of doors and passageways leading to various disconnected locations, including a hotel, a hospital, a laundry, and a convenience store. He eventually climbs a snowy hill, enters a cave, and mouths the song’s closing words as he lies down next to a fire.[16][17][18]

“Daydreaming” was released as a download on 6 May 2016 on Radiohead’s site and on streaming and digital media services.[19][20] Anderson and the band sent 35 mm prints of the “Daydreaming” music video to select theatres inviting them to screen it.[21] On 16 July 2016, Radiohead announced a fan competition to create a music video vignette for “Daydreaming” using an alternative version of the song with additional strings.[22]

Burn the Witch (Radiohead song)

“Burn the Witch” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released on 3 May 2016 as the lead single from their ninth studio album A Moon Shaped Pool (2016). The song features a string section playing col legno battuto, producing a percussive sound, arranged by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood. It was accompanied by a stop-motion animated music video that pays homage to the 1960s British children’s television programme Camberwick Green and the 1973 British horror film The Wicker Man. The song’s lyrics and video have been interpreted as a warning against groupthink and authoritarianism.

Spectre (song)

“Spectre” is a 2015 song by English rock band Radiohead, released as a free download on the audio distribution platform SoundCloud on 25 December 2015.[1] On 13 May 2016, it was released as a B-side on the 7″ vinyl single “Burn the Witch”.[2]

“Spectre” was written for the James Bond film of the same name, but went unused; the film instead features the song “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith.[3] Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, who also composes the band’s string arrangements, said in a BBC interview that the song was rejected for being “too dark”:[4]
It wasn’t right for the film, what we did. So we thought, “Great! Then it’s ours. We can finish it how it’s meant to be and we can release it.” So that side of it was really positive, you know? But I guess there’s lots of people interested in who does it [the Bond theme]. There’s a lot riding on it and the song we did was just too dark or whatever, so that’s fine. [It] means we get to have it back and it’s ours and we got to put it out. We’re really, really proud of it.

The Daily Mail / Staircase

“The Daily Mail” and “Staircase” are songs by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. They were released as a download single on 19 December 2011 in WAV and MP3 formats.[1] Both recordings are taken from the live video The King of Limbs: Live from the Basement (2011),[2][3][4] and feature additional drummer and percussionist Clive Deamer of Get the Blessing.[5]

“The Daily Mail” was written six years before the release. When the band decided to perform the song for From the Basement, a final arrangement “came together within a week”, featuring a brass section arranged by guitarist Jonny Greenwood.[6] Radiohead worked on “Staircase” before their eighth album The King of Limbs (2011), but the song did not progress beyond the demo stages until after the album’s release.[7]

Supercollider / The Butcher

“Supercollider” and “The Butcher” are songs by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. They were released as a double A-side single on 12-inch vinyl in the UK, Europe and Japan on 16 April 2011 for Record Store Day.[2][3] The single was released on the same format in the United States and Canada on 14 June 2011. Digital masters of the tracks were released in WAV and MP3 on 18 April 2011 through the King of Limbs website to those who had ordered the album.

“The Butcher” was recorded and mixed during King of Limbs sessions, but excluded from the album as it did not fit with the other tracks. Singer Thom Yorke first performed “Supercollider” solo on 6 June 2008 at Malahide Castle, Dublin;[4] studio work on the track was started during the King of Limbs sessions and finished in March 2011, after the album’s release.[5]

Lotus Flower (song)

“Lotus Flower” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released on their eighth studio album The King of Limbs (2011). It features singer Thom Yorke’s falsetto over syncopated beats and a “propulsive” bass line. Its music video, featuring Yorke’s erratic dancing, spawned an internet meme.

Despite not being released as a single, “Lotus Flower” charted on the UK Singles Chart, the Ultratop 50, the US Alternative Songs chart and the US Rock Songs chart. It received positive reviews and was nominated for Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Short Form Music Video at the 54th Grammy Awards.

These Are My Twisted Words

“These Are My Twisted Words” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. It was leaked via BitTorrent on 12 August 2009, possibly by the band, and officially released on 17 August as a free download from the Radiohead website.

Matthew Schnipper of the Fader described “These Are My Twisted Words” as a “simple song” with “a plodding, stubborn forward spirit”.[1] It opens with a motorik beat[2] from drummer Phil Selway before Thom Yorke’s vocal enters.[1] Daniel Kreps of Rolling Stone noted a krautrock influence, likening the song to the In Rainbows track “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi”.[3]

On 12 August 2009, the song was leaked via BitTorrent.[4] A text file included in the torrent file contained ASCII art, a cryptic poem and a reference to a release date of 17 August.[5] Commentators including the Guardian and Rolling Stone speculated that Radiohead leaked the song themselves following the unconventional pay-what-you-want release of their seventh album In Rainbows (2007).[4][3]

On 17 August 2009, guitarist Jonny Greenwood announced on Radiohead’s blog that “These Are My Twisted Words” was available as a free download from the Radiohead site or via a torrent hosted by Mininova.[6] The download included several pieces of artwork by Yorke and longtime Radiohead collaborator Stanley Donwood, with the suggestion to print it on tracing paper and put “in an order that pleases you.”[6]

Harry Patch (In Memory Of)

“Harry Patch (In Memory Of)” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. The band wrote and recorded the song as a tribute to the British supercentenarian Harry Patch, the last surviving soldier to have fought in the trenches during World War I. The song was self-released on 5 August 2009 as a downloadable single and sold for £1 from the band’s website, with all proceeds donated to The Royal British Legion.

Recorded in an abbey shortly after Patch’s death, the song consists of Thom Yorke’s singing and a string arrangement composed by Jonny Greenwood, absent of Radiohead’s typical mix of rock and electronic instrumentation. The lyrics are from the perspective of a soldier in the First World War, and include modifications of quotations from Patch. While reception to the song was generally positive, with many critics praising the song’s message, others panned the song as overly sombre. The Patch family voiced their approval of the song’s message and the band’s charitable use of the proceeds.

Jigsaw Falling into Place

“Jigsaw Falling into Place” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the lead single from their seventh studio album In Rainbows (2007) on 14 January 2008.[1][2]

The song had the working title “Open Pick” when it was performed during Radiohead’s 2006 tour.[3]

The track reached #30 in the UK singles chart on its first week of release, their lowest ranking chart entry since “Lucky” in 1995. However, “Jigsaw” was the first Radiohead single since the band’s inception not to be released through EMI-controlled Parlophone, their former major record label. The single was instead released in the UK by independent label XL Records.
The song spent several weeks as one of the 100-most-played songs on US modern rock radio, peaking at #69,[4] receiving more support than any other In Rainbows song with the exception of “Bodysnatchers”, which hit #8 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart,[5] and House of Cards which peaked at #48.[6]

Time magazine named “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” the fifth best songs of 2007. Writer Josh Tyrangiel praised the song’s “tightness” whose rise in intensity he likened to a three-act play, and described the song as “a journey through flirtation, consummation and regret [that] gets about as close as you can to summing up a doomed relationship in four minutes.”[7][8] Mike Diver of Drowned in Sound described the track as a “bass-propelled pop-rock head-bobber, easy enough on the ear for indirect consumption.”[9] Clash wrote: “It’s good but like the much-hyped In Rainbows album, musically it’s (relatively) unadventurous.”[10]

House of Cards (Radiohead song)

“House of Cards” is a song by English rock band Radiohead from their seventh studio album In Rainbows (2007). The song was serviced to American modern rock radio on April 6, 2008 as the third single from the album. It was initially released promotionally alongside “Bodysnatchers” in the United Kingdom. The music video for “House of Cards”, directed by James Frost, was produced using lidar technology and released in June 2008.

Reckoner

“Reckoner” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead from their 2007 album In Rainbows. It was released as the album’s fourth and final single on 23 September 2008. It was named one of the best songs of the decade by Pitchfork and the NME.

Remixes were released by electronic musicians James Holden, Flying Lotus and Diplo. Radiohead also released the separate stems for fans to remix themselves, as they had they done with their previous single “Nude”.

All I Need (Radiohead song)

“All I Need” is a song by English alternative rock band Radiohead. The song was written and recorded by the band for their seventh studio album In Rainbows (2007), and was produced by Nigel Godrich. One of the band’s most direct love songs, “All I Need” is a downbeat track which sees frontman Thom Yorke singing of obsession and unrequited love. The recording also incorporates a full string section, a synthesizer, and various other instruments into its instrumentation. Lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood utilized a string section in order to produce the desired effect of white noise produced by a band playing loudly in a room. Prior to its official release on In Rainbows, the song was debuted live by Radiohead at a Chicago, Illinois concert in June 2006.

In support of the MTV EXIT anti-human trafficking campaign, Radiohead released a music video for “All I Need”, directed by Steve Rogers, which premiered on May 1, 2008. The clip, which contrasts the lives of two young boys—an average, well-off child from a developed environment, and a sweatshop worker—received critical acclaim and won numerous awards. On 5 January 2009, “All I Need” impacted United States adult album alternative radio as the fifth and final single from In Rainbows.

Bodysnatchers (song)

“Bodysnatchers” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the second single from their seventh studio album In Rainbows (2007) in May 2008. The song was initially released alongside the song “House of Cards” as a promotional single in the United Kingdom. “Bodysnatchers” was later officially serviced to United States modern rock radio by ATO Records in May 2008. It subsequently peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, their highest-placing song on the chart since “Creep” in 1993.

“Bodysnatchers” was recorded in one live take at a dilapidated mansion. In Rainbows producer Nigel Godrich thought that throwing the band into an “uncomfortable” situation would create an interesting atmosphere for the recording sessions, not unlike the OK Computer sessions that took place at the St. Catherine’s Court mansion in Bath, Somerset. The band lived in caravans surrounding the mansion while the recordings were taking place. Lead singer Thom Yorke has described the song as “a little bit like Neu! meets dodgy hippy rock. It sounds like that new Australian band Wolfmother.”[1] He later stated that “Bodysnatchers” was inspired by Victorian ghost stories, The Stepford Wives and his own feeling of “your physical consciousness trapped without being able to connect fully with anything else.”[2] Yorke and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood debuted “Bodysnatchers” in May 2006 at their performance for The Big Ask at KOKO in London.[3]

There There

“There there. (The Boney King of Nowhere.)”, commonly referred to as “There There”, is a song by the English rock band Radiohead. It was released as the lead single from their sixth album, Hail to the Thief (2003), on 6 May 2003. The song appears on Radiohead: The Best Of (2008).[citation needed]

Most of Hail to the Thief was recorded in six weeks at Ocean Way Recording studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, in 2002, with Radiohead’s longtime producer Nigel Godrich.[1] The band struggled to record a version of “There There” that satisfied them, and feared the song may be lost. After rerecording it in their Oxfordshire studio, Yorke was so relieved to have captured the song he wept, feeling it was the band’s best work.[2]

“There There” is a guitar-led rock song with layered percussion building to a loud climax. It was influenced by krautrock band Can,[3] Siouxsie and the Banshees[4] and the Pixies.[2][5]

Go to Sleep

“Go to Sleep” (known as “Go to Sleep. (Little Man being Erased.)” in Hail to the Thief’s liner notes) is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the second single from their sixth studio album Hail to the Thief (2003) on 18 August 2003. The song reached #12 on the UK Singles Chart and reached #39 on the Australian ARIA Charts.[1]

“Go to Sleep” is composed in alternating bars of 4/4 and 6/4,[2] with an acoustic guitar riff written by Ed O’Brien played by Thom Yorke. After 11 bars of guitar and vocals, the rest of the band comes in. In the second half of the song, the time signature remains in 4/4 and the guitars change to a different riff; the song fades out with a guitar solo played by Jonny Greenwood. The guitar-work at the end of this track was achieved by Jonny Greenwood playing a sequence of random notes on his guitar that were being processed through a digital patch for software called Max/MSP, which is musical software frequently used by electronica or experimental artists.

 

True Love Waits (song)

“True Love Waits” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. Its lyrics address love, ageing, and abandonment. Radiohead first performed “True Love Waits” in 1995, and singer Thom Yorke performed it alone on acoustic guitar or Rhodes piano numerous times in the following years. The band attempted to record the song for their albums OK Computer (1997), Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), but struggled to find an arrangement that satisfied them, and it became one of their most famous unreleased songs. A live recording from the Amnesiac tour was released on I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings (2001).

In 2016, a studio version of “True Love Waits” was finally released as the closing track on Radiohead’s ninth album, A Moon Shaped Pool, rearranged as a minimal piano ballad. It was produced by Radiohead’s longtime producer Nigel Godrich. Both versions of the song received positive reviews, and several critics felt the long wait made the studio version more powerful. Though it was not released as a single, it entered the French SNEP and US Billboard singles charts, peaking at 181 and 43 respectively.

Amnesiac (album)

Amnesiac is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released on 5 June 2001 internationally by Parlophone. Recorded during the same sessions for the band’s previous album Kid A (2000) with producer Nigel Godrich, the album incorporates similar influences of electronic music, 20th century classical music, jazz and krautrock. Singer Thom Yorke described it as “another take on Kid A, a form of explanation.”[4] Its lyrics and artwork explore themes influenced by memory and reincarnation, with influences from ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology.

Three singles were released from the album: “Pyramid Song”, “I Might Be Wrong” and “Knives Out”. Amnesiac debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart and #2 on the US Billboard 200 chart and had sold over 900,000 copies worldwide by October 2008.[5] Though many critics considered it inferior to Kid A, Amnesiac received positive reviews and in 2012 Rolling Stone ranked it number 320 in their updated version of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Knives Out

“Knives Out” is a song by English rock band Radiohead. The composition features electric and acoustic guitars, complemented by singer Thom Yorke’s vocals. It appears on Radiohead’s 2001 album Amnesiac, recorded during the same sessions as the previous album Kid A. It was also released as the second Amnesiac single, receiving more radio airplay than the band’s other songs of the period. The song reached number 13 on the UK Singles Chart.[2] It also topped the Canadian Singles Chart for 4 weeks.

I Might Be Wrong

“I Might Be Wrong” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the second single from their fifth studio album Amnesiac (2001) on 4 June 2001.

Although the album version is heavily produced by Nigel Godrich and Radiohead, with a more electronic texture, “I Might Be Wrong” is one of the more guitar-oriented songs on Amnesiac. The song uses a blues riff written by Jonny Greenwood, in Drop D tuning. The guitar riff has a repetitive and looping quality, partly the result of the slides to reach some notes and the pull-offs.

In the United States, it was released as a radio-only single in advance of the album. “Pyramid Song” was the official first single in all other regions, and the “Pyramid Song” video was also released worldwide.

Pyramid Song

“Pyramid Song” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the lead single from their fifth studio album Amnesiac (2001). The song was their first single released in over three years, after none were taken from their previous studio album Kid A (2000).[1] It was issued as Amnesiac’s lead single in most parts of the world except in the United States, where “I Might Be Wrong” was the first radio-only single.[citation needed] The song features a string section arranged by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and recorded in Dorchester Abbey, a 12-century church about five miles from Radiohead’s studio in Oxfordshire.[1] It was inspired by the Charlie Mingus song “Freedom;[2] its lyrics were inspired by an exhibition of ancient Egyptian underworld art Yorke attended while the band was recording in Copenhagen[3] and ideas of cyclical time discussed by Stephen Hawking and Buddhism.[3] Drummer Phil Selway said the song “ran counter to what had come before in Radiohead in lots of ways … The constituent parts are all quite simple, but I think the way that they then blend gives real depth to the song.”[4] In a 2001 interview with David Fricke in Rolling Stone magazine, guitarist Ed O’Brien said he felt it was “the best song we’ve recorded.”[1]

“Pyramid Song” peaked at #5 on the UK Singles Chart, and NME named it their “single of the week”.[5] Rolling Stone placed it at number 94 on their list of the “100 Best Songs of the Decade”.[6] In October 2011, NME placed the song at number 131 on its list “150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years”.[7] Pitchfork Media place it at number 59 in its list of the “Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s”.[8]

Idioteque

“Idioteque” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, featured as the eighth track from their 2000 album Kid A. Although never released a single as with all other songs on the album, it has since become one of the band’s most famous and popular songs amongst critics and fans. The song has been played at nearly every concert since 2000. The song is listed at #8 on Pitchfork Media’s top 500 songs of the 2000s,[1] and ranked #56 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Songs of the 2000s.[2]

In 2008, the song was featured on Radiohead: The Best Of, a compilation album.

The National Anthem (song)

“The National Anthem” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, and the third track from their fourth studio album Kid A (2000). The song is moored to a repetitive bassline, has a processed electronic production and develops in a direction influenced by jazz. It has been played frequently at Radiohead concerts since Kid A’s release in 2000.

“The National Anthem” is thought to have been previously attempted at recording sessions in 1994 and 1997, but according to Radiohead member Colin Greenwood, the band decided it was “too good to use it as a B-side for OK Computer singles”. In the album recording, the bass is played by lead singer Thom Yorke, who wrote the riff at age 16.[2]

In the recording sessions, band members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood conducted the session musicians, though Yorke lacks formal musical training. Yorke stated in an interview, “The running joke when we were in the studios was, ‘Just blow. Just blow, just blow, just blow'”,[3] referring to the chaotic wind section sound. Although the recording sounds chaotic, each instrument is playing a solo to the riff.

Everything in Its Right Place

“Everything in Its Right Place” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead. It is the opening track on their fourth studio album Kid A (2000). The song has been covered by several other artists,[1][2] has been featured heavily on Radiohead’s set list[3] and received positive reviews from critics.

Following the critical and commercial success of their 1997 album OK Computer, the members of Radiohead began to suffer psychological burnout, and songwriter Thom Yorke suffered a mental breakdown.[4] He began to suffer from writer’s block and said he had become disillusioned with rock music.[5] He began to listen almost exclusively to the electronic music of Warp artists such as Aphex Twin and Autechre, saying: “It was refreshing because the music was all structures and had no human voices in it. But I felt just as emotional about it as I’d ever felt about guitar music.”[4]

Yorke bought a house in Cornwall and spent his time walking the cliffs and drawing, restricting his musical activity to playing the grand piano he had recently bought.[6] “Everything in Its Right Place” was the first song he wrote on the piano,[6] followed by “Pyramid Song” (released on Radiohead’s 2001 album Amnesiac).[7] He said: “I’m such a shit piano player. I remember this Tom Waits quote from years ago, that what keeps him going as a songwriter is his complete ignorance of the instruments he’s using. So everything’s a novelty. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to get into computers and synths, because I didn’t understand how the fuck they worked. I had no idea what ADSR meant.”[8]

Working on the song during the Kid A recording sessions, producer Nigel Godrich was unimpressed with the piano rendition of the song.[9] One night, he and Yorke transferred the song to synthesiser and Godrich manipulated the recording in Pro Tools.[9] Guitarist Jonny Greenwood said the song was a turning point in the making of the album: “We knew it had to be the first song, and everything just followed after it.”[9] He also said it was the first time Radiohead had been happy to leave a song “sparse”, instead of “layering on top of what’s a very good song or a very good sound, and hiding it, camouflaging it in case it’s not good enough.”[9]

Lucky (Radiohead song)

“Lucky” is a song by Radiohead from their third studio album OK Computer (1997), released as a single exclusively in France in December 1997.

In 1995, Radiohead—singer Thom Yorke, guitarists Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien, bassist Colin Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway—were on tour, promoting their second album, The Bends. During June concerts in Japan, O’Brien made a high-pitched strumming sound at soundchecks. A few weeks later, this sound had developed into a full song that became part of the set list.[1] At this time, producer Brian Eno contacted Radiohead to contribute to The Help Album, a charity compilation organized by War Child to benefit children affected by the Bosnian War. The Help sessions were to take place during a single day, 4 September 1995, and rush-released later that week.[1] That day the band recorded the song “Lucky” in five hours[2] with producer Nigel Godrich.[3] All the band members believed that “Lucky” was the strongest song they had written at that time in their career.[4][5]

“Everyone knows about this one: recorded for War Child, unplayed by Radio One. Who’s ‘Sarah’? No one I know. It’s just my favourite name.” – Thom Yorke[6]

No Surprises

“No Surprises” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released as the third and final single from their third studio album OK Computer (1997) on 12 January 1998. The song was accompanied by a music video that featured a single shot of lead singer Thom Yorke’s head singing karaoke lyrics of the song displayed inside a helmet that briefly fills up with water. The single peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart.

Radiohead wrote “No Surprises” while touring with R.E.M. in 1995.[1] It was the first song recorded on the first day of sessions for OK Computer. “That childlike guitar sound set the mood for the whole album”, said Thom Yorke. “We were going for that Pet Sounds vibe.”[2]

The version on the album is the first take recorded. “We did endless versions afterwards […] and they were all just covers of the first version”, Yorke recalled. “So we gave up and went back to [the original].”[3]

Karma Police

“Karma Police” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released as the second single from their third studio album OK Computer (1997) on 25 August 1997. The song’s title and lyrics derive from an in-joke among the band, referring to karma, the Hindu theory of cause and effect. The song became a commercial success, charting at #8 on the UK Singles Chart and at #14 on the US Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. Critical reception to the single was also favourable. In 2008, the song was featured on the Radiohead: The Best Of compilation album.

OK Computer

OK Computer is the third studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released in 1997 on Parlophone and Capitol Records. OK Computer was the first self-produced Radiohead album, with assistance from Nigel Godrich. Radiohead recorded the album in Oxfordshire and Bath between 1996 and early 1997, mostly in the historic mansion St. Catherine’s Court. The band made a deliberate attempt to distance themselves from the guitar-oriented, lyrically introspective style of their previous album, The Bends. OK Computer’s abstract lyrics, densely layered sound and wide range of influences laid the groundwork for Radiohead’s later, more experimental work.

Upon the album’s delivery to Capitol, label representatives lowered their sales estimates, deeming the record uncommercial. Nevertheless, OK Computer reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and became the band’s highest album entry on the American charts at the time, debuting at number 21 on the Billboard 200. Four songs from the album—”Paranoid Android”, “Karma Police”, “Lucky” and “No Surprises”—were released as promotional singles. The album expanded Radiohead’s worldwide popularity and has sold over eight million copies worldwide to date.

OK Computer received considerable acclaim upon release and in subsequent years has been cited by listeners, critics, and musicians as one of the greatest albums of all time. The album initiated a shift away from the popular Britpop genre of the time to the more melancholic and atmospheric style of alternative rock that would be prevalent in the next decade. Critics and fans often comment on the underlying themes found in the lyrics and artwork, emphasising Radiohead’s views on rampant consumerism, social alienation, emotional isolation, and political malaise; in this capacity, OK Computer is often interpreted as having prescient insight into the mood of 21st-century life.

Paranoid Android

“Paranoid Android” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released as the lead single from their third studio album OK Computer (1997) on 26 May 1997. The darkly humourous lyrics were written primarily by singer Thom Yorke following an unpleasant experience in a Los Angeles bar. The song is more than six minutes long and contains four distinct sections. “Paranoid Android” takes its name from Marvin the Paranoid Android of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.

Released as the lead single from OK Computer, “Paranoid Android” charted at number three on the UK Singles Chart. It was well received by music critics. It track has appeared regularly on lists of the best songs of all time, including Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Its animated music video, directed by Magnus Carlsson, was placed on heavy rotation on MTV, although the network censored portions containing nudity in the US. At the 1998 Brit Awards, the song was nominated for Best British Single. Since its release, the track has been covered by numerous artists working in a variety of musical genres. The song was included in the 2008 Radiohead: The Best Of collection.

Airbag (song)

“Airbag” is a song by the English band Radiohead. It is the first song on their 1997 album OK Computer and the final single to be released from said album on 24 March 1998.

The song is inspired by a car crash involving Thom Yorke and his girlfriend in 1987. This event damaged his girlfriend’s cervix, but Yorke was unhurt. He said, “Has an airbag saved my life? Nah … but I tell you something, every time you have a near accident, instead of just sighing and carrying on, you should pull over, get out of the car and run down the street screaming, ‘I’m BACK! I’m ALIVE! My life has started again today!’ In fact, you should do that every time you get out of a car. We’re just riding on those things – we’re not really in control of them.”[1]

The song was first performed in 1995. It was originally titled “Last Night an Airbag Saved My Life”, a reference to the Indeep song, “Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life”. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood said, “‘Airbag’ is a classic example of Colin and Phil saying, ‘Let’s make it sound like DJ Shadow.’ But unfortunately – or fortunately – it does not, because we missed again. It’s that thing of lumbering around in the dark, but still being excited by what we do. We’re discovering these things for the first time rather than getting the pros in to show us how to do it.”[2]

In 2016, Thom Yorke auctioned the original draft of lyrics for “Airbag”, written inside a copy of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, with proceeds going to Oxfam.[3]

My Iron Lung

My Iron Lung is the third extended play (EP) by English alternative rock group Radiohead, released in October 1994. The title track later appeared on the band’s second studio album The Bends (1995). The EP also contains outtakes from then-ongoing recording sessions for The Bends, compiling songs that were issued as B-sides on two separate “My Iron Lung” CD singles in the UK and other markets. My Iron Lung was originally released in EP form with all eight songs only in Australia, but it is currently in print worldwide.

The record is seen as a bridge between the relative simplicity of their 1993 debut album Pablo Honey, and the greater sonic depth of Radiohead’s later work, beginning with The Bends. The “My Iron Lung” single charted at number 24 in the UK. It received little radio or MTV attention in the United States.

The title track “My Iron Lung” was included in 2008’s Radiohead: The Best Of collection.

Just (song)

“Just” is a single by English alternative rock band Radiohead, released in 1995. It is the seventh track on their 1995 album The Bends. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke wrote the song about a narcissistic friend of his, which on closer inspection is showcased by the imagery in the lyrics – a parallel to earlier My Iron Lung EP track “Lewis [Mistreated]”. He also says that it was something of a competition between him and Jonny Greenwood to see who could fit the most chords into a song. “Just” is especially notable for Greenwood’s guitar solo. In the UK, this single was available as two CDs: the first one featured different tracks, and the colour of the album art on the second single was inverted.

In 2007, NME placed “Just” at number 34 in its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever. In 2008 it entered the Radiohead: The Best Of collection.

Fake Plastic Trees

“Fake Plastic Trees” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead from their second studio album The Bends (1995). It was the third single to be released from that album in the UK, but in the US, it was released as the band’s first single from the album.[1] “Fake Plastic Trees” marked a turning point in the band’s early career, moving away from the grunge sound of their earlier hit single “Creep”.[2]

The song was inspired by Canary Wharf which was landscaped with numerous artificial plants.[3]
Radiohead singer Thom Yorke said “Fake Plastic Trees” was “the product of a joke that wasn’t really a joke, a very lonely, drunken evening and, well, a breakdown of sorts”.[2] He said the song arose from a melody he had “no idea what to do with”. Unlike his usual approach of either keeping note “of whatever my head’s singing at the particular moment” or forcing “some nifty phrases” he devised onto the melody, Yorke said that creating “Fake Plastic Trees” was the opposite. He said, “That was not forced at all, it was just recording whatever was going on in my head, really. I mean, I wrote those words and laughed. I thought they were really funny, especially that bit about polystyrene”.[4] The song incorporates the melodic leap heard on the word ‘high’ in Rocket Man by Elton John.
The band were finding it difficult to finalize the song’s composition and decided to attend a Jeff Buckley concert at Highbury. When they returned to the studio mesmerized by Buckley’s set, Yorke sang the song twice before breaking down into tears.[3]

Guitarist Ed O’Brien described early attempts to record “Fake Plastic Trees” at London’s RAK Studios as sounding “like Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’. It was so pompous and bombastic”. When recording sessions for The Bends resumed at Manor Studios in July 1994, producer John Leckie convinced Yorke to record a take of the song. Frustrated at being at the studio for a prolonged period that day, Yorke “threw a wobbly” in his own description, after which Leckie sent the rest of the band away while Yorke recorded a guide track for “Fake Plastic Trees” featuring only guitar and the singer’s vocals. Yorke performed three takes of the song and then cried afterwards, according to guitarist Jonny Greenwood.[2]

One source of frustration for the band at the time was their US record label, Capitol, which wanted a strong track for American radio to follow the success of their previous hit single, “Creep”.[5] Surprised that the slow-paced “Fake Plastic Trees” was seen as a potential single to follow up “Creep”, Yorke ultimately realized the label had remixed the track without his approval: “Last night I was called by the American record company insisting, well almost insisting, that we used a Bob Clearmountain mix of it. I said ‘No way’. All the ghost-like keyboards sounds and weird strings were completely gutted out of his mix, like he’d gone in with a razor blade and chopped it all up. It was horrible”.[6]

High and Dry

“High and Dry” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released as the first single from their second studio album The Bends (1995). It was released as a double A-side with album opener “Planet Telex”. “High and Dry” was released in the UK on 5 March 1995. Thom Yorke had performed an early version of the song with the band Headless Chickens while he was a student at University of Exeter in the late 1980s.[1] Radiohead later recorded a studio version of “High and Dry” during the sessions which produced the song “Pop Is Dead” in 1993, but the band dismissed it as a “Rod Stewart song”.[2] During recording sessions for The Bends, the band’s demo recording of the song was rediscovered and remastered for inclusion on the album, as it was felt that it worked well with the rest of the album’s music. In a 2007 interview with Pitchfork Media, Yorke stated that he did not like the song, saying “It’s not bad… it’s very bad”. He also stated that he had been pressured into including the song on The Bends.[3]

Planet Telex

“Planet Telex” is a song written by Radiohead and is the opening track of their 1995 album The Bends. It was released as a double A-side single with “High and Dry”, although receiving far less airplay. Originally known as “Planet Xerox”, the title was changed to its current name since Xerox is a trademark.

This is the only song written during The Bends recording session (i.e. not beforehand). It was recorded one night when the band returned to the studio after consuming a great amount of alcohol. Lead singer Thom Yorke did vocals lying down while intoxicated.[1]

This is one of the most frequently remixed songs in Radiohead’s catalogue. Some thought its more atmospheric keyboard-dominated sound, compared to other tracks on The Bends, was an indication of the band’s future sound on albums such as OK Computer and Kid A. Radiohead have commented that the first or last songs on their albums tend to point ahead to their next album.[citation needed]

The song is also used by British hip-hop duo Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip in their 2008 single “Letter from God to Man”

The opening part of this track was looped and played as background music for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) TV/radio show Q when it was hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. The music played while the host gave an opening monologue.[2]

Pop Is Dead

“Pop Is Dead” is a song by the British alternative rock band Radiohead. It was released as a non-album single in on 10 May 1993, only several months after their debut single “Creep” and their debut album Pablo Honey.

“Pop Is Dead” reached number 42 on the UK Singles Chart in May 1993.[2] It was subsequently included in the two disc collector’s edition of Pablo Honey.[3]

The title track, “Pop is Dead,” is driven by a chromatic riff played by guitarist Jonny Greenwood.[4] Similar to a previous song “Anyone Can Play Guitar,” the track lyrically criticises the media, the record companies and pop music, as well as the rock press and music industry in general.[4][5]

The acoustic track “Banana Co.” was described as “a mildly Beatlesque tune with lyrics that hinted at a general loathing of multinational corporations. The electric version of the track was later included on the Itch EP and “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” single.[4][6] The live version of the “Ripcord” from the B-side was recorded at a Town and Country Club gig in London in February 1993, when the band opened for Belly. This version contains extra lyrics, added after the second chorus: “They can kiss my ass!”[7]

Anyone Can Play Guitar

“Anyone Can Play Guitar” is a single taken from Radiohead’s first album Pablo Honey, released just in advance of the album. It is the band’s second single, and their first to receive a wide hearing (“Creep” had been issued in limited quantities some months earlier, and had charted at #78, but would soon become a hit and ultimately be re-released later in 1993). “Anyone Can Play Guitar” peaked at #32 in the UK,[1] and remained a staple of the band’s live sets throughout the early-mid 1990s. In Australia, the single peaked at #97 on the ARIA singles chart in 1994.[2]

Stop Whispering

“Stop Whispering” is a single from English alternative rock band Radiohead, released as the band’s fourth single in 1993. It is the fourth track of their first album, Pablo Honey (1993). It reached #23 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart,[1] and #131 on the Australian ARIA singles chart.[2]

The song was written as a tribute to the Pixies, a band that had an important influence over Radiohead at the time, hence the single CD art cover is similar to the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa.[citation needed] “Stop Whispering” is also one of Radiohead’s oldest songs; it was created when the band was still known as On A Friday, originally being on Dungeon Demo.[citation needed] The CD cover art was conceived by Peter Darley Miller and Radiohead.

Creep (Radiohead song)

“Creep” is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. Radiohead released “Creep” as their debut single in 1992, and it later appeared on their first album, Pablo Honey (1993). During its initial release, “Creep” was not a chart success. However, upon re-release in 1993, it became a worldwide hit. Attendees of Radiohead’s early gigs often exhibited little interest in the band’s other songs, causing the band to react against “Creep” and play it less often during the mid-to-late 1990s. It is included in the Radiohead: The Best Of compilation album.

The artwork for the single is a painting by Maurice Burns, called “Craigavon Under Age Drinkers Rule”.[5]

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