Tuesday, July 1, 2008


"You'd kill yourself for recognition; kill yourself to never ever stop."

Yes, pushing the famous Radiohead as a band anyone but me still has to discover is a bit of a laugh. However, being my age I was too young for the first coming of Yorke and his gang, which left me aiting until digging out my older sister's copy of The Bends to properly begin to appreciate them. They're hazy and mysterious at the best of times, with a fantastic mix of piano and guitar. You can get lost in it, especially when they use their greatest asset to the max; that is, Thom Yorke and his fantastic vocals.

I'm not going to try and write extensively on the band, as many far better writers who know much, much more about Radiohead have walked that path before. Hopefully, though, as a new fan I can give a new perspective, and at the very least those who have not encountered Radiohead before will give it a shot.

Some backstory: The band formed a couple years before I was even born, back in 1986. Their first album, Pablo Honey, was released to poor sales in 1993, until the smash success of single "Creep" pulled them into the spotlight. Since then, they've released 6 more albums, most critically acclaimed, some commercially successful. Since beginning to look into them, the only piecesof the Radiohead puzzle I don't have are 2003's Hail to the Thief and their EPs, Drill and My Iron Lung. I'm still finding my way through what I have, though, and enjoying the experience very much.

Radiohead - High and Dry
Album: The Bends (1995)

The song that kicked off my journey. It was fuzzy memories of loving the sound of this song (along with "(Nice Dream)") as a kid that prompted me to put The Bends on my iPod in the first place. The lyrics are very dark, very sad; I get a sense of a desperate need for escape from the world, a sort of doomed longing.

Radiohead - Creep

Album: Pablo Honey (1993)

The song that kicked everything off! For a while, the song that was both Radiohead's greatest success and the bane of their existence! The song that struck a chord with everyone who has ever felt awkward and inferior amongst others; essentially almost everyone. The story of a boy desperately wishing to be one of those 'special' people: beautiful, popular, and seemingly angelic.

Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Album: In Rainbows (2007)

The first song off of new album In Rainbows that I remotely connected with. There's just something about it that draws me in, the frantic-yet-chill beat combined with Thom Yorke's wonderful warbling. It really does recreate the feeling of "the bottom of the sea", as Yorke mentions in the song, and it's really quite beautiful.

Radiohead - Airbag
Album: OK Computer (1997)

Mysterious, sweeping and cryptically written, this song seems to express a sort of joy in living, of being 'born again'. I don't know whether the airbag and the various deaths are metaphors, but it does seem to be more life-affirming than its dark sound would care to admit. Very layered and frenetic music, here, as well.

And remember, search for more at The Hype Machine; purchase albums or mp3's at Amazon, Amazon Canada, Amie St., cdbaby, or Insound.

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