"OK Computer": Classic Or Dud?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
It's an album by popular beat combo Radiohead, m'lud.

Tom, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

An absolute classic. One of the few albums which there isn't a dodgy song on it. Things I like:

(1) It speaks of man's fear of the times he lives in. This (personally speaking) has made it get more and more relevant as times goes on. I've heard it claimed as the first album to articulate this fear: anyone care to give a counter example?

(2) They didn't have to make it. They could have made The Bends pt.2 and the world would never have known what it missed. But there's a spirit lives in the hearts of men... Always a sucker for a good narrative, me.

(3) The conscious push away from being A Guitar Band. Obviously Kid A is further on this path, but I've been listening to a megamix of OK Computer, Kid A and Amnesiac, and it does feel of a piece.

(4) "A heart that's..."

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

the most obnoxious album of the 90s that isn't by Manic Street Preachers.

scott, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"It speaks of man's fear of the times he lives in": counterexample(s). _Let It Bleed_? _Pithecathropus Erectus_? _Germ-Free Adolescence_

I'm sorry: Radiohead are NOT the first people to address this issue.

And if you just mean, uh, scary computers'n'stuff: John Foxx's _Metamatic_/Gary Numan's _The Pleasure Principle_ — both (manifestly) superior musical artists and/or intellects.

mark s, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

i have a sinking feeling this thread will be dredged up weekly for the next six months much like the recently-resurrected 'smells like teen spirit' one.

ethan, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Dud. I think Devoto/Magazine covered similar territory in a much more interesting and multi-dimensional way with Real Life/SecondHand Daylight/Correct Use of Soap. Yorke works within such a narrow range on OKC, with no light, wit or alternate perspective allowed, that I quickly lost interest. I have to agree with Mark S -it's not exactly unfamiliar ground in pop/rock. It's just that few have botched it as badly as Radiohead.

Kid A though. Wow! I don't know what the hell he's on about, but it's just beautiful!

Dr. C, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Well, it's no way a classic, there are only a few good songs on it...Let Down, No Surprises, a bit of Paranoid Android. The rest just washes over me...it always strikes me as an album I could like, but never really did.

james e l, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

i like paranoid android a lot, even the 'heavy' section. karma police is excellent too, except the high parts. not sure about the rest. i think there's a good slow song between those two though.

ethan, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

>_Let It Bleed_?

I really must reconsider my position on the Stones as just irrelevant rock dinosaurs. Hang on, this is the one with classic rock chugger Honkytonk Women on it. How freaked out and paranoid is that?

>_Pithecathropus Erectus_?

This doesn't sound likely to get past my "Jazz Wank" filters. Not that Instrumental Jazz can't sound claustrophobic (and I've quite liked being slipped a mickey on the last albums by Spiritualized and, erm, Radiohead), but it's apples and oranges to something with lyrics.

>_Germ-Free Adolescence_

Now this is more like it, by all accounts.

>I'm sorry: Radiohead are NOT the first people to address this issue.

You don't have to be sorry, you just have to answer the question. It was asked in all honesty (and much ignorance).

>And if you just mean, uh, scary computers'n'stuff: John Foxx's >_Metamatic_/Gary Numan's _The Pleasure Principle_

Okay, but you'll have to vouchsafe me a bodypart or something before I go get something by Gary Numan. This is the one with Cars on it, for god's sake.

>both (manifestly) superior musical artists and/or intellects.

Oh, just fuck off.

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Heh.

mark s, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I have to say this album doesn't annoy me as much as it once did: I think I ended up despising it because back in 1998 so many people were saying it was album of the year (and even the decade), when it clearly and fundamentally was not. I think it has some nice moments, but there's something too late 80's Simple Minds in it's bombast far too much of the time.

Nicole, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

OK (not to be totally spiteful), Bleed, Pith and Germ are just kinda random first-out-of-hat thoughts (not untrue they're tacklers, but y'know, prob.not in my top ten or even top 100 of folks engaging subj-at-hand).

Instrumental vs lyrics/apples vs oranges: this makes no sense to me

One of Numan and Foxx MIGHT be in my top ten. Plainly Numan is a force-nine dimwit (and Yorke is... ?) but that just means GN's unable to censor or rationalise as effectively as We Smart Foax do. The clueless express many things better, because they don't notice, and sidestep.

Concept totally aside, "Cars" is a better record than any Radiohead will EVER make. This is basic.

mark s, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

It's an odd album. I think emphasising the content is a red herring, kind of - in terms of lyrical/conceptual 'meaning' it's Radiohead's weakest record (caveat: not heard Pablo Honey) for several reasons but mostly because while albums about fear and paranoia are always welcome Yorke gets into cliche and name-calling too much. I'm happy to admit I do feel isolated and alienated and dislocated and all that sometimes but Radiohead's other records are less big-picture and map that feeling better, for me.

The technological themes are also a red herring - unlike with the much crasser Grandaddy there's hardly any overt technofear on OKC - the alienation seems pretty much entirely societal (in classic rock style). "Cars" is a great single by the way, not so sure about the rest of Numan.

I think in the end the specific content and concept are a cover story to allow culture-paralysed types (not least the band) to enjoy Big Rock themes (fuck the system) and more importantly Big Rock sounds, which as Nicole suggests OKC has in spades. It'll age worse than their other stuff but a lot of it sure is pretty.

Tom, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Have I called anything except for the Replacements a dud?

_OK Computer_ is classic, classic, classic. The song "Paranoid Android" alone makes it a classic album. The fact that it has "Climbing Up The Walls", "Lucky", "The Tourist", "Let Down", and "Exit Music (For A Film)" seals the deal.

Dan Perry, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Since there's now a principle at stake, Tom so-called Ewing, recall the following:

Everyday I Die. Steel And You. My Love Is A Liquid. Zero Bars (Mr Smith). Me! I Disconnect From You. Are "Friends" Electric? Praying To The Aliens. When The Machines Rock. I Nearly Married A Human. This Wreckage. The Aircrash Bureau. Remind Me to Smile. Sleep by Windows. I Dream of Wires. Remember I was Vapour. Please Push no More. I Die: You Die. A Subway Called "You". Cry, the Clock Said. She’s Got Claws. Boys Like Me. My Brother’s Time. You Are, You Are. Music for Chameleons. We Take Mystery to Bed. I am Render. This Prison Moon. My Centurion.

mark s, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Remember I was Vapour.

Do you SEE!!

mark s, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

He has a way with a title, it's hard not to concede that. "I nearly married a human" is a particular favourite there.

It's really sweet in some ways that he ended up marrying a fan.

Tom, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

By "really sweet" you mean of course "the conceptual integrity is complete, in life as in art"

rEsIsTaNcE iS FuTiLe, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Arrrrrrgh.

That's all I have to say.

Arrrrrrgh.

How long is it before Solinger buys OK Computer again, since Tom just did? Arrrrgh. If I ever, ever, ever, ever have to hear OK Computer again in my life, I will commit suicide. I just can't talk about this album rationally. It's the most godawful whinging and everyone LOVED it. I'd actually rather listen to Gorillaz.

Ally, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

i liked 'the bends' but never bothered with okc - can't be arsed with getting all a bands records nowadays - heard a bit on 'Later' but wasn't my cuppa tea - gary numan shits on thom yorke - i saw tubeway army in preston after being sneaked in by my mate's brother ( cheers,Paul ! ) and gazza was better than the skids !

G.R.D. robot, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Gasp! Replacements a dud?!?!?

Larms, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Don't you remember? Note the first response.

Dan Perry, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Intrumental is different from lyrics in that one has words and the other doesn't. Evocation versus invocation. You can't, for example, get the layers of meaning present in "Girls and Boys" without words.

Similarly, direct lyrical depiction is different from abstract picture-painting. Old versus new REM. Or Kid A vs OK Computer. I couldn't call it a weaker or stronger album because I don't see a coherent theme in KID A to compare to. Amnesiac is as I said half-and-half.

No, Thom Yorke isn't a force 9 dimwit. He makes incredibly indulgent whiny music, but that's not the same thing as being as thick as most of his fans.

And I'm going to have to disagree about Gary Numan. Glam with the entrtainment value stripped out isn't really my cup of tea.

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

O.K. computer, for me, was a temporary reprieve for guitar music. Pretty portentous stuff, wandering observations strung together with sentiment, it doesn't delivery a punchline to his achy question, he's too busy asking them, but that's part of their whole prog equation on this one. Style over content. Indie schtick lumbering through the same old moves, wearing the trendiest boots in Camden. Nothing wrong with that, unless you're asking if it's classic. But the 'enigmatic' Thom Yorke does right to shy from the media, I think he knows he's a lite-weight. My high-light is fitter/happier. And their new direction that might drag rock out of the stadium.

K-reg, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Damn you for bringing that up again! ;-)

Now get ready for more "Dude, the Replacements rocked and if you don't like them YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND ROCK AND ROLL!" type responses.

Nicole, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Hang about, hang about, "godawful whingeing?" And where would one classify the vague and ill-formed rant that is "If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next?".

Classic. Yorke's lyrics never bothered me despite their ranting qualities (all you Destiny's Child fans, pause in thought about which 90s artists are the biggest whiners). The music is pretty much amazingly written and executed.

Oh, come on, Gary Numan? "Cars" sounds like it was written by a nitwit child with a synth (and not in a good way), with lyrics written by his older brother who just read 1984 in tenth grade English class. And you can go on all you want about how it was an amazing bit of paranoid futurist chart pop, but between "Cars" and "No Surprises", which is/will be more dated?

Heh heh heh...

Dave M., Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Dr. C's thoughts pretty much mirror mine, especially the part about Magazine beating them to the punch with more punch. I do like OK Computer somewhat, will never have the use to hear Pablo Honey or The Bends again, and completely adore Kid A.

Andy, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Dave M. is apparently unfamiliar with the fact that I am an old Manics fan and utterly loathe TIMTTMY. However, I'd still hold fast that at least If You Tolerate This has pretty vocals that don't sound like my cat freaking out over second hand pot smoke.

Ally, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Well, "Cars" has survived 22 years intact and sounds more 'relevant' (use! other! words! please!) now than ever (also more danceable, hooray!). "No Surprises" is a queasy mixture of empathy and patronisation with melodramatic bits like "silence. silence." and stuff about carbon monoxide. It does have a very pretty music-box hook, though.

(They're not really comparable lyrically, though - Pulp's "The Fear" covers similar territory to "No Surprises" (and a lot of OKC), but does it with more wit, sympathy and humanity.)

Tom, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Clearly most of Numan's songs are better — obviously artistically, but social-conceptually and politically also — than Orwell's 1984. How hard wd this be?

(I won't say all, because I own the Numan-Sharpe LP, which is only better than Orwell's earlier unfunny stuff.)

mark s, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I laughed at that for a minute straight. Help me.

Dave M., Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Or to put it another way, the three people who I baited in my last message all replied within the space of ten minutes. This is like fishing.

Dave M., Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Heh...

mark s, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Classic. I share most people's general objections to Radiohead, Thom Yorke and his lyrical content, but man, the music is gorgeous. And it's also the album where they stopped sounding like U2 impersonators.

Patrick, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Hmmmm.... that reminds me, I think its time to revisit that Replacements thread again! I need a good laff.

Oh, ummm, "OK Computer", yeah, its a pretty good album. Its no "Pleased To Meet Me" though.

Tim Baier, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

This is like fishing.

But sadly not flirty fishing, like religous cults use.

Nicole, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Patrick - are you sure? OKC sounds like the most U2 copyist of all their stuff to me. The plangent guitar etc. etc. is really Joshua Tree in some places.

Tom, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

There is a slight and oft-overlooked humour in Radiohead records, i think, buried somewhere deep in the double ironies, bordering too often on Yhorke's pointless suspicions of basic human interactions. 'Paranoid Android', though, is one of the most bizarrely, magnificent self-parodies I think I've come across on record. This persumes "the crackle of pig skin" refers to people eating pork scratchings in a bar.

matthew james, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Tom - Really ? I can't imagine U2 trying something like "Paranoid Android" or "Exit Music For A Film". You might be right about the Joshua Tree-style guitar though - it's been a while since I listened to OKC. Still, The Bends sounds way more like a U2 album to me, especially the singing.

Patrick, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

i think okc marks their move away from past influences and into a brand new world of artists to take cues from (not that it lasted long). instead of being an entirely different animal to the bends, it's a halfway point, e.g. the hybrid of 70s pink floyd and joshua tree u2 on "lucky."

fred solinger, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

The Bends to me sounds like a (rather successful) attempt to marry British and American style alt.rock, as it then was - so yeah, u2/Simple Minds are in there, ditto the angstier end of British rock, but there's a hell of a lot of Nirvana in there too.

"pointless distrust of basic human interactions" is the best description of Yorke's lyrical failings (and in my weaker moments, strengths) that I've ever seen. Cheers.

Tom, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

This *is* one entertaining thread. Can I go on record as saying I enjoy _OK Computer_ and also am a Numan fanatic? Though his most recent record was fairly monochrome.

Tom was right to note that the subject matter and vague reachings towards 'concept' are red herrings. Do you get off on the sonic fun of _OK Computer_ or not? On that level I do, and it's great. I can't agree completely on the late eighties Simple Minds comparison, though -- that bunch were perfectly sculpted (listen to _Street Fighting Years_ -- I DARE YOU), whereas Radiohead were trying to sound perfectly unsculpted, intentionally rough around the edges. Perhaps the same approach via different means, I'll grant.

What I think is interesting about the claim regarding 'pointless distrust of human interaction' -- and that *is* a great line -- is that clearly the lyricist and the person are two different things. An obvious point, but still -- after all, would the figure outlined in the lyrics actually have had a girlfriend for a decade, plus one baby? ;-) One more reason why I don't look for depths where they are overdetermined by others...

As for the Replacements, they're dead. Well, one is.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Obliged, Tom! Coincidentally, I've just finished my first listen fg Amnesiac beginning to end, and it's rather tiring, between 'Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors' and 'Living in a Glass House' there's barely a moment of interest. Save for the reworking of 'Morning Bell', which has some strange moments in the background, reminding me a little of the spacier levels of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Megadrive. Music for computer games is remarkable, sometimes.

matthew james, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Hm, actually...

*goes back and look at that Replacements thread*

Pfft. Hey, Mr. Baier, it's called decaf, try it sometime.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Is someone calling my name? Whatsa matter Ned, you don't like to laugh? ;)

I think its about time we just put up the question to end all questions: "Taking Sides: Loveless vs OK Computer vs The Stone Roses vs Nevermind".

*shudder*

Tim Baier, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I *did* laugh. Trust me.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

*Ahem*

The question you are perhaps thinking of is The Plan vs Telekon vs vs I, Assassin vs The Berserker

mark s, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Oh, in that case _Telekon_. There isn't a single thing wrong with that album. The rest have low points as well as highs.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Nevermind.

james e l, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

You pull OK Computer out of the shitstorm of press it generated, and you have one of the best rock albums of the 90's. Believe the hype.

bnw, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah that live version of videotape that mixes the energy of previous live versions with the syncopated rhythms of the studio version is amazing, wish that was the studio version.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Saturday, 24 June 2017 14:46 (three months ago) Permalink

listening to these c-sides on spotify, yall this band seriously DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THEIR BEST SONGS ARE i hate them so much

the counter argument to this is the HTTT era, where exactly the right songs were left as b-sides (even if maybe a couple of the album tracks should also have been left off)

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Saturday, 24 June 2017 14:51 (three months ago) Permalink

i'm genuinely surprised the tape hasn't leaked yet. wasn't the release date yesterday?

Karl Malone, Saturday, 24 June 2017 14:59 (three months ago) Permalink

yeah me too.

piscesx, Saturday, 24 June 2017 16:47 (three months ago) Permalink

the box set with the tape download code isn't shipping until July

I agree about Lift being just a little too slow, it would still be one of the best songs on The Bends though

ufo, Saturday, 24 June 2017 17:06 (three months ago) Permalink

the box set with the tape download code isn't shipping until July

d'oh, thanks! i was thinking all formats shipped on the 23rd.

Karl Malone, Saturday, 24 June 2017 17:10 (three months ago) Permalink

the counter argument to this is the HTTT era, where exactly the right songs were left as b-sides (even if maybe a couple of the album tracks should also have been left off)

― a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Saturday, June 24, 2017 10:51 AM (six hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

which of these are better than songs on HTTT? i only ever heard the There There single with Paperbag Writer and Where Bluebirds Fly, the former of which I don't remember and the latter I really love but it's an instrumental - where would it go on the record?

Paperbag Writer
Where Bluebirds Fly
I Am Citizen Insane
Gaggjng Order
I Am a Wicked Child

flappy bird, Saturday, 24 June 2017 21:20 (three months ago) Permalink

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/arts/music/radiohead-ok-computer-influences-playlist.html

Odd that it doesn't site "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" as an additional reference point.

bodacious ignoramus, Saturday, 24 June 2017 22:00 (three months ago) Permalink

the nick lucas version?

Rodney Stooksbury for President (rushomancy), Saturday, 24 June 2017 22:02 (three months ago) Permalink

Gagging Order is the only HTTT b-side i like, idk if a acoustic guitar + vocals only song would ever feel at home on a radiohead LP though

ciderpress, Saturday, 24 June 2017 22:02 (three months ago) Permalink

Simon H. is OTM - none of those songs would have fit on Hail to the Thief, which probably would benefit from being at least 3 or 4 songs shorter.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Saturday, 24 June 2017 22:57 (three months ago) Permalink

which ones would you cut?

flappy bird, Saturday, 24 June 2017 23:19 (three months ago) Permalink

I still don't understand how they made two records out of the 'Kid A' sessions, and on neither one were two of the best three or four tracks from the whole thing, 'Kinetic' and 'Worrywort,' both of which I feel like presage a lot of the best Radiohead work of later years. Both would be among the most successful of Yorke's stabs at "electronic" music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q906M5_Vfw

Soundslike, Sunday, 25 June 2017 00:53 (two months ago) Permalink

(Skip to 9:57 on that--the other b-sides were otherwise mediocre)

Soundslike, Sunday, 25 June 2017 00:54 (two months ago) Permalink

i'd add fog to that list, too. one of my favorite things they've ever done

Karl Malone, Sunday, 25 June 2017 00:55 (two months ago) Permalink

still so gobsmacked that "Cuttooth" (skip to 22:45 in the video above) didn't make it on any album bcz it is def one of their strongest b-sides but also like str8 up one of their strongest songs imo??? I mean in its current form it wouldn't have fit neatly into either Kid A or Amnesiac but like just throw some crunchy glitchy electronics on it ffs

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Sunday, 25 June 2017 01:00 (two months ago) Permalink

amnesiac is def the canonical "b-sides better than the album cuts" radiohead album. can't object too much with the rest of the records. yeah "talk show host" was good enough for a record but i'm not about to go out and demand they drop "sulk" to make room for "the trickster" or whatever.

Rodney Stooksbury for President (rushomancy), Sunday, 25 June 2017 01:03 (two months ago) Permalink

i agree. but since you mention it, pulling the old switcheroo with talk show host + permanent daylight with high and dry + bulletproof would actually improve the album quite a bit imo

Karl Malone, Sunday, 25 June 2017 01:12 (two months ago) Permalink


still so gobsmacked that "Cuttooth" (skip to 22:45 in the video above) didn't make it on any album bcz it is def one of their strongest b-sides but also like str8 up one of their strongest songs imo???

That's so funny, because seeing that compilation and hearing that track reminded me it existed, I'd hated it so much when it came out. Really presaged their sludgy thing of thinking they were riding a groove a la Can circa 'Hail to the Thief,' when really they were just plodding aimlessly. It doesn't have songcraft, it doesn't have an interesting structure, it's boringly produced, it doesn't have an interesting beat. . . Man I guess I still hate it ; )

Soundslike, Sunday, 25 June 2017 01:35 (two months ago) Permalink

'Fog' and 'Cuttooth' are both essential Radiohead, IMO. Sure, 'Cuttooth' is a bit rough in the recording but I love it.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Sunday, 25 June 2017 08:39 (two months ago) Permalink

There's nothing about The Bends that I would change, really... the best of the B-sides from that period would make up a very good record, though.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Sunday, 25 June 2017 08:41 (two months ago) Permalink

i ordered the box set >_<

global tetrahedron, Sunday, 25 June 2017 22:20 (two months ago) Permalink

I love Cuttooth.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 26 June 2017 10:21 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

bonus tape is floating around out there

Side A:
Zx sprectrum symphony
AMS Hello
True Love Tape Loop
Let Down (Thom 4Track)
I may be paranoid but not an andoroid...
Attention (Thom 4Track)
Noise sketch by Nigel
Climbing up the walls (Abbey Road Strings)
Someone help this guy..
Motion Picture Soundtrack solo piano
Was that recording
The jumbled words of climbing up the walls read by little Dan Clements
Lull (ed guitar infinite reverb)
Airbag Drums through Moog
Karma Police in space echo
Karma Police voice through telephonbe
(Talking)
Piano sketch by Jonny
Bid bird story by Stanley Donwood
No surprises (first idea from soundcheck somewhere)
Radio chaser noise
Fridge Buzz
True Love Space Loop
(Talking)
Are you Someone?

Side B:
Nigel AMS Delay
Jonnys Radio from Climbing up the walls
Climbing up the walls (Thom 4track)
A piano lies down in the middle of the road
Transposing Noise sketch by Nigel
Early paranoid android version by Jonny and Thom
Alternative Paranoid Android ending live in Pittsburg
Airbag early acoustic version
(Talking)
Paranoid Android Loud Room at St Catherines
Nigel AMS paranoid guitar sample
Nude early band version
The national anthem (Thom 4 track)
Ambient Loops
Man of WEar live in Montpellier
Nigel AMS delay again
Thoms acoustic as microphone in Climbing up the Walls
Ok Computer program

Number None, Tuesday, 11 July 2017 19:25 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't understand why this wasn't made widely available. I would pay $10-20 bucks to hear this tape but instead I'm going to go find a rip of it somewhere. What's the damage? Just put a zip file up on W.A.S.T.E. and I'm there.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 11 July 2017 22:23 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah, same

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 11 July 2017 22:27 (two months ago) Permalink

i don't understand why they even bothered with the rest of the reissue, this shit actually sounds interesting

seriously people would rather listen to "i promise" than somebody in the band farting around on a zx spectrum? what is wrong with people.

The Saga of Rodney Stooksbury (rushomancy), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 02:26 (two months ago) Permalink

I gave up on people

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 03:21 (two months ago) Permalink

it's not just bumbling around in the studio, the Let Down demo alone sounds incredible. the full tracklist above is almost too much to take in. and i still haven't found a rip

flappy bird, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 03:33 (two months ago) Permalink

hearing all the demos is fascinating, especially the early version of The National Anthem, and Motion Picture Soundtrack and Nude are fantastic here

ufo, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 03:46 (two months ago) Permalink

I would love to listen to their outtakes and experiments because their recorded output is obviously meticulously controlled and their live performances don't include much room for improv (cue someone telling me about jonnys guitar solos or thom moaninv slightly differently but come on when a Radiohead song starts, live, you pretty much know exactly how it will proceed)

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 03:51 (two months ago) Permalink

Wait has this shit leaked yet?

Fuuuuck I gotta get on it

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 03:52 (two months ago) Permalink

I am very curious about

Lull (ed guitar infinite reverb)

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 03:54 (two months ago) Permalink

:)

flappy bird, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 04:08 (two months ago) Permalink

"Polyethylene" is in their top 5 imo

billstevejim, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 06:52 (two months ago) Permalink

I recall a slower standalone version of the 3rd section in "Paranoid Android" (the "rain down" part) appearing in Meeting People Is Easy and I always wanted to hear that demo on its own, but it's been tough to locate on file sharing.

billstevejim, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 06:54 (two months ago) Permalink

My opinion on this record is that . . . . . . . . . it’s good.

the ghost of markers, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 06:58 (two months ago) Permalink

You can find the whole thing on Soulseek. There's many useless and kind of creepy snippets (the isolated radio loops for Climbing Up the Walls in particular are terrifying - or at least they are to me hearing them alone in my house at night) but it's cool they're there... if we only keep the full songs, we have:

Let Down (Thom 4 Track)
Attention (Thom 4 Track)
Motion Picture Soundtrack (solo piano)
No Surprises (first idea from soundcheck somewhere)
Are You Someone?
Climbing Up The Walls (Thom 4 Track)
Airbag (early acoustic version)
Nude (early band version)
The National Anthem (Thom 4 Track)
Man Of War (live in Montpellier)

Attention and Are You Someone? are new songs. The former sounds REM inspired, the later is a weird sort of song coming from them at this era... very 90's angst like something off of Pablo Honey or The Bends... sounds like the distant cousin of Talk Show Host. It wouldn't fit at all in OKC.
Let Down and Airbag demos sounds like they come from an alternate universe where OKC was released by an indie jangle rock band. Supposedly the way the guitars sound in the album version of Let Down is actually a layer error that sent one of the guitars playing earlier and they loved the sound so they kept it that way. I don't know if it's true or not but it's cool to hear this version with that guitar missing.
MPS is perhaps the best vocal performance from Thom in here and it's better than the KID A one. I kind of want to hear an edit of this vocals with the music from Kid A.
Climbing Up The Walls demo is some sort of trip hop/rock version that wouldn't sound out of place in a Gorillaz album (or maybe a NIN one).
Nude is similar sound-wise to the version from Meeting People is Easy but it has radically different lyrics to that one and the one that ended up in IR. It's kind of weak in this form and good they saved it for later.
National Anthem is really different to the KID A version... slower bass but faster drums. The anxiety from Kid A is there but this is another one that it was so good they saved, in this form it sounds like a bad outtake off of U2's Zooropa or POP.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 07:01 (two months ago) Permalink

I always liked this better than the Kid A version. (And it has a 3rd verse.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmjyUce7kSU

billstevejim, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 07:31 (two months ago) Permalink

I'll no doubt get around to hearing this stuff at some point, but I'm not exactly in any kind of rush to hear this stuff - I have a huge feeling it's all stuff that's worth hearing once and that's it.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 12:30 (two months ago) Permalink

Listening to the cassette is reminiscent of hearing the mixture of music and sound design in Meeting People is Easy.

MaresNest, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 13:21 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm thinking the box set should hold its value pretty well so once I've had my fill of the tape I'm just gonna flip it, if I lose 20 bucks on it I'll just chalk that up as the cost of the tape

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 14:36 (two months ago) Permalink

The tape has so many interesting moments that gives you a peek into their creative process. There's per example Nigel sampling a guitar from Paranoid Android which ended up being used as the background ambience in Fitter Happier. You can also hear how Paranoid Android was recorded in different rooms - loud parts where done in bigger rooms apparently and then spliced into the quier parts.

Oh there's also geeky stuff hidden in the tape! The last track "ok computer program" is an actual ZX spectrum program:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JDM5YBS6KMc

dance cum rituals (Moka), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 15:01 (two months ago) Permalink

^^ that's exactly what i'm hoping it will be, awesome

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 15:07 (two months ago) Permalink

this is really sweet, i love when bands put out the raw sludge of their creative process. listening to that first True Love Waits loop took me aback, I knew I had heard one of those bleeps before- it ended up being incorporated into Pull/Pulk.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 18:09 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

the Let Down demo is so amazing

flappy bird, Sunday, 30 July 2017 05:55 (one month ago) Permalink

Big fan of the presentation of demo material in this fashion.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Sunday, 30 July 2017 13:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah and the Demo/doodle of No Surprises. I too think this is a great idea. And yeah the sound design; bits floating in and out is very Meeting People Is Easy.

piscesx, Sunday, 30 July 2017 13:19 (one month ago) Permalink

the Airbag demo is great, too - i just wish it had double tracked guitars & vox like the Let Down demo

flappy bird, Sunday, 30 July 2017 22:48 (one month ago) Permalink

also lol a bunch of Radiohead superfans came into the store the other day and they were talking about how much better the Motion Picture Soundtrack version is than the Kid A one. they repeated the party line - "it's just... it's his best vocal." I don't get that... I love the song, but the mellow/passive delivery on Kid A and all the awesome Disney-esque accouterments are so much better... first of all, the piano on this demo is low in the mix and distorted, it sounds shitty, and his vocal is so saccharine, so glad they saved that one...

flappy bird, Sunday, 30 July 2017 22:51 (one month ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.