Radiohead - OK Computer (1997) (1 Viewer)

Anthony

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The only Radiohead album I've listened to in full (only once or twice). I gave into what my bro and mates were listening to for a little while and had C90 with this on one side and Manic Street Preachers (everything must go) on the other.
I liked some of the deep kutz from the MSP album and Panaroid Android.
I've related this story before here... I went with bro and mates to see Radiohead in Punchestown. Got bored and left the tent, wandered around the food stalls and bought a cup of tea.

I should give it another go.
 

chris d

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Let Down never disappoints.

Sounds like Muse?! How dare you.

This album is a tonic for the soul. I am unashamed in my love for it. 5 outta 5. Even when I think, "ah I can't be arsed hearing Paranoid Android or Karma Police again" once they start they are too good to not enjoy.
 

hiadudiad?

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I wasn't really on board with Radiohead when this came out, I didn't have anything against them but I wasn't that interested in most of the popular british rock music of the day. Of course I did hear OK Computer back then then as it was unavoidable, but I don't think I've listened to it at all since 1997 and I'm a bit surprised that all of the songs are familiar.

Are Muse one of those terrible guitar bands that play moany rock ballads? If so then I get that comparison, Kodaline come to mind for me. It's better than that obviously but in similar territory. There's nothing here to suggest that they had an interesting career ahead of them, in fact it sounds more like they were scraping the barrel they were already working from (moany rock with big finishes) except with a bit more style and studio polish. The best songs here are the poppy melodic ones - Let Down starts off a bit worryingly but the chorus and general good vibes of it are terrific, and No Surprises is pretty catchy too.

The rest as fairly lumpen and too moany for me.

C- for effort.
 

rettucs

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There's nothing here to suggest that they had an interesting career ahead of them, in fact it sounds more like they were scraping the barrel they were already working from (moany rock with big finishes) except with a bit more style and studio polish.

Just on this. Radiohead really caught fire with The Bends, but, if memory serves, a while after it was actually released. I don't recall people taking to it instantly. And it was the late adoption of that album, running into the release of this album, that created massive hype before the thing was even released.

I can't think of any other band that have had the same levels of hype before releasing an album, particularly with little enough substance to back it up.

Radiohead are grand and all. I just don't get the obsession. It's like there's some kind of legend born from myth that people just buy into. I don't get it. The same shite will be happening with the National over the next while, but not to the same level, obvs.
 

David Kronenbourg

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Listening again:

Airbag:
Always felt very intro-y when I listened as a kid, never disliked it but didn't really get its depth and completeness until recent times. It is a beautiful vortex of proggy '70s, US alternative, shoegaze, and some of the then current trip-hop effects/production.
Always been my favourite track on the album
 

prefuse

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I’ll do my usual stream of consciousness babble.
**pre apology for the typos**

Airbag
Not one of my favourites but a good opener. I like the bass popping in & out. The slight breakbeak approach on the drums has me thinking of DJ shadow's entroducing released in 96. I'm sure like a lot of indie white boys, the head were influenced by it. I like the sounds on the outro.

Paranoid Android
I loved this from the first time I heard it. It still sounds great. It’s epic & ambitious without being silly (not there’s anything wrong with that). Some beautiful detailed guitar parts. I love that phasey effect on the clean guitars & the solos. The percussion adds a nice touch as well. Cool bass playing.

Subterranean homesick alien
Wow, this is a beautiful track. Musically there's a lot of mid 70's pink floyd in there. That soaring pitch shifted guitar part sounds great. I think he’s was using a digitech whammy pedal a phaser & loads of reverb to send it into the stratosphere. Love the spacey fender rhodes tinkling. Some subtle funky drums underneath verses.

Exit Music (for a Film)
Not mad about this track. The typical bleak, miserable Thom Yorke vocal, more up front in the mix than usual. Was this used in father ted to make Tommy Tiernan depressed?

Let Down
I love this one. Cool melodies throughout. The chorus is really uplifting & catchy in a mumbly sort of way. I sing along without knowing the words. Nice 70’s style Prog keyboard sequence at the end.

Karma Police.
Great song. Just rock solid songwriting, An instant classic I suppose. Love the chord progression. Great drum sound as well. (The snare sound has me thinking of surfer rosa) I like the ghostly Ooooh’s behind “this is what you get”. And the analog delay oscillation going apeshit at the end.

Fitter Happier
Nice eerie interlude with cool spaceage sound effects & a guest vocal by Stephen Hawking.

Electioneering
This is an okay track, but it doesn't really fit the flow of the record. It sounds like a different band has gatecrashed the album. Its less “composed” sounding than most other tracks on the record. More of live jam approach & I’m don’t think this type of thing is their strong point as a band. Some nice guitar parts, but It’s a bit of a b side really.

Climbing up the walls
Bit of a triphop feel to this one…it’s ominous & claustrophobic. Loads of cool metallic textures in the background, strings being picked behind the nut... Gets a bit nightmarish as it goes on. Great scream @ 03:37.

No surprises
A ray of sunshine through the gloomy clouds. Cute music box guitar arpeggio intro.It’s a nice song, I like the sentiment but it’s a touch over exposed at this stage.

Lucky
Great track. I like the intro & the languid tremolo effect on the guitar, love that. The chorus soars…the slide part helps with that.

The Tourist
This reminds me of one of the over wrought ballads from the first Suede album.It’s decent, a nice comedown track. I like the blissed out feel but it’s not that memorable.
 

ann post

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Managed to get a full uninterupted listen to a whole album at work. That's a new record for me.

I've listened to this one a lot. I know to a lot of people this sounds like some kind of musical wallpaper or curtain fabric but I think it was really significant in the era it came out. They'd sorta ended up doing something between britpop and grunge on the bends and another record like that and I've had probably have given up on them. Airbag does a great job opening things up. The guitars are working more like strings over beats. Probably one of my favorite intros ever. I often get into fights about radiohead being a psychedelic band - for my money they are one of the best ever. They are obsessed with timbre and not repeating themselves - they rarely make a record that isn't exploring some new sound palette. Everything has to be trying something new. If you take off one headphone on most parts of this album you'll hear this obsession. I also like that they found a good place between jamming and composition - things are put together really well, but a lot of it has the feel of something that came from improvisation. Later stuff allows more of the improv through. Anywhoooo overall I'd say 20 years later there are at least three of their albums i'll go to before I'll hit this one - but as a make or break statement its magnificent. Ignoring hail to the thief and giving people licence to ignore amnesiac (other than knives out and pyramid song for being amazing tunes) every album after this is probably better. Still easily giving it 4/5 - if they'd stopped here they'd be looking at reunion tours for megabucks right now, instead they are making better records than this - just this one gave them the choice to do that.
 

Anthony

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I may have to buy this. Listening to it on youtube is an awful experience. I got halfway yesterday.
It's all very familiar. Excellent guitar tones.
 

Lili Marlene

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I briefly became a massive fan of Radiohead for about 6 months back when I was about 13/14; my mates didn't seem to understand that it was possible to like NOFX and Radiohead.

I don't really listen to them at all anymore but I put this on recently and was surprised that I still knew every single note of it. My fav song are Subterranean Homesick Alien, Lucky and The Tourist but it's all pretty great aside from Karma Police which I never liked; mopey 90's sing-along song, but i'll concede to the popular vote on that one. I remember noticing way back when how the minimalist bass-line to Airbag is pretty incredible but no one would listen to me because they wanted to talk about how many notes Matt from Rancid could fit into a song.

Shorter an album than I remember, I seem to remembering thinking it was really long, even in those cd-bloat days

I probably prefer The Bends tbh, I like how dated that one is. I'm not too pushed with their later stuff, I like Kid A and the recent one I guess but remember being bored out of my mind by Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief. They probably made the right decision to stop being a guitar band but I suppose I had moved on as well.

Hi thumped.
 
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pete

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I tried, but I just can't get Radiohead. First time I became aware of them was Creep on TOTP I think, and that was a complete non-starter. Music by and for students.
 
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Lili Marlene

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re:Muse

they were 100% Radiohead clones when they first came out. Radiohead with Jeff Buckley singing. It wasn't until their second album before they starting adding the big metal riffs.

But that was the period when everyone was trying to be Radiohead, throwing orchestras on top of everything to try and add a bit of gravitas to a song. They owned that late 90's period; you were either nu-metal, a boyband, some nice lads like Travis or someone trying to be Radiohead

Even Thom Yorke's brother got signed:

 
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prefuse

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Not much of a Muse fan but they have some decent stuff. Matt Bellamy is a talented guy. I saw them support elastica in the TBMC in 2001. elastica were a bit of a shambles, muse rocked.
 
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