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Radiohead album by album

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by ponkine, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. WHMusical

    WHMusical Large As Life And Twice As Unnatural

    In Rainbows is the 2nd best Radiohead album, after OK Computer! (1997-2007.)
     
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  2. CassetteDek

    CassetteDek social distancing since 1979

    Location:
    Chicago
    Don’t forget “Fingers in the blackbird pie...”.
     
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  3. robbroncs

    robbroncs Forum Disgrace

    Location:
    NJ
    try brighten the corners. i would say that is their most accessible. Pavement/Malkmus are right along Radiohead in my top 5
     
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  4. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    I think I bought the CD used and it didn't do much for me. Or maybe that was Slanted & Enchanted.

    One album of theirs I really like is Wowie Zowie, that one made me really 'get' Pavement, so I think it will always be my favorite.
     
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  5. tequeyoyo3000

    tequeyoyo3000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    maracaibo, vzla
    I mean, I like it. I'm that kind of fan. But it is a bit uninspired.
     
  6. ponkine

    ponkine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Track 1: '15 Step'

    From NME 2007:

    A regular part of the band’s recent setlists, the opener has heavy rhythms, syncopated drumming and handclaps and is minimal and sparse, with Jonny Greenwood’s trademark mournful guitar sliding through the song. The lyrics are cryptic: “You used to be alright/What happened?/Etcetera, etcetera/Facts for whatever/15 steps/Then a sheer drop”.

    From Pitchfork 2007:

    On March 8, 2006, Radiohead's __ Dead Air Space __ site posted a photo of bassist Colin Greenwood composing a list of unreleased songs under the banner "tour." Presumably, the 16 songs listed were to be rehearsed before the group's then-upcoming trek throughout Europe and the U.S. Included among them was "15 Step", one of seven * In Rainbows * tracks listed (along with "Bodysnatchers", "Nude", "Arpeggi", "Reckoner", "House of Cards", "Videotape", and "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" (née "Open Pick").

    Radiohead debuted "15 Step" less than two months later, in Copenhagen, at the opening stop of their 2006 tour. From there it was a fixture, earning the distinction of being the only song played on all 28 of the band's 2006 dates. One of the more sensual tracks the band has ever done, it's also virtually the closest they've come to toying with modern r&b sounds.

    Key lyric: "How come I end up where I started/ How come I end up where I belong"


     
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  7. ponkine

    ponkine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Here's the promo video

     
  8. ponkine

    ponkine Forum Resident Thread Starter

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  9. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    “15 Step” is a cool track. I’m not sure there’s a lot I can analyze about it. It’s got a great groove of course. I always wondered if the title at least referred to a sequencer (as in, programming beats or “steps”). Jonny’s guitar interlude is spine-tingling.

    Great way to kick off the new album.
     
  10. CassetteDek

    CassetteDek social distancing since 1979

    Location:
    Chicago
    15 Step is a great opening track. The 5/4 time signature is always giving the deceptively simple music a push forward, and the verses groove nicely with good guitar and vocal hooks. As is often their wont, there is no chorus, but you never even get a chance to notice that due to the first of many scene-stealing bass lines from Colin.

    Right off the bat, it’s actually pretty striking how little they sound like the same band that made HTTT. I did not pick up on it at the time, but spinning both albums in close proximity while following this thread has illustrated that divide pretty clearly.
     
  11. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    Location:
    New Jersey
    As folks have already said, it’s an excellent opener. I love the weird claps and Thom’s vocal performance. Colin’s bass totally makes the back half of the song. It’s a top 10 Colin bassline for sure. They also seem to really have a blast when they play it.
     
  12. ponkine

    ponkine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Track 2: 'Bodysnatchers'

    From NME 2007:

    First played live in 2006, the song title was a permanent fixture on the blackboard lists posted by the band on their blog during the run up to the album release. A shift closer to Radiohead’s original guitar sound, the song features a driving rhythm and gnarly blues guitar.

    From Pitchfork 2007:

    One of many songs debuted live by either Thom Yorke solo or in combination with Jonny Greenwood, the pair of them first aired this in London in May 2006 at a show for The Big Ask Live; the band itself played it on the first night of its 2006 tour.

    By that time, it was already known to Radiohead watchers, having not only been listed on Colin's blackboard, but mentioned on Dead Air Space numerous times, with guitarist Ed O'Brien claiming they "may have got [it]" as early as October 2005. Alas, Jonny would grouse five months later: "We're just finishing (Famous Last W's) Bodysnatchers. Rather good so far....better not turn my guitar down."

    Key lyric: "Has the light gone out for you?/ Cause the light's gone for me"


     
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  13. ponkine

    ponkine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Here's the Live from the Basement performance

     
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  14. ponkine

    ponkine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Live at Later with Jools Holland

     
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  15. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Bodysnatchers is such a great rock song. Maybe the last great full-on rocker they’ve released. That riff is so much fun to play. It was cool hearing how the structure of the song changed over the 2006 tour. The final version is more streamlined and linear than how it started out. It’s so claustrophobic and dense until the midpoint of the song when it feels like the clouds part a bit. The way it opens up is my favorite thing.
     
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  16. jalexander

    jalexander Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Jeff Tweedy and Yo La Tengo come to mind. All of these artists have enough of a core audience and the ability to self-record that they can continue creating without much regard for commercial performance. Obviously Radiohead is the biggest of the three. But Tweedy has put out at least an album each year for the past several (some would debate the quality), and YLT are still putting out top quality material (Fade is probably me favourite album and that came 30 years into their career).

    There are also lots of older artists who never slowed down. Even in his depths, Johnny Cash was releasing one if not two albums a year from the mid-1950s until his death. Of course he had about an 18 year stretch of mediocrity in the middle. He’s also from a different world - the old country system is very different from modern alt/indie circles. Although, interestingly he ultimately set up his own studio in his house long before the affordability of pro tools, digital, etc. Once you’re done selling massive numbers of records (or gain steaming buzz), you need to be able to do it yourself if you want sustained creative growth. The labels didn’t fund it then and they don’t fund it now.
     
  17. ThunderDan

    ThunderDan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hungary
    I think that OK Computer is an absolute masterpiece, one of the greatest albums of all time.
    And I think that The Bends is quite a good album.

    Other than that, I still have trouble connecting... :hide::hide::hide::hide::hide::hide:
    I am in the overwhelming minority here, but post-OK Computer Radiohead is beyond my capacities...
     
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  18. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    Location:
    Toronto
    "Bodysnatchers" went from being weirdly incomprehensible and off-putting to a top-ten Radiohead track, for me. It kicks ass and takes no prisoners!
     
  19. CassetteDek

    CassetteDek social distancing since 1979

    Location:
    Chicago
    No chair necessary! Lots of folks feel that way, in my experience. To each their own. You probably connect to music that I don’t.
     
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  20. CassetteDek

    CassetteDek social distancing since 1979

    Location:
    Chicago
    Yeah that bridge definitely makes the song for me. It’s nice how they take their time with it, building it up in volume with each measure. There are some spine tingling moments, for some reason when Thom gets to these lyrics it’s pretty intense:

    They got a skin and they put me in
    They got a skin and they put me in
    All the lines wrapped 'round my face
    All the lines wrapped 'round my face
    And for anyone else to see
    And for anyone else to see
    I'm a lie
     
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  21. jalexander

    jalexander Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    In Rainbows is where I got back on board with Radiohead. Started with Pablo and loved the Bends and OKC. Heard Kid A on day of release and didn’t really like it... Everything was great, but I hated the nod to being a rock band National Anthem, Idioteque was annoying, and the rest was too much of a guitar band noodling with electronic instruments they hadn’t yet mastered... between OKC and Kid A I had moved on to far more adventurous music. I enjoyed Pyramid Song but never checked out anything after that...

    But when Radiohead offered a free album I couldn’t resist. I had heard Reckoner on the radio and it was ok, but when I heard the full album... wow!

    Every song on IR is so solid. What I love the most about it is that it feels like this is where they really integrated their rock and electronic sides. While Kid A is pretty much universally hailed as a classic, it still sounds very transitional to me. (I’ve warmed on it over the years, btw). HTTT did integrate more traditional guitars (I’ll note they never really abandoned guitars, even on Kid A, they just weren’t afraid to let them sound not like guitars), but HTTT feels like it’s pulling in too many directions.

    It’s been interesting reading some background on Eraser here, too. Sounds like it gave Thom the space he needed to get certain ideas out of his system, and continued development of his electronic skills.

    I’m actually a huge fan of King of Limbs, as well as AMSP... but it seems to me that where Kid A/Amnesiac/HTTT was a period of learning (with amazing results)... with IR they were really in command of everything, which allowed them to be as flexible as they wanted to be moving forward.

    Oh, and the live version of 15 Step with the marching band playing in 5/4 I saw on some award show was killer.
     
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  22. CassetteDek

    CassetteDek social distancing since 1979

    Location:
    Chicago
    Well said!
     
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  23. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I love when the crowd does the YEAH parts when they do “15 step” live. In Rainbows gave us a couple parts like that that turned into crowd participation moments at shows
     
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  24. Williamson

    Williamson Forum Resident

    I got so absorbed looking at the videos I forgot to comment on the songs.
    This is the record where I got back on the bus, bought it on vinyl maybe a year after release as I kept hearing about it and eventually crumbled. Took about 3 listens for me to adjust and then realise this was really good. Don't play it so much now after initially battering it for about 12 months but always enjoy it when I do. This and Amnesiac are my go-to Radiohead albums. Actually, this spurred me to investigate all of their post OK Computer albums properly. So I went on a major Radiohead listening binge for about 2 years inspired by this album !
    15 Step - I love those jazzy sounding guitar chords that appear and, like everyone else, the various effects dotted around the song really work. Bodysnatchers just rocks big ones, until the clouds momentarily open mid-song, then they close and Radiohead go mental again :)
     
  25. Aftermath

    Aftermath Senior Member

    Bodysnatchers is a brutal, driving track I absolutely love.
     
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