Radiohead 50-1

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james Dean

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In the spirit of other threads on this board, I will do a countdown of my personal top 50 Radiohead album tracks.

I have decided to keep the list only on songs that were included on albums, therefore no B-Sides such as Lift, Gagging Order or Talk Show Host. Also no singles such as The Butcher, Pop is Dead or Staircase.

I look forward to reading predictions, feedback and comments.
 

james Dean

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# 50 Give Up The Ghost


Album: The King Of Limbs
Favourite Line: 'I think I should give up the ghost'

One of the more simple and stripped back songs the band has ever made, with only Thom Yorke's vocals in multiple layers and a very faded guitar being played by Jonny Greenwood. The song's climax is what makes it truly memorable with Yorke delivering one of his most impressive falsetto performances in a highlight off what was a rather disappointing and short album.
 

james Dean

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#49 Ful Stop

Album: A Moon Shaped Pool
Favourite Line: Why should I be good if you're not?

A song which has had a fair bit of changes done to it since it was originally played on their King Of Limbs tour. The song was layered with synthesizers and heavy drums, to create the most up-tempo song from their 9th album. It is a stand out track and remains a regular during live sets. Why is the title spelled wrong? I don't know
 

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james Dean

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#48 You and Whose Army?

Album: Amnesiac
Favourite Line: You and whose army? You and your cronies

Amensiac is often discarded by some as being a poor follow up to Kid A, those people are fools. This song starts slow, remains slow, and then finishes with a bang with a collection of unique effects including wrapping the microphones in egg cartons to create Yorke's unique vocal style. Lyrically this song was a backlash to the British government under Tony Blair circa 2001.
 

james Dean

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#47 - Sit Down Stand Up

Album: Hail to the Thief
Favourite Line: Walk into the jaws of hell

The second song from HTTF features some of the best electrical drumming by Phil Selway. Multiple layers of Yorke's vocals build up the opening two minutes before the fast paced finish. Lyrically this song was written by Yorke after viewing news footage of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The music video is probably the worst the band has released.
 

james Dean

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#46 Go To Sleep

Album: Hail to the Thief
Favourite Line: 'We don't really want a monster taking over'

Kid A and Amnesiac really changed the direction of Radiohead. Gone were the shredding guitars and 'rock' music. HTTF brought that back to a degree with the album opener and this track. Built around a rather basic acoustic riff played by Yorke, the song ends with a computer altered guitar solo by Jonnny Greenwood. Lyrically it tackles the albums main theme of anti-war and continues the themes of Nineteen-Eighty Four, with lines such as 'We don't want the monster taking over' referring to the rise of a 'big brother' like situation.
 

james Dean

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#45 All I Need

Album: In Rainbows
Favourite Line: 'I only stick with you because there are no others'

A song which has absolutely nothing to do with the music video. Lyrically it tells the story of a guy who is completely devoted to another person, a love which may not be shared. Lines such as 'I'm animal trapped in your hot car' show the main character cannot survive without their love interest. The video was deliberately provocative and shows images of child labor in third world countries as part of a campaign being conducted at the time by MTV
 

Silent Alarm

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Don't think that All I Need video is legit is it? Just some random MTV tie-in.

Do a top ten b-sides and singles too aye.
 

Mootsy

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Jeepers! Nice!!

Radiohead have so many goodies that it's ridiculous, their back catalogue is all class!

I wonder how Cuttooth fits into all of this :shoutyoldman:

I also wanted to post this, hope it makes the list!! Man of War would have looked like this had it been chosen for Spectre, which it was submitted for by the band.

 
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Mootsy

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Don't think that All I Need video is legit is it? Just some random MTV tie-in.

Do a top ten b-sides and singles too aye.

It's hard to say, i remember at the time that it was being talked about as officially directed, but not sure if it was commissioned by the band or a separate promotional thing.
 

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Silent Alarm

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It's hard to say, i remember at the time that it was being talked about as officially directed, but not sure if it was commissioned by the band or a separate promotional thing.
Nah it isn't an official video. A lot of their stuff was generally done for the webcasts and then the relevant part spliced up and sent to music video stations. I still remember the black and white video for Jigsaw Falling Into Place (with the cameras on their bike helmets) being on Channel V when I was about 13.
 

james Dean

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#44 Exit Music (For a Film)

Album: OK Computer
Favourite Line: 'We hope your rules and wisdom choke you'

Baz Luhrmann, better known as the director who makes s**t movies and just fills it with flamboyant costumes, sent the ending scene of the campy 1996 Romeo and Juliet to the band and requested them to make a song for it. Although the movie is rather bad the song is phenomenal. Thom Yorke has said that he had wanted to write a song about the story of Romeo and Juliet for some time so was more than happy with the opportunity. The distorted bass which enters the final part of the song sets the mood for one of the greatest closings to a Radiohead song. It was in the top 3 highlights for me during their shows in Melbourne back in 2012 and continues to be a regular in the live set.
 

james Dean

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#43 House of Cards

Album: In Rainbows
Favourite Line: I don't want to be your friend, I just want to be your lover

Sometimes the more simpler songs just come out right and sound better. Despite there being a clearly large level of post mixing production involved, in regards to instrumentals this song is as basic as it gets. Simple guitar riffs a gentle beat and bass line combined with timid vocals simply combines for an overall pleasing experience. Lyrically the song tackles the subject of infidelity in the most non-judgmental way. 'Forget about your house of cards, and I'll do mine' can easily be translated to, 'forget about your shitty non-exciting relationship, and come sleep with me instead'. Maybe not the most moral of songs, but brilliant nonetheless.
 

Silent Alarm

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I always interpreted a lot of In Rainbows to be explicitly about Thom. Amazing how personal that album actually is, I feel it gets overlooked because of its other more notable selling points: the 'comeback' album, the release, the warmth, the sort of lucid instrumentation, the colours... but to me Thom really addresses some fairly confronting truths.

My favourite part in House of Cards is the deniiaaaaal, denial... and the backing vocals. Reminds me of the shore going out or something, love it. Not one of my noted favourites all up though, personally feel Reckoner and Weird Fishes are two sides of House of Cards but nail it way more. Guess that's a notice to how solid and consistent this record is.
 

Power Raid

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#44 Exit Music (For a Film)

Album: OK Computer
Favourite Line: 'We hope your rules and wisdom choke you'

Baz Luhrmann, better known as the director who makes s**t movies and just fills it with flamboyant costumes, sent the ending scene of the campy 1996 Romeo and Juliet to the band and requested them to make a song for it. Although the movie is rather bad the song is phenomenal. Thom Yorke has said that he had wanted to write a song about the story of Romeo and Juliet for some time so was more than happy with the opportunity. The distorted bass which enters the final part of the song sets the mood for one of the greatest closings to a Radiohead song. It was in the top 3 highlights for me during their shows in Melbourne back in 2012 and continues to be a regular in the live set.


this song resonated with me at the time. The military must have been more taxing mentally than I though at the time.
 

Roobs321

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I remember doing a top 50 on atease back around 2008 or something (with b-sides and everything of course). Good times. Last year there was a solid full discog attempt on the SBS website in the weekend leadup to the AMSP release.

I don't think I could attempt such a list nowadays, would do my head in. Might put together a top 10 or 20.

Favourite Line is a nice touch.
 

Silent Alarm

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I remember doing a top 50 on atease back around 2008 or something (with b-sides and everything of course). Good times. Last year there was a solid full discog attempt on the SBS website in the weekend leadup to the AMSP release.

I don't think I could attempt such a list nowadays, would do my head in. Might put together a top 10 or 20.

Favourite Line is a nice touch.
Do you have a link to the SBS article?

Does anyone remember how there was an ad for The Eraser on SBS? Used to air a bit, remember it around the time they'd show the English Premier League highlights on a Monday. Black Swan was the soundtrack. 'People get squashed like biscuit crumbs...' no idea why I grew up thinking they were morbid duckers...
 

james Dean

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#42 Like Spinning Plates

Album: Amnesiac
Favourite Line: 'While you make pretty speeches, I'm being cut to shreds'

Amnesiac has 2 really experimental tracks. One was the abomination that is Pulk/Pull the other was this track, this one worked.

I think it is a cop out when people use this line when describing songs or bands but this is truly a song that takes on a new identity when played live. An interesting note is that this song was created by playing a recorded song which they chose not to release backwards. That song was 'I Will which ended up being on their next album.
 

james Dean

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#41 Life in a Glasshouse

Album: Amnesiac
Favourite Line: 'Don't talk politics and don't throw stones your royal highness'

Radiohead are a band which find inspiration and ideas from a wide range of musical sources. From Jeff Buckley inspired vocal styles, to Aphex Twin inspired mixing and sampling. One which you would think wouldn't work however is classical Jazz. They experimented with the idea on Kid A's, The National Anthem, but went all out with this closing track to Amnesiac. The slow horns combined with the almost slurred vocals create a unique vibe to cap off an experimental album.

Yorke has stated that the lyrics are about paparazzi and news media and their involvement in people who are loosely connected to celebrities' lives.
 

Mootsy

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#41 Life in a Glasshouse

Album: Amnesiac
Favourite Line: 'Don't talk politics and don't throw stones your royal highness'

Radiohead are a band which find inspiration and ideas from a wide range of musical sources. From Jeff Buckley inspired vocal styles, to Aphex Twin inspired mixing and sampling. One which you would think wouldn't work however is classical Jazz. They experimented with the idea on Kid A's, The National Anthem, but went all out with this closing track to Amnesiac. The slow horns combined with the almost slurred vocals create a unique vibe to cap off an experimental album.

Yorke has stated that the lyrics are about paparazzi and news media and their involvement in people who are loosely connected to celebrities' lives.


The most underrated song in their studio album catalogue, i think!! It gets forgotten in the sea of their other works.
 

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