Radiohead 50-1

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james Dean

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# 10 Idioteque


Album: Kid A
Favourite Line: 'I'll laugh until my head comes off I'll swallow till I burst

Has a band ever recorded a track which is so different to what the band is known for? I can't remember when I first heard this song but I can guarantee I would have thought it was a disaster. It really takes a while before it clicks but once it does, then you realize just how much of an amazing piece of music this is.
 

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james Dean

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# 9 15 Step

Album: In Rainbows
Favourite Line: You used to be alright, what happened?

Easily the most memorable album opener the band has ever made. It starts up the frantic opening to In Rainbows with excessive percussions and odd timing signatures. Along with Bodysnatchers it does set up a false premise for how most of In Rainbows unfolds but on it's own it is a work of art. A staple in live performances and a fan favourite.
 

james Dean

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#8 Everything in it's Right Place

Album: Kid A
Favourite Line: There are two colors in my head

Probably a contradiction to have this song rate higher than 15 Step given I said that, that song was their best album opener. However I placed EIIRP higher because for me it represents the start of their greatest album (and in my opinion the greatest album ever made). It is the perfect introduction to the post 'rock band' Radiohead.
 

james Dean

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#7 Fake Plastic Trees

Album: The Bends
Favourite Line: And it wears me out, it wears me out, it wears me out, it wears me out

The first song the band made that really shows off just how amazing a vocalist Thom Yorke is. Few songwriters are able to capture the feeling and mood of depression like Yorke can. He paints the picture of 3 different subjects (a woman, a man and himself) all wanting something that they just can't attain, and that feeling of despair that comes with it.
 

james Dean

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#6 Reckoner

Album: In Rainbows
Favourite Line: Because we separate like ripples on a blank shore

Combine Thom's greatest ever vocal performance with a lifetime supply of percussions and it equals this absolute masterpiece. It took 6 years of recording attempts before the band was satisfied with how it sounded and was played live as early as 2001. Thom Yorke has stated that his unique guitar playing style in this song (which is really struggles to recreate live) was an attempt to play like John Frusciante.​
 

james Dean

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#5 How to Disappear Completely

Album: Kid A
Favourite Line: That there, that's not me

A song which was written during the OK Computer tour in late 97, Thom Yorke was going through the worst case of depression he had ever experienced. He received advice from Michael Stipe of R.E.M who told him that when he was overwhelmed with everything, that he should "pull the shutters down and keep saying, ‘I’m not here, this is not happening.“ Not necessarily advice that I would give or recommend but it gave inspiration to one of the most haunting songs ever made.​
 

james Dean

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#4 There, There

Album: Hail to the Thief
Favourite Line: Steer away from these rocks, We'd be a walking disaster.

Probably the best song to showcase how well this band can play together. A combination of amazing riffs, percussions, bass and vocals. The opening 30 seconds is incredible in the way it introduces all the different instruments one by one and the climax of the song is the highlight of the album.
 

james Dean

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#3 Paranoid Android


Album: OK Computer
Favourite Line: Ambition makes you look pretty ugly, kicking, screaming Gucci little piggy.

Widely regarded as the bands finest piece of music and understandably so. The song is built in multiple layers and can almost be described as 3 songs in one. I remember when I was 9 years old and this song would always be on Rage. I would always watch the video and just be confused, what is this stuff and why is it always on? I remember the night when it finally hit me. I was 13 and my friend and I were just watching music videos and this song came on and I was just fixated on how amazing it was, just one of those moments I will never forget.
 

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#4 There, There

Album: Hail to the Thief
Favourite Line: Steer away from these rocks, We'd be a walking disaster.

Probably the best song to showcase how well this band can play together. A combination of amazing riffs, percussions, bass and vocals. The opening 30 seconds is incredible in the way it introduces all the different instruments one by one and the climax of the song is the highlight of the album.

Thom on There, There - “It made me cry when we finished it actually, I blubbed my eyes out. Then I went to LA and Nigel played me the mix and it just made me cry, I was in tears for ages, I just thought it was the best thing we had ever done.

“There was something about it, I loved what he did with the guitar sound and the way he mixed it and just the way it is really jubilant to me that song in a funny way.

"Also at one time I thought it was the song that we were going to lose which I was really upset about because the melody stayed with me for about four months without going away which is really unusual as it doesn’t take me long to get bored and I really never got bored of this song.”



....this song is incredible, the lyrics, the build-up, everything, brilliant.
 

james Dean

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#2 Pyramid Song

Album: Amnesiac
Favourite Line: And we all went to heaven in a little row boat, there was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt.

I'm not good at analyzing lyrics. I get an idea in my head about what a song is about and then when I hear the artist talk about it or other people's interpretations I think to myself how the * did I end up where I did? This song for me however I don't really give a s**t what Thom was writing about or if anyone else interprets it differently, it is a magical song about the afterlife. The peace and serenity that comes with the lines 'there was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt' is almost surreal.

The song was recorded during the apex of Radiohead's experimental phase and the combination of strings, classical piano and drums creates a pure work of art which still sounds groundbreaking 17 years after it's release.
 

james Dean

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#1 Let Down

Album: OK Computer
Favourite Line: Crushed like a bug in the ground

I've had so many debates with people over this song. It divides opinion on whether it is a positive and uplifting song or whether it is a depressing and hopeless song. It is that tussle between the two sides in the final bridge which makes this song (in my opinion) the band's greatest piece of work. The juxtaposition of the lines 'One day I am gonna grow wings' leading on to the heart breaking line of 'let down and hanging around', as if to give the listener the impression that Yorke is building up the confidence and esteem to get through his personal issues only to be dragged right back down to his depressive state is so hard to listen to yet creates such an amazing piece of art.
 

JP Sauce

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#1 Let Down

Album: OK Computer
Favourite Line: Crushed like a bug in the ground

I've had so many debates with people over this song. It divides opinion on whether it is a positive and uplifting song or whether it is a depressing and hopeless song. It is that tussle between the two sides in the final bridge which makes this song (in my opinion) the band's greatest piece of work. The juxtaposition of the lines 'One day I am gonna grow wings' leading on to the heart breaking line of 'let down and hanging around', as if to give the listener the impression that Yorke is building up the confidence and esteem to get through his personal issues only to be dragged right back down to his depressive state is so hard to listen to yet creates such an amazing piece of art.

I think it's both at once. Amazing song and also my #1.
 

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