On the 25th anniversary of its release, it seems a foregone conclusion that Radiohead ok computer It is one of the standout albums of the nineties. Check out any publication’s list of the best 90’s albums, and you’ll probably find it ok computer He settled in the top ten, if not in the top ten. It’s been a nice time with the record, and its legend has grown as Radiohead continues to be “A Band That Matters”.
However, it was not the case in 1997. At that time, Radiohead was still trying to build a career for themselves as musicians. The band had huge success with the song “Creep” in 1993 but failed to follow it up with anything nearly as successful as their debut album, Paul Honey. Their second album 1995 bends, in a surprisingly critical tone. Music journalists seem shocked that the band they wrote off as a single band have improved as musicians and songwriters. That acclaim didn’t translate to any major hits, but the videos did get some airtime on MTV. The album had its fans, however, and rock acts REM and Alanis Morissette took Radiohead on an opening tour. That was enough to keep the band’s name out and to keep their labels, EMI, Parlophone, and Capitol, in their corner to produce ok computer.
Radiohead found their initial attempts to record the album in a studio near their Oxford home unsatisfactory. After that, they moved into an uninhabited mansion in the English countryside with producer Nigel Goodrich. From there, they used a variety of locations indoors as recording spaces, trying to get specific and unique sounds. By all accounts, the record label left the group completely alone during this process.
The first thing anyone heard from the recording turned out that it was only available to moviegoers, and eventually, on VHS tape. Director Baz Luhrmann contacted Radiohead about writing a song for the closing credits of his film Romeo + Juliet. They agreed, and the result was “music out (for a movie)”. The track is pessimistic and stressful, perfect for a story that ends with dead threads. Vocalist Thom Yorke and acoustic guitar lead most of the song. As it continues, the distinctly strange sound of choral sounds passing through the mellotron provides backing vocals. The song peaks with Phil Selway’s crumbling drums and Colin Greenwood’s fluffy vocals before returning to the quiet ending. Luhrmann uses a lot of alternative rock in the movie, but “Exit Music” is easily one of the better tracks. However, Radiohead stipulated that the song could not be placed on the film’s official soundtrack, wishing to save it for the end. Well the computer.
With their creativity in full bloom and a record company that follows a laissez-faire approach, ok computer It was exactly what the band wanted it to be. This does not mean that it was particularly commercially viable. bends It was full of great alternative rock songs that didn’t connect with a large audience. On the other side, ok computer It turned out to be a hard-to-identify record phonetically. The songs had the basic outlines of alternative rock, but often contained unusual, sometimes dissonant elements, which initially made them a difficult label sale. To their credit, Parlophone in the UK and the US Capitol followed the band’s wishes, releasing the six-minute Paranoid Android as the first single on the album.
The track is an amazing feat, it started quietly but with momentum. Simple acoustic guitar notes and gentle percussion play the song at first, and electric water guitar tones float over the top. York’s soaring voices provide a powerful melody, although his lyrics are perverted expressions of isolation and anger. The mood of the song changes as the two minutes pass, becomes darker and begins to provoke tension. Distorted sounds begin to creep in at the edges. At 2:45, Radiohead switches completely to heavy rock, and Johnny Greenwood is in the spotlight with an undisturbed guitar solo. From here, the band moves on to a slow section which is highlighted by backing choral vocals. York in full voice here, moaning, “raining/raining,” and other phrases. The band returns to the heavy rock section to finish the song, ending abruptly with one last wave of guitar banging.
“Paranoid Android” got a bit of a North American podcast at first, and was mostly presented as a curiosity along the lines of, “Here’s the new Radiohead song; check out how crazy that is!” However, the animated video of the track does show the characters From the TV series Robin It got a big broadcast on MTV. MTV has embraced all three videos of ok computerThis show certainly helped the album achieve success, particularly in the United States.
The next video, “Karma Police,” showed a car driving down a dark road, chasing a terrified man. Occasionally, the camera rotates away from the windshield to the rear seat. Here, York looks bored uninterested in syncing the chorus of the song, “That’s what you’ll get / When you mess with us.” The clip reaches its climax as the stalking man sets fire to a driveway of gasoline that eventually swallows the car. A final turn of the camera shows that York has disappeared from the burning car.
“Karma Police” is one of the more traditional songs on the recording, and it’s basically a piano-driven song, albeit a very good one. This amazing video directed by Jonathan Glazer is unforgettable. Watching it again, it’s easy to see why MTV is putting it in a heavy spin.
By the time Radiohead got around to shooting the “No Surprises” video, they were exhausted from months of wandering. ok computer Radiohead helped get to the point where they could set their own schedule, but they stayed around the clock at the record company for most of this album cycle. 1997 found them playing shows in much of the developed world, and director Grant Gee captured much of this often unpleasant experience in his documentary about the band, Easy to meet people.
Gee also directed No Surprises, the making of which was a major part of his filmography. Yorke was placed in a helmet, which would fill with water during the musical parts of the song and drain in time until he synchronized the lyrics. This turned out to be something like the torture of York, who had a hard time holding his breath in the stressful environment.
“No surprises” ok computerThe cutest song, with a calm and beautiful tone being played on Guitar Chiming and Glockenspiel. The song’s tone remains relentlessly upbeat throughout its periods of musical swell and expansion. York’s words, however, are quite oppressive. He sings about his terrible work, hates the government, and wants to commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. The song’s chorus, “No Alerts, No Surprises, Please,” is the character’s plea not to be interrupted during her mission.
Although the video was difficult to shoot, the result was phenomenal. York’s tension isn’t often evident on his face, but watching the middle part of the clip where he’s underwater is like seeing a high-wire action. Even knowing he wouldn’t sink in and realizing that the movie was speeded up during this part of the song, it still seemed like an open question for now. Although it didn’t have as much of an impact on MTV as “Karma Police,” the “No Surprises” video certainly helped maintain ok computer In the public consciousness until 1998.
How much the album was in the audience’s consciousness depends on where you live. In their home country of the United Kingdom, it was the eighth biggest seller of 1997, and all three singles were on the US Top 10 chart, “Karma Police” was the radio’s most successful single, and could only collect #14 on the chart Modern rock music. Regarding the album itself, it was #187 on the US Billboard charts in 1997 and rose to #142 in 1998. The record managed to go platinum in the US a full year after its release. with its long legacy, ok computer He eventually achieved enough to achieve double platinum in the US and went five times platinum in the UK.
The people who bought the album got more money than the singles. The record begins with a massive “airbag,” which features an epic guitar being doubled on a cello. There’s plenty thrown into the song, from the soaring vocals to the harmonious guitars to the swirling samples of Phil Silway’s drums to the awkward start and off bass line of Colin Greenwood. “Subterranean Homesry Alien” channel loneliness into a fantasy about being kidnapped by aliens, with guitars and keyboards stuck between vacuum and water.
“Let Down” believes in the power of drumming and soaring chorus to make a group of York’s lyrics sound especially triumphant. “Election Propaganda” has been hailed in some corners as the song that most closely resembles something bends. It doesn’t sound quite that way in 2022, as the melody is bathed in the urgency of bells and jagged guitars. “Climbing Up the Walls” is filled with low-pitched vocals and unsettling high-end noises, and Selway’s amazing selection of drumming with the snares closed adds to the uneasy feeling the song creates.
Lucky and the Tourist have always felt a squishy end to the record after disarming No Surprises. Listening again, both songs have high points. The soaring guitar tone in the chorus of “Lucky” is great, while the guitar-operated coda that finishes the track is even better. After an album full of weird sounds and twists and turns, “The Tourist” closes the record on a surprisingly relaxed note. However, the term “relaxation” is a relative term. The song still includes an extended blaring electric solo, and a songbird mellotron, and ends with one obvious triangle stroke.
In hindsight, it’s interesting that the record sold as well as it did. The summer of 1997 found alternate boulders on the slope of its course. Lollapalooza spent his last moments as a traveling festival desperately trying to stay relevant by listing the KoRn metallurgical group KoRn as its main lead. Meanwhile, the Backstreet Boys achieved success in Europe and began a boy band revival in North America. By the summer of 1998, when Radiohead was finally wrapping up its world tour, the format was meeting its last gasp.
Teams like Harvey Danger, Barenaked Ladies, Fuel and Eve6 still managed alternative successes that summer. At this point, though, NSync had joined the Backstreet Boys at the top of the charts, signaling a drastic change in pop music. On the rocky side, the great KoRn and Kid Rock albums, Follow the leader And Demon for no reasonreleased simultaneously on August 18, officially marking the rise of nu-metal as a subgenre.
Perhaps Radiohead was able to continue because ok computer Standing apart from the alternate rock of the day. He shared the sassy and sassy look of grunge music that started the genre, but vocally they strayed far from the style contours. Regardless, moderate sales success ok computer The album’s growing critical appreciation allowed Radiohead the freedom to experiment. They took full advantage of this, and became pretty much electronic kid a And amnesiac After a few years. Radiohead has spent its active parts of the 21st century switching between electronic and rock-based sound, tuning the balance to its own whims but always making fun music.