Top Radiohead songs to cry to about not having concert tickets
Wed Sep 28 2011
Photograph: Sebastian Edge
Tonight, Radiohead is playing a show at the Roseland Ballroom. They'll do it again tomorrow. You probably did not get tickets (although if you did, congrats!). As consolation, after the jump are our favorite song from each of their albums for you to sulk to.
Pablo Honey, 1993
Radiohead first burst onto the scene in 1992, a bunch of fresh-faced British lads fronted by some dude named Thom Yorke. Despite the fact that they sort of hated their debut single "Creep," it was a massive hit. Check out the music video. So emotional! So thin! So mosh pit!
The Bends, 1995
With their second album, Radiohead really tried to stop being "That band who recorded 'Creep,'" turning in what remains one of the best pure guitar-rock albums of the '90s. "My Iron Lung" finds guitarist Jonny Greenwood finding his voice, settling into the hard-squawk soloing style he'd perfect later on down the road.
OK Computer, 1997
If Radiohead were Wilt Chamberlain, this album would be his scoring a hundred points against the Knicks in 1962. It's that good. OK Computer is about a lot of stuff, but it's mostly about man's relationship to technology and how that makes Thom Yorke depressed. This video of the band performing "Paranoid Android" at Glastonbury in 2003 shows how big a crowd these guys can command. If you've got tickets for tonight, you should feel very, very lucky.
Kid A, 2000
How do you live up to the expectations that go hand in hand with having made one of the best rock albums of all time? You turn around and make one of the best electronic albums of all time. "Idioteque" might be their first stab at IDM, but it's still unmistakably Radiohead.
Recorded roughly at the same time as Kid A, this release saw Radiohead saying fuck it and going full-on experimental on us. If you've got the ear for it, this album can be their most rewarding. "Like Spinning Plates" is an unimpeachable work of ambient weirdness (the band recorded the track and then played it backward), and its clip blurs the line between music video and digital art.
Hail to the Thief, 2003
This album title is not about George W. Bush, no matter how many people like to pretend it is. Instead, it's a phrase lifted from the 1888 United States presidential election in which Benjamin Harrison won the presidency without winning the popular vote (did we mention that Radiohead is really smart?). Hail to the Thief is essentially the opposite—but equally lovable—record to Amnesiac. On "Myxomatosis (Judge, Jury & Executioner)," they almost sound like they're having fun. This is probably the closest to a headbanger that Radiohead will ever get.
In Rainbows, 2007
Perhaps most famous for being the album that they gave away for free, In Rainbows is a pretty good synthesis of their early proggy stage, their midperiod experimental phase, and the more conventional rawkin' of Hail to the Thief. "Reckoner" is a mellow groover showcasing Thom's ever-evolving falsetto.
The King of Limbs, 2011
With their newest release, Radiohead have pulled yet another 180, drawing from the progressive electronic music of producers such as Burial and Flying Lotus. The results are nothing short of stellar. The video for "Lotus Flower" is haunting and weird, if only for Yorke's dance moves that make him seem like a Satanic string puppet.
Radiohead plays the Roseland Ballroom tonight and tomorrow.