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Radiohead

OK Computer - OKNOTOK 1997-2017

Rescued from defunct formats, prised from dark cupboards and brought to light after two decades in cold storage… OKNOTOK will be issued on June 23rd through XL Recordings, coinciding (roughly) with the original 1997 release date(s) of Radiohead’s landmark third album OK COMPUTER.

OKNOTOK features the original OK COMPUTER twelve track album, eight B-sides, and the Radiohead completist’s dream: “I Promise,” “Lift,” and “Man Of War.” The original studio recordings of these three previously unreleased and long sought after OK COMPUTER era tracks finally receive their first official issue on OKNOTOK.

All material on OKNOTOK is newly remastered from the original analogue tapes.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: I can't think of anyone that wasn't floored by Radiohead's transformation from grungy gloom mongers to the indie/electronic greats they have become today, and this was the turning point. Liberally spread with their trademark morosity but with an unheard technical ability, ‘OK Computer’ was a stinging criticism of modernity delivered via a new sonic language. Now, twenty years after its landmark release, the band revisits this masterpiece with the definitive version. Alongside the original twelve track LP we’re treated to eight B-sides and a trio of previously unreleased tracks from the same era. This isn’t just an LP, it’s a historical document.

FORMAT INFORMATION

3xLP Info: Standard black vinyl edition.

Radiohead

Pablo Honey

    Released in 1993, Pablo Honey is the debut studio album from Radiohead. Produced by Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie, the album was recorded at Chipping Norton Recording Studios and Courtyard Studio, Oxfordshire. The album features the singles, "Anyone Can Play Guitar", "Stop Whispering", and "Creep". - The standout single "Creep" was the international hit that helped propel Radiohead and Pablo Honey to popular acclaim. Released several months before the album itself, "Creep" went on to define the band's early career. Also included on Pablo Honey are ethereal rocker "You", fan favorite "Thinking About You", and "Blow Out", all of which point to the band's future sonic manipulations.

    Radiohead's ninth LP proper sees them once again couple with mega-producer Nigel Godrich. Together they have created possibly the band's most coherent record of their whole career.  Some of these songs date well back in time and that coupled with the accessibility of comeback single Burn The Witch and their recent  dare-I-say fan-pleasing set-lists suggest a group finally comfortable in their own skin, embracing all that they really are.  So you do still get electronica, but less of the fractured kind. Sure, Thom still sings of alienation, doubt and paranoia, but  in the most beautiful way imaginable. These songs  build and build, swept into shape by Johnny Greenwood's London Contemporary Orchestra strings, peppered with psych-folk and even dub reggae vibes. It's heavy, (let's face it) depressive, but eminently listenable. One for diehards, but crucially, the casual listeners too. 





    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: These songs build and build, swept into shape by Johnny Greenwood's London Contemporary Orchestra strings, peppered with psych-folk and even dub reggae vibes. It's heavy, (let's face it) depressive, but eminently listenable. One for diehards, but crucially, the casual listeners too. One of the last bands standing that truly matter to their people. They just don't disappoint!

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP Info: Standard black vinyl edition in a gatefold sleeve with a silver foil cover.

    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Radiohead

    Kid A

      "Kid A is like getting a massive eraser out and starting again," Thom Yorke said in October 2000, the week this album became the British band's first Number One record in America. "I find it difficult to think of the path we've chosen as 'rock music'."

      "In texture and structure, Kid A, Radiohead's fourth album, renounced everything in rock that, to Yorke in particular, reeked of the tired and overfamiliar: clanging arena-force guitars, verse-chorus-bridge song tricks.

      With producer Nigel Godrich, Yorke, guitarist Ed O'Brien, drummer Phil Selway, bassist Colin Greenwood and guitarist Jonny Greenwood created an enigma of slippery electronics and elliptical angst, sung by Yorke in an often indecipherable croon. The closest thing to riffing on Kid A was the fuzz-bass lick in "The National Anthem"; the guitars in "Morning Bell" sounded more like seabirds.

      The result was the weirdest hit album of that year, by a band poised to be the modern-rock Beatles, following the breakthrough of OK Computer. In fact, only 10 months into the century, Radiohead had made the decade's best album — by rebuilding rock itself, with a new set of basics and a bleak but potent humanity. Yorke's loathing of celebrity inspired the contrary beauty of "How to Disappear Completely," with its watery orchestration and his voice flickering in and out of earshot. His electronically squished pleading in "Kid A" sounded like a baby kicking inside a hard drive.

      Ironically, Radiohead, by the end of this decade, had fulfilled much of that modern-Beatles promise by following rock's first commandment: Go your own way.

      "Music as a lifelong commitment — if that's what someone means by rock, great," Yorke said in that 2000 interview. By that measure, with Kid A, Radiohead made the first true rock of the future." - Rolling Stone.

      Radiohead

      The Bends

        "Fans of Radiohead's 1993 single "Creep" basically divided into two camps: those who loved it as a dynamic slice of self-loathing rock & roll, and those who just enjoyed the skrakunk-skrakunk guitar distortion before every chorus. On their later albums, Radiohead would throw their lot in with the skrakunk-skrakunk crowd, pushing the boundaries of sonic experimentation. But for one record, they demonstrated how good they could be when they stuck to guitar rock. Singer Thom Yorke explored the expressive power of moaning, while guitarist Jonny Greenwood proved equally gifted with restrained strumming and electric flare-gun solos. When critics describe bands such as Coldplay as sounding like Radiohead, they usually mean that they sound like Radiohead's brilliant second album.

        The title of The Bends refers to decompression sickness, when deep-sea divers come up too quickly — a comment on the band's sudden fame. The lyrics are filled with Yorke's unhappiness rendered as health metaphors: He makes himself a cripple who can't climb the stairs in "Bones," and with "My Iron Lung," he immobilizes himself even more completely and complains, "This is our new song/Just like the last one/A total waste of time."

        The record is filled with lovely ballads, full of longing, jealousy and critiques of consumer culture. But the best is the last: "Street Spirit (Fade Out)." Over chiming guitar arpeggios, Yorke sings a hymn to his own claustrophobia and insignificance, making them sound like exalted states of being. When he intones, "Cracked eggs, dead birds scream as they fight for life," he finds solace in the vowels, transforming them into a melody of hope. By the end of the song, with harmonies swirling around, the beauty has touched even him: The final words on an emotional, bleak album are "Immerse your soul in love." - Rolling Stone.

        Radiohead

        OK Computer

          THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 1997

          This is the album that started to show their real potential and their first use of electronics (which mix beautifully with their older rawer rock style). The album that pushed them to the very top.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Martin says: There can be few greater endorsements for anything than winning over a convinced sceptic. I started off from the premise that I didn't like this corporate indie sellout, but that, I am happy to say, proved an utterly impossible position to maintain after I actually heard it. Every last track is an utterly mesmerizing glimpse into blighted existence; a beautifully rendered, multilayered kaleidoscope of angst. 'Classic' is an overused word, but this is precisely the kind of idea it was coined for.

          Radiohead's eighth studio album, "The King Of Limbs", is an experimental progression on the sound of its predecessor, 2007's "In Rainbows". Lyrically the record harks back to 2001's "Amnesiac", and indeed the heavy use of electronic instrumentation and distortion also recalls both "Amnesia" and "Kid A". Announced only a week before its intended release date, "The King Of Limbs" is named after an ancient tree near Radiohead's recording studio.

          Radiohead

          In Rainbows

            Following the landmark independent digital release of Radiohead's seventh LP whereby customers could name their own price, the experimental British rock stalwarts finally issued "In Rainbows" in its physical formats. Musically, this release can be seen as a logical culmination of much of the band's previous work, incorporating the avant-garde electronics of later records and more traditional guitar-heavy elements synonymous with their inception. The overt political themes of previous album "Hail To The Thief" are largely jettisoned for an altogether more romantic milieu, with songs such as "Videotape" and "Nude" showcasing the intimate nature of singer Thom Yorke's voice.

            Radiohead

            Hail To The Thief

              Has anyone ever done this before? Achieved massive commercial success and followed it with three totally uncompromising, madly unexpected records. You have to admire their integrity. This album is something of a consolidation of their post- "OK Computer" direction. While it's choc-ful of analogue electronics, jazz-rock oddness, techno Gothic wierdness, scatterbrained drum-machines and insanely-inspiring words - there is actually more to properly grab a hold of this time. There's a number of conventional(ish!) piano songs including one acheingly gorgeous standout called "Sail To The Moon". There's also more obvious(ish!) rockier moments like "2+2=5" which ends in punky, thrashed guitar, and "A Punch-Up At A Wedding" that has lyrics you can follow (!!) and a sweet, undulating bassline. This album's just as challenging as the last two, but a lot more rewarding.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              2xLP Info: The vinyl is a beautifully packaged double, in a gatefold sleeve.

              Radiohead

              I Might Be Wrong

              Live album comprising mainly of material from "Kid A" and "Amnesiac", and the featured songs here take on a new and looser life. Also featured is the long unreleased classic "True Love Waits", this is an essential accompaniment to their last two albums.

              Radiohead

              Amnesiac

                The follow up to  "Kid A" finds Radiohead continuing their experiments of the previous album but with added structure and a stronger 'song' base. This all adds up to a phenomenal album of vision and depth that will disappoint no one.


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