The date is September 14, 1993 and it’s the debut show of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The music guest for the night is Radiohead. What a debut show! Radiohead’s performance of “Creep” is pretty classic. Looking back on it almost 30 years later, and where Radiohead has gone since is pretty astounding. It’s performances like this that you can look back on knowing that they were memorable for more than just the usual reasons. This one stands out as a definite highlight for Late Night performances.
Radiohead- Creep (Live on Late Night with Conan O’Brien- 09/14/93):
Radiohead’s OK Computer is an absolute masterpiece! We already know that. If you’ve never heard the album, you must be living under a rock or in a deep hole. It’s truly one of those albums that will be talked about for centuries. I’m sure you’ve all heard “Paranoid Android” and “Karma Police” as those two have been radio staples for years. There is a specific track on the album that I’d like to highlight and that is the final song on the album, “The Tourist.” This song, every single time I hear it, puts me in this fun trance that takes me away from where I am for a few minutes and I get so immersed in this song. The way it’s written has this “space” to it where the notes, chords, drums, synths, vocals, all hit you in these really interesting moments. There’s something else about “The Tourist” that I have always loved and that while the song has a delicate feel to it, there is a heaviness to the emotional pull that grabs you. Thom Yorke has even said about “The Tourist” “That song was written to me from me, saying, ‘Idiot, slow down.’ Because at that point, I needed to. So that was the only resolution there could be: to slow down.” Which when you think about where Radiohead was at in their career at this point makes a lot of sense. Also, one more thing that I love to do with this song is as it ends, is have Kid A cued up and that little dig at the end of “The Tourist” flows ever so perfectly into “Everything In Its Right Place. Give that a fun try when you get the chance, it’s quite the trippy little nuance!
Radiohead is one of those bands that are truly awesome. Their evolution as a band has been one of the most interesting to listen to and watch happen. The Bends will always be my favorite album of theirs but, 2000’s Kid A is a very close second. That album is one of the best since the change of the century and ever! Not only is it a fantastic album it also has my all time favorite Radiohead song on it, “How To Disappear Completely.” This song is so beautiful and haunting. I still remember the first time I heard Kid A and when it got to this song, I immediately had to put it on again. It’s one of those songs that just has all the right elements and arrangements, plus where it was placed in the sequence of the album is something else too. “How To Disappear Completely” is one of those songs too that isn’t played live too often (only 188 times since Kid A was released according to Setlist.fm) but, when it is, the crowd truly listens and lets the song take over. Singer Thom Yorke has said that this song is “the most beautiful thing we’ve done.” An interesting tidbit about this song, guitarist Jonny Greenwood is the only one in the band with music theory training and According to longtime producer/collaborator Nigel Godrich, when the band heard Greenwood’s score “they all just sort of burst into giggles, because they couldn’t do what he’d written, because it was impossible – or impossible for them, anyway.” Needless to say they figured it out and it became one of the most epic songs they would play live.
Radiohead- How To Disappear Completely (Live 2001):
The 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet, you know the one with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, has one hell of a great soundtrack. It features a bunch of great bands like Radiohead, Garbage, The Cardigans, and Butthole Surfers. The Radiohead song “Exit Music (For A Film)” is featured in the film as the credits play but, was not included on the soundtrack. Instead “Talk Show Host” is. This soundtrack was a huge success and a few of the songs like “Lovefool” by The Cardigans, helped to propel the sales. The soundtrack reached number 2 on the Billboard charts and would go on to sell over 3 million copies in the US alone.
Yesterday I posted a live Radiohead video and it set me on a Radiohead trip of my own. I found myself delving deeper into the albums that I haven’t listened to in a long time as well as reading about certain new things about the albums I already love. While doing that, I came across this cover of “The Bends” that Anthrax did on their album Volume 8: The Threat Is Real. This is a pretty good cover and a different approach to an already great song.
Way back in 2008, Radiohead was doing a lot of fun things to promote their album In Rainbows. One of the coolest things they did was this live performance of pretty much all of In Rainbows along with a scattering of other songs from their catalog. During this era, I was very fortunate to go see Radiohead live and that show is one that I still conjure up in my mind from time to time and relive. I have a live bootleg of the show I was at as well, and find myself listening to that a lot. Radiohead live is an experience that everyone should have at least once in their life. They are truly one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live. Actually, the more I think about it, I’d probably put that one show I was at in my top 10 all time. Anyways, here’s a really awesome live performance they did that you will enjoy!
It’s been over 20 years now since the release of Fight Club. Interestingly enough, that film and the book, are even more relevant now that ever. If you really examine the themes of it, you’d be pretty astonished by what the overall message is. Granted that’s if you’ve never really delved into both of them. One of my favorite things about the film has always been the music though. What The Dust Brothers created not only was perfect for it but, it also set a tone for a lot of other composers to follow as a template. Throughout the film, The Dust Brothers were able to tap into many different sounds to really encapsulate the vibe of the scene. The intensity of the performances mixed with the music created a very amazing tension that played off each other so well that, when you listen to the score on its own, you start to feel like you might have tapped into Jack’s inner dialogue. Interestingly, director David Fincher originally wanted Radiohead to create the music for the film but, Thom Yorke declined, as he was worn out from all the promotion of OK Computer.
When Radiohead released their album OK Computer back in 1997, it marked a change for the band not just in their evolution but, this album cemented the band as one of the best. I personally still remember hearing the album and when it was over, I had to listen to it again because it was so different and good. “Paranoid Android” was one of the songs upon first listen that I gravitated towards and then when I saw the video, it all clicked for me. Interestingly, the first version of the song was over 14 minutes long . When it came to the video Thom Yorke has said of it, “When it came time to make the video for that song, we had lots of people saying, ‘Yeah, great, we can have another video like “Street Spirit,” all moody and black and dark.’ Well, no. We had really good fun doing this song, so the video should make you laugh. I mean, it should be sick, too.” That pretty much sums up what the final video would become. The video, although edited for MTV, was a mainstay for a long time and is still highly regarded as one of the best videos of the 90’s and in Radiohead’s catalog. It’s a stunning video with so many underlying themes in it that, no matter how many times you watch it, there is always something else to discover.
The other day I was hanging out with a friend and I presented him with a question, who are the best UK bands of all time. So, we sat there for a few minutes and created a list that pretty much sums up the best bands from the region. There are so many bands from that area but, the impact the ones on this list had made them the standouts. This list is in no particular order as well. And your input is always greatly appreciated to make this list complete.
01) The Beatles
02) The Rolling Stones
03) David Bowie
04) The Who
05) Pink Floyd
06) The Kinks
07) Led Zeppelin
09) Joy Division
10) Sex Pistols
11) The Clash
13) Depeche Mode
14) The Cure
15) New Order
16) Black Sabbath
17) Iron Maiden
19) Judas Priest
23) The Smiths
24) The Cult
Ever since I first heard Radiohead back when Pablo Honey came out, I’ve been rather intrigued by Thom Yorke. He’s one of the most unique and talented singers I’ve ever heard. When you hear him sing, you know it’s him right off the bat. From all the Radiohead albums to his solo work, you know that when you listen you are going to get something interesting and intriguing. So with all that in mind, here’s a few songs Thom has guested on over the years.
Drugstore- El President (from White Magic for Lovers):
Unkle- Rabbit In Your Headlights (from Psyence Fiction):
Bjork- I’ve Seen It All (from Dancer In The Dark soundtrack):
PJ Harvey- This Mess We’re In (from Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea):
PJ Harvey- One Line (from Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea):
PJ Harvey- Beautiful Feeling (from Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea):
Portishead- The Rip LIVE (from Lattitude Festival 2015):