Top 10 Favorite Radiohead Songs

I first heard Radiohead from my friend Jordan. You know, the dude who sang in all those high school bands I was in. Good times. It was probably a mixtape. At the time, it was pretty refreshing. Alternative Rock was the buzz word. I remember sophomore Geometry with my friend Ben Ko. We’d give each other funny looks every time the teacher said, “And here’s an alternative way to solve this…” For Radiohead it was great timing. Not to mention great music. I was first impressed that Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie from Fort Apache recorded the record. Some of my favorite records by Dinosaur Jr., Sebahdoh, The Pixies and Buffalo Tom were recorded there. The HUGE drums. I love it. And I loved it. And Radiohead was no exception. The drums were huge. This was Pablo Honey. Sadly the drums became smaller and smaller as each record progressed. The same progression also happened with the Flaming Lips. Such is so-called growth.

Then came college, The Bends broke. It was pretty different, but I never really hit me until a few years later. By then they were the biggest band around and I had stopped listening to music with lyrics. They simply didn’t matter to me.

In the early 2000s, I picked up OK Computer. Shit. I missed out when this dropped. I still firmly believe that the bass lines in that opener Airbag are the shit. Balls out. Regardless if John Leckie sat there hitting the mute button to chop it up.

I’ll be the first to admit Kid A was adventurous for Radiohead, as a band. It took guts. Not to mention was fodder for every programmer across the globe. But breakthrough and innovative in the full scope of modern music, however, I’d beg to differ. The critics and indie rockers simply called them the 2nd coming of christ, in so many words. Sadly Radiohead kept it comfortable for the next 7 or so years and did not release any records that spoke to me. However of the records from 2000 on, I feel Amnesiac spoke the clearest to me. Not to mention hearing it on double 10″ vinyl is the way to truly experience it.

Regardless of their records, sometimes I feel like Jonny Greenwood is my favorite guitarist. And in college I was lucky to have caught them at Roseland in NYC on a leg of the Bends tour. It might have been what I smoked after getting my nipple pierced earlier that day, but I swear Jonny Greenwood’s guitar spoke to me that night. Not to mention hearing one of their best songs that sadly hasn’t been released called Lift.

  1. Fake Plastic Trees (The Bends)
  2. Planet Telex (The Bends)
  3. Stop Whispering – US Mix (Stop Whispering EP)

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  4. I Can’t (Pablo Honey)
  5. Airbag (OK Computer)

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  6. Paranoid Android (OK Computer)
  7. Lucky (OK Computer)
  8. Idioteque (Kid A)
  9. Pyramid Song (Amnesiac)
  10. I Might Be Wrong (Amnesiac)

4 Responses to “Top 10 Favorite Radiohead Songs”

  • I wish I had been able to experience the Radiohead progression as you did. For me it happened all at once. Ok Computer and the Bends, then Pablo Honey and Amnesiac. Weird and somewhat backwards but it doesn’t take away from their music.

    Also, agreed. Amnesiac is one of their best albums this century.

    Have you listened to In Rainbows yet?

    I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you are right, it has been interesting following them for so long. Not sure I’d ever say Amnesiac was one of the best albums of the century. Did I imply that? In fact I am sure I could easily put 100 records before it. I’ve heard their latest and felt like it was as if they chopped up their past 3 records and reassembled it as Rainbows.

  • I meant one of Radiohead’s best albums this century… I could think of plenty of albums that would rank ahead of it made in the last 7 years.

  • I’m pretty sure “Lift” was released on a charity comp or an EP at some point…oh hey, it wasn’t.

  • Whoa – never thought I’d see this post. I feel pretty much exactly the way you do about their records (except for the whole Amnesiac thing, an album I just didn’t ‘get’ at all – I can still taste a faint trace of vomit in my mouth when I think of that last track with all of the New Orleans brass and shiz. Yet ironically, “Pyramid Song” is probably my fave Radiohead song of all time).

    Did John Leckie really punch the bass in and out with the mute button on “Airbag”?

    Haha, I wish. But it has always sounded that way to me. However, it’s doubtful. Sadly.

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