Radiohead, “Ok. Computer…Who has all the Information?”

“I think the most important thing about music is the
sense of escape.”
Tom Yorke

Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon,
Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom
Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Jonny Greenwood
(lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin
Greenwood (bass), Phil Selway (drums, percussion) and
Ed O’Brien (guitar, backing vocals).

“The thing that worries me about the computer age is
the fact that people know so much about you. It’s an
incredible invasion of privacy. And no matter where
you are in the world people can monitor you if you’re
using your credit card. I heard this weird rumor on
the Internet about how the military is funding this
great big research project and basically, they believe
that in the future, the balance of power won’t be
determined by who has the most nuclear weapons, but by
who has all the information. I’m not afraid of being
taken over by computers though, because the thing is,
computers cannot resist. You can always smash ‘em up,
and they’re totally defenseless. All we need are more
people with hammers.”
Tom Yorke

Some compared OK Computer thematically to Floyd’s
best-seller The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), although
Thom Yorke said the album’s lyrics had been inspired
by observing the “speed” of the world in the 1990s.
Yorke’s lyrics, embodying different characters, had
expressed what one magazine called “end-of-the-
millennium blues”

At a better pace
Slower and more calculated
No chance of escape
– “Fitter Happier”

“I don’t think young people are as demoralized as the
media and government would like us to think. The
obvious sign of that is how strong and how close
personal connections are and how much people are able
to build a life for themselves, despite all this stuff
that’s been thrown at them.”
Tom Yorke

Far up above, aliens hover
Making home movies for the folks back home
Of all these weird creatures that lock up their
spirits
Drill holes in themselves and live for their secrets

“Subterranean Homesick Alien”

“I didn’t really come into it expecting to make songs.
It started just with random bits and pieces. I guess I
thought there would be vocals, but I was thinking in
terms of using little vocal shreds, and of making them
part of the tapestry, not the main thing. But as soon
as we had gone through the initial sketches, it became
obvious that they could be quite direct. Nigel
basically dragged me kicking and screaming toward the
concept of them being actual songs.”
Tom Yorke

“Yorke’s lyrics make me want to give up. I could never
in my wildest dreams find something as beautiful as
they find for a single song — let alone album after
album.”
-Dave Matthews

When I go forwards, you go backwards
And somewhere we will meet
– “Electioneering”

“The video of ‘Paranoid Android’ has been censored by
MTV. They took all nipples out of the cartoon, but
they had no problem with the scene in which a man cuts
off his own arms and legs.”
Tom Yorke

Ambition makes you look pretty ugly
Kicking and squealing gucci little piggy 
– “Paranoid
Android”

“Paranoid Android” is a three-part song, mixing
acoustic guitars, abrasive electric solos and layered
choirs. The first single from OK Computer, it marks
Radiohead’s UK singles chart peak (number three).

“My big problem with corporate structure is this
bizarre sense of loyalty you’re supposed to feel —
towards what is basically a virus. It grows or dies,
like any virus. And you use it for your own selfish
ends.”
Tom Yorke

And you can laugh
A spineless laugh
We hope your rules and wisdom choke you
And now we are one
In everlasting peace
We hope that you choke, that you choke
– “Exit Music
(For a Film)”

The recording sessions were relaxed, with the band
playing at all hours of the day, recording songs in
different rooms, and listening to The Beatles, DJ
Shadow, Ennio Morricone and Miles Davis for
inspiration. Radiohead contributed “Talk Show
Host”
, as well as a newly recorded song called “Exit
Music (For a Film)”
, to Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of
Romeo + Juliet late in the year.

The head of state
Has called for me by name
But I don’t have time for him
It’s gonna be a glorious day
I feel my luck could change
– “Lucky”

“Lucky”, was released as a single to promote the War
Child charity’s The Help Album

“The difference between me and Bono is that he’s quite
happy to go and flatter people to get what he wants
and he’s very good at it, but I just can’t do it. I’d
probably end up punching them in the face rather than
shaking their hand, so it’s best that I stay out of
their way. I can’t engage with that level of bullshit.
Which is a shame, really, and in a way it would help
if I could, but I just can’t. I admire the fact that
Bono can, and can walk away from it smelling of
roses.”
Tom Yorke

For a minute there
I lost myself
– “Karma Police”

“There’s nothing more boring than a rock’n’roll star,
someone who has been on the road for 10 years,
expecting attention wherever he goes, drinking himself
stupid, who is obnoxious, incoherent, uncreative and
has a massive ego. There’s nothing more pointless.”
Tom Yorke

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