Radiohead Mega List


This is what has been going through my head on a continuous loop for the past two days. I’m barely able to sleep due to the excitement and anxiety, let alone hold onto any un-Radiohead related thoughts for more than a few moments. Tickets go on sale tomorrow for a small number of shows that were only announced on Monday, and if my failed attempts to get pre-sale tickets are any indication, they will sell out in minutes – if not seconds.

There’s such a strong Radiohead following in Perth, but we’ve been seriously starved for their attention. The last time they toured here, it was their first visit in 6 years and it seemed like half city’s music fans flew to the Eastern States to see them. When one of the shows was cancelled last minute it caused a furore. This time it will be 8 years since they last set foot in the country, and again there are no Perth shows. Radiohead madness is at fever pitch.

It’s just lucky that the fight for tickets happens over the internet these days. If it involved the fans having to meet face to face, it would get ugly real quick.

You can't tell from this photo but the guy in the front has Radiohead tickets in his back pocket.

Anyway, because I’m not capable of anything else at the moment, I’m continuing the Mega List tradition that I started with this post about The Flaming Lips. So, here are my 50 favourite Radiohead songs. I also put together a Youtube playlist with every track

50. Anyone Can Play Guitar – Pablo Honey (1993) – “Anyone can play guitar and they won’t be a nothin’ anymore.” 

49. Morning Mr. Magpie – King of Limbs (2011) – “You’ve got some nerve coming here.”

48. Jigsaw Falling Into Place – In Rainbows (2007) – “The walls abandon shape. You’ve got a Cheshire cat grin, all blurring into one.”

47. You – Pablo Honey (1993) – “You, me and everything caught in the fire.”

46. Kid A – Kid A (2000) – “Rats and children follow me out of town … C’mon kids.”

One of the band’s weirdest songs, so it doesn’t have much in the way of immediate appeal. But, like the rest of the album, it’s a grower.

45. Everything in it’s Right Place – Kid A (2000) – “Yesterday I woke up sucking on lemon.”

44. Go To Sleep – Hail to the Thief (2003) – “We don’t want the loonies takin’ over. Tiptoe round, tie ‘em down.” 

43. Thinking About You – Pablo Honey (1993) – “Been thinking about you. So how can you sleep? These people aren’t your friends. They’re paid to kiss your feet.”

Like a few other songs on Pablo Honey, this track has a naïve earnestness to it that can be a bit cringe-worthy. Still, it’s awfully pretty.

42.You and Whose Army? – Amnesiac (2001) – “Come on if you think you can take us on.”

41.Bangers & Mash – In Rainbows B-Side (2007) – “I’m taking you down, I’m taking you down, I’m taking you down when I go down.” 

Probably the least Radiohead-like song in their back catalogue. It’s a brilliant piece of energetic and surprisingly fun rock that wouldn’t feel out of place on the dance floor. 

40. Separator – King of Limbs (2011) – “Finally I’m free of the weight I’ve been carrying.” 

39. Lotus Flower – King of Limbs (2011) – “Slowly we unfurl as lotus flowers. ‘Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick.” 

38. I Might Be Wrong – Amnesiac (2011) – “Think about the good times and never look back … never look back.”

37. In Limbo – Kid A (2000) – “You’re living in a fantasy world.” 

36. 2+2=5 – Hail to the Thief (2003) – “You can scream and you can shout. It is too late now … because you have not been paying attention.”

35. Optimistic – Kid A (2000) – “You can try the best you can. You can try the best you can. The best you can is good enough.”

34. Subterranean Homesick Alien – OK Computer (1997) – “I’d show them the stars and the meaning of life. They’d shut me away, but I’d be all right.”

33. Give up the Ghost – King of Limbs (2011) – “Don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me.” 

My favourite track on King of Limbs is an exercise in soothing, gentle magnificence.

32. Climbing up the Walls – OK Computer (1997) – “So lock the kids up safe tonight. Shut the eyes in the cupboard.” 

31. All I Need – In Rainbows (2007) – “I am a moth who just wants to share your light. I’m just an insect trying to get out of the night.”

30. The Tourist – OK Computer (1997) – “Hey man, slow down, slow down. Idiot, slow down, slow down.” 

As a stand alone song, perhaps this doesn’t deserve such a high spot on the list. But it just works too well as an album closer to put it any lower.

29. Lucky – OK Computer (1997) – “I’m on a roll. I’m on a roll this time. I feel my luck could change.”

28. Where I End and You Begin – Hail to the Thief (2003) – “I will eat you alive. I will eat you alive. And there’ll be no more lies. There’ll be no more lies.”

27. Let Down– OK Computer (1997) – “Don’t get sentimental. It always ends up drivel.”

26. Morning Bell – Kid A (2000) – “Howlin’ down the chimney, release me, release me.”

25. Airbag – OK Computer (1997) – “In an interstellar burst I’m back to save the universe.”

24. Idioteque – Kid A (2000) – “We’re not scaremongering. This is really happening.”

23. The National Anthem – Kid A (2000) – “Everyone is so near. Everyone has got the fear.”

22. Nice Dream – The Bends (1995) – “If you think that you’re strong enough, if you think you belong enough … nice dream.”

21. Bullet Proof … I Wish I Was – The Bends (1995) – “You have turned me in to this. Just wish that it was bullet proof.”

20. Bodysnatchers – In Rainbows (2007) – “I have no idea what I am talking about. I’m trapped in this body and can’t get out.”

19. Electioneering – OK Computer (1997) – “I trust I can rely on your vote.”

18. Palo Alto – OK Computer B-Side (1997) – “In the city of the future it is difficult to find a space. I’m too busy to see you. You’re too busy to wait. But I’m okay. How are you?”

I fell in love with this song after watching the documentary, Meeting People is Easy.

17. Nude – In Rainbows (2007) – “You’ll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking.”

16. There There – Hail to the Thief (2003) – “We are accidents waiting – waiting to happen.”

15. Talk Show Host – The Bends B-Side (1995) – “You want me? F*&%ing well come and find me. I’ll be waiting with a gun and a pack of sandwiches.”

14. Creep – Pablo Honey (1993) – “What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here.”

This is the one that gave the band their whinge-rock reputation and it’s probably their biggest hit, so naturally (for Radiohead) they hate it. I can understand why, but it’s also difficult to deny it’s appeal. It may be whiny and sort of ridiculous, but I still get chills when that bridge kicks in.

13. No Surprises – OK Computer (1997) – “No alarms and no surprises please.”

12. Blow Out – Pablo Honey (1993) – “Everything I touch turns to stone.”

11. My Iron Lung – The Bends (1995) – “This … this is our new song. Just like the last one. A total waste of time.”

10. Motion Picture Soundtrack – Kid A (2000) – “It’s not like in the movies. They fed us on little white lies.”

9. High and Dry – The Bends (1995) – “They’re the ones who’ll spit at you. You’ll be the one screaming out … don’t leave me high, don’t leave my dry.”

8. Street Spirit (Fade Out) – The Bends (1995) – “Immerse your soul in love.”

7. Pyramid Song – Amnesiac (2001) – “Jumped in the river, what did I see? Black eyed angels swam with me.”

6. Fake Plastic Trees – The Bends (1995) – “If I could be who you wanted – if I could be who you wanted all the time.”

5. Just – The Bends (1995) – “One day I’ll get to you, and teach you how to get to purest hell.”

4. Karma Police – OK Computer (1997) – “This is what you get when you mess with us.”

3. How to Disappear Completely – Kid A (2000) – “I’m not here. This isn’t happening.”

Thom’s vocals are amazing on this track, but the real hero may be the strings arranged by guitarist, Jonny Greenwood.  

2. Exit Music (For a Film) – OK Computer (1997) – “You can laugh, a spineless laugh. We hope your rules and wisdom choke you.”

1. Paranoid Android – OK Computer (1997) – “Ambition makes you look pretty ugly.”

This is where it all started for me. For a song with so many distinct sections, it’s amazing how well they fit together, and how each piece is just as captivating as the next. Plus Jonny’s guitar solos are legendary.

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3 Responses to Radiohead Mega List

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is the worst thing Ive ever read

  2. Pingback: Hail to the Tribute Review | A Hole in the Head

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