Saturday, June 28, 1997

Radiohead hit #1 in the UK with OK Computer: June 28, 1997

Originally posted June 28, 2012.

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Release date: 16 June 1997
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Airbag / Paranoid Android (6/7/97, #3 UK) / Subterranean Homesick Alien / Exit Music (For a Film) / Let Down (8/16/97 #29 MR) / Karma Police (8/6/97, #69 UK, #14 MR) / Fitter Happier / Electioneering / Climbing Up the Walls / No Surprises (1/24/98 #4 UK) / Lucky (11/4/95, --) / The Tourist

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.9 UK, 3.0 Europe, 7.5 world

Peak: 21 US, 12 UK


Review: OK Computer “is art-rock at its most rewarding and contradictory.” BN Its “astonishing emotional and compositional complexity” BN established “Radiohead as one of the most inventive and rewarding guitar-rock bands of the ‘90s,” AMG even invoking some to call them “The Only Band That Matters.” TL

The album “vigorously defies fast analysis, flip judgment and easy interpretation” RS and “becomes even more impressive with repeated listens.” AMG Radiohead eschewed “many of the obvious elements of guitar rock, creating music that is subtle and textured, yet still has the feeling of rock & roll.” AMG The album is marked by “countless schizophrenic twists and turns.” BN It is “subtly layered but startlingly bombastic, melancholic but beautifully serene, fractured and chaotic but completely sure of its own sonic ambition.” BN It “rejects speed and hooks in favor of languorous texture and morose details.” AZ “It’s a thoroughly astonishing demonstration of musical virtuosity” AMG in which “it’s not always easy to determine which instrument makes which noise. The melodies are unorthodox and tangentia” QM and the “more planetarium-compatible noises” QM garnered comparisons to Pink Floyd. AZ

Thematically, it is a “spooky, atmospheric, intense and paranoid rumination” TL on “the debilitating clutter of modern life and the desire to escape from it.” BN It explores the idea that “the past is being perpetually deleted (with the future yet to be downloaded).” URB It “would be insufferable if it didn’t float along on a procession of gorgeous melodies…punctuated by Thom Yorke’s elastic tenor” TL and ability to shift his voice “effortlessly…from a sweet falsetto to vicious snarls.” AMG

Paranoid Android

Highlights include the “sighing” AMG and “superb Karma PoliceQM as well as “the complex, multi-segmented Paranoid Android.” AMG It is packed with “alternating time signatures, wild dynamic shifts, drama and adrenaline to spare” VH1 is “a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for the nineties.” AD Finally, “the slow and emotionally draining closing five minute long epic” ADNo Surprises is Radiohead's prettiest moment to date.” QM

Karma Police

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