Friday Five: What’s your favourite Radiohead song?
Radiohead’s long-awaited new album A Moon Shaped Pool is finally out on CD today. To celebrate, we’ve collected our favourite Radiohead tracks for this week’s Friday Five. Share your favourites with us in the comments!
Don’t forget: you can buy A Moon Shaped Pool on CD from the musicMagpie Store right now!
2+2=5 (The Lukewarm)
Taken from the underappreciated 2003 album Hail to the Thief, 2+2=5 captures Radiohead at their most frenetic and explosive. Opening up with a creepy intro with some wonderful vocals, it builds into a full-on rocker before breaking down into an almost swaggering riff (not something you always associate with Radiohead).
The title, if you were wondering, is taken from 1984 – a suitable choice for a band whose music embraces paranoia at every turn.
Perhaps Radiohead’s most ‘dance-y’ track, Idioteque from Kid A showcases the increasing influence of intelligent dance music artists like Aphex Twin on the band at the time. It’s possibly the only Radiohead track you could play at a rave.
The lyrics are among the most analysed in the Radiohead back catalogue, despite some of them being drawn completely at random from a hat.
Fake Plastic Trees
Fake Plastic Trees, the centrepiece of The Bends is a classic Radiohead weepie, with soaring choruses and falsetto abound. Unlike later releases, it’s hugely accessible too. You can imagine it as the closing song at a stadium gig!
Fake Plastic Trees owes a lot to Jeff Buckley, and not just in sound either. Whilst struggling with the song, the band took a break to go and see Buckley. When they returned to the studio afterwards, Yorke sang the song twice and then broke down in tears.
Amnesiac is perhaps the least loved Radiohead record, but it contains one of their best ever songs.
Pyramid Song is a sprawling, angular epic, a twisted jazz ballad inspired by Egyptian mythology, Buddhism and Stephen Hawking’s theories on time. A very Radiohead ballad, basically.
It’s also one of the band’s favourite songs, with guitarist Ed O’Brien calling it “the best song we’ve recorded” back in 2001. It’s hard to disagree.
There’s a strong argument to be made for Paranoid Android, taken from their seminal album OK Computer, being Radiohead’s masterpiece.
It captures every element of the band in one song: Thom Yorke’s paranoia-laced delivery and lyrics, the ominous atmosphere, the complex acoustic passages and time signatures, and a fantastic riff that stands up there with Bohemian Rhapsody in the ‘late song payoff’ stakes.
If you’ve never listened to it, do it right now.
What is your favourite Radiohead song? Share it in the comments now!