THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

 |   |  1 min read

Radiohead: Karma Police
THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

Just as Achtung Baby and Zooropa represented a watershed period for U2, so The Bends of '95 and especially OK Computer of two years later marked a turning point in Radiohead's still-young career.

On reflection it is hard to believe that on just their second album (The Bends) that a band could make such a daring, sideways career move -- and then to confirm their direction by the even more innnovative and impressive OK Computer.

On its release many hailed it as their Dark Side of the Moon, meaning it was an album of depth and resonance as much as musical invention. It was certainly closer to the ambition of Pink Floyd than any of the Britpop bands who were their contemporaries.

As expected, the album has held up well, and for many has in fact grown in stature because of its layered nature (musical and lyrical). In interviews their reference points were also Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (n the manner of constructing tracks in the studio) as well as classical composer Penderecki, DJ Shadow and the Beach Boys.

None of those are direct and necessarily audible influences, but the approach those artists took at particular periods in their careers is from what Radiohead drew.

OK Computer remains Radiohead's most important musical statement -- but also, unlike U2 who retreated to type after Pop Mart, Radiohead never looked back and their career since has consistently delivered challenging music.

There has, of course, been the elaborate two-CD and DVD reissue box set, but sometimes all you need is the actual album as it was on release.JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

In that regard, seeing it at JB Hi-FI stores (here) for $13 makes this not just a Bargain Buy, but cheap enough to pick up one for that 14-year old just growing out of vacuous radio pop and starting to get a little sullen.

This could be their soundtrack for a few years to come . . . and a door into a very different kind of music. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: Cream; The Best of Cream

THE BARGAIN BUY: Cream; The Best of Cream

When the great bass player Jack Bruce died a fortnight ago his life was sadly, but inevitably in these days of tweets and soundbites, reduced to just the few years he was with Cream. That he had... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Essential Janis Joplin

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Essential Janis Joplin

Seeing Beth Hart work herself into a sweat just two songs into her set at the Powerstation recently was a reminder of a time when women singers were real rock'n'roll blues belters. Hart -- who... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Louisiana Shrimp Etoufee

Louisiana Shrimp Etoufee

In my travel book Postcards from Elsewhere I write about being in cajun country in Louisiana where the bayou seems mysterious and the food is exceptional. That chapter about Breaux Bridge and... > Read more

Elsewhere's Wish You Were Here cocktail for summer

Elsewhere's Wish You Were Here cocktail for summer

There are few things more pleasant than gently frying your brain in the summer sun (with Factor 5 and a hat of course), so in the interests of public health Elsewhere offers this recipe for a... > Read more