23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tidy Package
One of the best albums of the 90's gets the obligitory 'Delux' treatment which smacks of record label cash-in. However this can almost beforgotten when the music is as good as this. For once the original album is left untouched. I am fed up of getting re-released albums with bonus live tracks/remixes/demos chucked on the end. The bends was made as a 12 track album and...
Published on 17 Mar 2009 by J. Daniel
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
Really nice album by Radiohead, but after listening to OK Computer first, found it hard to get into in quite the same way!
Published 6 months ago by Alice
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tidy Package,
This review is from: The Bends [2CD & DVD] (Audio CD)One of the best albums of the 90's gets the obligitory 'Delux' treatment which smacks of record label cash-in. However this can almost beforgotten when the music is as good as this. For once the original album is left untouched. I am fed up of getting re-released albums with bonus live tracks/remixes/demos chucked on the end. The bends was made as a 12 track album and this is how it should be heard so kudos for keeping Disk 1 exactly as it should be.
The second disc is a mixture of b-sides, live tracks and sessions and although I have all the b sides from the singles already it is to have them compiled to save changing the cd every 15 mins. And it has to be said that a lot of the b sides from this era are up there with Radioheads best work. Talk show host, bishops robes and my personal favourite b-side ever Banana Co are all here, along with versions of the album tracks that I had not previously heard.
Finally the DVD. Promo videos which were released only last year by the label which are quite unneccessary, but also a number of Live tracks from their Live at the Astoria release as well as sessions and TV appearances (The Bends from Jools Holland is particularly strong).
So like I say, it does smell like another blatant cash in by Parlophone, and many fans will have the majority of this stuff already as I do whether ist be taped off the radio, video'd off the TV, as well as the original releases, but to have it in one nice package, and when the music is as good as it is then I would say it is £13 well spent.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its the best thing that you ever had,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bends (Audio CD)This is the greatest radiohead album and the greatest album of the 90's. If you don't own this album you are missing out. The only other album which comes close is 'Ok Computer', however I think 'the bends' is better, only because it has a warmer feel to the cold mechanical,(but also brilliant) 'ok computer'. There isn't a weak song on the entire album. Thom Yorke's voice is at his best. At times the later albums, he can sound winey but it is stretched to perfection here. To thoughs who write off radiohead as 'depressing'. Are you emotionally dead? At times the songs can be sad, but they are always a joy to listen to. Songs are both about personal relationships and relationships between someone and the world. It expresses the the confusion of life in all its forms, that everyone must feel to some degree. However this album lifts you out of the choas and sweeps you across harmonies and melodies. The balance of songs on the album work really well, just as the album begins to flag, after the slow 'high and dry' and 'fake plasic trees', 'just' is thrashed out.'Just' is a stright out excellent rock song, nothing more nothing less. The best is saved to last, with 'street spirit (fade out)', about life, death and love. Thank god a band like this are still around.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic album,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bends (Audio CD)After one listen to this cd, I could not stop playing it. The songs have the power of "Pablo Honey" only more mature (e.g The Bends, bones, Black Star and Sulk), and the emotional and strange content that is on "OK Computer" (e.g High and Dry, Fake Plastic Trees, Bullet Proof and Street Spirit). The Album is littered with the marvelous effects created by guitarists Ed O'Brian and Johnny Greenwood, and the powerful if whiney vocals of Thom Yorke. It is a phenomenal album and in my opinion still very underated. Travis, Coldplay and the rest are all good, but they arn't a patch on this album.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I could be who you wanted ......all the time.,
This review is from: The Bends (Audio CD)Everybody talks about the brilliance of Radiohead's OK Computer album but for me The Bends is the greatest album not only by Radiohead but by any band in the whole world. This is the album I would take with me to a desert island if I was given a CD player and the choice of one CD! This is the album I put on to wash the dishes and tidy my house! This is the album I put on when I feel so crap I want to hide in my bed for ever more! It is simply the greatest album EVER and it is also an instantly lovable album!! In addition when it was released there was nothing on the market which came close and this made The Bends even more of a stand alone masterpiece.
Choosing a favourite track from this album is near impossible because it features such ranging musical styles. On the melodic, spine tingling side we have High and Dry, Fake Plastic Trees and Street Spirit, possibly three of my favourite slow songs of all time. All three make me go weak at the knees as I listen to Thom's vocals but for me Street Spirit is the real stand out track with the most haunting chorus ever written or sang by anyone in the entire world. For the more upbeat tracks my favourites have to be The Bends, Bones and Just which all rock. Every time I hear the title track The Bends I can remember seeing Radiohead live at T In The Park in 1996 - as this song began the guitar and drum intro was accompanied by lighting which washed over the crowd from the stage across the sea of fans up to the sky and as it did so I can still remember the hair on the back of my neck standing on end and a rush of adrenaline sending me into a musical euphoria.
If you have never heard this album than shame on you, get it ordered today because you are missing a piece of musical history. This is an album I will never grow tired of and never stop listening too. A real masterpiece in every way.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to convey the brilliance?,
This review is from: The Bends (Audio CD)Still pretty much speechless about the magnificence of this record, even after the amount of time it has spent in my CD player. Quite literally no other piece of music in my not small collection has a guaranteed play at least once a week. In particularly emotional periods of my life that turns into constant play, with the album constantly swinging me through emotions of thoughtful melancholia to purest bliss (prime examples being the sweet crescendo building Fake Plastic Trees followed by Bones, the lovely understated Nice Dream followed by the quick fix and suprisingly deep Just, and then the divine Bullet Proof followed by the heartbreakingly wonderful Black Star). This truly is an album that can seemingly bring meaning back to anyone's life, that anything can be so awe ispiringly beautiful is reason enough to carry on living - even heaven can't offer this perfection. I could easily write a 1000 word review about any song on this album, and when I have the time I likely will, in the singles reviews. No other album can so accurately drill a whole into the psyche than the Bends. It feels as if Thom Yorke knows me, knows exactly how I'm feeling all the time. Black Star has become my anthem for life, despite my originally believing it to bew one of the weaker songs on the album. Each and every song is a work of art, and this album will never be supersceded, even Radiohead at their peak weren't this good, the album transcends them. It transcends all of us, and anyone without it has a hole in their life.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a League of it's own.,
This review is from: The Bends (Audio CD)Quite simply brilliant, one of the best genuine rock albums ever recorded to date, whether or not it is as good as OK Computer is another matter entirely, and one that would take up too much space to debate here. Where OK Computer for me is also excellent, it is certainly not for everyone, not even everyone who is a fan of the general progressive rock genre, The Bends should appeal to all. This is radiohead at their most mainstream best, there are no tracks that can be labelled as weak on the entire record.
Its not only the quality of the songs, but the way they fit together on the album to compliment each other that makes it the high quality masterpiece that it is. Planet Telex opens the album in a way that just wouldn't have the same effect were it any other of the songs on the album, similar can be said of the way it closes with street spirit (fade out). Certainly the stand out tracks like fake plastic tree's, just, high and dry and my iron lung perhaps give the album the superstar status it is worthy of, but one should not underestimate the importance of tracks like bullet proof and nice dream as it is these that gel the album together and make it what it is.
This is an album that can capture any mood of any individual, whether it be happy or sad, positive or negative, the sheer power of these pieces of music should be enough to inspire anyone to rise up from their seats. For genuine rock music, there is no album in existence that tops this for me.
For someone trying to get into Radiohead and generally not experienced with their work I would recommend this is where you start, it is easily the most accessible of their albums and the perfect place to launch yourself into any of their other more diverse works such as Kid A, Amnesiac and OK Computer.
As I have previously said whether or not this is their best album is another matter entirely, what this is, is one of the finest albums of any genre to ever be produced, and would easily grace my top ten albums of all time, highly recommended.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! A fantastic album. absolutely captivating,
This review is from: The Bends (Audio CD)I bought this album from the advice of a friend and was amazed that id ever missed it. how did i live without it? it is beyond words to be honest. not only is the music melodically amazing but on a cerebral level this album will also work wonders.
First off the album starts with the song 'Planet Telex.' This track starts off with a brilliant chord progression and then Thom Yorkes vocals kick in and the album is alive. the chorus and verse on the song just link so perfectly and the whole song is a masterpiece. not my favorite off the album but id give it a 9.5/10
Then the title track 'The Bends' comes up. a nice heavy starting song which still maintains a calm feeling with Thom Yorke's singing. lyrically this song is superb, however, although the melody grows on you, this is one of the songs i was less impressed with. still well worth the listen though. 8/10
I believe that the song 'High and Dry' is the begining of the album. from here on out there are no complaints just all genius music. i LOVE the guitars on this song because they all seem to be working independently and yet they work as a whole aswell. a wonderful song 9.5/10
'Fake Plastic Trees' is a track that at first i was not impressed with but after a few listens the song started to get to me. it is now one of my favorites off the album. good acoustic sounds to finish this beautiful song 9/10
'Bones' ..... just astounding. bass line: perfect, drums: spot on, vocals: seemlessley changes from the grungier verse into the falcetto chorus, guitars: all interesting and all very clever. 9.5/10
'Nice Dream' is actually my favorite song off the album i think. if you prefer mellower songs this is the song for you aswell. the second chorus has some of the cleverest harmonies ever created. not just a nice dream but a perfect one. 10/10
'Just' is again an amazing track, one of the more 'rocky' songs of the album. the verses almost having a jazzy feel with just a simple chord strum and a drum beat to die for.after the second chorus there is an instrumental middle eight which i have attempted to recreate because after listening to it, it wont leave your head. after the octave pedal is used for the guitar part that keeps getting higher a kickass jazz chord comes in. i believe its an 11th and it is so unexpected that it actually knocked me back a bit. another GREAT song 10/10
'My Iron Lung' a mouth watering riff thats simple but very effective. the song starts off being very melodic and then as it goes on distorted guitars are introduced and then the odd but somehow fitting section with uncomprehensible lyrics ( i believe he says :the head shrinkers, they want everything, my uncle bill, my belisha beacon) but i may be wrong. then the heavy guitars stop and this 'frighteningly' mellow part comes in. the boys from Oxford outdoing themselves in this song. this is a more experimental song 9.5/10
'Bullet Proof...I Wish i Was' is the more hauntingly melodic song. much more depressing. but the chorus reminds me somewhat of coldplay. i love the whole song but it is not to some peoples taste as ive discovered. 9/10
'Black Star' 'blame it on the black star' the start of one of the best chorus' on the album in my humble opinion. the verse is nothing special(bass is great) but because of the AMAZING chorus it gets a 9/10
'Sulk' great starting riff on the guitar, great melody over the riff,great drum beat yet somehow the song doesnt seem to work for me. i was more dissapointed with this however after a couple of listens the sublteties are realised and i appreciate the song for its originality now. 8.5/10
'Street Spirit' if anyone dislikes this song they are insane. i love playing this song aswell. i have also attempted to sing it with the guitar but Thom Yorke's voice has so much character its impossible to recreate the sound. the majority of this song is minor which gives the more depressing feel but probly the best outro song to any album EVER. i believe that jonny greenwood plays the beautiful riff that carrys on throughout the song and all i can say about this song really is OMG i can't believe that any song can affect me on so many levels. the harmonies at the end almost want to make you fall to your knees. this is a song to die for and i would gladly kick the bucket to this melodic masterpiece. if anyone can find a song as beautifully crafted and executed as this please let me know. 15/10 ... nothing is even parralled to this song in my opinion.
This album should not be missing from anyones collection. they are all fine musicians, they can write melodies that touch the soul, they have discovered a way to bring different styles of music together to create the perfect album for any music fan with any tastes. if you buy this album you will not be dissapointed as there is something for everyone.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can i say .....,
This review is from: The Bends (Audio CD)Whenever i'm feeling low or having a terrible day this album is the medicine for the illness. After listening to the melodic tones of 'high and dry' and the haunting sounds of 'fade out-street spirit' i immediatly feel comforted and peaceful. Radiohead Thom Yorke is an intelligent man of today, his poetry and presentation of the tracks are to be commended and this album safely secures radiohead as one of the greatest bands of today and 'The Bends' as a legendary album from the ninties. The track 'Fake plastic trees' is an absolute work of genius, it works up in a beutiful crecsendo that makes your stomach flip and your spirit soar.
If your having a bad day and you are losing faith in the world i would definatly recommend putting on 'The Bends' and get lost in the truly fantastic album.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest albums of all time,
This review is from: The Bends (Audio CD)After people dismissed Radiohead as one hit wonders with the unprecedented success of Creep; a track that lifted an otherwise average debut LP into a multi-million seller, the Oxford quintet took decisive steps with their second album. Namely not to even attempting to match the direct, incisive genius of that one off hit and to concentrate on emotional diversity in their lyrics and a more distinguished sound. In a reversal of the fortunes Creep bought them, the early singles charted in the lower end of the UK Top 30 with Radio 1 virtually refusing a minute of airplay. That was until the closing track Street Spirit (Fade Out) shot into the top five confirming it as an all time great anthem of misery and depression and The Bends as an all time great album, full stop.
The fact that no fewer than six tracks from an album were hits is always a good sign, but little can prepare you for the epic brilliance that makes The Bends one of guitar music's greatest albums. Although not one of the greatest opening tracks ever, the feedback drenched Planet Telex; front man Thom Yorke sets the tone with the chilling couplet: "Everyone is broken/ Everything is broken." Throughout Yorke perfects his often incomprehensible falsetto that have made him one of the most recognisable voices in modern music. Track after track of musical genius follow. There are the acoustic based songs of High and Dry, Fake Plastic Trees and [Nice Dream], alongside the epic blasts of Black Star, The Bends, My Iron Lung and the brilliant Sulk. Fake Plastic Tress in particular is a fine example Radiohead's new approach of Yorke's unconventional, often rather meaningless lyrics, mellow use electric guitars and most importantly Yorke's child like vocals with the words often poorly pronounced. Somehow the combination is almost unbearably moving. The indecipherable vocals are such a priceless asset because they leave so much to the imagination. The listener often hears lyrics that often aren't the actual words, thus interpreting the songs, albeit accidentally, in their own way. Whatever you do, don't look at the words printed on the inside cover...
The more abrasive tracks are less accessible, demanding repeated listening before properly revealing themselves. Yorke was understandably none to impressed with a journalist at the time who labelled The Bends as "the depression soundtrack of 1995." Unlike their previous work, this goes far before simple confession. Thus Bones with it's three guitars feeding back by about million miles, is not as Q magazine put it when the album was voted number 6 in it's reader's poll of The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time a toe-tapping evocation of osteoporosis, but a devastating image of psychological crumbling.
If it is hard to choose a standout track it's only because nearly all of them are so brilliant. A strong candidate has to be the closing, Street Spirit (Fade Out). With it's instantly recognisable hook, Yorke's chilling vocal and strange lyrics, it provided the Radiohead with what was then their biggest hit to date and sent The Bends into the UK Album Top 5 after nearly a year on release. It still ranks as one of the most powerful and emotive songs to grace the UK charts. Perfectly encapsulating its parent album it manages through all the lyrical obsurity and metaphor to say its piece straight to the heart.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest albums ever made,
This review is from: The Bends (Audio CD)Your eye may be caught by just how many 5-star reviews there are of this album....and let me say that for me, 5 stars is just not enough. I have yet to come across another band that can provide such emotional intensity in their music, and from the choppy, angry guitar thrash of 'Just', through the heartbreak of 'Fake Plastic Trees' to the jaded optimism of 'Street Spirit', this is a classic. I own hundreds of albums, but if I could take only one to a desert island, this would be it. That I think, tells you all you need to know...
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The Bends by Radiohead (Audio CD - 1995)