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4.4 out of 5 stars33
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 July 2007
When I first came across this album my first thought was 'oh no!' Along with many others I consider OK Computer to be Radiohead's finest moment and the prospect of it being turned into a novelty item filled me with, excuse the pun, dread. However having listened to the album I've got to say it is one of the best albums I now own. Honestly it is that good. I always thought No Surprises was a song that could have been covered in many different styles, but I never thought of Airbag as a contender. Credit to the Easy Star All Stars, this is a brilliant piece of work. If you like Radiohead, buy it. If you like reggae, buy it. If you like Radiohead and reggae you've just reached nirvana. Now there's an idea!
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on 11 August 2006
After their successful reimagining of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon (called, of course, Dub Side Of The Moon), the Easy Star All-Stars wasted little time deliberating their next musical makeover. However, while they decided upon Ok Computer (possibly the closest equivalent of Pink Floyd's masterpiece of the last 20 years) relatively quickly, the project took two years to record.

However, under the watch of musical director Michael Goldwasser, the Easy Star All-Stars and their guests will surprise many with their earnest approach to tackling the source material. Radiodread is not the work of parody that its title might imply, but rather an honest and sincere take on one of the greatest albums of the last two decades.

Some of the tracks are attempted with a degree of authenticity, so Horace Andy stays relatively true to album opener, Airbag, and the Sugar Minott-featuring Exit Music (For A Film) attempts to match the original's uneasy excellence. It is Frankie Paul's vocals on Lucky, however, that come closest to capturing the claustrophobia of Thom Yorke's original performance.

Where Radiodread really succeeds is when the artists veer off course and leave their own mark on proceedings. Paranoid Android, of course, would always prove a taxing proposition, but Kirsty Rock's Yorke-aping vocals pass muster. However, it is the incredible backing from Buford O'Sullivan's trombone and Pam Fleming's trumpet that make the track such a tantalising proposition. It's not quite Johnny Greenwood's crashing and crunching guitar, but it's a slick and worthy alternative.

Elsewhere, Toots & The Maytals help turn Let Down into a joyous, Rastafarian rave that even Thom Yorke has publicly admitted to being fond of. Later, the organs on Karma Police completely alter the tone of the original song, and Ivan Katz's drum work on Electioneering is nothing short of exceptional. No Surprises with The Meditations is far more uptempo than in its original incarnation, as Yorke's keening, weary sigh is replaced by a roaring boast.

The sleeve notes are at pains to point out that no samples from OK Computer were used in the recording of the album and it's hard to believe otherwise, such is the organic and natural production of the album. OK Computer's time shifts and cold electronics could have made Radiodread a complete joke, but, like Dub Side Of The Moon before it, Radiodread emerges on its own terms as an entirely satisfying album.
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on 20 September 2006
Like the other reviewers, I was blown away by Dub Side to the point where the original album just sounds flat by comparison, so I was very excited when I heard about the AllStars' next project.

On the first listen I was blown away by Airbag, and for me the Toots and the Maytals version of Let Down is the stand-out track. Others that shine are Karma police and Paranoid Android.

With each listen, I find more subtleties in the mix, and really come to understand what the sleeve notes mean when they say they came to find the reggae spirit in the original. It's a different work to Dub Side, more subtle, darker and perhaps even more rewarding ultimately.

This album really is a must for any Radiohead fans who are not too uptight, and for any reggae fans whether they like Radiohead or loathe them.

It is an astonishing achievement and represents a band and a producer at the top of their game.
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on 21 August 2006
Reggae has crossed into the mainstream on more than one occasion over the years. Peter Tosh recording for and with Mick Jagger, and Horace Andy appearing on every album Massive Attack have made are just two examples. How, then, do Oxford's finest, Radiohead, enter the Reggae/Rock arena? By releasing a critically acclaimed modern-prog album called OK Computer nearly ten years ago, that's how. No, you haven't missed a true roots classic, neither was there a heavy dub track among the miserablisms. In fact, it's an album lacking any reggae credentials whatsoever apart from its songs of urban ennui and despair at the government and modern life; themes rather fitting for a Reggae workout. All Radiohead needed to do was sit back and wait for the folks at Easy Star to give it a good working over.

The result is "Radiodread - OK Computer" from Easy Star All-Stars, that wonderful collective who were responsible for "Dub Side of the Moon," the astonishing dub re-recording of the Pink Floyd psyche/prog album "Dark Side of the Moon." This was an idea that had eluded everyone until they heard it (heard of it, even) at which point palms struck foreheads with assorted gasps amounting to "of course! It's so obvious!" "Radiodread" comes with excellent credentials, then.

Due to Radiohead's "interesting" and varied methods versus reggae's seeming simplicity this is a really inventive re-working. In spite of that it is still obviously OK Computer, just very reggae/dubby.

The guests include Horace Andy, Sugar Minott, Toots and the Maytals, Israel Vibration and many more, and all are used to wonderful effect. Airbag (Horace Andy), Karma Police (Citizen Cope) and No Surprises (The Meditations) are the absolute standout tracks, but in all honesty every track shines. Each one is true to its original yet Easy Star All Stars have managed to stamp their mark, and reggae, on to this outstanding album.

If you are a Radiohead fan you must but this. If you are a reggae fan then you too must buy this. In fact, every fan of contemporary music should buy this.
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on 20 January 2007
Some other reviewers have said that they prefer Dub side of the Moon to Pink Floyd's original. I agree. The same goes for this album - Radiodread is in my opinion better than the original OK Computer. It's more accessible, infectious and soulful. Lovers of Radiohead and Reggae simply must own this. Of course, the original is fantastic, but I stopped listening to it years ago. Can't wait to hear what they cover next. Hope it's something unexpected. Personally I'd like to hear Leftism by Leftfield, but whatever it is I'll be buying it.
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on 3 April 2008
After the inspired miracle that was the sublime trip to the Dub side - where could the Easy Star gang go?

Well - By now you know.

I caught them at a last minute gig at the Leeds Irish Centre in August 2007, in what felt like a warm up show.
There can't have been many more than 50 people in a venue where i have seen ten times that number for the Indigo Girls or Mr Bungle. Felt like a warm summer night in a dancehall. Lots of room for us and the music to breathe.....

They said they had something special they wanted to play for us - and they had.

The fractured beauty of Ok Computer - but buffed up in a deep, dark dub.

Don't get me wrong, the original album is a work of genius, but this version captures the heart of the music with a serene sense of clarity.

You may hate it - that is your choice.

Me? - I play it more often than the beloved original.
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VINE VOICEon 9 June 2007
I loved Easy All Stars "Dub side of the moon" but I adore this. It's brilliant and I've been playing it to death. Not only does it stand on its own as a great reggae album, but it breathes new life into some songs that were great in the first place and makes you appreciate them even more. Only the stuffiest Radiohead fan could be affronted by this. I'm sure even Thom must be enjoying this lovingly performed tribute to his genius
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on 4 August 2007
I remember when I bought OK Computer way back, and how it changed my life. However, over time, the initial shock has somewhat subsided. After listing to Radiodread though, the butterflies that I used to get when listening to songs like Let Down are now back.

Seeing how other people interpret true genius is an excellent way to look at something that has been a part of your life for sometime in a completely new light. OK Computer is now a new album for me, and I love it more now than ever before. Easy Star All-Stars have done the impossible, and I for one thank them for it.

As most fans of Radiohead tend to be more open and eclectic when it comes to music appreciation, I would recommend this album to all who love OK Computer. Or at the very least, a proper listening to.
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on 3 September 2011
I don't know how I came across this on Amazon, but I read the reviews and had to have a punt as it sounded amazing.

I listened to reggae/ dub constantly in my mid teens and OK Computer is one of my favourite albums so I knew that there was a good chance that I would love it. Airbag, which in the original I am not actually keen on as it sounds too Oasis for me. I really like in this version, and having so many vocalists to add extra variety to the album I also really like. And for the first time I am actually hearing some of the lyrics clearly!

Such a work has to be listened to with an open mind - Radiohead are philosophically somewhat opposed to the cheerful positive attitudes commonly found in reggae, and it was strange for me to hear such introspective lyrics in the reggae style (I do not think that I have EVER heard a reggae song that is about suicidal ideation!). I got used to it after a couple of listens and really enjoy this album.

The intro to Karma Police actually reminds me of Dennis Brown's 'Man Next Door', Brown of course is not featured on the album as he sadly died in 1999. But there are other greats - Horace Andy, Sugar Minott & Toots and the Maytals for eg. Sugar Minott sings 'Exit Music', and he really is on form here, it is a great cover. All the musical arrangements are faithful to the original whilst being 'true' reggae - love the horns on intro of 'Let Down' for eg, which is done in a ska style by Toots, and again is a great track.

I have to admit that in some ways I actually prefer this album to the original - it is more accessible in a way, and as I have said I actually like Airbag, on the original I always skip it.
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on 27 April 2008
I love reggae and I love Radiohead so it makes sense that I should admire deeply the new album by a host of classic reggae artists (Horace Andy, Sugar Minott etc.) recording under the banner Easy Star All-Stars. They have come up with a reggae version of OK Computer called Radiodread (what else?!) and, despite reservations as I usually dislike such `novelties', I reckon it's a cracking listen. The production is superb and it is obvious that a lot of work and thought and , importantly, affection went into making it. The singing and playing are tight and uplifting throughout and all the re-examined and revamped songs benefit from such an unusual approach. The little touches render it a delight. The Augustus Pabloesque melodica that introduces Subterranean Homesick Alien is a lilting joy while the dub effects that permeate the bass-heavy Exit Music (For a Film) are reminiscent of Lee Perry or Mikey Dread. And I love the lyric towards the end of Paranoid Android where `Jah loves his children' instead of God. This could become one of the surprise hits of the year in Cole-world.
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