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4.8 out of 5 stars208
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 26 October 2002
There are some albums that just can't be improved. Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" is one. Powderfinger's "Internationalist" is another.
This album belongs in that collection. Nary a note is out of place. Beautiful, haunting, epic, personal... and brilliant.
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on 6 February 2000
This is truely the greatest album I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. Such melodramatic heart-rendering vocals that make me want to weep. Radiohead are the most important British band of the 90s and this is one of the most important British recordings of all time.
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on 17 October 2007
I have something to admit: I've been living under a rock. It's been a nice cozy little rock, with lots of shade and that sort of thing, but I thought I'd go out and see what was happening in the world. You can miss a lot living under a rock, including culture. I've only found out about Radiohead, and I mean really found out about them, this year. Not only that, I've only been really listening to them since October. You may ask how I've gone so long without hearing about Radiohead. That's a really good question. Of course I knew their song "Creep," but after that I wrote them off as a one-hit wonder, and it was a hit I didn't really much care for (I'm still not a big fan of that track). Well, along came my discovery of OK COMPUTER, and I decided I had to get it. And of course, THE BENDS as well. Both are outstanding albums.

These two albums are Radiohead's most popular albums, and generally there are two factions of the Radiohead camp, each thinking their prospective album is better than the other. Personally, I think OK COMPUTER is a better album overall, but track-for-track I'd take THE BENDS. Listening to THE BENDS is very similar to listening to a Beatles record: if you didn't know any better you would almost swear this is a greatest hits record or something. Each track is very noteworthy and Radiohead does not falter at all. Speaking of tracks, there are notable non-album tracks which would only have enhanced this album. The six tracks on MY IRON LUNG ep (not counting the title cut and the acoustic version of "Creep") would have been fantastic on here, and as I understand it are actually outtakes from this album. Each of the six tracks are as good as anything found on here. Also, there are some good tracks which I have obtained though I don't know if they are commercially released or not (some are B-Sides). These are: "Yes, It Is," "Killer Cars," "Molasses," "Man of War,"and "How Can You Be sure."

All these stunning tracks coming from the band who, only two years before, released the unremarkable PABLO HONEY, makes this achievement all the more noteworthy. This record plays like a band who has gotten a handle on where they want to go with their music and really pursuing that whereas with the 1993 release it seemed more they were getting used to even being musicians in the first place.

Another noteworthy thing to mention is this is Radiohead for the MTV generation. This is them making high-quality guitar rock that is both accessible and artistically satisfying, which, unfortunately, has become increasingly rarer in the 1990s and the start of the new decade. It is both very accessible to the mass audience and also pleasing to the critics, and is an across-the-board success, which, quite frankly, OK COMPUTER is not. This is Radiohead doing radio-friendly rock, delivering one spectacular album which is one of the best of its kind before going on a very varied musical journey leaving this far beyond and getting much more experimental in nature.

Of their (so far) three more "high-brow" musical efforts (OK C, KID A, AMNESIAC), OK COMPUTER is both the most popular and the best critically received. For personal taste, I prefer OK COMPUTER to this release, but both are incredible albums. However, they're totally different albums, and OK COMPUTER marks the more conceptual and experimental path they are currently still on. The effect of the overall album is more impressive and long lasting on OK C than it is on THE BENDS. THE BENDS sounds like a study in radio-friendly rock, a compilation of all of rock's greatest moments whose only underlying connection is the tracks have a mass appeal and were big hits. Each track of THE BENDS sounds like it could have been a number one hit. On OK COMPUTER, that is not true. While all the songs shimmer with brilliance and remarkable beauty, OK COMPUTER better stands as an overall album than just track for track. Much of OK's impact comes from the conceptual and album-driven cohesion which binds it altogether into a unified whole, and while each song is both fascinating and remarkable the overall impact is what really makes OK such a fantastic album.

But that would be a full two years away, and Radiohead was more concerned with making really good pop music. It's almost as if Radiohead knew their direction and knew they had to get this out before they could go onto the more artier side of their music, and to their credit this comes across not only as radio-friendly rock but an unqualified masterpiece which modern pop should be judge against.

Originally issued on Amazon.com on December 28, 2001
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on 13 July 2000
I have become intrested in Radiohead when I first just I loved it then I settled down and heard street spirit and no suprises which I saw the videos to I then heard Ok computer which was lent to me by a friend, I then borrowed the bends and then pablo honey all in a month actually. I am going to see radiohead live soon, I have just recently decided to the best. I would get stuck though arguing with myself which is better Ok computer or the bends, my instincts would prove the bends because they chose it over Ok computer.
I love this album its touching I love the elctric just (which is so special to me its the first radiohead song I loved) and street spirit so moving. I also love iron lund please dont skip this track because its boring until you get to the chorus because its an insane grungey rock song which really will make you jump the first time you hear it go from quiet to heavy. Also fake plastic trees, nice dream, and black star are really emotional and black star so catchy the rest is really good so I recomend this so much.
Adam
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on 15 June 2015
Amazing album! One of the best of all time!
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on 26 February 2015
First radiohead album and I really like it.
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on 10 May 2003
everyone else seems to have written pages so i'll just say that this is the most listened to album in my collection. its fantastic and if you don't have it already go buy it now! i love radiohead and all of the songs are excellent.
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on 18 February 2000
To class the bends as a great almbum would be in correct. It is simply mind blowingly superb. Buy this now. High and Dry, fake plastic trees and the bends remain my favourite but unlike most albums, there are no weak tracks.
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on 15 December 2001
This is by far the greatest radiohead album. It combines the chilled out, melow later albums with the more aggresive earlier songs. Street spirit is by far the best song but contrasts completely with just. A great album.
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on 6 January 2001
There arent many bands that can change your outlook on life, but Radiohead are one of them. I have no doubt that this is their best album. High And Dry is one of the most amazing songs I have ever heard.
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