1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Insight and impoverishment,
This review is from: Best of (Audio CD)
A lot of people take real offence to the idea of a 'best of'. They see it as selling out, giving-the-plebs-what-they-want, etc. Personally, I'm not bothered either way as most bands are in the business of making money these days & Radiohead are no exception (given their tendency to label every album after OK Computer as 'OK Computer 2' in NME interviews...)
If what you're after is the 'Best of Radiohead' then the first CD of this double album does the business.
Slightly biased in favour of The Bends, it feels like it breaks free of the ethos surrounding everything since 'OK Computer' via its selection of the more textured tracks off of all the albums. Who'd have thought Just flowed so well into Paranoid Android? Furthermore, who'd have thought the rich darkness of 'Street Spirit (Fade Out)' would work so well with Pyramid Song, 'The Bends' and 'Everything in its Right Place'?
If there's one thing to be said about 'Best of's it's that they can play games with a bands back catalogue and blend them in interesting new ways. True - this could be done better by something like the Beatles Love - but in the first CD of this album, I felt that something different was achieved with old things.
However, move to the second CD and you'll experience a similar effect to switching from a Great novel to its stodgy appendix. CD 2 is dreary and filled with all the bland, second rate stuff Radiohead have done.
Admittedly there are exceptions, such as Planet Telex, although where CD one's ethos made the songs better, CD 2's makes them all the worse.
It reminded me of the Red Dwarf* episode 'Demons & Angels', where one clone of Red Dwarf was made Heavenly, and the other Hellish. So it is true of this CD that, although the songs are merit-worthy in their place, the bland ones seem to have landed on CD2 and the great ones on CD 1!
So, if you want a new experience of Radiohead, I suggest buying CD 1 and seeing the tracks from a new & enlightening perspective. And if you've never heard Radiohead before, then I suggest skipping CD 2 and getting a copy of 'The Bends' and 'OK Computer'. By experiencing their finest works and rogueing the bad you will see them for how they really are, and not as some blinkered fans do...
* - Red Dwarf is a popular British Comedy Sci-Fi series. Kinda like Galaxy Quest, but as a TV series.