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OK Computer [2CD & DVD] Box set
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RADIOHEAD OK Computer (2009 issue UK Special Collectors Edition 3-disc [2-CD/1-DVD] set originally released in June 1997 comprises the 12-track CD album featuring the singles Lucky Paranoid Android Karma Police & No Surprises plus a Bonus 15-track CD containing EPs with rarities and live recordings and a 1997 BBC Radio One Evening Session performance. Also includes a Bonus DVD including three music videos and a May 1997 TV performance from Later with Jools Holland. Each disc is issued in a card wallet picture sleeve housed in a deluxe lift-top box complete with 24-page picture booklet and 3 Bonus Postcards!)
Radiohead's third album got compared to Pink Floyd a lot when it came out, and its slow drama and conceptual sweep certainly put it in that category. OK Computer, though, is a complicated and difficult record: an album about the way machines dehumanize people that's almost entirely un-electronic; an album by a British "new wave of new wave" band that rejects speed and hooks in favor of languorous texture and morose details; a sad and humanist record whose central moment is Thom Yorke crooning "We hope that you choke." Sluggish, understated, and hard to get a grip on, OK Computer takes a few listens to appreciate, but its entirety means more than any one song. --Douglas Wolk
Top Customer Reviews
Also as a by product the album is obviously split into 4 chunks and these also work in a beautiful way. Take side 2, Exit Music - Let Down - Karma Police. Starting with a casually strummed guitar and cavernous voice and ending with a buzzing electric death cry the journey through those 3 songs is sublime. It has made me appreciate the music much more than the casual CD experience.
This album can ask a lot of the listener, but if you can really give into the music and just let it carry you off, you can become so consumed by these songs that you find yourself suddenly opening your eyes at the end of a track, blinking in surprise at the fact that you are actually back in the real world. They tear your soul open, and force you to confront those feelings for which you probably don't even have a name. Despair perhaps, numbness perhaps, but above all, the way it can sometimes feel just to be a human in the 20th Century.
It's hard to pick a stand out track (even the pretty much tune free "Fitter, Happier" makes for compelling listening), but "Exit Music (for a film)" is one of the most touching, fragile and beautiful songs you will ever hear. When you consider Thom Yorke wrote it as a soundtrack to the end of Romeo and Juliet, the lyrics become even more intense; "Today, we escape, we escape". "Don't lose your nerve. I can't do this - alone".
If you have ever felt alone, disenfranchised, pointless or depressed, this record will connect with you in a way you may have never thought possible. And that contact will make you feel better. Less alone. It makes you feel like there are other people out there who feel like this. It's a record which takes you on a journey through the darker parts of the soul. A record about how it feels to be human.
Oh, and it's very, very good (did I mention that?).
Radiohead are a very talented group with a near-unique sound, even now, and OK Computer is arguably their most refined, well-rounded and cohesive album. Thom Yorke has a memorable and lovely voice that hits the highs without cracking and he manages to convey real emotional depth with it even while singing pretty vague and odd lyrics that (unless you like to read ten miles between the lines) aren't about much at all. Every song is meticulously put together and the whole thing sounds like a set of musicians who have worked with each other for a while, taking their time and doing their absolute best for the sake of the craft. There is no slack - no wasted instruments or filler tracks, no sense of padding. It's one of the few albums on which I don't feel the need to skip any songs.
The musical style occupies a niche; their particular mix of pretty piano melodies, raw guitar riffs, accoustic backing and engaged, dynamic drumming hasn't been entirely reproduced by anybody quite so well since, which is a pity but definitely makes this album indispensable. It never sounds as dreary and generic as the bulk of Brit Pop, keeping an enjoyable level of energy and creativity, while having enough heart and sensitivity to avoid sounding juvenile and thrashy. It never devolves into a tedious navel-gazing unplugged session or monotonous distortion-heavy rock.Read more ›
Then one night I listened to it on my headphones. All the interlocking textures suddenly jumped out at me; Thom Yorke's wonderfully melancholic falsetto; Jonny Greenwood's sublime guitar work; the soaring harmonies; the frosty soundscapes. I realised that OK Computer was a work of immense quality by a band who knew exactly what they wanted, and would not compromise in achieving it.
Its influences are clear; the White Album, Pet Sounds, Dark Side of the Moon, yet it also sounds nothing like them. It's beautiful and innovative, the antithesis of the derivative Britpop juggernaut that was engulfing Britain at the time of its 1997 release. The album has it all; highly accomplished musicianship, creative depth and complex lyrics, all arching around themes of alienation and modern malaise.
Radiohead's quest for musical development went even further after this release, incorporating electronica and the avant-garde on next album Kid A, but it is here on OK Computer that they truly reached their songwriting apex. The complex epic of 'Paranoid Android', conjoining at least three distinct sections; the lush dream pop of 'No Surprises'; the emotive depth of 'Karma Police'; the grand scale of closer 'The Tourist'.
OK Computer is simply an astonishing listen, and one I return to time and time again. The magnum opus of perhaps the most creative and influential band since the Beatles, and is without doubt my favourite album of all time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At times strange, at others Haunting either way I Love it. Listen to 'Exit,,Music for a Film' to me SpellbindingPublished 2 months ago by Nik Pearce
Second best album ever recorded. Wish you were here #1. Cheap tooPublished 4 months ago by Melody Maker