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What would people know?
on 12 July 2004
As you may recall, OK Computer was quite popular. And quite a few people thought, really, it was rather good.
Obviously this is an understatement, and it's one of the finest albums ever. But Radiohead "didn't think anybody would like it," and certainly weren't prepared for the media onslaught that would follow it. This DVD charts their tour, and explains precisely why Thom Yorke seems so very upset most of the time. Suddenly the band are hounded by inane questions and ceaseless interviews, as if nobody actually wants just to listen to the music any more.
There are other reactions, which drive Yorke equally potty. One live clip shows the disgusted singer looking on, as the crowd sings Creep louder than him. Will people ever get over the band's achievements of old and let them progress?
Then there's the big one - "Radiohead are depressing." We see the infamous reporter watching the No Surprises video, and labelling it "music to cut your wrists to." Utterly failing to understand the kind of pressure Radiohead are under, and how that comes across in their lyrics, it's just a staple example of the people who will simply never get this amazing band.
The rest of the band take most of this in their stride, grinning all the while about how silly it all is. So by the end of the DVD, Yorke's ceaseless unhappiness becomes a little hard to bear (come on, nobody made you do this). But it is easy to empathise with how lost he feels, and the abstract weirdness of Kid A will, soon enough, make perfect sense.
But as a DVD, rather than a long explanation of Radiohead, this is lacking. Only 2 chapters, and only scattered snippets of live songs. Some are tantalising and new - Life In A Glasshouse, I Will - but the only songs we get entirely are Exit Music and Pearly. Still, being stubborn and off-the-wall is what Radiohead do, so this isn't much of a surprise.
It's an oddly sombre film, and Fitter Happier will probably make more sense having seen it. But their fans will still be left wanting for what they refuse to release - a proper Live DVD. We can but wait.