on 15 May 2005
Most singles are usually only good for the b-sides. In this case, whilst the a-side track is one of the best songs off The Bends, the b-sides are where this single shines. There are 3 tracks excluding the original studio track: live, acoustic recordings of Fake Plastic Trees, Street Spirit and Bulletproof I Wish I Was.
These 3 songs are widely taken as being 3 of the best tracks off The Bends, with Street Spirit being the track which gave Radiohead their real break in the UK. And these live acoustic versions are better, or at the very least on a par with their studio recordings. There are little niggles in Yorke's playing on the tracks, the kind of things that make live tracks truly unique and individual from what you hear on the album, but vocally and musically they're just as impressive as the studio versions. Particularly with Street Spirit, which excels as an acoustic track, adding an extra ingredient to the song which really works well.
This is certainly a single worth owning.
on 8 December 2003
to say that this is the greatest song Radiohead have done says it all. you really feel the passion and emotion from this song, something that is rare in todays platic pop market, and which makes you remember why you loved music in the first place.
on 19 February 2006
A great song, off an even greater album. 'Fake Plastic Trees' is a quintessential example of an artist at their prime.
The song itself is a mellow and sad tale of falseness in love and life. 'Fake PLastic Trees' is an acoustic track, with slow drums, and drunken organ, intertwining to create a harrowing atmosphere in which Thomm York tugs on our heartstrings with his soaring and effortlessly emotional falsetto voice. The lyrics of the song are poetry - 'She lives with a broken man/ A cracked polystyrene man/ Who just crumbles and burns.' All the lyrics here are heartwrenching and serve their purpose. No syllable is left with impacting on the overall mood of the song.
Maybe what brings most emotion to the track is the powerful, understated and fragile way in which Thomm sings it. When listening to Thomm recount memories of his 'fake plastic love' we can't help but feel for him.
Overall, a great acheivment. One of the definitive acoustic tracks from the 90s.