Radiohead - OK Computer (2xLP Vinyl)

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OK Computer is the third studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released in 1997 on Parlophone and Capitol Records. OK Computer was the first self-produced Radiohead album, with assistance from Nigel Godrich. Radiohead recorded the album in Oxfordshire and Bath between 1996 and early 1997, with most of the recording completed in the historic mansion St. Catherine's Court. The band made a deliberate attempt to distance themselves from the guitar-oriented, lyrically introspective style of their previous album, The Bends. OK Computer's abstract lyrics, densely layered sound and wide range of influences laid the groundwork for Radiohead's later, more experimental work. Upon the album's delivery to Capitol, label representatives lowered their sales estimates, deeming the record uncommercial. Nevertheless, OK Computer reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and became the band's highest album entry on the American charts at the time, debuting at number 21 on the Billboard 200. Three songs from the album - "Paranoid Android", "Karma Police" and "No Surprises" - were released as promotional singles. The album expanded Radiohead's worldwide popularity and has sold over three million copies to date. OK Computer received considerable acclaim upon release. Prominent British and American rock critics predicted the album would have far-reaching cultural impact. In subsequent years, the album has been cited by listeners, critics, and musicians as one of the greatest of its time. OK Computer initiated a shift away from the popular Britpop genre of the time to the more melancholic and atmospheric style of alternative rock that would be prevalent in the next decade. Critics and fans often comment on the underlying themes found in the lyrics and artwork, emphasising Radiohead's views on rampant consumerism, social alienation, emotional isolation, and political malaise; in this capacity, OK Computer is often interpreted as having prescient insight into the mood of 21st-century life.


OK Computer... an album that garners so much respect and yet so much hate. No matter one's opinion of it, OK Computer is a milestone in the history of modern music. It did not completely revolutionize modern music, nor did it introduce any novel style. What it did was blend a variety of influences, ranging from Pink Floyd and David Bowie to Pixies and even Miles Davis- Yorke has stated that the sounds of Bitches Brew fundamentally influenced the creation of this album-, with creative zeal and seamless execution, all packaged in an accessible yet sonically varied alternative rock sound. This mix proved to be just right for the time, as it was almost immediately received as a modern classic. The popularity they had gained from Pablo Honey and the respect they had received from The Bends secured OK Computer's popularity, but its reputation far exceeds anything that came about from those two albums. Say what you will about any of its pretensions- of which there are many-, what Radiohead accomplished here is no small feat; this is no average alternative rock album. Structurally, it flows with subtle progressions, utilizing many layers of sound to produce an inviting yet intricate atmosphere. While Kid A and Amnesiac would be electronic albums at heart, this is still a rock album at the core. The electronic elements simply add flavor to the mix, accentuating Greenwood and O'Brien's simple yet highly effective guitar chords and harmonies and Yorke's passionate vocal delivery and lyrics. The lyrical themes themselves are sufficient for a full-length review, but I will leave that study in "post-modern" social commentary to more accomplished critics. My only significant gripe here is that the album grows slightly tiring after "No Surprises", as the last two tracks sound like filler more than anything else- although "The Tourist" has its moments.

By: Omega_Switch

A1 Airbag
A2 Paranoid Android
A3 Subterranean Homesick Alien
B1 Exit Music (For A Film)
B2 Let Down
B3 Karma Police
C1 Fitter Happier
C2 Electioneering
C3 Climbing Up The Walls
C4 No Surprises
D1 Lucky
D2 The Tourist

Gatefold cover with lyrics and credits.
Cardboard printed inner sleeves with artworks.
Digital download code included.

XL Recordings XLLP781