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7) Radiohead The Bends

Here is the shock news in case you did not know. Radiohead are brilliant. When they first appeared, I thought they were an okay band and would slowly disappear to become a footnote in music history. Creep, was, is a good song their debut Pablo Honey, had the odd moment but was nothing exceptional and I do not remember the music press or the public expecting something momentous with their next release.

OK Computer is considered their masterpiece (we will review), but The Bends is the one for me.

From Pablo to The Bends is like leaving your local pub team to sign for a Premier League club such is the advancement.

The album opens with the magnificent Planet Telex, Yorke’s voice stunning over guitar chords and drums. It goes up a notch with the title track, takes in the single High and Dry and then the best song on the album Fake Plastic Trees.

It does not let up over the remaining eight tracks, Just, My Iron Lung and the spectacular Street Spirit are all as strong. Twenty-seven years later this album still excites and has not diminished.

Allegedly the band felt under pressure making this record and struggled to get going, they never looked back.


GIVE IT A STREAM: Fake Plastic Trees

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1 Comment

dunkie Working To Design
dunkie Working To Design
Sep 23, 2023

I'll agree with everything you say about the album, but it's difficult for me personally to put one of the first 3 albums over the other.

They're like a trilogy for me of their growth as a band, you can't have one without the other. Like favouring 1 of 3 children.

In recent years I've returned more to Pablo Honey, this may be because radio stations overplay most of the Singles from The Bends and OK Computer (which is understandable, when that's where most of the hits are).

But when the same stations also play non-single/album tracks and B-sides of other bands of elk it annoying when non-single/album tracks from any of those 3 albums don't receive some airplay.


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