3 Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like Radiohead

For some music fans, Radiohead is less candy-coated goodness and more caviar and poached quail eggs. The British-born group, with all of its sophistication and sonic complexity, can be something of an acquired taste. But once a hankering is developed, all bets are off and an obsession can occur. Just ask the group’s rabid live audiences.

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Here below, though, we wanted to explore a trio of songs that can be good for newcomers to the Radiohead sound. Three tracks that can draw your ear in like a fly to the web of music that is the Thom Yorke-fronted group. Indeed, these are three songs for people who say they don’t like Radiohead.

[RELATED: Radiohead Announce ‘Kid A’ Reissue, Release New Song]

“Creep” from Pablo Honey (1993)

The song that brought the band it’s first major attention, this debut single from Radiohead, which was released in 1992 and later appeared on the group’s debut LP Pablo Honey. As for the song lyrics, they describe a self-deprecating, perhaps even depressed person who doesn’t like himself and wishes he could be someone else. Released at the tail end of the grunge era, the song, while not grunge itself, fit in with the prevailing sad songs that were topping the charts at the time. On the track, lead vocalist Thom Yorke sings,

When you were here before
Couldn’t look you in the eye
You’re just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You’re so f–king special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here

“Karma Police” from OK Computer (1997)

Inspired originally by an inside joke between band members who said they would call the “karma police” if someone did something wrong, this song has since become one of the group’s most popular tracks and one that is often covered by other artists. The track is also something of an anti-establishment song. According to Yorke, “It’s for someone who has to work for a large company. This is a song against bosses. F–k the middle management!” On it, Yorke sings,

Karma police, arrest this man
He talks in maths, he buzzes like a fridge
He’s like a detuned radio
Karma police, arrest this girl
Her Hitler hairdo is making me feel ill
And we have crashed her party

This is what you’ll get
This is what you’ll get
This is what you’ll get
When you mess with us

“Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” from In Rainbows (2007)

From the band’s self-released 2007 LP In Rainbows, this deep cut, which is also on the band’s live recording of that same album known as From the Basement, is an example of pure musicianship and the band’s supreme chemistry. It builds and builds until Yorke’s voice crescendos like a blissful sonic wave. Seeing the group perform it live, here below, is like watching a painting come to life and sing your mind open. On the intricate number, Yorke offers,

In the deepest ocean
The bottom of the sea
Your eyes
They turn me

Why should I stay here?
Why should I stay?

I’d be crazy not to follow
Follow where you lead
Your eyes
They turn me

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