Friday, October 15, 2004


I listened to OK Computer again recently, first time in ages.

I know that any 'best of all time' charts always have a bias to whatever's recent. The late 1980s Radio One top hundred singles of all time that included seven Bros efforts springs to mind.

Really, can you even name seven Bros singles? Exactly.

But OK Computer really does deserve all that 'top ten best albums ever' stuff. It stretches our ideas of what pop music can be without ever being gratuitous or artsy-fartsy, constantly compelling, such a continual swirl of varied dynamics and feelings, majestic and melancholy, emotional atmospheres so very potent and yet so opaque.

Even with great music you can usually figure how it's been put together, but occasionally there's something else, a billowing aural cloud rather than constructed components. There are clues, moments of this with Spiritualized and the more recent stuff by The Church.

Then, very rarely, it comes complete. With OK Computer or Smile we get music so textural and mysterious, so blended and complete that it's impossible to imagine it being made by mere humans using instruments available to anyone. It sounds like every feeling you ever have, and leaves you deeply affirmed by the fact that there are such great artists who can create work capable of doing such a thing.

And then Rodeohead happens. As the name suggests, it's an MP3 of a down-home fast-fiddling country music medley of Radiohead songs.

It could either upset you as blasphemous desecration, or else - and as one of a team of sometime sonic terrorist mash-up artists this is the option I went for - it could make you wracked with laughter that renders you creased up like a discarded napkin.

It's so carefully and authentically done, and gets better with every play. Go get it.

Incidentally, how long d'you reckon it'll be before Q Magazine have a Q Magazine's Top Hundred Q Magazine Top Hundred Polls Poll?

1 comment:

gruftyjim said...

Copy that.
(God loves his children)