A Decade Long Obsession: Radiohead

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My first post on decade-long music obsessions was about Jamiroquai. There’s only a few more I can talk about as I can count on one hand the amount of music interest that have really sustained over the course of a decade. Radiohead is one of them.

KID A was the album.

Burned onto a cheap blank CD with bad handwriting and a post-it note that told me I would like it.

From the very beginning, I did.

That first song, Everything In It’s Right Place. Just music, some weird blubbering from Thom Yorke, and then it came together.

It made no sense. Sucking on a lemon? I don’t understand. But it didn’t matter, really, because I never was (and still aren’t) someone who listens to music for the lyrics. One reason why I’ll never EVER listen to country music. It was different. The structure of the music changed from what I’d heard on the radio, and I couldn’t really listen to other mainstream songs in the same way again.

By the time I got into Radiohead some of their songs had made their way through MTV and different alternative radio stations. Karma Police, the most popular, wasn’t a favorite of mine.

No, I don’t just like music that’s obscure and unheard of. Karma Police didn’t really do it for me. It felt like it was made for radio, something I had been trying to move myself away from.

Enter Amnesiac, a weirder and more interesting album.

Followed by my favorite album, Hail to the Thief. By that point, I purchase the album (I know, I can’t remember the last time I actually bought a CD. This may have been it).

All of this was hitting me around 2002, my freshman year of high school. Think about it – The BILLBOARD Top 100 hits for 2002 included…

  • Nickleback – How You Remind Me
  • Nelly – Hot in Herre
  • Linkin Park – In the End
  • Avril Lavigne – Complicated
  • Creed – My Sacrifice
  • Usher – U Got It Bad

Look at all the grammar issues in there. I mean, seriously, THIS is what I would hear if I tuned into 100.7, the pop FM station that you’d hear on bus rides/field trips/school events/etc. How could you blame me from wanting to turn to something with substance?

I blame part of this on my classical and jazz training. Without the knowledge of what good music is and how it should be structured, I don’t know if I would have made this weird jump to turn the radio off and put the CD in. At least I made it out alive and, ten years later, I proved myself correct. Someday I hope to see them live.

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  • Amy

    Awesome. Best Radiohead album though, hands down, is The Bends. Came out when I was 15 years old and was one of the most important albums ever to me, at one of the most important times. Hard to believe that was 16 years ago… but reading this made me relive some of that and made me feel something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Thank you for writing this. <3 -Amy

    • solidgoldeats

      Time flies when you’re having fun! Glad you enjoyed this :)

  • Alex Keys

    OK Computer. Ok Computer. I repeat, OK Computer. But everything they touch is gold in some form. And their recent experimentation with a huge use of polyrhythm hits the spot too (Songs like ‘little by little’). Check out Thom’s side-project band, Atoms of Peace, featuring an amazing cast, including Flea slappin the bass.