In honour of Radiohead’s return to Glastonbury, a deeply arbitrary playlist


Stanley Donwood artwork

1 Nude (In Rainbows)

So glad they featured this in their Glastonbury encores. So many of the interesting parts of Radiohead are in the production, the percussion, Jonny Greenwood’s guitar. Anyone can play guitar but not like that. On Nude, however, Thom’s voices soars and swoops like an eagle with its eye on a 99 cone.

2 Fake Plastic Trees (The Bends)

Thom Yorke thinks this song is where everything started to go right for him as a songwriter. It took sending the rest of the band away, John Leckie driving Them to tears after recording it and a Jeff Buckley concert to jolt the song into shape. Worth it.

3 Everything In Its Right Place (Kid A)

If Exit Music (For A Film) has been soundtracked out of existence on a record, this pushes it close for Entrance Music (for a film).

4 Lucky (OK Computer)

This is Fake Plastic Trees Deluxe, the sequel, the upgrade, the Great Leap Forward…

5 Just (The Bends)

They’re not really a garage band, or conventional guitar band but when they do without and go Route-One, they do it pretty well on this.

6 The Numbers (A Moon Shaped Pool)

Zing! Zing! Zing! Went the strings on this track…

7 There There (The Boney King of Nowhere) (Hail to the Thief)

Another rock-out number, but of course what’s going on in the ‘Head’s rockouts is always different.

8 Codex (King of Limbs)

An album built on percussive rhythm – who can forget Thom’s “time to start paying in sweat” video for Lotus Flower, still makes space for beautiful, atmospheric moments like this.

9 Idioteque (Kid A)

Because no one uses percussion like Radiohead and Nigel Godrich. See also 15 Step from In Rainbows., if this was a top eleven, which it isn’t.

10 Street Spirit (Fade Out) (The Bends)

Another one ‘dropped’ at Glastonbury, where the video matches the atmosphere and general floaty otherworldliness.

 

Former editor of Smash Hits and Q, writes on music here, for the BBC Entertainment & Arts website, Reaction.life and others. Favourite artists include Prince, Blur, Pet Shop Boys, Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, Daft Punk, Joni Mitchell, John Grant, Velvet Underground, Stevie Wonder, The Blue Nile and too many others to mention.