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NME Best 100_1990s (2012) said:
No.4 - In which Radiohead revealed they were the new Pink Floyd and killed off any lingering fans of ‘Anyone Can Play Guitar’. After the stake in the ground that was 1995’s ‘The Bends’, ‘Paranoid Android’ was a rash comeback, a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’-style epic with Jonny Greenwood trying new and exciting axe shapes and Thom Yorke sneering at Gucci piggies. But it worked and Radiohead now rule the universe.
NME - Top 150 from 1996 to 2011 said:
No.1 - Where were you when you first heard it? I'll never forget. April 30, 1997, a Wednesday night: the first exclusive play on Radio 1's Evening Session. I'd expected 'The Bends' part two. What I heard instead was bizarre and breathtaking: six and a half minutes of spiralling melodies, twisted-metal dissonance, robot voices, and a desolate choral coda featuring the line, "The dust and the screaming, the vomit, the vomit."
The song left me spellbound, exhilarated, slightly baffled... but pretty certain I'd just experienced An Event - something colossal and unprecedented. I immediately called up a friend to try and make sense of what we'd just heard. What I definitely didn't do was snort tea through my nose and go, 'Ha ha! The dust and screaming! That's hilarious!"
It's puzzling, then, that Radiohead have always insisted that 'Paranoid Android' - the solemn, sprawling lead single from their 4.5 million-selling third album 'OK Computer' - was all a bit of a giggle. Far from penning a universal hymn of woe, Thom Yorke claims he picked the title as a self-mocking "joke", and says the lyrics are "not personal at all."
Bassist Colin Greenwood remembers the writing process being "a laugh", the result of "getting wasted together". When the band came to actually play the song live, according to guitarist Ed O' Brien the whole thing was "completely hilarious" and had them "pissing ourselves as we played". Anyone would think they'd written 'My Humps', not one of the towering rock songs of the 20th Century.
And yet... they protest too much. I have a theory. I think that Radiohead knew they'd written an era-defining masterwork, but - in a very British way - felt embarrassed by the grandeur of their creation, and ever since then have bashfully tried to make light of it. They're not fooling anyone...................
Read the full article HERE.
Marvin the paranoid android, perhaps from 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' by Douglas Adams RIP? The reference is unclear but wherever it's 'borrowed' from it's music that's quite unlike anything else; it's even hard to hum the music to yourself as it's that much of an esoteric sound. Given many comparisons to Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' it's perhaps not quite as 'memorable' or distinctive as that but it's certainly a very interesting record. Perhaps it just doesn't have quite the long-term appeal but we'll see in 20 years time if it's still remembered.
Quite abrasive sounding it tells of the paranoid fear of corporations and the mass killing of animals for food - unborn chickens, Gucci little piggy etc. Whatever your opinion this is a very left one. The music is the better part really because there's a lot of hate going on in the lyrical side of the song.
The song is split into various alternative segments so you feel that you could be in several different songs at once. The best part of the song is the mellow, raining down instrumentation from the start which includes most of the interesting lyrics. After the bulk of the song has passed it gets more rock orientated and loses most of the beauty that's been built up. It's climatic but doesn't actually improve the record because it's too much from one extreme to another. You have to be in the mood for this song as well as it's not one of the best ones to put on if you need cheering up. Whatever your feelings, although it's not cheerful or positive, it is a classic song and a beautiful work of art.
Radiohead have produced something original and very different here and it bears repeated listens. The whole album gets a big thumbs up as well even though it's already been raved about so many times in so many quarters; well, if it's good it's good.