Music  |  Features

Radiohead's 20 Greatest Songs

February 14, 2011  |  5:22pm

Earlier today, Radiohead caught all of us by surprise after announcing the release of the band’s eighth record, The King Of Limbs. Even more surprising is the fact that Radiohead plans to release the record five days from now. To celebrate the arrival of The King Of Limbs, we have decided to look back at their previous seven albums, b-sides and other releases. After spending much of the day intensely debating, we have finally settled upon what we think are Radiohead’s 20 greatest songs. Behold:

20. “Morning Bell/Amnesiac”
Choosing between the Kid A and Amnesiac versions of “Morning Bell” was a tough call. We chose the original, more-pensive version (the Amnesiac version was recorded first, despite being released on the latter of the two albums) that makes cutting the kids in half so much more disturbing and powerful.

19. “Polyethelene (Parts 1 & 2)”
Buried within the band’s large catalog, “Polyethelene (Parts 1 & 2)” emerges as a hidden gem of a b-side from the OK Computer era. A true diamond in the rough.

18. “A Punchup At A Wedding. (No no no no no no no no.)”
Airy opening chords quickly turn into palm-sweating anxiety in a song that breathes the fire of Hail to the Thief’s acidic social and political commentary. Yorke says, “The pointless snide remarks…the pot will call the kettle black,” as the song culminates in an unraveling tension of electric guitar pops. Laura Medina

17. “I Might Be Wrong”
Written during the era from which Kid A and Amnesiac were created, “I Might Be Wrong” resonates as a welcomed moment of accessible electronic rock during this highly experimental portion of Radiohead’s career.

16. “There There. (The Boney King of Nowhere.)”
The first single from Hail to the Thief premiered in an early rough live version during an webcast by the band in February 2000. In addition to Phil Selway’s drum set, Ed O’Brien and Jonny Greenwood play percussion parts on two sets of dual-toms creating a powerful back beat for Yorke’s opening guitar riff to ride in on. After hearing the finished product, Yorke reportedly broke down in tears. Wyndham Wyeth

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