Tuesday, March 06, 2007

18576397

March 6, 1997 6:57 pm
.

OK Computer is completed.
And that changed everything.

If I was on the ball, I would be publishing this post at exactly 6:57, but I see I am going to miss that. Nonetheless, happy 10th anniversary, OK Computer. You are still as magnificent and meaningful and beautiful and brilliant as the day you were born.

OK Computer was the album that launched Radiohead from brilliant opening act to visionary artists. The themes of alienation, paranoia, personal despair, and global impotence have never been touched upon in quite the same way by any work of music since. And yet, even with its central core of weltschmerz and anguish, the music is achingly beautiful and accessible.

OK Computer is always on my desert island list. And always shall be.

OK Computer trivia:
  • the working title was Ones and Zeroes, which is actually pretty good
  • if you look on the back of your copy of OK Computer, you will see the completion time and date written as 18576397, incorporated into the artwork
But how do you choose a single track from the album as an example? Do you go with the obvious, and highlight Paranoid Android, the first single from the album, a concise yet epic complexly structured piece? Do you pick Exit Music (For a Film), written for the closing credits of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet? Do you go for the shock value of the disturbing robotic computerized voice listing tips for self-improvement on Fitter Happier? Do you lash out against the political system with the ranting Electioneering? Or do you wallow in the beautiful anguish of emptiness with Let Down?

I anguished ove
r this all day, and came to the conclusion that you simply can't make that kind of decision. So here are a few samples to seduce you:

Paranoid Android [mp3]
Subterranean Homesick Alien [mp3]
Let Down [mp3]
.
10101010
.
Today I did something that I swore I would never do, but I had no choice. I never meant to hurt you and it kills me to see you suffer like this, but I had to put on word verification. If you know me, you know that there are fews things in life that I hate more than word verification, especially as it seems to trigger some hidden dyslexic gene in me, but I have been getting so fucking much spam the last few weeks that I finally snapped.

I hope you can still respect me in the morning.


22 comments:

justacoolcat said...

I had to do wordv for the same reason. Ugh.

As for OkComputer I think I'd go with Paranoid Android. It's my favlorite song to sing while biking.

Allison said...

You've deserted me Barb. If if wasn't for your superb musical taste, I'd hold it against you. Seriously ;)

John Mutford said...

I just removed my word verification for you abd now you go and do this. Now I'm all paranoid (fitting after this post) and I'm reinstating it.

Filter Happier was one of my earlier favourites from this album. It's tended to switch over time.

Since I brought up Canadian bands ripping them off before (thanks for the Hollies tip, fearless, I listened to both today and heard it), it's time to bring up Our Lady Peace- do you think their Spiritual Machines album attempted to steal the theme from OK Computer?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You sing along to Paranoid Android whilst biking, Just A? I'm not sure whether to be impressed or terrified, frankly.

I did desert you Al! I left you alone, bravely fighting the encroachment of word verification, while I cowered behind Big Blogger. Still, Radiohead must be making an impression upon you if you came back to tell me that!

Oh yeah, better put it back up pronto, John! All those spammers who are sniffing around Just A's and my (now closed) door will be heading over to your place as soon as they smell first blood.
Fitter Happier? That's a radical choice. It actually took me a while to warm up to that one.
I'm not really very familiar with much of OLP, John (call me a bad Canadian, I know), but Eva does have that album when she went through her OLP phase a few years ago. I should dig that one up too.

Allison said...

I've decided a can't listen to snipets, so I'm setting out to listen to the whole thing. I shall report back. Oh, and the reason I came back now, I was just on another site with word verification and its reason, above the scrambled letters..."To Prove You're Human." Made my night.

Fearless said...

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fearless said...

Ooops my last comment should read as follows...

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Barbara Bruederlin said...

hahaha "to prove you're human" Al, I've got to say that I sure am glad that someone out there is not allowing the ferrets and the turtles to leave comments.
You certainly should listen in its entirety. Let me know if you need help in that regard.

Fearless, you da BOMB! I don't get near enough binary messages!
I love the Bends too, and will sometimes listen to it over and over. Actually I'll listen to OK Computer over and over as well, but when I'm in a completely different frame of mind.
I think you are right, that what Radiohead did on OK Computer was raise the bar. Neither they nor anyone else had never ever accomplished anything quite like that. It would have been so easy for them to give up after that, wouldn't it?

Deb said...

Quite a few people are talking about the spam issue lately. I'm keeping wv on even if it does seem to be swearing at me at times.

I don't know near enough Radiohead...Ty's a huge fan and I need to start stealing his CD's. What I do know of them I love.

John Mutford said...

Yeah, guess I was hankerin' for some electronic pretension. I was pretty ignorant of Kraftwerk at the time, so Filter Happier filled the void.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Fearless, I was so excited about the binary that I forgot to respond to your story about Paranoid Android. How one sleeps while someone else is writing music (presumably a loud activity) is beyond me, but I love the story. The God lives his children bit is great; personally I love the unborn chicken voices.

Deb, I wouldn't mind so much if wv was swearing at me - I know how to spell those words. It's the nonsense letters written incomprehensibly that kill me.

You must have been pretty happy with Kid A then, John, when it came out. Or had Kraftwerk already filled the void for you?

Fearless said...

I used a binary translator because I was too lazy to do it by hand.. you can find it here...
http://www.paulschou.com/tools/xlate/

Also, why is it called word verification, when what I am verifying isn't even a word? It should be called random letter verification.

Johnny Yen said...

I turned on the word verification after just a few days, when I started recieving lots of spam. I can't blame you.

I need to listen to OK Computer-- someone just gave it to me. I've only heard the Radiohead they've played on the radio.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Fearless, they should just call it "smacking your head against the table in frustration trying to figure out what those random letters are".
I used a binary translator as I could not even begin figure out how to translate by hand.

I held out as long as I could against wv, Johnny Yen, but then I caved.
You need to listen to that OK Computer cd, you really really do.

Allison said...

Damn it, the scrambled words keep getting smaller. My eyes, my eyes ;p

What I meant to say, I just bought, yes, went out to physically purchase, OK Computer. Now, I shall listen.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Right on, Al! Because you really need the liner notes for OK Computer, if only for the 18576397.

I am immersed in Kid A and Hail to the Thief today. My neighbours are getting concerned about me.

Dale said...

All the word verifications in the world couldn't keep us from you brilliant blogger Barbara. Ok Radiohead?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Awww, Dale, you sure know how to sweet talk a girl!

Will said...

As much fun as it is to have links to Real Estate blogs and Male Physical Enhancement pills in your comments, it does get old after a while.

As for OK Computer, this is where my life with Radiohead really begins. It has aged very well, too, in the near-decade that I've spent with it. "Subterranean Homesick Alien" is one fave; always really, really liked "Lucky" as well.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Somebody told me those male physical enhancement pills don't actually work, Will. Can you imagine?
I remember you writing about Lucky, how you would listen to Thom sing "it's going to be a glor-i-ous day" over and over. I loved that piece you wrote.

John Mutford said...

Have you heard of Radiodread btw? I just read about it on wikipedia and would love to check it out (i.e., if you have mp3s, I'd love to hear if it's any good!)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I've heard one or two of those songs, John. They are very good actually. I think I'll be able to dig something up. I'll email you.