My Heroes. Radiohead: “OK Computer”

“On October 18, 2009… I found my heroes.”

Back in August of last year, I was in Books-A-Million, looking for some inspirational books to read in my spare time.   In my search, I ended up in the “Music” section where I came across this book entitled, “25 Albums That Rocked The World”.   It was, essentially, the publication’s, Omnibus Press, opinion on the 25 most culturally influenced albums ever created, with a detailed summary of  each album and its impact. It was only $15 dollars, so I decided to pick it up.

Listed were some of the obvious choices: The Beatles “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”, and other albums by musical icons such as Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, and U2.

Also listed was this band I never heard of before called Radiohead.  Their album, “Ok Computer” was released in 1997, and was the most recent album listed.  How can an album released so recently be compared to giants such as “Thriller” or “Sgt. Pepper” who have stood the test of time, and why have I never heard of them before?

Well, I did not put that much thought into it.  However, if you are familiar with Robin William’s theory of the Joshua Tree, once you are conscious of something, you start to see it everywhere.  Well, I started hearing Radiohead’s name everywhere I went from in dialogue of others, on television, music boards, you name it.  So, I thought to myself. who is Radiohead?

On October 18, 2009, I decided to listen to the album.  That day, I found my heroes.

I remember the exact location.  It was  a Sunday; I was outside, by a lake on Georgia Southern’s campus, with my MP3 player.  I pressed play,  and sunk in the entire album from start to finish.  All I remember hearing was noise.  I had no idea what they were saying, or what the hell the words, “OK Computer”, had to do with the album, but that noise, that noise.  It was pure bliss, feeling omnipotent.   I have never been so moved.

After that day, I decided to study and decipher the meaning of the album, which I am still doing today.  It is a task that will probably never be conquered.  Never has a collection of music sound so ambiguous, but yet, more than fulfilling.

I do not feel I have enough music knowledge to properly or fairly give a critic opinion of the album, so I will say this, It is awesome.

My favorite tracks are the “Bohemian Rhapsody” inspired, “Paranoid Android”, and the therapeutic track, “Let Down”.  Also, I have never heard an interlude so necessary to an album’s existence than “Fitter Happier”, which discusses the laws humans must “live by” to remain normal.  Spoken by a computer-like voice, the voice starts to crash by the end of the interlude conveying that it is almost impossible to live by the mundane rules that society put on human beings, without going crazy once in a while.  The interlude holds the most weight behind the meaning of the album’s title.

I also own Radiohead’s “Kid A” and “In Rainbows” which are brilliant in their own right, but OK Computer takes the cake.   I may be speaking in ignorance, but I believe this is the greatest album ever made.

Thankyou Radiohead.

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~ by byron72689 on May 25, 2011.

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