Radiohead is one of the best bands on the planet. But even Radiohead have some incredible turkeys in their back catalogue. Thom Yorke’s single is the distinctly average ‘Analyse’. Listening to The Bends yesterday was the straw that broke the camel’s back and made me write this post. Here are the ones to skip.
- I Will — Doesn’t seem like a bad song at first. But an alternative version, ‘I Will (Los Angeles version)’ is far superior, yet had to make do with being a B-side.
- You Never Was Up After Yourself — I almost left this off the list simply because it’s such a forgettable song.
- Melatonin — This unmemorable song sounds like a demo, mostly because of the horrible cheap synth sounds used.
- Analyse — A monotonous track, if you’ve heard the first ten seconds you’ve heard the whole song.
- Backdrifts — Only some interesting electronic soundscapery saves this one. The melody is so unbearably sickly sweet, it sounds like the sort of thing they’d sing on Hi 5.
- How Do You? — This song kind of single-handedly sums up everything that was wrong with early Radiohead. Why did they feel such a need to sound so American?
- Stop Whispering — Radiohead can perhaps be forgiven for having the odd bum tune on their first album, but there is simply no excuse for this travesty. Why… just why? Shockingly, the worst song on Pablo Honey is also the longest one.
- Sulk — The Bends is regarded as a classic album, but I think the quality varies dramatically from song to song. Sulk sounds like a proper dud, particularly given the fact that it is immediately followed on the album by the genius of ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’.
- High and Dry — Possibly the most banal song ever written, I almost always skip this track while listening to the otherwise-bearable The Bends. Thom Yorke recently admitted that EMI put pressure on Radiohead to release this. If only they hadn’t, then we might never have ended up with banal whinepots like Coldplay and all those other bands that get compared to Radiohead but couldn’t actually hold a candle to them.
- Let Down — OK Computer is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums ever to grace an ear. I say that no truly great album can contain a track as poor as the aptly-titled ‘Let Down’. A cheesy, unadventurous song that goes absolutely nowhere. And what is with that bleeping at the end? It’s like something out of a low-budget 1970s science fiction programme. They went down to the Oxfam and bought the cheapest Casio keyboard and accidentally leant on the demo button?
Generally believed to be a bad Radiohead song, but actually quite good
Pop is Dead. It’s not well-known as it doesn’t appear on any albums, but this was actually one of Radiohead’s first singles. Most people think it’s quite cheesy. I just think it’s good fun and a whole lot less cheesy than some of the songs from Pablo Honey.