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Radiohead week: The Bends


MK

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Okay, first I need to say a few words. Sorry for the 'lateness' of this thread, I've been a bit busy. Also I am sorry if some facts I wrote are not correct, in that case please tell me so I can edit my post. I don't know about Radiohead as much as some of you do. So I feel free to admit that a few sentences were copy-paste but I REALLY tried to make this personal.

 

MY IRON LUNG EP

 

For some countries in the late 1994 and for some early 1995 (For UK it was 31st January! I was born on the exact same day. :D), My Iron Lung EP was released. Here's a list of songs on the EP:

 

My Iron Lung

The Trickster

Lewis (Mistreated)

Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong

Permanent Daylight

Lozenge Of Love

You Never Wash Up After Yourself

Creep (acoustic)

 

The song My Iron Lung was Radiohead's response to the success of Creep. Iron lung is a metaphor, showing how Creep both sustained the band's life and constrained them.

 

Lewis (Mistreated) has lyrical similarities with Just.

 

THE BENDS

 

Then, on March 13th, 1995, The Bends showed up and made this world a better place. It's the point at which Radiohead began to sound like Radiohead, also a turning point in Thom's songwriting.

 

Album artwork:

 

It was made by Stanley Donwood in collaboration with Thom (who went under the name "The White Chocolate Farm", which was later shortened to Tchock). Thom first wanted to use an image of an iron lung. The eventual cover was created at the last minute by morphing a photograph that Donwood took of a medical dummy with Thom's face.

 

Radioheadbendsalbumart.jpg

 

Also, more artwork:

 

High_and_Dry_Planet_Telex_CD1.jpg

 

Fakeplastictrees1.jpg

 

JustCD1.jpg

 

My_Iron_Lung.jpg

 

StreetSpirit.jpg

 

List of songs:

 

Planet Telex

The Bends

High And Dry

Fake Plastic Trees

Bones

Nice Dream

Just

My Iron Lung

Bullet Proof… I Wish I Was

Black Star

Sulk

Street Spirit (Fade Out)

 

The first title of Planet Telex was Planet Xerox, but they changed it because Xerox was a copyrighted name. Also this song was remixed a couple of times.

 

The Bends was written long before it was released. In 1993 it was called The Benz. Thom said it's about "knowing who your real friends are and when they're going to come to your gigs", which he later simplified to "knowing who your friends are".

 

High And Dry was originally written when Thom was still studying at Exeter in the late 80s. There are 2 videos for this song. Years later Thom said about High And Dry: "It's not bad, you know. It's not bad… it's very bad." He also said that the release of this song was pushed by EMI so that's why he doesn't think it's good (Did I put that right? :uhoh:).

 

Here's what I found about Fake Plastic Trees: the band had just been to see Jeff Buckley play a set, and when they got back into the studio, Thom recorded the vocals in two takes and broke down in tears. This song is one of the band's greatest hits. Thom said that it's about Canary Warf in London.

 

Bones was recorded at the same day as The Bends. The song looks at Thom's fear of growing old and becoming physically incapacitated. Thom: "We recorded this about four times before we got it right. The original had the ending going on for about a minute and a half, which was something Jonny got from The Fall."

 

Nice Dream was written in 1992. Thom : "We all debuted playing acoustic guitar on this in a sort of cosmic Kumbaya outside the studio. There's this awful photograph of us all sitting on a lawn with headphones on. The lyrics came out of a half-drunk dream I had, one of those where you don't really sleep properly. It's about our relationship with people generally."

 

Just is considered the most complex track on the album musically. Thom said it's about trying to get rid of somebody who just won’t go away. Nobody knows what the man says at the end of the Just video, and there is no use asking as the band have said that they are never going to reveal the answer. Jamie Thraves, the producer had said: "To tell you would deaden the impact, and would probably make you want to lie down in the road too".

 

I already talked about My Iron Lung. :D

 

Bullet Proof... I Wish I Was is a song that calls for the listener's personal interpretations.

 

At a gig Thom said Black Star is about "sex in the morning. Which is the best time to have it. As long as you've cleaned your teeth beforehand".

 

Sulk was the last recorded song for the album. It was inspired by the Hungerford Massacre in England.

 

Street Spirit (Fade Out) was written in 1993 at around the same time as My Iron Lung. It was a great hit in Britain. Inspired by the novel The Famished Road by Ben Okri. Video produced by Jonathan Glazer. Thom says that he didn't write this song; it wrote itself, and Radiohead were just its messengers.

 

Street Spirit (Fade Out) video:

 

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCJblaUkkfc]YouTube - Radiohead - Street Spirit (Fade Out)[/ame]

 

 

Okay, now some personal stuff from me:

 

Right now The Bends is my favorite Radiohead album, and Street Spirit (Fade Out) my favorite Radiohead song. This is the album that got me into them and I started to appreciate their music more. Street Spirit (Fade Out) has a great meaning for me and makes me think about some really important things in my life. It's... deep. I also really like the video. From the album I also like Fake Plastic Trees, but it doesn't have such a personal meaning to me like Street Spirit (Fade Out).

 

 

Here's Mike's survey. I'll write down my answers later.

 

Favorite song –

Least favorite song –

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) -

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) -

Favorite song musically -

Favorite song lyrically –

Favorite line of the album -

Most overrated song -

Most underrated song -

Current favorite -

Favorite when you first listened to the album -

 

What song best exemplifies each of the members off the album

Thom -

Jonny -

Ed -

Phil -

Colin –

 

 

 

You guys can organise a listening party if you want, but I won't be here. I have to go to bed because I have to wake up early.

 

Once again, sorry because you had to wait. And I want to hear your comments on my hosting. :)

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Favorite song – Fake Plastic Trees

Least favorite song – My Iron Lung

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - High and Dry

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - (tie) Planet Telex/The Bends

Favorite song musically - Black Star

Favorite song lyrically –Street Spirit

Favorite line of the album - "Immerse your soul in love"

Most overrated song - Just

Most underrated song -Sulk

Current favorite - Fake Plastic Trees

Favorite when you first listened to the song - Fake Plastic Trees

 

What song best exemplifies each of the members off the album

Thom - Street Spirit

Jonny - Just

Ed -Just

Phil -High and Dry

Colin –Black Star

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Favorite song – My Iron Lung

Least favorite song – High and Dry

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - My Iron Lung(34)

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - (Nice Dream)[2]

Favorite song musically - Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Favorite song lyrically – Fake Plastic Trees

Favorite line of the album - "Immerse your soul in love"

Most overrated song - High & Dry

Most underrated song - Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was

Current favorite - Bulletproof... I Wish I Was

Favorite when you first listened to the album - My Iron Lung

 

What song best exemplifies each of the members off the album

Thom - Fake Plastic Trees

Jonny - My Iron Lung

Ed - Street Spirit (Fade Out)... he did come up with the riff afterall

Phil - Planet Telex

Colin – My Iron Lung

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Favorite song – Fake Plastic Trees

Least favorite song – My Iron Lung

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) -

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) -

Favorite song musically - Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Favorite song lyrically – Fake Plastic Trees

Favorite line of the album - "Immerse your soul in love"

Most overrated song - High & Dry

Most underrated song - Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was

Current favorite -Fake Plastic Trees

Favorite when you first listened to the album - Bullet Proof... I wish I was

 

What song best exemplifies each of the members off the album

Thom - Fake Plastic Trees

Jonny - Just

Ed - Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Phil - Planet Telex

Colin – Black Star

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Favorite song – Street Spirit

Least favorite song – Sulk

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - The Bends

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - Sulk

Favorite song musically - Just

Favorite song lyrically – Fake Plastic Trees

Favorite line of the album - "Where do we go from here? The words are coming out all weird where are you now...when I need you?"

Most overrated song - My Iron Lung

Most underrated song - Bulletproof...I Wish I Was

Current favorite - Fake Plastic Trees

Favorite when you first listened to the song - Bulletproof...I Wish I Was

 

What song best exemplifies each of the members off the album

Thom - Fake Plastic Trees

Jonny - Just

Ed - Street Spirit (fade out)

Phil - Planet Telex

Colin – Bones

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Favorite song – Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Least favorite song – This one's hard... Bones maybe?

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - /

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - /

Favorite song musically - Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Favorite song lyrically – It's too hard to choose! I think Street Spirit (Fade Out) or Fake Plastic Trees. :thinking:

Favorite line of the album - Immerse your soul in love

Most overrated song - High And Dry

Most underrated song - I don't know. :shrug:

Current favorite - Street Spirit (Fade Out) and Bullet Proof... I Wish I Was

Favorite when you first listened to the album - High And Dry

 

What song best exemplifies each of the members off the album

Thom -

Jonny -

Ed -

Phil -

Colin –

 

^ I can't answer these, sorry.

 

I see that the most of you like the "Immerse your soul in love" line. :)

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I dunno about you guys, but when I listened to Street Spirit i used to think that Thom was singing "You are, just so, in love" instead of "Immerse your soul in love"

I never thought that but I could hear how it sounds like that

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Favorite song – I don't know, can I name 5 or 6?

Least favorite song – high and dry

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - Just

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - Planet Telex

Favorite song musically - so many

Favorite song lyrically – Fake plastic trees

Favorite line of the album - Gravity always win

Most overrated song - High and Dry

Most underrated song - Sulk

Current favorite - Planet telex (yes it's not sarcasm)

Favorite when you first heard the album - High and Dry :uhoh:

 

What song best exemplifies each of the members off the album

Thom - Fake plastic trees

Jonny - Just

Ed - Street Spirit

Phil - Just

Colin – Bones

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I don't have enough time to give the album a good enough listen to answer the mini-questionnaire, but I do want to say that I adore Fake Plastic Trees (and India Rubber). Just and Black Star are tied for a close second, and the rest are closely behind that. 1/3 of the time, this is probably my favorite album :P

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The Bends in itself is a great album. Although I listened to OK Comptuer first, I think that it was The Bends that really got me into the band. Prior to them I was a huge fan of Coldplay, and really liked U2. It's funny because this album has often been said as being the album that many bands have tried to base their music off of (Coldplay, Muse).

 

It's great to be into a certain phase of music, and have similar sounding music that gets you into other bands. I feel that thanks to liking Coldplay mainly (see... i give them credit when it's necessary... :P), and I think that if I didn't listen to them then I probably wouldn't have given The Bends the chance. Of all their albums, I feel that it is one of the most accessible albums to get into.

 

This album was huge for Radiohead because it was able to get them to break away from their Creep image, and be able to make music that was their own. Like mentioned My Iron Lung was the song to create a connection between the Creep era and a new style for Radiohead. Personally I consider this album to really be the first Radiohead album.

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Good Job Milica! :nice:

 

Favorite song – Bulletproof...I Wish I was

Least favorite song – High and Dry

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - Just (24)

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - High and Dry/ Planet Telex (4)

Favorite song musically - Just

Favorite song lyrically – Bulletproof...I Wish I was

Favorite line of the album -

Most overrated song - High and Dry

Most underrated song - (Nice Dream)

Current favorite - Bulletproof...I Wish I was

Favorite when you first listened to the album - Just

 

What song best exemplifies each of the members off the album

Thom - Fake plastic trees

Jonny - Just

Ed - Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Phil - Just

Colin – Iron Lung

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Thanks Julie! :nice:

 

Oh and I forgot to write something. Planet Telex, Fake Plastic Trees and Street Spirit (Fade Out) are a lyrical precursor to OK Computer. :)

 

Also I would like to mention that I learned a lot while making this, so thanks Briggins for declaring a holiday and thanks Radiohead for being so awesome.

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Favorite song – The Bends

Least favorite song – My Iron Lung

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - Fake Plastic Trees

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - My Iron Lung

Favorite song musically - The Bends

Favorite song lyrically – The Bends

Favorite line of the album - "I wish it was the sixties, I wish I could be happy "

Most overrated song - My Iron Lung

Most underrated song - Sulk

Current favorite - Sulk

Favorite when you first listened to the album - High and Dry

 

What song best exemplifies each of the members off the album

Thom - Fake Plastic Trees

Jonny - Just

Ed - Street Spirit

Phil - Sulk

Colin – Bones

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Favorite song – The Bends

Least favorite song – Sulk

Most listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - Fake Plastic Trees (52)

Least listened to song (iTunes/last.fm) - Sulk (5)

Favorite song musically - Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Favorite song lyrically – Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Favorite line of the album - "Gravity Always Wins"

Most overrated song - High & Dry

Most underrated song - Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was

Current favorite - Black Star

Favorite when you first listened to the album - Fake Plastic Trees

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