I’m starting to think my friends hate me. Jen, my musical sister from another mother and father, from http://www.jenkehl.com aka @jenkehl asked me to put together a mixtape of one of my favorite bands. I haven’t slept, since. Who do I write about? The Clash? The Ramones? The Rolling Stones? Lou Reed? David Bowie? The New York Dolls? Then it hit me, what would Radiohead’s Thom Yorke think of me for not just dropping ten of his band’s tunes, explaining their brilliance, and going to find myself a burrito?
Radiohead is as close to a perfect band as you can get. For the past twenty years they’ve been the platinum standard for alternative music and progressive rock. They’ve surpassed Pink Floyd because their Roger Waters, Yorke, and their David Gilmour, guitarist Jonny Greenwood, have stayed together.
Radiohead can do everything. They have straight up rock songs that can change your mood, make your day bearable, and make you forget your problems. But they also make soundscapes; massive, gorgeous layers of sonic wonder that fill your eardrums with wonder. They don’t care about being on the radio, and they even became an indie band six years ago, and still sold millions. They’re the exception to all of the rules, and they keep getting more artistic. This is a list of ten songs that I wish my wife and daughters would use to get through bad days, heartbreak, or whatever instead of the Taylor Swift. I hope you become a fan of Radiohead if you’re not already, because I love them with everything I have.
Creep – 1993. Let’s get this one out-of-the-way. It was their MTV hit that threatened to make them a 1990s artifact. I want to hate it as much as the band does, but the lyrics and Greenwood’s guitar riffs are so unbelievable, I can’t. “I want you to notice when I’m not around”, “Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want” and “I wish I was special”. Good God, it’s one of the most relatable songs ever written.
Just – 1995. When they want, Radiohead can be just as bombastic as any other arena rock act. They out U2, U2, here and it rocks hard like guitar anthem should but with more tangible lyrics.
Fake Plastic Trees – 1995. Can a rock song be pretty, deep, interesting and sexy all at the same time? In the hands of this band, yes.
High & Dry – 1995. If you’ve ever lost someone who meant everything to you, this is your song. It’s beautiful and it makes me tear up every time. If you don’t own the album “The Bends”, there’s something wrong with you. I love this song.
Karma Police – 1997. The greatest revenge song ever and the one from the album, OK Computer, that put Radiohead on another level. Amazing delivery.
Paranoid Android – 1997. If there is such a thing as the ultimate Radiohead song, it’s this. I think it’s the Stairway to Heaven of the 1990s and the epitome of why this band is different from all others before and after. This is an epic and shows what geniuses there guys are. This is a personal theme song for me in many ways.
The National Anthem – 2000. Everyone thought they hated this song, the band, and the album, Kid A, when it was released. Years later, the move into electronica, jazz, bass over heavy guitar, and moody singing style of Thom Yorke showed what artists they were. This proved they’d survive the 1990s.
There There – 2003. Hail To The Thief saw them become more political and daring. This song is one crescendo after another and the guitar makes a resounding comeback. Beautiful composition.
Reckoner – 2007. In Rainbows, their “comeback” record that saw them go indie and sell 3 million on the internet had several great songs. This one is terrific. Gnarls Barkley did a cool cover.
Bodysnatchers – 2007. Every playlist needs a closer that rips. This will do. Play it loud.
Looking for something to read? Well, The Ballad of Helene Troy and Soul To Body- I wrote them. They’re available on amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/The-Ballad-Helene-Troy-ebook/dp/B00BJOMM84/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377607652&sr=8-1&keywords=the+ballad+of+helene+troy & http://www.amazon.com/Soul-To-Body-ebook/dp/B00EEAACNC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377607706&sr=8-1&keywords=soul+to+body+lance+burson for your kindle and in paperback from Lulu.com.