The Best Of review by Radiohead

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  • Released: Jun 2, 2008
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 6.3 (88 votes)
Radiohead: The Best Of
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Sound — 7
Radiohead's The Best Of comes at a time when the band is still peaking. There are very few people left on earth who have not heard of the band's Zen-like eclectic pop tune Karma Police or the synth-pop meshed Creep. Radiohead paved the way for alt-pop bands like The Verve Pipe and Death Cab For Cutie to rise. As a retrospective, the band has presented fans with the best of their current repertoire. Included in the collection are Karma Police, Creep, High And Dry, My Iron Lung, and Optimistic to name a few. From the wooly shoegaze hazes of Just to the dreamy kindles and soft modulations of No Surprises and the steamy synth effects and globular embers of Idioteque, The Best Of takes audiences through the kaleidoscope of patterns that Radiohead have crafted over the years. Some surprises are the exotically tempered flange of There There, the smoky psychedelics and lounging tempo of Lucky, and the soft synth and goliath acoustics of Fake Plastic Trees which is dotted by tender violin overtones. From the willowy textures and flourishing raptures of 2+2=5 to the cycles of schizophrenic cracks in Paranoid Android, Thom Yorke sleep-eyed vocals are a mainstay while fringed in everything from synth-pop and shoegaze to acoustic rock and eclectic pop. The Best Of takes fans through the many phases that Radiohead has experienced, and by closing their first disc with Everything In It's Right Place, the band leaves the listener feeling gratified and showing that they still have a fire in their bellies which burns bright to go on making music.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics can be as profound as their frilly esoteric synth textures, or as flesh and bones as exposing human vulnerabilities and flaws like in the song Creep with words like, I wish I was special/But I'm a creep... What the hell am I doing here/I don't belong here. The lyrics turn obscure like on the track My Iron Lung with verses that warrant a closer inspection, The head shrinkers, they want everything/My Bill, my Belisha beacon/Suck, suck your teenage thumb/Toilet trained and dumb/When the power runs out/We'll just hum/This, this is our new song/Just like the last one/A total waste of time/My iron lung. Radiohead's lyrics are anything but common and still they are phrases that people identify with and apply to their lives.

Overall Impression — 7
Radiohead's The Best Of album rounds out what the band has accomplished thus far, and leaves the window open to making more records. The final track on the first disc Everything In It's Right Place washes the plate clean and acquaints audiences with a refurbished Radiohead. The song sounds different from the previous 16 tracks on Disc 1 and leaves audiences anticipating something more from Radiohead. The Best Of CD also comes with a special addition CD of Radiohead's newest material, which sweetens the package. Some highlights on the second CD include the sonically piercing Go To Sleep and the smooth synth spears of True Love Waits. The Best Of gives audiences a complete view of who Radiohead is and where they are going, which is mapping out melodic pop tones that fit into prog rock templates.

92 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dystiller
    Anyone who can't easily pick up on the genius that is Radiohead should be stripped of their ability to hear.
    Idioteque5150
    For the 12yr olds and the gothic noobs walking around highschool with their Iron Maiden shirts and guitar on their shoulder.. Once you guys grow up. You'll understand : )
    lolcats
    slashisgod2006 wrote: radio head suck arse so fookin bad my god they suck almost as much as fall out boy.....ALMOST
    You have got to be kidding me. I won't buy this anyway, its just the label trying to make some extra dosh off them when they've left. It's a shame the artwork looks similar, it'll probably trick some into buying it.
    mitch311
    Radiohead is like the most down to earth band at the moment. they sing about real stuff
    HerrMagnum
    The biggest thing that puts me off to radiohead is all high and mighty, "my music is better than yours", "if you don't 'get' radiohead you must be mentally challenged", pompous *****s who worship the ground radiohead walks on and would eat up anything the throw to them no matter what it was and call it 'brilliant' and insult anyone who doesnt 'get it'. That is why i can't stand radiohead and their fans.
    feelthebeat:)
    okay... if you don't like radiohead, just don't leave any comments :S i don't get why people have to say that they're piece of shit, they suck, or anything like that... if you hate them, why look like you're interested in them...?
    SixStrings
    sorry for the double post...and for the record i won't be buying this piece of corporate greed, that was released even with the knowing of the bands discosent of it!!
    lateraluspiral
    people shouldnt buy their greatest hits. its bullshit just buy the albums. particularly KID A, OK COMPUTER and IN RAINBOWS...
    SixStrings
    the people who don't like radiohead obviously don't like the artistic side of music... you can go eat mexican on a friday night and hear a mexican cover band doing a bunch of covers to satisfy the customers, but that doesn't make them artist. just because you can trace the mona lisa doesn't make you an artist. art is about creating things new and looking at things from perspectives in ways they are not looked at very often. bob dylan was and is an artist, john lennon became an artist, radiohead are artist.
    SixStrings
    the people who don't like radiohead obviously don't like the artistic side of music... you can go eat mexican on a friday night and hear a mexican cover band doing a bunch of covers to satisfy the customers, but that doesn't make them artist. just because you can trace the mona lisa doesn't make you an artist. art is about creating things new and looking at things from perspectives in ways they are not looked at very often. bob dylan was and is an artist, john lennon became an artist, radiohead are artist.
    Indie_Slap
    istayaway7 wrote: Opinion. I hate radiohead. i hate them so much that i took time out of my day just to post on this review how much i dislike them. thank you.
    what the hell is wrong with you Radiohead has made some of the most amazing music of our time
    datisit
    Jalopy1919 wrote: They should have had Kid a as disc 1 and In Rainbows as disc 2 that is their greatest hits.
    I agree lots. But then again I agree with doofy77 when he says they have amazing songs on every album. I personally find myself switching from album to album as I get into one, then hum a song from another and listen to that one...
    datisit
    Oops, sorry I mean Not bothered about other people liking/listening to it...
    Jalopy1919
    They should have had Kid a as disc 1 and In Rainbows as disc 2 that is their greatest hits.
    datisit
    I can understand how some people don't like it... A lot of their stuff is quite hard to understand musically... It's not just 4 chords repeated in a 4/4 song with kick drum on 1 and snare on 3, if you know what I mean... ; For instance go listen to 'In Limbo'. It's a mix of so many different things but it works so well... I'm not really bothered about listening to it... I'm just eternally grateful they exist to get me through every day...
    str84ever
    doofy77 wrote: when i was recommended "karma police" at first, i couldn't stand it. i checked "paranoid android" next and i was like "wtf??". my first song from radiohead i listened fully(third one i checked) was "creep". i really enjoyed the song. i started touring through radiohead's stuff. in the beginning it was still hard to listen epic "paranoid android", but in a little time i got "it" and started enjoying the music. then got the "in rainbows". bloody great! now i have all the albums and some b-sides, i'm happy. the music's just fascinating, every time i discover something new. i haven't checked the content of this "best of"(ridicilous) album, but if it doesn't have for example "let down", it's not the best. and how on earth is it possible to give a "greatest hits" from a band like radiohead? most of their albums are loaded with material of "best of". i won't probably buy it. excuse my poor use of english.
    You found Radiohead hard to listen to? ... .. I would like to see you listen to Melt Banana or Mr.Bungle or something. I won't be buying this cause i already have all t heir albums.
    Ashtor
    Marlboro Medium wrote: God I hate Radio Head I really do , why are they still popular at all. They only have 2 maybe 3 good songs. They had their 15 minutes of fame now it's time for them to kindly f u c k off like all loser bands that can't produce any hits.
    its not about having good hits, or making it to the radio. Sure, maybe if your into music for the money then maybe thats what U might aim for, but radiohead is about their own self expression, and they are amazing musicans, all of them. You just have to be able to actually listen to music to enjoy these guys, because they got so much shit going on in their songs, and if you disagree with me on this then thats your opinion. But quite frankly, you have no say in a matter like this. Your musical handicap is your own problem. Open up your mind a bit, you pricks.
    Indie_Slap
    Indie_Slap wrote: They are amazing and i suggest you go buy every album
    the real thing not digital
    Ashtor
    TheAmenCorner89 wrote: Yawn...really boring band
    huh? ooh, i get it. your deaf...?
    Indie_Slap
    wtf its not even good Radiohead didn't even give the okay to this and they don't like the idea of a greatest hits album cause albums are supposed to be listened to as a whole not cherry pick the "best" songs and put them into one album to make some extra cash
    thebends2554
    anybody who says radiohead sucks obviously has no listening skills or musical talent.
    2Dee
    it might interest slashisgod to know that slash's favourite album is ok computer by radiohead this album has also been rated as the greatest album ever made by actual critics. this greatest hits album just shows how much EMI understand radiohead (not a lot) radiohead have one continuing thread throughout their music which is that each album is a conceptual album ergo 1 peace of music so for EMI to butcher up different albums and scramble them together is just ludicrous and shows what utter idiots they really are. if anyone wants to learn more about radiohead your best bet is ok computer or the bends, pablo honey is primitive compared to the other albums and may give off a raw fealing to a new listener, kid a, amnesiac, and hail to the thief are good but are for seasoned radiohead fans and you need to listen to previous albums before you even touch in rainbows
    Root Beer
    sorry for the double post, my first one got messed up.
    richch wrote: Broken_Drum wrote: Radiohead is one of the most inventive and innovative bands ever. Why does a person without any knowledge of music visit a music site? To be honest, Radiohead doesn't rank too high above top40 bands. For actually inventive music listen to Oval, Iannis Xenakis or Maryanne Amacher.
    I think this is a matter of opinion...
    richch wrote: Idioteque5150 wrote: For the 12yr olds and the gothic noobs walking around highschool with their Iron Maiden shirts and guitar on their shoulder.. Once you guys grow up. You'll understand : ) I don't listen to metal, but from what I've heard, there are many metal bands that venture into even more genres and incorpate more interesting elements than Radiohead.
    Again, a matter of opinion...
    richch wrote: datisit wrote: I can understand how some people don't like it... A lot of their stuff is quite hard to understand musically... It's not just 4 chords repeated in a 4/4 song with kick drum on 1 and snare on 3, if you know what I mean... ; For instance go listen to 'In Limbo'. It's a mix of so many different things but it works so well... I'm not really bothered about listening to it... I'm just eternally grateful they exist to get me through every day... Yeah, that's gotta be really hard for all these Britney Spears fans.
    hahahaha I have to admit that's pretty good.
    richch wrote: Indie_Slap wrote: Radiohead has made some of the most amazing music of our time I hope you're joking.
    Again, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion... don't go throwing rocks...
    richch wrote: SixStrings wrote: just because you can trace the mona lisa doesn't make you an artist. art is about creating things new and looking at things from perspectives in ways they are not looked at very often. So I guess Radiohead aren't artists. Their musical style is a simple conglomerate of decades-old styles: Avant-garde techno - At the time 10 years old. Free Jazz (although you can't even call this low-volume brass band-over-pop song attempt free jazz) - At the time about 45 years old. Ambient (as in Treefingers): At the time about 40 years old.
    What makes them artists is the fact that they can somehow blend all of these together into one album or even just one song. That, in my mind, takes as much genius as creating something entirely new.
    richch wrote: Granted, Radiohead get their influences from many genres, even though they're heavily watering-down everything.
    Ouch. Again with the opinions...
    richch wrote: I like Radiohead and I listen to them frequently. But the musical ignorance some of their fans are showing is shocking and reaffirms the believe that nowadays everyone tries to look cool by labeling their favorite band as innovative.
    Sure, I wouldn't label them or ANYONE as "best band ever" because it's all relative.
    richch wrote: That would also explain why Radiohead is tagged as "experimental" on last.fm. And that's actually pretty funny seeing how there's no such thing as experimental music, as experimentality can only be attributed to a process, meaning that even music done in an experimental way wouldn't be experimental, as every recorded, musical work is therefore already fully defined. The only works that can be classified as experimental, and the reason why the term "experimental" came into the music scene in the first place, is aleatoric music as done by Xenakis or Cage.
    never heard of either of these bands, but I disagree personally with the statement that Radiohead aren't experimental, because nobody sounds quite like them. Also, I'm not one of those diehard fans that wouldn't listen to anything else for 100 dollars, but all these people simply expressing how much they HATE Radiohead seriously need to CUT IT OUT! If you don't like Radiohead, I don't have a problem with it, but you don't need to post annoying comments directed at the people who DO like Radiohead because you think your opinion's the only one that matters. Really all this whole war between fans and nonfans comes down to is everyone thinking their opinion is the best and that everybody who says differently is an idiot. Being forced to be the big "peace-maker" here, my verdict is this: Radiohead fans: Post comments on Radiohead pages related to the quality of the album as you like, but don't use it as an opportunity to insult anyone who dislikes the band. Nonfans: Stay off of Radiohead pages if you don't like them, because if they're not your type your opinion of their album is irrelevant. Stick to your own bands' review pages and STOP THROWING ROCKS AT PEOPLE WHO LIKE OTHER BANDS!! By the way don't buy this, fan or not. Radiohead did NOT approve of the sale of this and EMI didn't care. Yes, the band still makes money off it, but it's not the way they
    Root Beer
    richch wrote: Broken_Drum wrote: Radiohead is one of the most inventive and innovative bands ever. Why does a person without any knowledge of music visit a music site? To be honest, Radiohead doesn't rank too high above top40 bands. For actually inventive music listen to Oval, Iannis Xenakis or Maryanne Amacher. I think this is a matter of opinion... Idioteque5150 wrote: For the 12yr olds and the gothic noobs walking around highschool with their Iron Maiden shirts and guitar on their shoulder.. Once you guys grow up. You'll understand : ) I don't listen to metal, but from what I've heard, there are many metal bands that venture into even more genres and incorpate more interesting elements than Radiohead. Again, a matter of opinion... datisit wrote: I can understand how some people don't like it... A lot of their stuff is quite hard to understand musically... It's not just 4 chords repeated in a 4/4 song with kick drum on 1 and snare on 3, if you know what I mean... ; For instance go listen to 'In Limbo'. It's a mix of so many different things but it works so well... I'm not really bothered about listening to it... I'm just eternally grateful they exist to get me through every day... Yeah, that's gotta be really hard for all these Britney Spears fans. hahahaha I have to admit that's pretty good. Indie_Slap wrote: Radiohead has made some of the most amazing music of our time I hope you're joking. Again, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion... don't go throwing rocks... SixStrings wrote: just because you can trace the mona lisa doesn't make you an artist. art is about creating things new and looking at things from perspectives in ways they are not looked at very often. So I guess Radiohead aren't artists. Their musical style is a simple conglomerate of decades-old styles: Avant-garde techno - At the time 10 years old. Free Jazz (although you can't even call this low-volume brass band-over-pop song attempt free jazz) - At the time about 45 years old. Ambient (as in Treefingers): At the time about 40 years old. What makes them artists is the fact that they can somehow blend all of these together into one album or even just one song. That, in my mind, takes as much genius as creating something entirely new. Granted, Radiohead get their influences from many genres, even though they're heavily watering-down everything. Ouch. Again with the opinions... I like Radiohead and I listen to them frequently. But the musical ignorance some of their fans are showing is shocking and reaffirms the believe that nowadays everyone tries to look cool by labeling their favorite band as innovative. Sure, I wouldn't label them or ANYONE as "best band ever" because it's all relative. That would also explain why Radiohead is tagged as "experimental" on last.fm. And that's actually pretty funny seeing how there's no such thing as experimental music, as experimentality can only be attributed to a process, meaning that even music done in an experimental way wouldn't be experimental, as every recorded, musical work is therefore already fully defined. The only works that can be classified as experimental, and the reason why the term "experimental" came into the music scene in the first place, is aleatoric music as done by Xenakis or Cage. never heard of either of these bands, but I disagree personally with the statement that Radiohead aren't experimental, because nobody sounds quite like them. Also, I'm not one of those diehard fans that wouldn't listen to anything else for 100 dollars, but all these people simply expressing how much they HATE Radiohead seriously need to CUT IT OUT! If you don't like Radiohead, I don't have a problem with it, but you don't need to post annoying comments directed at the people who DO like Radiohead because you think your opinion's the only one that matters. Really all this whole war between fans and nonfans comes down to is everyone thinking their opinion is the best and that everybody who says differently is an idiot. Being forced to be the big "peace-maker" here, my verdict is this: Radiohead fans: Post comments on Radiohead pages related to the quality of the album as you like, but don't use it as an opportunity to insult anyone who dislikes the band. Nonfans: Stay off of Radiohead pages if you don't like them, because if they're not your type your opinion of their album is irrelevant. Stick to your own bands' review pages and STOP THROWING ROCKS AT PEOPLE WHO LIKE OTHER BANDS!! By the way don't buy this, fan or not. Radiohead did NOT approve of the sale of this and EMI didn't care. Yes, the band still makes money off it, but it's not the way they intended their music to be listened to, and EMI just wants to make more money off them while they still can. Thank you.
    richch
    @TimMobbs Wow, that sure is a pathetic display. Nothing, not a single word to all my arguments. The only thing you do is sprouting bigoted phrases. Learn to read: "I like Radiohead and I listen to them frequently." So no, I'm not a closet-fan, neither a non-fan or fan. I just like their music.
    TimMobbs
    If you dislike Radiohead, you insta-fail for trolling on here. Surely if you checked it out in the first place you're a closet fan yourself or just a really immature 13 year old metalhead.
    richch
    Broken_Drum wrote: Radiohead is one of the most inventive and innovative bands ever.
    Why does a person without any knowledge of music visit a music site? To be honest, Radiohead doesn't rank too high above top40 bands. For actually inventive music listen to Oval, Iannis Xenakis or Maryanne Amacher.
    Idioteque5150 wrote: For the 12yr olds and the gothic noobs walking around highschool with their Iron Maiden shirts and guitar on their shoulder.. Once you guys grow up. You'll understand : )
    I don't listen to metal, but from what I've heard, there are many metal bands that venture into even more genres and incorpate more interesting elements than Radiohead.
    datisit wrote: I can understand how some people don't like it... A lot of their stuff is quite hard to understand musically... It's not just 4 chords repeated in a 4/4 song with kick drum on 1 and snare on 3, if you know what I mean... ; For instance go listen to 'In Limbo'. It's a mix of so many different things but it works so well... I'm not really bothered about listening to it... I'm just eternally grateful they exist to get me through every day...
    Yeah, that's gotta be really hard for all these Britney Spears fans.
    Indie_Slap wrote: Radiohead has made some of the most amazing music of our time
    I hope you're joking.
    SixStrings wrote: just because you can trace the mona lisa doesn't make you an artist. art is about creating things new and looking at things from perspectives in ways they are not looked at very often.
    So I guess Radiohead aren't artists. Their musical style is a simple conglomerate of decades-old styles: Avant-garde techno - At the time 10 years old. Free Jazz (although you can't even call this low-volume brass band-over-pop song attempt free jazz) - At the time about 45 years old. Ambient (as in Treefingers): At the time about 40 years old. Granted, Radiohead get their influences from many genres, even though they're heavily watering-down everything. I like Radiohead and I listen to them frequently. But the musical ignorance some of their fans are showing is shocking and reaffirms the believe that nowadays everyone tries to look cool by labeling their favorite band as innovative. That would also explain why Radiohead is tagged as "experimental" on last.fm. And that's actually pretty funny seeing how there's no such thing as experimental music, as experimentality can only be attributed to a process, meaning that even music done in an experimental way wouldn't be experimental, as every recorded, musical work is therefore already fully defined. The only works that can be classified as experimental, and the reason why the term "experimental" came into the music scene in the first place, is aleatoric music as done by Xenakis or Cage.
    HerrMagnum
    McGarnacle wrote: HerrMagnum wrote: The biggest thing that puts me off to radiohead is all high and mighty, "my music is better than yours", "if you don't 'get' radiohead you must be mentally challenged", pompous *****s who worship the ground radiohead walks on and would eat up anything the throw to them no matter what it was and call it 'brilliant' and insult anyone who doesnt 'get it'. That is why i can't stand radiohead and their fans. if that's you're reasoning i pity you. you're doing yourself a disservice.
    I have listened to a few albums, and there are some songs here and there that I can tolerate, but Thom Yorke's voice just rubs the wrong way and I think the music behind his voice isn't all that spectacular to warrant these raves of brilliance
    McGarnacle
    HerrMagnum wrote: The biggest thing that puts me off to radiohead is all high and mighty, "my music is better than yours", "if you don't 'get' radiohead you must be mentally challenged", pompous *****s who worship the ground radiohead walks on and would eat up anything the throw to them no matter what it was and call it 'brilliant' and insult anyone who doesnt 'get it'. That is why i can't stand radiohead and their fans.
    if that's you're reasoning i pity you. you're doing yourself a disservice.
    Penney
    Radiohead's amazing, simple, don't argue, :| honestly just shut up those of you with no musical taste they're really, really good.
    Melodic_Rocker
    thebends2554 wrote: anybody who says radiohead sucks obviously has no listening skills or musical talent.
    hahaha, yes, because someone has a different opinion than you they must be wrong. EPIC FAIL
    Koeniewoonie
    I will not buy it, simply because EMI is out for the money! And those people who aren't able to like Radiohead..yeah what can I say...they got very much experimental stuff as well, if you take kid a for instance..to enjoy that you need to lock yourself inside your room put the volume on max and go crazy. that how I enjoy Radiohead music. apart from Pablo H, they haven't been able to release CD's without bad tracks!
    GoWithTheFlow
    i dont think this will sound good as an album. radiohead albums are ten times better if you listen to them from start to finish. then you get the whole picture.
    RadioMuse
    I agree, just go pick up The Bends or OK Computer, listen to it on and off for about six months until it sinks in... Then go get more until you have all the albums (and perhaps all the state-side EPs as well? I know I have them).
    TallMidget210
    do NOT buy this album, it's their old record label's pathetic attempt to squeeze some money out of their pre-in rainbows songs
    jason white
    ok so i think this album is really stupid and just a grab for cash by emi but i am gonna go buy the dvd just because radiohead have awesome videos as for those who think radiohead suck why comment the review then? its cool if u dont like em but we dont wanna know about it
    starsnostars
    andersoncouncil wrote: If the artwork is so similar why doesn't Stanley Donwood just sue EMI?
    because it's actual stanley donwood artwork from ok computer, so EMI probably owns the rights in someway.
    andersoncouncil
    If the artwork is so similar why doesn't Stanley Donwood just sue EMI? don't buy this album. foil corporate greed.
    Anti Vicarious
    Marlboro Medium wrote: God I hate Radio Head I really do , why are they still popular at all. They only have 2 maybe 3 good songs. They had their 15 minutes of fame now it's time for them to kindly f u c k off like all loser bands that can't produce any hits.
    HAHAHAHA Produce hits? To prove that you're a talented musician you must produce hits?! I guess you're the type of guy that listens to Papa Roach. Whatever gets you off man... Anyways, I don't think a greatest hits album would do any justice for people new to Radiohead. Radiohead is about the entire album as a whole, you can't just listen to one song and skip around. Listen to OK computer from start to finish and then tell me they suck.
    Da Guitar Masta
    sad.rock.444 wrote: Opinion: If you hate this band, you don't have the patience to listen carefully to good music and enjoy it.
    +1,000,000,000
    freshtunes
    They're a good band, not as great as they are hyped to be. I own The Bends, and I really enjoy it.
    Moggan13
    The_Paranoia wrote: Why does everyone hate Radiohead so much? I won't be buying this because of the whole EMI thing. This is the one time I think everyone will agree torrents will be fine.
    Because they're songs don;t having a chugging verse or 2-minute long finger-tapped solos...[/sarcasm at simple-minded sterotypes] I love Radiohead yet i wont buy this album, i'll just boy their back-catalogue online or something.