Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

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BleuPanda
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Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by BleuPanda » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:11 pm

I've always been interested in how people view individual albums when broken down by song. I'd figure this would be a nice enough forum to take a survey of sorts, with its polls and generally musically literate population. Basically, the idea is to just rank all the songs off the album, from best to worst. Then, I'll apply a reverse numeric scale to determine what is considered the best songs off that album. So, with OK Computer, 1st place would score 12 points, 2nd 11, 3rd 10, etc. Try to make it obvious which is your choice for #1, etc.

How long should I give for each album? A week?

OK Computer track list:
Airbag
Paranoid Android
Subterranean Homesick Alien
Exit Music (For a Film)
Let Down
Karma Police
Fitter Happier
Electioneering
Climbing Up the Walls
No Surprises
Lucky
The Tourist

My Ranking:
1. Let Down
My favorite Radiohead song. It has this depressing quality that few songs manage to create, though many try. All that while not relying on subject matter, just letting excellent lyricism and music carry it.

2. Paranoid Android
The classic of the album, just generally badass throughout. Some excellent guitar work.

3. Karma Police
Once again, excellent lyricism. I love the idea of the titular karma police, and Thom Yorke's voice is at one of his most haunting points during this song.

4. No Surprises
Another song that manages to be incredibly sad just based on lyricism, with some simple but haunting music throughout.

5. Climbing Up the Walls
One of the more terrifying songs I've heard. Thom Yorke's scream at the end is one of the best parts of the whole album.

6. Lucky
This feels like the epic closer of the album. It has my favorite moment of the album, the repeat of the line "It's gonna be a glorious day." The way Thom sings as he comes to "glorious" is beautiful.

7. Exit Music (For a Film)
Another song that manages to be both haunting and depressing. Would be a killer song on most albums, yet somehow isn't even on the upper half of this one.

8. Subterranean Homesick Alien
9. Airbag
10. The Tourist
These three, while I still enjoy them all quite a bit, just don't go into territory the other songs on the album haven't already. Still great songs, just not anything special.

11. Fitter Happier
"Fitter, Happier" always leaves me baffled. It's hard to count it as a song, really, but it contains some of the best lyrics on the whole album. While it doesn't stand out by itself, I feel it works strongly as the centerpiece of the album. I've heard a few people say the album would be better without it, which I strongly disagree with.

12. Electioneering
"Electioneering" is the one average song on the album.I still think it's an alright song, just not up to the standards of this album.

The first seven are currently in my running top 1000, which I believe is the most for any album, tied with Pixies' Doolittle.

Nick
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Nick » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:50 pm

1. Paranoid Android
2. Karma Police
3. No Surprises
4. Let Down
5. Lucky
6. Exit Music (For a Film)
7. Airbag
8. Electioneering
9. The Tourist
10. Climbing Up the Walls
11. Subterranean Homesick Alien
12. Fitter Happier

There isn't a bad song on this album, but something had to be last.

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Listyguy
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Listyguy » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:13 pm

1. Karma Police
2. Paranoid Android (tough call between top 2)
3. Electioneering
4. Airbag
5. Exit Music (For a Film)
6. The Tourist
7. Let Down
8. Subterranean Homesick Alien
9. Climbing Up the Walls
10. Lucky
11. No Surprises
12. Fitter Happier (this song is terrible)

Henry
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Henry » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:24 pm

1. Paranoid Android
2. The Tourist
3. Karma Police
4. No Surprises
5. Subterranean Homesick Blues
6. Lucky
7. Let Down
8. Airbag
9. Climbing Up the Walls
10. Exit Music (For A Film)
11. Electioneering
12. Fitter Happier

I agree with Listguy about Fitter Happier, and also presently get little pleasure from listening to Electioneering. But, I would admit to the possibility that the Electioneering could be growers and would be interested in reading why others find listening to Electioneering to be a treat.

Thanks to BleuPanda for the explanation for his enjoyment of Climbing up the Walls. I just listened to CUTW again with his perspective in mind.

While, I was not won over by the scream, I now appreciate this song much more than I did before listening to it a few minutes ago.

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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by jamieW » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:12 pm

1. Paranoid android (#119 all-time)
2. Climbing up the walls (#374 all-time)
3. Exit music (for a film)
4. Lucky
5. Electioneering
6. Let down
7. No surprises
8. Karma police
9. Fitter happier
10. Subterranean homesick alien
11. The tourist
12. Airbag

sonofsamiam
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by sonofsamiam » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:46 pm

1. Lucky
2. Airbag
3. Paranoid Android
4. Let Down
5. No Surprises
6. Exit Music (for a Film)
7. The Tourist
8. Climbing Up the Walls
9. Karma Police
10. Subterranean Homesick Alien
11. Fitter, Happier
12. Electioneering

As you can probably tell, I tend to skip through the middle of OKC these days.

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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Zorg » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:34 pm

It's been years since I've listened to OK Computer...

1. Climbing Up The Walls
2. Exit Music (for a Film)
3. Let Down
4. Lucky
5. No Surprises
6. Karma Police
7. Paranoid Android
8. Airbag
9. Subterranean Homesick Alien
10. The Tourist
11. Fitter Happier
12. Electioneering

Nassim
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Nassim » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:30 am

1) No Surprises
2) Airbag
3) Electioneering
4) Climbing Up the Walls
5) Exit Music (For a Film)
6) Paranoid Android
7) Subterranean Homesick Alien
8) Lucky
9) Karma Police
10) The Tourist
11) Let Down
12) Fitter Happier

I looooove Electioneering, it's the one time in Radiohead career when they really rock out, with this awesome riff AND COWBELLS !!!!
On the other hand, Let Down deserves its title.

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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Harold » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:20 am

1. Paranoid Android
2. The Tourist
3. Airbag
4. Lucky
5. Subterranean Homesick Alien
6. Karma Police
7. No Surprises
8. Let Down
9. Climbing Up the Walls
10. Exit Music (for a Film)
11. Electioneering
12. Fitter Happier

Someone did a hilarious YouTube edit of one of the surpassingly weird iPhone/Siri commercials that John Malkovich did earlier this year, the one in which Malkovich asks "her" about the meaning of life. The mashup replaces the original audio of Siri's reply (a series of platitudes) with "Fitter Happier." Best use that will ever be made of that track, most likely.

Amoux
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Amoux » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:22 am

1. Paranoid Android
2. Karma Police
3. Exit Film (For a Film)
4. Lucky
5. Let Down
6. No Surprises
7. Airbag
8. The Tourist
9. Climbing Up the Walls
10. Subterranean Homesick Alien
11. Electioneering
12. Fitter Happier

John
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by John » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:01 pm

1. Lucky
2. No Surprises
3. Paranoid Android
4. Airbag
5. Let Down
6. Exit Music (For a Film)
7. Karma Police
8. Subterranean Homesick Alien
9. Electioneering
10. Climbing Up the Walls
11. The Tourist
12. Fitter Happier

The first seven songs on my list all could rival any other song in music history.

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Matski
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Matski » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:25 pm

Poor 'Electioneering', these song-by-song ranking threads are always predictably harsh to you. If anything, let it be known that there are a small, staunch minority of us out there who will be forever grateful for the way you grab hold mid-album and rowdily shake things up to keep it lively...

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Honorio
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Honorio » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:45 pm

1. No Surprises
2. Let Down
3. Paranoid Android
4. Exit Music (For a Film)
5. Climbing Up the Walls
6. Karma Police
7. Lucky
8. Electioneering
9. Fitter Happier
10. Subterranean Homesick Alien
11. Airbag
12. The Tourist

Chris K.
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Chris K. » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:51 pm

1. No Surprises
2. Paranoid Android
3. Let Down
4. The Tourist
5. Karma Police
6. Subterranean Homesick Alien
7. Electioneering
8. Exit Music (For a Film)
9. Climbing Up the Walls
10. Airbag
11. Lucky
12. Fitter Happier

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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Gillingham » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:42 pm

1. Karma Police
2. Paranoid Android
3. Exit Music (For a Film)
4. No Surprises
5. Let Down
6. Airbag
7. The Tourist
8. Lucky
9. Subterranean Homesick Alien
10. Climbing up the Walls
11. Fitter Happier
12. Electioneering

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Dan
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Dan » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:56 pm

1. Let Down
2. No Surprises
3. Karma Police
4. Paranoid Android
5. Exit Music (For a Film)
6. Climbing Up the Walls
7. The Tourist
8. Lucky
9. Subterranean Homesick Alien
10. Airbag
11. Fitter Happier
12. Electioneering
...will keep us together.

Jonathon
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Jonathon » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:23 pm

1. Paranoid Android
2. Karma Police
3. Let Down
4. No Surprises
5. Lucky
6. Airbag
7. Climbing Up Walls
8. The Tourist
9. Exit Music (For a Film)
10. Subterranean Homesick Alien
11. Electioneering
12. Fitter Happier

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BleuPanda
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by BleuPanda » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:23 am

So far, Paranoid Android is the clear #1, though the next three songs are all neck and neck, changing places with each new list.

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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Moonbeam » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:37 pm

Love:

1. Exit Music (For a Film)
2. Climbing Up the Walls
3. No Surprises
4. Karma Police

Like:

5. Lucky
6. Let Down
7. Electioneering
8. Airbag

Meh:

9. Paranoid Android
10. The Tourist
11. Subterranean Homesick Alien
12. Fitter Happier

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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by musictoad » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:16 am

1. Climbing Up the Walls
2. Lucky
3. Exit Music (For a Film)
4. Paranoid Android
5. The Tourist
6. Let Down
7. No Surprises
8. Airbag
9. Electioneering
10. Karma Police
11. Subterranean Homesick Alien
12. Fitter Happier

I wish "Lucky"was more loved...seems really under-appreciated in general.

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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Rodneyontheblock » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:40 am

1. Let Down
2. Exit Music
3. Subterranean Homesick Alien
4. No Surprises
5. Airbag
6. Paranoid Android
7. Electioneering
8. Lucky
9. Karma Police
10. The Tourist
11. Climbing the Walls
12. Fitter Happier

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Honorio
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Honorio » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:54 pm

Top 10 "goose-bump" moments on OK Computer (I posted this on AM Forum some years ago but I feel that it belongs to this thread):

10. “Airbag”: let's begin with the beginning. “OK Computer” is somehow about humans against machines, organic against electronic, with a neat winner (the title of the album says it clear). The electronic textures permeate the sounds of what previously was a (quite typical) indie-rock band. The effects applied to the drum intro (0'15") gives the impression that your speaker is fucked up. But it's only the beginning, as the song progresses the noises invade more and more the scenario. By the way, Phil Selway is a great drummer, and this is something that usually nobody says.
9. “Subterranean Homesick Alien”: the sound of the guitars is an outstanding feature on the album, the work with effects and textures expanded the language of guitar-based rock. As a brilliant example I can point to the effect on the guitar playing triplets from 0'10" (it sounds so "alien" that I'm not sure if it's really a guitar), combining/collapsing so well with the warmer Fender Rhodes. And what about the spacy sound of the guitar at 2'36"?
8. “Exit Music (for a Film)”: and, ending with the technical department, I can't think of a better equalization of a lead vocal that the one in this song. Listen at 0'24" the haunting reverb, the deepness, the nearness. Many parts of the album were recorded with their mobile equipment in a Victorian mansion formerly property of actress Jane Seymour, using the natural reverb of different rooms, halls and corridors.
7. “Lucky”: Thom Yorke is the quintessential ever tortured artist, when he sings “I feel my luck could change” over a sound like crickets at 0’34” you can feel, even touch, his anguish. We can’t blame him for the legions of bland singers that came after him, with Chris Martin at the front. He was genuine.
6. “No Surprises”: that glockenspiel at 0’13”. This is how heaven sounds.
5. “Paranoid Android”: the awesome chord sequence that begins at 3’34” (Cm G/B Bb A Dm Dm/C Bb Am Gm F E A) creates an eerie and dramatic atmosphere, along with the choir-sounding synth and the two intertwined melodies (the “that’s it sir you’re leaving” part is directly sublime).
4. “Paranoid Android” again: Johnny Greenwood as the ultimate indie guitar hero. His guitar solo beginning at 3’03” is simply fabulous, without unnecessary virtuoso playing but with epic intensity, beginning with a high note repeated fast and ending with a bizarre but fitting guitar plucking. And he strikes back at the end of the song!!
3. “Karma Police/Fitter Happier”: someone said it previously, the sequence of the album is perfect. I like particularly the connection between these two songs, a strange high-pitched sound coming from nowhere at 3’43” that slowly comes to the front hiding the music, going lower and lower till it mimics a power break down immediately followed by the neutral voice of the computer: “Fitter / Happier / More productive / Comfortable / Not drinking too much”. OK, OK, computer.
2. “No Surprises”: the message. 2'55": "Such a pretty house / Such a pretty garden / No alarms and no surprises, please". The renunciation that comes with middle age, the midlife crisis at 30. I was 33 years-old when "OK Computer" came out. And this song kicked me strongly. I’ll copy my comments for the 2007 songs poll: ”Morrissey said in his song “Panic” that we should hang the DJ “because the music that he constantly plays it says nothing to me about my life”. Songs are pieces of other people lives that only gets its true sense when are integrated in yours. That’s why I’ve decided that “No Surprises” talks about my life. About my job that slowly kills me. About my pretty house and my pretty garden. About my life with no alarms and no surprises”.
1. “Let Down”: if the last minute of “God Only Knows” is my favourite minute of music ever, the half minute from 3’55” to 4’25” is my favourite half minute of music ever, at the risk of sounding really freaky. If there is a “goose-bump” moment in music is this one. Thom Yorke is singing the second melody of the song and at that moment he raises his voice while a second Yorke voice takes up again the same melody. Then the first voice cracks in a falsetto that doesn’t stop until the chorus comes back in an exultant manner that vividly contrasts with the lyrics: “Let down and hanging around / Crushed like a bug in the ground”.
Last edited by Honorio on Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dan
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Dan » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:10 pm

What a treat! Two long posts from Honorio in one evening! Some wonderful comments, Honorio. This comment of yours was an OMG moment for me, and I will explain why after the quote:
Honorio wrote: 1. “Let Down”...the half minute from 3’55” to 4’25” is my favourite half minute of music ever
That half minute is exactly why "Let Down" is my favourite track off the album and one of my all-time favourite songs. The first time I heard those 30 seconds of the song, the way I related to music changed completely. It's a much less dramatic story than it sounds like: I was sixteen years old and had just got back home from school. I went into my room, and like a proper teenager I flung my school bag in the corner and put my copy of OK Computer in my portable CD player. By that time I had already heard the album a couple of times, and I listened to it again that afternoon while I lay on my bed, constantly throwing a tennis ball up in the air and catching it again. Then came those 30 seconds. The tennis ball bounced off the bed and something changed inside of me as I lay there motionlessly, immersing myself in the music. Plenty of songs I'd heard before had moved me, but this was a different feeling. For the first time I understood that music could be transcendental; that it could appeal to both your mind and your emotions at the same time and make you feel like you have just experienced one of the most beautiful things that life has to offer.

It's because of that experience on that afternoon in a small South African town in the middle of nowhere that I still hold OK Computer so close to my heart. And I think in a way it's because of that experience that I eventually found my way to AM.

Honorio, I've felt a special connection with the way you respond to music since the first time I read one of your posts, and this has just strengthened that connection.
...will keep us together.

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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Henry » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:12 pm

Dan wrote:What a treat! Two long posts from Honorio in one evening! Some wonderful comments, Honorio.

Honorio, I've felt a special connection with the way you respond to music since the first time I read one of your posts, and this has just strengthened that connection.
Dan - I feel the same way about Honorio's contributions to our beloved forum, and now I am beginning to have a similar reaction to many of your comments as well. Thanks!

After starting to read the Wikipedia entry for OK Computer, I was wondering if any of the AMers had any additional information about the influence of Noam Chomsky on Yorke and this album.
Last edited by Henry on Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Honorio
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Honorio » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:22 pm

Many many thanks, Dan and Henry!
This 30 seconds are really jaw-dropping, I'm so glad to know that it changed your life (or at least your way of feeling the music). I miss so much those Radiohead! Now they're cool but then they were so intense...

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Dan
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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by Dan » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:04 am

Henry wrote:Dan - I feel the same way about Honorio's contributions to our beloved forum, and now I am beginning to have a similar reaction to many of your comments as well. Thanks!
Thanks Henry! Musically, you and I have more in common than meets the eye.

Edit: I deleted a random sentence about not being a hipster anymore. It made sense to me but probably not to anyone else (clearly I still miss nj).
...will keep us together.

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Re: Rank the Songs: Radiohead's OK Computer

Post by FinnsMusic » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:36 pm

1. Paranoid Android
2. Karma Police
3. No Surprises
4. Let Down
5. Lucky
6. Subterranean Homesick Alien
7. Electioneering
8. The Tourist
9. Exit Music (For a Film)
10. Climbing Up the Walls
11. Airbag
12. Fitter Happier

The top three are some of my favorite songs of all time... "Paranoid Android" has had so much written about it, I cannot possibly write anything more about it. "Karma Police" is haunting, drawing on many themes, yeah yeah, capitalism, insanity... light-going stuff huh? Then there's "No Surprises", which was a bit of a drastic change from the rest of the album, much more quiet, and god, it's about isolation and loneliness! Christ, I feel awful even describing the songs because music is so transcendental (or so says Stephen Merritt) and so indescribable, no words will do it any justice. So yeah, there you go.
Currently listening to albums from 2012 to stay 'up-to-date' with culture, as well as 'classic' electronic and indie albums, the additional hip hop record here and there, as well as my collection of comedy albums, from Louie C.K. to Bill Cosby.

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