NME.COM names Radiohead's 'Paranoid Android' as the best song of the last 15 years

Band push out Arcade Fire, Outkast and The Strokes to take top spot

Photo: Dean Chalkley Next Previous

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Photo: Dean Chalkley

Radiohead's 'Paranoid Android' has been named as NME.COM's choice as the best song of the last 15 years.

The track, which was released in 1997, beat competition from Arcade Fire, who came in second with 'Rebellion (Lies)', Outkast who were third with 'Hey Ya!', The Strokes who came fourth with 'Last Nite' and The Killers, who round off the top five with 'Mr Brightside'.

Speaking to NME about the track, Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood revealed that the song initially had featured a 10-minute organ outro.

Asked about his memories of recording the track, the bassist replied: "We were in Bath, recording at [15th Century] St. Catherine’s Court. We were having drinks, and then we started doing percussion on a drum loop that Phil [Selway] had made. It grew from there. We’d already rehearsed an early version of the song, played it on tour with Alanis Morissette – obviously it didn’t go down very well."

He continued: "Originally it had a ten-minute organ outro, which ultimately we ditched and replaced with the 'rain down' section. Was that the right decision? I think so, but sometimes I regret the lack of psychedelic, patchouli-soaked organ madness."

Asked if the band were aware that they'd written something special, Greenwood replied:

I don’t know. Who can say? There’s something savage and cartoon-like about it, which was reflected in the video, which I really love. The song is wild and savage – something we did when we didn’t know how to do anything. There were no rules. The recording took a long time, but it wasn’t difficult. It was easy. It was a fun time.


NME.COM's Top 20 songs of the last 15 years are as follows:

1. Radiohead – 'Paranoid Android'
2. Arcade Fire – 'Rebellion (Lies)'
3. Outkast – 'Hey Ya!'
4. The Strokes – 'Last Nite'
5. The Killers – 'Mr. Brightside'
6. The White Stripes – 'Fell In Love With A Girl'
7. Hot Chip – 'Over And Over'
8. Amy Winehouse – 'Rehab'
9. The Verve – 'Bittersweet Symphony'
10. The Libertines – 'Time For Heroes'
11. Arctic Monkeys – 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'
12. MGMT – 'Time To Pretend'
13. Jay –Z & Alicia Keys – 'Empire State Of Mind'
14. Foals – 'Spanish Sahara'
15. MIA – 'Paper Planes'
16. Beyoncé – 'Crazy In Love'
17. Missy Elliot – 'Get Ur Freak On'
18. Queens Of The Stone Age – 'No One Knows'
19. Justice Vs. Simian – 'We Are Your Friends'
20. Bloc Party – 'Banquet'


You can read the full list at NME.com/150-best-tracks.

NME.COM will be celebrating its 15th anniversary with a series of special features over the next few weeks, visit NME.com/blogs to keep up with the latest features.

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