We asked NME users to vote for the best Radiohead tracks – and the results are in…
14. ‘Lucky’ (1997). Fans have long tried to work out who the ‘Sarah’ is from this ‘OK Computer’ track (or is it ‘Sirrah?’). The meaning of the haunting song isn’t clear – although it does mention an aircrash and Thom Yorke was involved in a car accident ten years previous with his girlfriend.
13. ‘Reckoner’ (2008). ‘Reckoner’ was the final single released on Radiohead’s 2007 album ‘In Rainbows’, the one you could pay what you wanted for. Yorke stated that the song was inspired by a “very trippy dream, one of those ones you wake up from and go, ‘aww man, I don’t want to wake up from that, ever”.
Credit: Dean Chalkley
5. ‘Exit Music (For A Film)’ (1996). Although it appeared on ‘OK Computer’ instead of the soundtrack, ‘Exit Music’ was originally written for the ending credits of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Its atmospheric build is unavoidably filmic, but also works perfectly on the album. The song is directly inspired by the moment Claire Danes playing Juliet holds a gun to her head.
4. ‘Karma Police’ (1997). The “Phew, for a minute there, I lost myself” second section refrain in this single from ‘OK Computer’ is a highlight of any Radiohead gig. It’s a song to lose yourself in despite the stark, anti-Capitalist message. In Thom’s words: “this is a song against bosses – fuck the middle management”.
3. ‘Idioteque’ (2000). Idiots who insist on trumpeting the line ‘you can’t dance to Radiohead, it’s for slitting wrists’, should be forced to listen to this beat-laden track from ‘Kid A’. It’s a banger to go absolutely potty to. Cool fact: some of the lyrics were written using William Burrough’s ‘cut-up’ technique, picking words out of a hat at random.
Credit: Joey Maloney/NME
1. ‘Paranoid Android’ (1997). NME readers have voted the almost seven-minute long opus from ‘OK Computer’ as the greatest Radiohead song ever written. Placing three separate movements calmly into one song, albeit with a grin and a smirk, could have resulted in a dog’s dinner. Instead it’s a manifesto for Radiohead’s work: audacious, enigmatic and devastatingly beautiful.