Most overrated album of all time
OK Computer is the third studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in Japan on 21 May 1997 and in the UK on 16 June 1997. Radiohead self-produced the album with Nigel Godrich, an arrangement they have used for their subsequent albums. Radiohead recorded most of OK Computer in their rehearsal space in Oxfordshire and the historic mansion of St Catherine's Court in Bath in 1996 and early 1997. The band distanced themselves from the guitar-centred, lyrically introspective style of their previous album, The Bends. OK Computer's abstract lyrics, densely layered sound and eclectic influences laid the groundwork for Radiohead's later, more experimental work. The album's lyrics depict a world fraught with rampant consumerism, social alienation, emotional isolation and political malaise; in this capacity, OK Computer has been said to have prescient insight into the mood of 21st-century life. The band used unconventional production techniques, including natural reverberation through recording on a staircase, and no audio separation. Strings were recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. Guitarist Ed O'Brien estimated that 80 per cent of the album was recorded live. Despite lowered sales estimates by EMI, who deemed the record uncommercial and difficult to market, OK Computer reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and debuted at number 21 on the Billboard 200, Radiohead's highest album entry on the US charts at the time, and was soon certified 5× platinum in the UK and double platinum in the US. The songs "Paranoid Android", "Karma Police", "Lucky" and "No Surprises" were released as singles. The album expanded Radiohead's international popularity and has sold at least 7.8 million units worldwide. A remastered version with additional tracks, OKNOTOK 1997 2017, was released in 2017, marking the album's twentieth anniversary. In 2019, in response to an internet leak, Radiohead released MiniDiscs [Hacked], comprising hours of demos, rehearsals, live performances and other material. OK Computer received critical acclaim and has been cited by listeners, critics and musicians as one of the greatest albums of all time. It was nominated for the Album of the Year and won Best Alternative Music Album at the 1998 Grammy Awards. It was also nominated for Best British Album at the 1998 Brit Awards. The album initiated a stylistic shift in British rock away from Britpop toward melancholic, atmospheric alternative rock that became more prevalent in the next decade. In 2014, it was included by the United States Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Most overrated album of all time
Claustrophobic, paranoid, oblique and dystopian, a big fuck you to Britpop. In 1997 this sounded like the future to my tiny little 13 year old mind. I always was a pretentious little git.
It was not easy following up the guitar-centered, abstract, emotional, and cryptic masterpiece "The Bends", which was in its own right a level above the more repetitive grunge sound on what is widely considered to be Radiohead's worst record, "Pablo Honey". In my opinion, OK Computer is the album that has aged the best from any piece of music published in the 90's. The lyrics are extremely relevant, Thom Yorke's tenor is iconic, and it touches upon themes of media-obsession, paranoia and dystopian technology in a beautifully coherent way. I believe that when it was released it set a new gold standard for progressive/art rock that has only been met by a very select few projects these 2 decades. Overall score a perfect 5/5.
This would be my soundtrack if I decided to ever slit my wrists. So whiny. Was listening on a bright beautiful day riding in Monterey and it really bummed me out. Billie Eilishesque
OK Computer is one of those rare albums that actually deserves the praise lavished on it. Where to even start? How about the astonishingly layered arrangement of Airbag, the opening tune? Yes, it's guitar based, but there's snatches of electronica, electronic percussion alongside live drums, a cello, and I could go on and on. You could listen to this track a dozen times and hear something new every time. Compositionally, these songs are as strong as they get, which explains why they've been covered by the likes of Brad Melhdau. Take Paranoid Android, a multipart suite with odd meter changes, but which nonetheless rocks like a mother. And unlike many other bands, Radiohead doesn't get any less interesting when they slow down and do a ballad like the gorgeous No Surprises. On OK Computer, Radiohead makes most bands sound like hacks or toddlers, and that goes for most of the bands that have followed in their footsteps. If I had been in a rock band at the time, it probably would have made me throw up my hands in despair. An easy 5 out of 5.
For et album! Føler at dette er 90-tallets svar på Dark Side of the Moon. Hver eneste sang er en banger og glir godt over i den neste. Beste sanger: Subterranean Homesick Alien, Exit Music og No Surprises.
It is impressive how Thom Yorke managed to out-depress the entirety of grunge. Honestly, I didn't even like this album much the first time I listened to it. Strange, despite it being a perfect mix of things I like: alternative rock veneer over progressive/artsy songwriting, disaffected lyrics, and dripping with pretentiousness. I came back to it after a few months and it completely clicked for me, and now I think it is an essential album to its core.
In which the jangly tunings and wool-gathering lyricism of 90s indie are retrofitted to the studio gimcrackery and stadium heroics of U2 and injected with turn-of-the-century received fatalism. Is it commercially calculated? No doubt. Does it also aspire to art rock? Just as little doubt. Are the two compatible? You betcha. Do they pull it off? Commercially: er, duh. But an art rock masterpiece? Hm. ‘Fitter Happier’ might be as high-concept as they get. In which case, answer’s no. The aesthetic's there, but it's all tell-don’t-show and heavy-handed emotional manipulation. That's pretty much my biggest problem with Radiohead. You’re given no other option but to feel down. I suppose I blame Thom Yorke, who has the emotional range of a mood ring. In a lot of ways, he’s the sandbag stopping this hot air balloon from taking off—or from taking off higher than it does. Because there’s no doubting that much of what’s here is dense, layered, and precise, screened by a veneer of uncertainty. There are thrash-outs, bass ‘n’ guitar counterpoints, clattering drums, seismic reverberations, and exceptionally difficult acoustic/electric combos. They rarely miss a cue to move a song to the next act, either. All of which leaves me feeling the same way I have about for the last decade. Amazing musicians, big ideas, lame lyrics, lousy singer. Where's the lift? Why are they ina constant state of deflation? Why do so many people get a kick out of lethargy?
Aren't there more Bob Dylan albums you could have put here?
I was watching a BBC4 documentary about duck rustling in the 13th century at the weekend and it blew my mind. This album has a similar effect. The unreachable ambition shown by both Radiohead is reminiscent of the infamous duck rustlers and really comes to the fore on 'Fitter Happier'. A loveable, adventurous romp, with charming pond dwelling creatures. I was on the edge of my seat throughout.
I had listened to The Bends twice beforehand to really understand the transition, and damn there is such a huge gap. I listened to OK Computer three times yesterday. First was blind run, and immediately I noticed the differences, but I wasn't able to pick out the songs apart from some really cool parts. I also couldn't understand most of the lyrics. Second listen I followed the lyrics and music videos, reading what people thought of each song. Third was taking all this into account, now that I could anticipate each song. And yeah it was worth it, because this song has to be one of the most interesting albums I had ever listened to. I could relisten to it again and again and not get tired of it, which I definitely couldn't say about The Bends. After all this careful consideration, I completely agree with the critics, this is by far one of the best albums I had ever listened to and probably will ever listen to in my life. The more I listen, the more I appreciate each song. Each song is carefully crafted and relies on heavy ingenuity and inspiration from what legends such as the Brian Wilson, REM, and the Pixies had done in prior decades to take rock 10 steps further. The imagery was necessary for me to understand the themes and subject of these songs, due to their abstract lyrics and atmospheric sound. There is something to be said about every song. "Airbag" was a perfect start to set the expectations for the album, and the distortion of the drums and bass at the end made me realize this was an album of carefully crafted experimentation. "Paranoid Android" is an absolute masterpiece, and balls of Radiohead to make the 6.5 minute song their lead single. "Subterranean Homesick Alien" was the song that struck out to me the most my first listen due to the aquatic noises and easy-to-follow story about envisioning a flight with aliens. Certainly one of the most atmospheric songs. I could go on, but that won't be necessary. "Karma Police" and "No Surprises" are my other two favorites. This album comes at a time when they outcompeted a crowd of spectators, inspiring many of those spectators to stand up and model their work after Radiohead.
You're very brave to be recommending this album to me, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die; Did you know that? I suppose you have to list the obvious albums, but little did I know we'd be here. For the uninitiated, almost everything we owe alternative rock in the 21st century can be traced back to this album along with a good chunk of Radiohead's discography as a whole. They are simply too important not to have on this list. It's so glaringly unlike anything else before it, with it's songwriting and production and little flairs that make it memorable. The pacing is perfect, making for an effortless listen. It is Radiohead's magnum opus, and they've still got a few albums in the pipe that come really close. I find it hard to talk about individual songs because it's all so great, but I'll attempt: Paranoid Android is this fantastic piece of art rock with multiple movements to tell a larger story and give us a truly wired experience for the rest of the album. Karma Police is the climatic down-beat song right before the interlude that gets us a little moody. See what I meant about pacing earlier? This is followed by a back half that goes through a different set of experiences and it ends on such a wonderful strong note. Yeah, this album is good :)
First 2 songs are super cool. I love the distorted drums and bass in Airbag. Rest of the album was very interesting and even in the slower, more depressing songs I could always enjoy something about it. Quite a neat spacey style.
Classic after classic on this album, and enough b-sides and bonus tracks to make another great album. The albums themes are still incredibly relevant today, which is a shame, but works in its favour.
The greatest album of the 90s. This album not only represented a huge leap forward for Radiohead, but a huge leap forward for popular music in general. OK Computer saw Radiohead incorporating electronic sounds and effects while talking about themes of alienation and the rise of technology. The songs are incredibly well crafted and show such intentionality that it's hard to believe that Radiohead would continue to evolve beyond this album. It's as close to a perfect album as you can get.
You can take the whiteboy out of the Radiohead, but you can’t take the Radiohead out of the whiteboy
I'm going to say this is the most important album of the 90s. I honestly don't have the energy to articulate beyond this, but every song is a masterpiece of art-rock-pop. Either this or In Rainbows is my favorite album of all time. It's another great of example of an album made in reaction to the time and place that they existed and we're all still living in. Shoutout to Godrich's masterful engineering as well, the original 1997 release sounds so freakin' good to this day.
Meh. Too whiney for my taste.
What can I say about this that has not been said before. I prefer Kid A and In Rainbows more than this that does not meanrhis one is not perfect
Really good, one of the greatest of all time
This album sucks
One of my all time favourite albums. But IMHO In Rainbows is even better.
Had heard it before. It took a while to grow on me but now this is one of my favorite albums ever. Highly recommend anyone who hasn't heard it to try it out because if it ends up being for you, it will change your life and the way you see music.
Airbag offers a good bridge from The Bends to OK Computer, but is often over looked during album listens for me because it is just a hurdle before Paranoid Android. About half way with Karma Police Radio head start taking a bit of a left turn and start heading in their future direction, once they got over the musical hissy fit that was Kid A. Still one of my all time favourite albums, and always will be.
A prophetic, innovative record that has stood the test of time 24 years later. The lyrics captures modern America's addiction to technology, consumerism, media consumption, and political scandals to a T. Between the bands variety of tones in their instruments, shocking reverb to barebones, the influx of strings, and the poignantly placed electro-techno samples, there is a ton of sounds to absorb from this record. This is bold, true Radiohead. You could listen to it 100 times and still discover something new, it never goes stale. It may be a little passé to hold this record in such high esteem on the internet, but it truly is one of the greatest to ever be made. I think it will only age better with time. Favorite Song: Paranoid Android Least Favorite: Climbing Up the Wall
I've listened to this album countless times. Unfortunately it's one of those albums that I associate very strongly with a past relationship which ended badly, so it's hard for me to separate it from those memories and that state of mind. Her name was fucking Sarah too. So when "Lucky" comes on it's kind of haunting. Because of all that I don't listen to this often, but when I do, I am still hypnotized by what initially drew me in: the richly detailed and textured atmosphere that perfectly balanced electronic and rock elements, experimentation with hooks, and, most impressively, the way they were able to capture the zeitgeist with both the beauty and sadness it requires to truly do so. I think a big part of this album's success was due to simply not overthinking it. Most of it was recorded live together as a group rather than separate takes, and producer Nigel Godrich didn't overwork the mixes. It strangely gives quite the opposite impression though. When I listen to this on headphones I could easily be convinced that they labored over each take Steely Dan style, and that Nigel Godrich held them all at gunpoint over some minor production choice. This record feels as alive and vital to me as it did when I first heard it, and I consider it their best work. It flows gracefully through all its twists and turns, ups and downs. Computer voice and all, it's a perfect album.
I knew the shining reputation this album had for years, and have tried multiple times to listen to it all the way through, but I never truly appreciated the depth and complexity it has until now. This actually was the first album I went back to listen to a 2nd time just to further analyze it. Thematically is where OK Computer shines the most for me, and in a way where it has aged like the finest of wines, when looking at how quickly technology is advancing and/or shaping in our society and how things like social media has worked to drive wedges between us, while also contributing to increased consumerism, isolation, and so forth. Yorke sings about how he doesn't fit into the world he lives in all over this album, about how he just watches the chaos around him, his dissatisfaction with life, and just general worry, anxiety, and fear. A lot of these feelings would probably resonate with people today, from the rise of AI programs, to Covid-19, rising inequality, climate change, and so many other topics. Musically the album served as a final end to britpop, but also varied with crunchy, distorted guitars on more alternative rock numbers like Electioneering, to softer, atmospheric ballads like the Tourist, and then songs like Climbing Up The Walls which have a brooding, yet atmospheric nature with Yorke's vocals slinking their way around the track before turning into shrieks as distorted guitars just turn the track into a wall of sound to go along with said shrieks. It's an album that I'm already revisiting multiple times now and looking forward to do so multiple times in the future as I appreciate the lyrical and musical depth it has, and I can really see this becoming one of my favorite albums in the coming years, so I'll rate it as such.
OK Computer by Radiohead (1997) This record came out when I was at the peak of my flight from popular music, and I’m sorry I missed it (although I wouldn’t have swapped it for Wagner, Mahler, and/or Bruckner). OK Computer is really good on this, my first serious listen. The lyrics are full of frustration, alienation, and unsystematic, aimless social/political discontent, including lament and personal anger over the way things are at the end of the second millennium. My kind of themes. But they lack polish, craft, focus, and emotional depth. Lyricist/lead vocalist Thom Yorke struggles to deliver the very creative melodies with confidence (especially on “Exit Music [For a Film]”, but much better on the more conventional “No Surprises”). However, the music itself is phenomenally creative and appealing, experimenting as it does with structure and sound, yet still remaining connected to 20th century sensibilities, chiefly by keeping the rhythm section steady. Bassist Colin Greenwood and drummer Philip Selway provide solid if not flashy foundations, while keyboards, synth, guitars, and well-placed strings fill the ears with polychromatic sounds and just the right amount of discord. “Fitter Happier” is a lovely little mockery of the self help industry, with more than a few chuckle-inducing gems. The song “No Surprises” (somewhat surprisingly) resonates in at least two 66-year-old ears, but let’s not get too personal. The cover art is a superlative example of successfully pairing a visual mood with a sonic mood. The album loses energy toward the end. I’m not sure it was a good choice to finish with the words “Hey man, slow down, slow down; Idiot, slow down, slow down”. Makes me want to take a nap or go grab a beer. But the overall effect of OK Computer is high creativity and musical excellence. Radiohead. Yes. I look forward to hearing more of their stuff. The Bends, In Rainbows, and Kid A remain for me on the 1001 Albums list. Stay tuned. 4/5
I was 10 when this album came out. I have very vivid memories of seeing clips of the Karma Police music video on MTV, but OK Computer was not coming anywhere near my 6-CD changer boombox. This particular prompt gave me a bit of anxiety because I feel like I'm supposed to like Radiohead but I was nervous that I would not have my mind blown by this album. And truth is, I didn't. I really wanted to enjoy OK Computer, but it had an alt rock moodiness that's just really not for Kelseys. It was reminiscent of Tool or Muse - bands that I acknowledge are musically talented but aren't doing anything that I personally enjoy. I will confess that I have a very low attention span for lyrics and need to be grabbed sonically before I can get into any deeper meaning behind the music - especially when lyrics are caged in metaphor and/or not clearly enunciated. For that reason (in addition to the knowledge that this album means a lot to many people who's opinion I respect), I'd be willing to give it another shot and spend more time trying to understand what makes it truly great. But as of now, it's not going on repeat for me.
Still not really there for me. This is a band I've long wanted to really get into. On paper, as it were, they seem like the kind of artists I'd love. Hasn't happened yet. This album clicked with me a little better than the other one that came up on my rotation in this album generator, but I honestly can't remember much, if anything, about that other one. There are some really interesting moments on this album. I actually might come back to it -- might come back to their other works, too -- and give some more concentrated listening time to them.
Music for people who feel like androids, who seek salvation in airbags and rain, who cry themselves to sleep and awake, who are deluded enough to actually believe their existence and consciousness are nothing more than the sum of complex chemical reactions, who resolve again and again to get off their asses and make something of their lives yet never do. Never fear! Radiohead is hear to sing your woes for you, so that you don't have to think of some way to express yourself yourself. I'm just gonna hold myself and let Radiohead tell me how I feel about myself.
I fucking hate radiohead. This isn't as bad as a couple of their other albums but it's still a 2/5.
What's the big deal here? It's alright, reasonably listenable rock music. A singer who is by turns affecting and irritating, and some really crap production choices, are the standouts here. Decent drummer, too
Karma police is aways good, fitter happier is weird and the rest is very radiohead
1997: Paranoid Android, Karma Police, Exit Music (For a Film), No Surprises
top album known well
Really enjoyed this!
One of the best ever...
So so so so good. Best of the year. Best of the decade?
Oh dang. Truly one of my fav records of all time.
Dies ist eine sehr gute Platte einer sehr guten Band, die von mir auch bereits vorher schon vielmals gehört wurde.
The best Radiohead album
One of the best albums of all time.
Not as good as ‘The Bends’, but pretty fucking amazing.
Legendary album. A top 100 easy in the 20th century.
I didn't listen to it, but it's probably my favourite album of all time.
Great Album that some call The Greatest Album. fav track: let down
9/10 exit music for a film electioneering
Still great. Probably their best album.
Aptly considered one of the best albums ever made.
An absolute masterpiece of an album.
Chill vibes and strange tunes. A couple classics' a couple hidden gems.
Forgot how great this album is!
Great - would listen again
Incredible album. Was a big part of my teenage.
Life changing album for me in high school. Absolutely incredible.
Greatest of all time, if music was a contest. Prescient and sharp almost 30 years later.
Big fan. Solid album. I bet we see RH again a few more times.
Another masterpiece. Right at the cusp before Radiohead got too electronic and weird
One of the best albums of all TIME!
of course the best album
How could you give anything but a 5 for this classic. What a band and what an album!
J’adore cet album, je lecoute en boucle. C’est vraiment une experience musical. 5*
i mean come on. sooooo good
Ok Computer good, not as good as the bends.
One of my favourite albums of all time. Radiohead is clearly on another level.
Good sound. A bit violent at times. A bit of tonal whiney sound at points or specific songs. He's very able to open it up and is very good when he does.
Is there anything left to say about it? The record of their lives. The record of our lives.
Still a masterpiece
Hadn't listened to this in a looooong time. Don't really understand why. I loved it at the time and it's still great now.
amazing album every single song an absolute slap and all fits together perfectly
Stone cold classic
One of my all-time favorites!
Still as perfect as I remember 👍
The best album about car crashes I've ever heard
We're supposed to all agree that this is perfect, aren't we? It was the first of the 'groundbreaking' Radiohead albums after their early indie efforts. Exit Music is my favourite Radiohead song. Still think The Bends is better though.
Best so far...although it’s not the Bends, it was the “best album ever” in its time. Good old Oxford (Abingdon) band.
One of my top ten albums of all time
I actually rated Rainbows by Radiohead a 2 previously - but thought OK Computer was fantastic. I really enjoyed it and thought to myself I should listen to more Radiohead - until I remembered I might have already listened to one of their albums from this list and saw that I didn't like that one at all. Still, this was good enough to make it work giving some others of their older albums a try, even if I don't seem to be a fan of their 'newer' albums. My favorite tracks were Karma Police, Subterranean Homesick Alien and The Tourist. The only one I disliked was Paranoid Android.
Альбом на все времена для моего поколения. Если в ходе беседы выясняешь, что собеседник любит Radiohead и OK Computer (хотя мой личный выбор все же Amnesiac), то значит этот разговор имеет шанс быть приятный и даже превратиться в крепкую дружбу. Заслуги rh в музыкальной индустрии лично для меня крайне значительны, поэтому такой важный альбом в их творческом пути для меня всегда стоит особняком. Пришел момент первой пятерки, пускай и любимчикам.
A happy revisit to the legendary OK Computer, to think that this album is from 1997 is insane to me.
Det beste med dette prosjektet er å snuble over skjulte skatter av helt ukjente artister
I wish i could give this a 4.5 bc that would be the perfect score. I liked that the songs didn't sound all the same and they had distinctive different moods. I think Exit Music is a masterpiece
Greatest album ever recorded.
In my top 10 the songs are all awesome, and the album composition is equivalent to a symphony.
Impeccable. Nothing else to say. It is perfect in every way. Absolutely sublime record from start to finish. A fucking masterpiece.