Follow TV Tropes


Awesome Music / Radiohead

Go To

    open/close all folders 

     Pablo Honey 
  • "Blow Out". And people say "Creep" is their best song off Pablo Honey.
  • "Creep", the emotion in that song, and the self loathing.

     The Bends 
  • "The Bends" in general - the guitar intro is awesome. Calls up images of a sunny morning on a city street. WE DON'T HAVE ANY REAL... FRIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENDS.
  • "Fake Plastic Trees", especially from around the 3 minute mark to the end.
  • "Planet Telex": ("EVERYTHIIING IS... Brokennn..."), which is all the more impressive when you find out that the band recorded it after drinking copious amounts of wine, and Thom Yorke sang the vocals lying flat on his back, totally wasted.
  • "Talk Show Host", the B-side to "Street Spirit" and easily the band's most popular B-side. It's based around a simple guitar riff but still manages to build a solid listening experience with brooding lyrics and the likes.
  • "Black Star". That chorus and riff... "Blame it on the black star / Blame it on the falling sky / Blame it on the satellite that beams me home..."
  • "Just". Special mention goes to the guitar and that epic solo at the end...
  • Nice Dream is just an all around beautiful song to listen to, led by an acoustic guitar and some glorious vocals on Thom's behalf.

     OK Computer 
  • "No Surprises". A different form of creepy than "Climbing Up The Walls," this song is a good embodiment of suburban ennui and the effects of modern life on the average person. Not to mention the Glock added in for extra irony.
  • "Let Down", especially the "You know where you are" bit. It's sparkly, it's simultaneously ecstatic and heartbreaking, and it manages to make something truly beautiful out of depression and alienation without glamorizing either.
  • "Airbag". The guitars, the riffs, the cut-up beats and Thom's elated lyrics and singing combine to create a triumphant and awesome opening track.

     Kid A 
  • "The National Anthem". ESPECIALLY the horns section at the end.
  • "Everything in Its Right Place" for being beautiful and sort of terrifying. The awesomeness may be either increased or diminished for you once you figure out what he's saying...
    Yesterday I woke up sucking on a lemon.
  • "How to Disappear Completely". All of it. Especially when the trumpets come in in their strange arpeggiated patterns, they don't fit in but they just... do. Thom even at one point called it his best song, for good reason.
  • "Optimistic". The transition from "Optimistic" to "In Limbo" is also very well done.
  • The big giant Apocalyptic disco beast that is "Idioteque" is the musical definition of CMoA. Not just the beat, but the vocals paired with the lyrics are superb.
  • "Morning Bell" is already pretty awesome, but then the halfway point comes to accentuate to the weird awesomeness: Cut the kids in half.
  • "Motion Picture Soundtrack" is quite possibly the most simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting song in the universe.


     Hail to the Thief 
  • "2 + 2 = 5", the moment when Thom loses his ever-loving shit about halfway through and starts screaming: "YOU HAVE NOT BEEN! PAYING ATTENTION! PAYING ATTENTION!" See also: "DON'T QUESTION MY AUTHORITY OR PUTMEINABOX!!"
  • The climax of "There There". Take some guitars, heavy drums, "WEEEE ARRRRRE AAAAACIDENTS WAITIIIING TO HAPPENNNNNN!!!!" and a video with Bagpuss and Thom Yorke grabbing golden clothes and experiencing its tree-morphing side effects and you've got yourself the Crowning Alternative Rock Anthem of Awesome. It is, somehow, both ominous and uplifting.
  • "A punchup at a wedding. (no no no no no no no no.)" has a smooth bassline and slightly discordant, jazzy piano melody, over which Thom sings a beautiful, quietly angry song, which he stated in interviews was about a critic who went to a Radiohead show and basically made up a load of crap about the fans because he couldn't think of any good criticisms of the band, which Thom took exception to. However, even not knowing the context, the song's anger will still be relatable to anyone who's ever had a fight, verbal or physical, with somebody, especially if they were in the wrong or made up lies. Also, if you're an anime fan, you might notice the song's backing track sounds weirdly similar to "Logos Naki World" from the original Hellsing series.
    Hypocrite. Opportunist. Don't infect me with your poison.
    A bully in a china shop. When I turn around you stay frozen to the spot.
    The pointless snide remarks of hammerheaded sharks;
    The pot will call the kettle black, it's a drunken punchup at a wedding, yeah.
  • "Myxomatosis", with its strange time signature and awesome guitar part, not to mention the chilling part where everything drops out but the vocals and drums. "But now. I. Don't. Know. Why I. Feel. So. Tongue. Tied." And then it all comes back in again and goes on to become more and more awesome.
  • "A Wolf at the Door" is just amazing and unlike any other Radiohead song, with brilliant pattering lyrics.
  • "Backdrifts". The small piano solo is pretty cool, and the beat sounds like a malfunctioning steam train. It's like Industrial, Ambient, Glitch and Hip-Hop were thrown into a blender...
  • "We Suck Young Blood". Never has a quiet song about vampires been so awesome. At one point in the song, the sound almost explodes.
  • The beautifully eerie "The Gloaming", which starts off with a jittery IDM-y loop before turning into a warbling, claustrophobic piece with Thom's echoing voice sweeping over the apprehensive soundscapes.

     In Rainbows 
  • When they started a remix contest for "Nude," one of the contestants submitted a version done on an oscilloscope, an old printer and scanner, and an answering machine (which played the vocals), played through hard drives instead of speakers.
    • The original is just amazing on its own, too. There is a single chord change (that happens multiple times) at the 2:26 mark. It's sublime.
    • We can't talk about "Nude" without mentioning the incredible vocal performance Thom Yorke gives on that track. It's his greatest by a long shot. Absolutely ethereal and wondrous.
  • This live performance of "15 Step" at the 2009 Grammys, where Thom is backed by the Spirit of Troy, USC's legendary marching band. It's especially awesome since it's Radiohead's first ever performance at the Grammys.
  • The bridge in "Reckoner", when all the percussion cuts out and all you're left with are the rising voices and strings. And then Cee Lo Green covered it.
    "iiiiiiiin Raaaaaaainbooooooows..."
  • Of course, the ending of "Bodysnatchers" is spine tingling, with the guitar's going overload and Yorke screaming vocals.
  • "Weird Fishes / Arpeggi" needs a mention. It is inextricably awesome, the massive buildup for an entire song and then completely stripped down at 3:03.
  • "Videotape" is a real Tear Jerker, especially when paired with this insanely awesome video.
  • This live performance of the B-side "Bangers and Mash." Thom playing a second set of drums like a madman and singing at the same time.
  • The beat goes round and round... THE BEAT GOES ROOOOOUND AAAAAND ROOOOUND.

     The King of Limbs 
  • "Morning Mr Magpie" sounds like Radiohead trying to do Funk music in their own way, and it works beautifully.
  • The epic brass background in "Codex" is amazing. It's scary and apprehensive and beautiful and nostalgic all at once.
  • When the wall of distorted vocals singing "into your arms" hits at about the 3 minute mark of "Give Up the Ghost".
  • On February 18th, 2011, a gleeful fandom began its The King of Limbs experience with "Bloom," quite possibly Radiohead's best opening track yet. The wailing, echo-y vocals are just eerie and ominous enough to set the tone of the album. The Hans Zimmer-produced orchestral arrangement of the song, "(Ocean) Bloom", is equally powerful, if not more so.
  • Meanwhile, a contender for best closing track is "Separator". The beat is strangely addictive... and after the heartbreaking double of "Codex" and "Give Up the Ghost," this song wraps up the album on a comforting, calming and hopeful note. "If you think this is over, then you're wrong..."

     A Moon Shaped Pool 
  • "Burn the Witch," a track teased and anticipated for years, was finally released as the first single of the album on May 3rd, 2016. And it was worth the wait.
  • "Daydreaming" manages to mix the ambient of their Kid A era with In Rainbows-style art rock for one beautiful Mind Screw.
  • A hi-hat-heavy hip-hop style beat? Cool. Indie Rock-style guitar riffing? Nice. A manic synth solo? Great. All of these at the same time? "Identikit".
  • "Decks Dark" is a song that feels like it's been around forever, with timeless piano melodies and an infectious jazzy groove.
  • "Ful Stop" has an incredible amount of buildup, and an equally incredible payoff once the second set of drums kicks in, not to mention some more great guitar riffing near the end.
  • "True Love Waits" has been floating around as an unreleased song since The Bends and was finally officially put on the tracklist. Needless to say, it's a perfect, albeit sorrowful, ending to the album.

     Other Songs 
  • "Big Boots". Radiohead with an awesome, almost James Bond-esque feel to it. After existing for twenty years as a bootleg recording ripped from Meeting People Is Easy, a proper studio recording (titled "Man O' War") will be released along with "I Promise" and "Lift" for the 20th anniversary edition of OK Computer. Huzzah!
  • "Polyethylene (Parts 1 and 2)", especially part 2. Another example of Mundane Made Awesome with operatic declarations of "plastic bag, middle class, polyethylene" and "there is no significant risk to your health," not to mention the music itself. The way the song spirals out at the end as if it were a spacecraft launched into the atmosphere? Lovely.
  • "I Am Citizen Insane". Super-chill but slightly creepy.
  • "Supercollider". They made a 7-minute-long song about a particle accelerator.
  • "Lewis (Mistreated)", which can only be summarized as Radiohead at their most garage rock-y.
  • Unreleased fan favorite "Follow Me Around."
  • And now, Radiohead's (almost) actual James Bond theme, "Spectre". The strings, the bass, the drums, Thom's voice...


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: