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Top 10 Radiohead Songs

May 29th, 2008 8:39am EDT
RadioheadRadiohead has proved to be one of the driving forces behind the last decade of alternative rock music. They are one of the only bands that truly keep their audience guessing; each album has a completely different sound.

Below is a list of the top ten Radiohead songs. The list is based not only on popularity but also on quality and originality.

10. "Creep": Anyone and everyone that is aware of Radiohead's existence knows that "Creep" was the hit single that put these guys on the fast track to stardom. Released in the early 90s off their debut album, Pablo Honey, "Creep" fit right in with the rest of the melancholy, alternative grunge rock that had taken over the airwaves.


9. "High and Dry": Since its release, The Bends still holds true as one of the greatest rock albums of all time, although many Radiohead fanatics would disagree, arguing that OK Computer was their greatest success to date. Truth be told, they're both fantastic albums, and fans can thank a catchy little mellow, acoustic tune by the name of "High and Dry" for being the first single to prove that Radiohead was not going to be contributing to the 90's one-hit wonder music pile.


8. "Fake Plastic Trees": It's another fabulous, mellow acoustic single off "The Bends," except this one didn't seem to be as radio-friendly as "High and Dry." However, it still holds as a favorite for Radiohead fanatics nationwide and also was featured on the Clueless soundtrack. In addition, it also placed a spot on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time."


7. "Karma Police": By the time "Karma Police" had crossed every radio airwave and music television broadcast nationwide, it was a proven fact that Radiohead was the one to beat. Now, they weren't just some band that had released a few catchy tunes. They had now released two albums, each a sensational masterpiece in their own way. "Karma Police" was a classic in itself, a work of art, and a stunning success.


6. "Idioteque": Just when you thought the good ole' 90's alternative rock bands were getting boring and predictable, along came Kid A. "Kid A" gets mixed reviews from Radiohead fans. Some dislike the computerized, electronic sound of the album while others think it's pure genius. "Idioteque" is one of the key elements of the album with its techno vibe that puts listeners in a hypnotic trance.


5. "Jigsaw Falling Into Place": "Jigsaw" and "Reckoner" both appear to be the most compelling tracks off In Rainbows, but "Jigsaw" seemed to captivate the majority of the Radiohead audience. At first listen, the melody is a bit sleepy, but after a few more, the catchy beat grows on you and makes you want to "let it out."


4. "Everything In Its Right Place": Now comes the good stuff. "Everything In Its Right Place" is electronically mesmerizing. The reason it's the first track on "Kid A" is most likely to prepare the listeners for what they're in for. It's like taking an exhilarating ride into outer space and seeing everything for the first time.


3. "Paranoid Android": One of the best pieces of music ever written. Ever. Listening to "Paranoid Android" is similar to spending six minutes and 25 seconds with either a manic depressive or a brief thunder storm. It starts out as a slow, calm melody, like gently floating down a river and then explodes into a mass of electric riffs and chords that shoot right you like a bolt of lightning. Then, just when you think you've had enough, it slows back down to an almost choir-like chant during the "Rain Down" segment before exploding one more time. Classic. Pure genius.


2. "Street Spirit (Fade Out)": As if "Paranoid Android" wasn't enough, here is yet another one of Radiohead's beautiful gems. It's hard to imagine life before "Street Spirit." The intensity, the emotion and the devastation behind it is surreal. Thom Yorke said it was "the dark tunnel without the light at the end," and that darkness literally shines through the overpowering emotion of the melody and vocals. "Immerse your soul in love."


1. "Let Down": As the cliché goes, the best is saved for last. "Let Down" is Radiohead's best-kept secret: one of those songs that isn't overplayed all over the radio, but once you discover it, there's no turning back. "Let Down" is truly a beautiful work of art. Listening to the melody sends you on a euphoric high, similar to descending a roller coaster at 300 MPH. The hopeful melody and burning emotion could instantly move any audience. By the end of the song, you feel like you've been on an emotional roller coaster and all you want to do is get back in line.


Honorable Mentions:

"Black Star": "Black Star" is like the little brother who doesn't get as much attention as he deserves. It's a sensational rock ballad and one of the best tracks off "The Bends."

"Just": "The Bends" strikes again. Its popularity among Radiohead fans is unanimous, but along with "Black Star," it doesn't get as much hype as it should.

"Pyramid Song": An eerie track that is mysteriously haunting. This track also came up frequently as a Radiohead favorite, even though it's considered more of a B-side versus a hit single.

"Reckoner": Off the recently released "In Rainbows," "Reckoner" has a dazzling, distorted cymbal pattern and a bit of a melancholy sound to it. (But then again, don't most of their tracks?) It shows off the brilliance of the masterminds behind rock music, otherwise known as Radiohead.

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Story and photos by Rachel Burke
Starpulse contributing writer