RADIOHEAD – ” I Promise “

Posted: December 1, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Thom Yorke - #Radiohead performance on the main stage at TRNSMT festival in Glasgow

If released in 1997 this song would have been deemed some sort of alt-pop crossover attempt by RadioheadThe Bends wasn’t yet viewed as the pinnacle of 90’s alternative that it now is, and OK Computer had yet to be praised as the greatest record of the decade or all-time or even be released. It’s funny that 20 years later, the song makes a lot more sense—both logistically and melodically. Filled with sardonic sarcasm, Thom Yorke’s falsetto in full bloom, a gorgeous mellotron plus the acoustic guitar they were about to mostly abandon for two decades, the track was first played in San Francisco in 1996 and played again live this year. I never thought Radiohead would give in to any form of nostalgia, but after A Moon Shaped Pool, it fits them well.

The video incorporates themes evident on Radiohead’s landmark LP, like the isolation of transportation and an apprehension of accelerating technology, as featured on songs like “Paranoid Android.” In “I Promise,” commuters are shown numbly staring out bus windows at night. Eventually, it’s revealed that one of the commuters is nothing more than an animatronic head propped up against the window, where it views and processes what it’s witnessing.

When the android attempts to drift off to sleep, memories and dreams of a crying woman stir it awake. In an unsettling conclusion, it causes the android to have an emotional response to his thoughts. The video ends with the robot head weeping on the bus seat.

The video was directed by Michal Marczak,

I Promise is one of 3 previously unreleased tracks from the album OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 – 2017

Thom Yorke: “What a bunch of nutters we were…and probably still are. One of the crazy things we did was not release this song, because we didn’t think it was good enough”


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