Posts Tagged ‘O.K Computer’

RADIOHEAD – ” Lift “

Posted: September 10, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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The release of Radiohead‘s 20th anniversary expanded reissue OK Computer: OKNOTOK, the band shared videos for the two of three previously unreleased songs, “I Promise” and “Man of War.” Now, the third song, “Lift,” .

The three songs were not entirely new to fans, but had only been performed live and never released officially. The album also includes remasters of the original OK Computer record, as well as eight B-sides.

It’s been a long run-up to the release, with Radiohead first hinting that something was coming in April earlier this year, when mysterious posters began popping up in cities around the world. The move got fans speculating on Reddit about what the posters might signal, with many quickly and correctly foreseeing a 20th anniversary release for OK Computer. 

Radiohead collaborator Stanley Donwood helped stoke the mystery by posting on social media that an upcoming project is “soon to be real,” followed by photos of scaffolding.

At the beginning of May, the band then posted a video of a child singing what seemed like alternate lyrics to “Climbing Up the Walls” with some retro graphics. Midway through, the words “Program: radiohead” appear at the top and, shortly thereafter, “0 OK, 0:1″ turn up at the bottom. It was revealed that the reissue is dedicated to the memory of frontman Thom Yorke’s late ex-partner, Dr. Rachel Owen.

Radiohead are in full on nostalgia mode around the 20th anniversary of their career-defining “OK Computer”, album release due the end of this month ,  they’ve just dished out a live version of an outtake that has gone largely under-appreciated in the wake of the album’s release.

“Normally, I don’t think we’re the sort of people to look back, but it was interesting when we did…” Thom told the crowd, adding “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,” he finishes, before easing gently into a track that not many Radiohead fans has heard live for over two decades.

Listening to the track side by side, Thom’s powerful yet delicate voice sounds as if it could have been plucked from 20 years ago, too – or perhaps even a little richer with age. Either way, this is how an anniversary celebration is supposed to be done.

“I Promise” is one of 3 previously unreleased tracks from the album OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 – 2017 – 20th Anniversary album release.

Photo credit: Danny Clinch

When Radiohead releases OK Computer: OKNOTOK, an expanded edition of their groundbreaking 1997 album O.K Computer in June, fans will finally hear three tracks that have long say in the band’s vaults and brains.

Though previously unreleased, the three tracks, “Lift,” “I Promise” and  “Man Of War” won’t be completely unfamiliar to fans. “Lift” has had a regular spot in 1996 set lists , when it became a fan favorite, and was resurrected on tour in 2002. Radiohead started tinkering with it again in 2014, while they began work on 2016’s “A Moon Shaped Pool” .

According to fan site Green Plastic frontman Thom Yorke said he wasn’t happy with their live performances of “Lift” in the ‘90s, and even recorded a few versions during their sessions for OK Computer but never released it. Yorke wanted to air it out before the band began dissecting it. They toyed with putting versions it on Kid A in 2000 and “Amnesiac” in 2001, but it never came to fruition.

“We haven’t lost the song. We played it too much in a certain way that didn’t work in my opinion,” he said. “It didn’t feel right. So we need to approach it in a different way but at the time of OK Computer it was impossible to get into rearranging it because everyone had fixed ideas on what to play and we’d all just got into a habit we couldn’t break, like staring too long at strangers, know what I mean?”

Although guitarist Ed O’Brien called the song “a bogs—e B-side and we were very happy to leave it off the album,”  Radiohead unveiled a slower, more lyrically polished version of “Lift” in Lisbon, Portugal, and at a few other shows in 2002. The update also notably removes mention of Thom, the person being saved from a stuck elevator.

As recently as 2015, while confirming that the band had been working on the tune again, guitarist Jonny Greenwood told the Dutch website 3voor12 that such resurrections are common practice for Radiohead albums.

“What people don’t know is that there’s a very old song on each album, like ‘Nude’ on In Rainbows. We never found the right arrangement for that, until then. ‘Lift’ is just like that. When the idea is right, it stays right. It doesn’t really matter in which form.”

Like “Lift” and “Man Of War” both of which will also be included on the reissue of Radiohead’s  O.K Computer OKNOTOK  a reissue marking the 20th anniversary of O.K Computer, “I Promise,” which you can listen to above, was a regular on the set lists of the ’90s.

In particular, the song was played on tour in 1996, but never to return to performances or see an official release, though it has long been circulated by fans on bootlegs. Despite a large swath of unreleased Radiohead songs, all three were among those most widely topping fan’s wish lists.

“I Promise,” however, is more personal than the other two songs that are getting their first official airing, as well as the bulk of 1997’s OK Computer. Where the rest of the coming two-disc collection revolves around more abstract ideas like technology, globalization and aliens, “I Promise” seems like it might follow a couple’s argument, with the narrator’s pledge to do better.

Several fan favorites will be among the three previously unreleased tracks that will grace Radiohead’s 20th anniversary reissue O.K Computer OKNOTOK iincluding “Man of War,” .

Marking the anniversary of their groundbreaking 1997 album OK Computer, the two-disc set will also include “I Promise” and “Lift.” All three tracks, though never officially released, were setlist mainstays in the ’90s, and have floated around on bootlegs for years. The song was written around the time the band released their second album, “The Bends” , in 1995. It has alternately been called “Big Boots” or “Man o’ War.”

According to the fan site, Green Plastic, the band tried to record it several times, including for The Avengers soundtrack, but were never satisfied with the results. They were seen working on it in their 1998 documentary, Meeting People Is Easy, but it had been left in the vaults because, as frontman Thom Yorke told MTV’s 120 Minutes, they “couldn’t find a proper way into it.”

“We ditched it because we were so messed up and we went in, tried to do the track, but we just couldn’t do it. It was actually a really difficult period of time,” Yorke said. “We had a five-week break and all the s— was coming to the surface. It was all a bit weird – I mean we went in and tried to do this old track that we had and it just wasn’t happening at all. It was a real low point after it.”

After a week of fans speculating on what would an anniversary edition might include, many of them wonder when they’ll hear the updated versions of these previously unreleased tracks, like “I Promise,” live. Radiohead will begin the European leg of its 2017 tour on June 7th.

XL Recordings

You can pre-order OK Computer: OKNOTOK, which will be released on June 23rd, on Radiohead’s website.