During Mary Anne Hobbs' BBC Radio 6 show, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood revealed that Radiohead will begin recording their ninth studio album in September. Greenwood's exact words were: “We’re going to start up in September, playing, rehearsing and recording and see how it’s sounding".
After touring on their King of Limbs album for two years, the members of Radiohead decided to take a well-deserved year off from the band. Jonny Greenwood kept busy composing scores, including one for the next PT Anderson film, Inherent Vice; drummer Phil Selway just announced his sophomore solo album; Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace project released its debut LP and toured extensively, and Colin Greenwood spent time in South Africa as a Global Ambassador for the Children’s Radio Foundation. The band plans to reconvene at the end of summer 2014 to discuss their next musical venture. In the meantime, I've decided to revisit their best material to date. That being said, I want to share a few tenets that guided me in putting this roster of songs together: 1.) Innovation, in and of itself, does not equate to merit. What's the best Radiohead album of all time? If you're reading this I imagine you've haggled over this question with friends and found the most common answers to be Ok Computer and Kid A. Sitting cross-legged around the water bong with saucers of yerba mate one friend will claim that OK Computer's forays into the frenetic, digital and dreamy marked a definitive shift in Radiohead's sound, while another will counter that Kid A is a full realization of that sound; of possibilities OK Computer merely hinted at. Both claims, while true, do not consider the merit of each album independently, but within the greater context of the band's progression. This will not do; one must evaluate the albums, and for the purposes of this list, each song, alone, on an island beneath the stars they seem intent on mirroring. 2.) No Pablo, No Bends.The Louvre doesn't showcase Renoir's sketches. 3.) The measuring stick is akin to the notion of God.These songs were chosen for their ability to articulate the ineffable; for their capacity to condense the most intricate aches and elations of the human experience and convey them through sound; for their penchant to enflame brilliant recognitions in the listener's mind. This is Radiohead, not the fucking Little River Band.