Last week marked the 20th anniversary of Radiohead‘s ‘The Bends,’ which is the band’s finest album. So how do their other seven studio releases measure up? Let’s take a look.
|8. Hail To The Thief (2003)|
Fair warning: you’re probably not going to agree with most of my rankings this time around. That being said, I think all of us, as Radiohead fans, will agree that this is the album we go back to the least.
|7. The King Of Limbs (2011)|
The album that brought you Dancin’ Thommy in the “Lotus Flower” video and inspired countless related memes is a slow-burner: it clicks right around that fifth listen and sticks with you from that point on.
|6. Amnesiac (2001)|
Here’s where I’ll lose a lot of you. But I offer no apologies: guitar-heavy Radiohead will always sound better than computer-heavy Radiohead. Chugga-chugga trumps bleep-bloop every time.
|5. Kid A (2000)|
Yes, your favorite Radiohead album–the one you’d put atop your ranked list–is, in reality, a middle-of-the-pack release. Their fifth-best album. Crestfallen, aren’t you? I’m so sorry.
|4. Pablo Honey (1993)|
I can hear you whining now: “Seriously, ‘Pablo Honey’ in the top half of the list?” Look, just because you’ve dismissed the band’s oft-overlooked debut album as just “Creep” and a bunch of other tracks doesn’t make it right. It’s a damn good album. Criminally underrated.
|3. OK Computer (1997)|
For a time, I thought ‘OK Computer’ was Radiohead’s finest hour. Then 2007 and ‘In Rainbows’ happened and I spent a lot of quality time with ‘The Bends’ and now it’s their third-finest hour. I can’t believe I actually just typed that; that’s how good this album is.
|2. In Rainbows (2007)|
Not just a collection of great songs (which it is), but a proper album, released at a time when proper albums were becoming increasingly hard to come by. These songs work independent of one another, but put together in this order, as this album, they are near-perfect.
|1. The Bends (1995)|
Seven singles. SEVEN SINGLES. That’s more than half of the album released as singles. And for good reason: it truly is, all around, Radiohead’s greatest piece of work. Each song so well-written and produced, and the videos that they inspired were groundbreaking at the time and still intrigue twenty years later. And, of course, guitars.