The 10 best Radiohead songs that aren't Creep
Delain's Charlotte Wessels picks Radiohead's greatest tracks
I discovered Radiohead through their album 'Amnesiac'. That’s the album they released in 2001 after 'Kid A' – but a lot of those songs were written during the same writing sessions. I know a lot of people who were already fans of Radiohead through the massive hits were kind of saying, 'This is getting a bit too weird for me now’. But since that’s where I stepped in, those were the first Radiohead songs that I really got used to.
When I first listened to Amnesiac, I got completely depressed. But then I started appreciating it more and more with each listen. Radiohead are one of those bands who get under your skin and mix with whatever emotions you already have going on. They help me resolve a lot of things too. I know that a lot of people take strength from music and I do as well. Radiohead have done that a lot for me over the years.
PYRAMID SONG (Amnesiac, 2001)
Pyramid Song is kind of a weird song but it has really inspired me in a lot of ways. It has an unusual feel with a lot of major and minor changes and has really beautiful lyrics. When I was younger, I played the clarinet. I never truly played the piano until I heard this song and tried singing along with some basic chords. Pyramid Song was one of the first songs I listened to where I felt I really had to play the piano because I wanted to understand what they were doing. I fell in love with that song and it inspired me to pick up a new instrument. I still brings a tear to my eye when I listen to it.
EXIT MUSIC (FOR A FILM) (OK Computer, 1997)
Like a lot of girls around that time, I loved the film Romeo & Juliet starring Leonardo Di Caprio. When I saw the film for the first time, I wasn’t aware of Radiohead. Years later, I got OK Computer and listened to it a lot and started loving them more and more. Exit Music (For a Film) really stood out for me. I became completely obsessed with the song and over time, it’s gotten a more heavy meaning to me as I’ve heard it at more than one funeral. It wasn’t until years later when I watched Romeo & Juliet again that I realised the soundtrack for that film was built almost entirely out of Radiohead songs, and that Exit Music was actually in the film. It was such a lovely experience seeing two of my favourite things coming together – it really consecrated my love of both of them.
MYXOMATOSIS (Hail to the Thief, 2003)
I like Myxomatosis because it’s so energetic. It’s one of my favourite songs to put on in the morning when I have to get up and do stuff. I love the dark, distorted synth sounds in it, and we used a similar sound on one of the early Delain records. I remember bringing the song to Martijn [Westerholt, guitar] and saying, ‘Listen to this, this is such a cool sound!’ He was like, ‘We could use something like that here,’ and I started appreciating it infinitely more from there.
SCATTERBRAIN (Hail to the Thief, 2003)
There’s a funny bit in April Rain by Delain where I say, ‘How does it feel when all you’re counting on is scatterbrain.’ A lot of people thought I’d misspelled that word, or that perhaps I meant ‘scatterbrained’, but I was actually talking about the Radiohead song. Why? It’s another one of those songs that I put on when I’m feeling really low as my last resort or final rescue. It’s like my therapy song, and that line is me referencing that. We have another song called Breathe On Me, that’s s about my star crush on Nick Cave, so I don’t tend to keep those things to myself!
IDIOTEQUE (Kid A, 2000)
There’s not a lot of genuine dance tracks in alternative music that speak to me in the way that this song does. Whenever I listen to this song I think of myself in my late teens when I was going out a lot; this was always the party song. Whenever I’ve seen them play this live, they blow the roof off. Whenever I hear it now it’s just so full of positive energy. For someone like me, who really enjoys the more melodramatic tracks a lot of the time, Idioteque really jumps out and has a really positive vibe because of the associations that I have with it.
I’VE SEEN IT ALL (Björk feat. Thom Yorke, Selmasongs, 2000)
If I can bend the rules a little bit then I’d like to include I’ve Seen It All. It’s a track that Björk did with Thom Yorke. If anybody hasn’t heard this song before and they appreciate Radiohead, then they need to listen to this. Like I said earlier, when two of your favourite things come together it’s just too good to be true. For example,I saw that one of my favourite painters had painted a portrait of Thom Yorke a while ago. I actually died a little – it’s so nice. This song is really special. It might also be a little easier to get into for some people because the lyrics are a little bit more concrete and relatable than a lot of Radiohead’s lyrics. I think it’s a song that a lot of people would enjoy even though it’s incredibly sad. It’s also very comforting in a way, and it’s definitely one that I would want to include in my top 10.
PARANOID ANDROID (OK Computer, 1997)
Of course, I have to say Paranoid Android! In the ‘90s, people said this song was the new Bohemian Rhapsody. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but I think the song certainly has a very high level of complexity – it feels like three different songs in one. With Radiohead, it’s usually not the biggest hits that I tend to favour, but this one is absolutely phenomenal.
CODEX (The King of Limbs, 2011)
Every time there’s a new Radiohead record out, I have to listen to it three times to really get into it. I like the entire King of Limbs record and Codex is a brilliant song. Radiohead have never been afraid of taking risks and I think that’s really important, because nobody should do the same thing their whole career. It’s a bold move to keep making those changes because you know with every album you might lose some people. You might win some people too, but it’s a risk to take. I have huge respect for them doing that and I see it as a huge inspiration as well.
HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY (Kid A, 2000)
This would probably be in my top two songs by Radiohead. It’s the one that I go to when I really feel bad and it makes me feel so much better. I love it. I don’t know what to say. I just like it so much. It’s another one of the songs that gets under my skin, mixes with whatever is there, and makes it better.
During Christmas, I was scrolling through my Facebook page and saw that Radiohead had posted a message saying they were asked to record a song for the Bond movie Spectre. I really like Bond movies, so I jumped through the roof! I understand why this recording didn't become the title track because it's just a bit too complex. But for me, it’s kind of in the vein of the songs that I really like off Amnesiac. It felt like a Christmas present. I also think that it’s very typical of Radiohead to take a challenge like that and completely make it their own, regardless of whether it works for the actual movie or not.
Charlotte was speaking to Matt Stocks. Listen to the songs on our Spotify playlist: The 10 best Radiohead songs that aren't Creep
Delain's new EP Lunar Prelude will be released on February 19 through Napalm Records.