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Radiohead's The Bends

Old 03-16-03, 01:56 AM
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Radiohead's The Bends

I just got the new Rolling Stone and their hall of fame review is of this classic album by Radiohead. So that led me to revisit one of my favorite albums ever. And it's still as fresh today as it was in 1995 (almost a decade ago already!). Here's my review song by song (amazon.com style!):
1. Planet Telex 8/10. What an explosive opener. Radiohead usually start their albums with a great opening track and try the rest of the album to live up to it. Planet Telex sounds unlike anything on Radiohead's debut, Pablo Honey. Great melody, very good lyrics.

2. The Bends 9/10. One of the straight rockers on this album. Even more energy than Planet Telex.

3. High and Dry 10/10. As soon as you hear the symbals at the start, you know you're in for something great. Thom Yorke's voice is quieter than in the previous two songs. A classic.

4. Fake Plastic Trees 10/10. One of the best ballads ever. The acoustic sound and Thom's heartbreaking lyrics on fakery in life make this song one of my favorites ever. "If I could be who you wanted all the time" gets me almost every time.

5. Bones 8/10. Pretty good song, but almost goes unnoticed because the listener is trying to recover from the greatness of the previous song. This song and My Iron Lung use health metaphors to convey emotions.

6. Nice Dream 9/10. Nice quiet song, like an interlude similar to Fitter Happier, Treefingers, and Hunting Bears from the subsequent Radiohead releases. Slows the pace down after Bones to make the next song, Just, even more amazing than it is.

7. Just 10/10 This one hits like the listener likes a sucker punch. It's totally unexpected after Nice Dream. Jonny Greenwood shows his great talent on this one.

8. My Iron Lung 10/10. One of the most underrated Radiohead songs. Looming behind the giant shadow cast by Just is this gem of a song with awesome guitar work. This is the song in which Radiohead tries to disown Creep.

9. Bulletproof 9/10. Another ballad, I love the lyrics on this one.

10. Blackstar 10/10. My favorite cut on the album. Starts with a fade instead of ending with one. I love the start of the third verse with only the drums and the bass and the doubling of the voice on perhaps my favorite line: "I keep falling over, I keep passing out when I see a face like you." Thom's voice sounds great on this track.

11. Sulk 7/10. Every album has a weaker track and this is it. Not a bad track but nowhere near as great as the other songs.

12. Street Spirit 10/10. Superb ending to a superb album. Ed O'Brien's guitar arpeggios are great and create one of the most memorable Radiohead melodies. Ends the album on a positive note: "Immerse yourself in love". The video for this song is great too.

Overall 9/10. The most mainstream and easy to listen Radiohead album, The Bends is a collection of great songs, almost like a greatest hits album. This is Radiohead at its greatest in terms of guitar work. It's been released almost a decade ago, and bands like Coldplay, Travis and many more still can't come anywhere close to the greatness that is The Bends. Radiohead will eventually turn to a more electronic sound because they knew that they have reached their peak in terms of this type of sound and album.


What do you guys and gals think of the Bends and how well do you think it has aged?

Last edited by evenflow; 03-17-03 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 03-16-03, 06:34 AM
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I probably need to listen to this again because when it came out I was completely unimpressed with "The Bends". I was shocked when I heard "OK Computer" because it was like a totally different band... for the better. I love everything I've heard from Coldplay and Travis. Wonder why The Bends left me cold? (and for the record, I really enjoy where Radiohead has gone musically)
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Old 03-16-03, 12:06 PM
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Street Spirit is one of my favorite Radiohead songs ever. I remember vividly blasting that song and keeping it on repeat for a half hour. Such a beautiful song.
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Old 03-16-03, 03:02 PM
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I'm an OK Computer fan...I have The Bends but I don't listen to it a whole lot. Good album, but it begins to sound a little dated to me.
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Old 03-16-03, 04:50 PM
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The Bends is my 2nd fave Radiohead album, after OK Computer. I don't like "High and Dry" much, though - it sounds too much like a calculated pop hit. "Street Spirit" is probably my favorite Radiohead song, although "Fake Plastic Trees" is close. That's the thing about The Bends (at least to me) vis a vis OK Computer - there's not a song on OK Computer I like as well as the two I just mentioned, but OK Computer hangs together better as a complete work, whereas The Bends is 'merely' a collection of great songs.
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Old 03-16-03, 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by wendersfan
That's the thing about The Bends (at least to me) vis a vis OK Computer - there's not a song on OK Computer I like as well as the two I just mentioned, but OK Computer hangs together better as a complete work, whereas The Bends is 'merely' a collection of great songs.
I completely agree with that statement.
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Old 03-16-03, 06:16 PM
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even,

I thought you disliked Planet Telex and thought it would be great if that song were not on it at all?

Or maybe it is just what I saw in another thread.

Oh well.

Once before I said that The Bends was my favorite Radiohead album. Today it is not. Tomorrow it might very well be.

that is what I love about Radiohead. Every cd is awesome and they have never let me down.
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Old 03-16-03, 06:18 PM
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Favorite Song from album:

Street Spirit/Fake Plastic Trees (take your pick)

Least Favorite Song from album:

Nice Dream
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Old 03-16-03, 07:15 PM
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Originally posted by conscience
even,

I thought you disliked Planet Telex and thought it would be great if that song were not on it at all?
I changed my mind after listening to it a few times.
Like today, Black Star is my favorite song on the album but last week it was Fake Plastic Trees.
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Old 03-16-03, 09:59 PM
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The Bends is my favorite Radiohead album. I think it has aged well and I think it still has the same effect on me now as it did when I first bought it a few years back. I still love it.
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Old 03-17-03, 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by conscience
Favorite Song from album:

Street Spirit/Fake Plastic Trees (take your pick)

Least Favorite Song from album:

Nice Dream
Bah, Nice Dream is amazing.

Here's how i rank the tracks by how i like them:
1.Planet Telex
2.Nice Dream
3.Just
4.My Iron lung
5.Fake Plastic Trees
6.Street Spirit
7.Bones
8.The Bends
9.High and Dry
10.Bullet Proof
11.Black Star
12.Sulk

I've gotten immensely tired of "the bends" and "high and dry," they just seem really plain to me.

I love this album as a whole but it is third at best. (1. OK Computer, 2.Kid A, 3.The Bends/Amnesiac) This list rotates regularly so you never know.

I'm interested to see other's lists.
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Old 03-17-03, 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by BenFolds


I'm interested to see other's lists.
The Bends:
1. Black Star
2. Fake Plastic Trees
3. Street Spirit
4. Just
5. My Iron Lung
6. High and Dry
7. Bulletproof
8. The Bends
9. Nice Dream
10. Planet Telex
11. Bones
12. Sulk

Radioihead albums:
1. OK Computer
2. The Bends
3. Kid A
4. Amnesiac
5. Pablo Honey
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Old 03-17-03, 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by BenFolds
Bah, Nice Dream is amazing.
It is an amazing song. But IMO, just not my favorite on the album.

My lists:

The Bends:

01. Fake Plastic Trees TIE
01. Street Spirit TIE
03. Black Star
04. The Bends
05. Planet Telex
06. Sulk
07. The Bends
08. Bones
09. Just
10. Bullet Proof
11. My Iron Lung
12. Nice Dream

BTW, The Bends has some of the most amazing b-sides of all time.


Radiohead albums (as of today)

1. Ok Computer
2. Kid A
3. Amnesiac
4. The Bends
5. Pablo Honey
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Old 03-17-03, 02:51 PM
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My favorite RH album by a mile. Why does everyone rate Sulk so low? Its one of the best songs on there.
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Old 03-17-03, 02:58 PM
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It's all about "Black Star".
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Old 03-17-03, 03:02 PM
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The album goes into my CD player at least once every other week. It's one of my favorites and will probably be for a long long time.
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Old 03-17-03, 03:27 PM
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1. Planet Telex
2. Street Spirit
3. Fake Plastic Trees
4. Nice Dream
5. Sulk
6. Bulletproof
7. Just
8. Black Star
9. Nigh N Dry
10. My Iron Lung
11. The Bends
12. Bones
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Old 04-09-03, 08:52 AM
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I agree sulk is a killer track!

I always ahve a hard time picking between ok and bends. they are both so great all through. you cant skip a track on both!

what about rare tracks ? they got some great rare tracks that could easily climb the charts.

1.planet telex
2.sulk
3.street spirit
4.the bends
5.my iron lung
6.just
7.nice dream
8.bullet proof
9.bones
10.high n dry
11. black star
12. fake plastic trees
 
Old 04-22-03, 08:44 PM
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I'd have to go with Bulletproof as my favorite track, I think overall it's a very good album, but I think overall I enjoyed OK Computer a bit more maybe. I'm not sure really, havn't listened to either album in the longest time, recently I've been listening to Amnesiac.
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Old 04-23-03, 04:26 PM
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"Sulk" is embarassingly bad. It's been on perma-skip for 7 or so years, now. The album is good, but the high points are too much higher than the rest (that often bear to much semblance for my taste) for this to be even in their top two, let alone most CD's out there.
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