Radiohead – The Bends

25 05 2010

Listened: Monday May 24

The Bends is one of my favorite albums ever. I have to admit that I didn’t own the first two Radiohead albums until well after OK Computer and Kid A. I was a fan of their singles on the radio; I just didn’t take the time to check out all their albums until I had worn out the later ones. I was missing something!

Sulk is the only hetero-male legit torch song I can think of. High and Dry, Fake Plastic Trees, Nice Dream, and Bulletproof are all very creepy (ha) but beautiful songs. The guitar and bass are really good as a whole, and the relatively immature angst of this album is kind of cute compared to later Radiohead.

Despite not owning the album at the time, The Bends era holds a special place in my heart in terms of nostalgia. My high school friends and I saw Radiohead at the Berkeley Community Theater for Live 105’s Green Christmas. They were the second band to play in a 9 band lineup (the other bands were Sonic Youth, Billy Idol, Oasis, Jawbreaker, The Rentals, Garbage, No Doubt, and Toadies, for context) and according to the internets they played:

The Bends
My Iron Lung
High & Dry
Fake Plastic Trees

I remember the circumstances of that show a lot more than how or what Radiohead played. Friends had to lie to their parents to go to a show that far from home and we had to leave before Oasis was done, to catch the last BART train back to Fremont, where I had parked my newly acquired 1986 Volkswagen Jetta with the whistley radio. We packed that car full of 5 teenagers for the trip (and this was before the rules about kids not being able to drive a car full of kids after midnight – thank god. I pity today’s teenagers!) and as a new driver it seemed a big deal to drive so far outside normal routes with a full car. Probably because of all the exigencies, it’s a really fond memory and these songs definitely bring all that back.



2 responses

11 11 2010

before OK Computer, its Fake Plastic Tree and Bulletproof everyday for me.

22 11 2010
Radiohead – OK Computer « Emily's Albums A to Z

[…] Computer is the first Radiohead album I ever bought. I slacked on purchasing The Bends and Pablo Honey for a very long time, just because I was very familiar with the singles (and a […]

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