- Audio Cassette (April 4 1995)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Capitol
- ASIN: B000002TQW
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (451 customer reviews)
This CD is the only Radiohead album that is consistently strong from start to finish. Songs like "High and Dry", "Fake Plastic Trees", "Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was" and "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" are stunning in their virtuosity and beauty. "Just" is a really catchy tune that sounds upbeat--if you ignore the lyrics. The title track and "Bones" are the closest thing to head-bangers that you'll get from RH, and "My Iron Lung" is experimental without the pretentiousness that has sandbagged some of their later efforts.
To put things in perspective, the much ballyhooed "OK Computer" has stronger individual songs than "The Bends", but it sputters to a close for much of its second half. I admire "Kid A" for RH's daring electronic experimentation and their unwillingness to make "OK Computer, Part 2". Some of its songs are great, but overall "Kid A" lacks heart and it left me a little cold. While "Amnesiac" has some jaw-dropping moments (e.g. "The Pyramid Song"), it's perhaps RH's most inconsistent album. However, "The Bends" is strong from start to finish and it doesn't let up.
Ergo, I would recommend "The Bends" as the best place to start for the casual Radiohead listener, then proceed to the other CDs if you really like these guys.
Two final things before I go:
1. Why can't Radiohead make a decent-looking album cover? I don't know who designs their stuff, but they really need to hire a new crew or something. "Kid A" was their best album cover, but it looks like a high school art student's interpretation of J.R.R.Read more ›
I also recommend 'Pablo Honey' for it is in the same vein of "pretty melodies mixed with thrashing guitars."
Beautifully written, performed and produced. Near unique..
This review is fairly redundant in that almost everyone who cares already knows how good this is.
What makes it special is the knowledge that all subsequent output went way downhill. This was the high water mark for this band in my opinion.
Doesn't stop me hearing the fingers sliding on the opening chord changes in "Nice Dream" and being annoyed by it. But then it's probably taken me ten years of regular listening to be really aware of it...and it may be deliberate!
More longevity than anything you'll probably ever listen to...