The Vinyl Sessions - Radiohead: OK Computer

The Vinyl Sessions - Radiohead: OK Computer

30th October 2022

After our debut Radiohead session in March 2014 with ‘The Bends’ (Yes, it really was that long ago!) the time feels right for us to present our 2nd Radiohead session with ‘OK Computer’.

Recorded principally between July 1996 – March 1997 (with a nod to 1995) and released to high critical acclaim in May 1997, ‘OK Computer’ contains 12 tracks crammed with towering lyrical ambition and musical exploration that refuse to re-tread the successful formulas of before and instead opt for innovation and surprise.

This was a life born after ‘The Bends’ and away from traditional rock and roll, derived instead from a place of anxiety and paranoia that distanced itself from the declining movement of Britpop. A transitional work in the best sense of the word, it was a clinical move into the cold and empirical, before the decisive nosedive into electronica that triggered ‘Kid A’.

The album's lyrics depict a world fraught with rampant consumerism, social alienation, emotional isolation and political malaise; in this capacity, ‘OK Computer’ has been said to have prescient insight into the mood of 21st-century life.

Each song is a monument in its own right, performed with an artistry that sounds somehow effortless in spite of the album’s musical complexities. While Thom Yorke provides the voice to carry a nervous narrative, a band united in their despondency set the oscillation in motion. Individual excellence never interferes: even “Paranoid Android”, the album’s most ambitious moment, weaves through multiple passages without a display of brandish swagger.

The album's release in 1997 captured a moment in time that was somehow ahead of its own. To merely brand it a landmark of the ’90s is a disservice to its insight — ‘OK Computer’ is as relevant now as ever, both culturally and sonically. The term ‘timeless’ is indeed hastily hurled at works too often, but in the case of ‘OK Computer’, there’s no term more appropriate.

The album will be curated by Callum Fauser.

The album playback will be followed by a Q&A session.

After a short break, we'll follow the album with our usual ‘Dead Wax’ session. Bring along a 7” of your choice and hear it played through the Arts Centre PA. This can be anything you like, for any reason – the more ‘out there’ the better. The bar will be open throughout.

£3 Admission. 
Doors open 12pm, session starts at 12.30pm.
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