Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 

Radiohead - "Give Up the Ghost" ('From the Basement')

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Mar 2, 2012
by Christopher O'Riley
Classical pianist and composer Christopher O'Riley curates Mixed Media selecting favorites of his work and others.

Radiohead have, especially in the more Thom Yorke-primary pieces, shown a proclivity for deconstruction. “Like Spinning Plates” is, on record, an amalgam of reversed vocal recording spliced in with recordings of Yorke’s singing backwards, in live performance, an ingenious piano/vocal piece (for which I get credit for unwarranted originality only by being super-fan familiar with the released live version on the EP, I Might Be Wrong).


More recently, one got a bigger dose of this live/studio disconnect when Thom Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser was released. To my ears, the album sounded like someone too enamoured of his laptop, while the live versions of the Eraser songs sounded like a songwriter at his creative peak.
  
I had a similar adverse reaction to Radiohead’s latest release, The King of Limbs, even to the point of doubting the intrinsic worth, as songs, of so many of the Limbs works. So obscured and alienating did I find the production environments for each song, only to be happily thwarted by the extraordinary verve, mastery and sheer great song-writing in the subsequent live performances of Limbs material, on SNL, Colbert Report, and here on the BBC, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich-curated series, From the Basement.


The Basement performance of “Give Up the Ghost” inspired my own piano take on the piece, downloadable here.


Related Articles
By Scott Elingburg
16 Apr 2015
Three unique takes on tracks from The Bends, spanning the stripped-down acoustic to the full-fledged orchestral, represent how these songs still have the power to stun two decades later.
By Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell
14 Apr 2015
In the eyes of critics, can David Lynch ever make a bad film? Or Kanye West a bad album?
12 Apr 2015
While OK Computer is important in its own right, The Bends transformed Radiohead from being a potentially indistinguishable Alternative Nation contributor to a band who has redefined the term "rock" for the past two decades.
7 Apr 2015
In jumping forward from the lackluster Pablo Honey, Radiohead finally started becoming the Radiohead that is idolized today.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2015 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.