Bends

The Bends

5.0 1
by Radiohead
     
 

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Two years before breaking into America in a big way with the weighty OK COMPUTER, this British quintet forged a quiet triumph with this melancholy medley of melodrama. Propelled by front man Thom Yorke's disconsolate delivery (not to mention his decidedly doomy lyrics), the album zigzags through the listener's consciousness, leaving a

Overview

Two years before breaking into America in a big way with the weighty OK COMPUTER, this British quintet forged a quiet triumph with this melancholy medley of melodrama. Propelled by front man Thom Yorke's disconsolate delivery (not to mention his decidedly doomy lyrics), the album zigzags through the listener's consciousness, leaving a lingering unease -- and a desire for more. Yorke is at his best when pondering his own inadequacies, which he does with uncommon honesty on tracks like "Bullet Proof" and "My Iron Lung." His bandmates -- particularly guitarists Jonny Greenwood and Ed O'Brien -- wrap Yorke's tales in deceptively complex melodies that split the difference between prog-rock grandiosity and gloom-pop ennui. A low-key gem.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Pablo Honey in no way was adequate preparation for its epic, sprawling follow-up, The Bends. Building from the sweeping, three-guitar attack that punctuated the best moments of Pablo Honey, Radiohead create a grand and forceful sound that nevertheless resonates with anguish and despair -- it's cerebral anthemic rock. Occasionally, the album displays its influences, whether it's U2, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., or the Pixies, but Radiohead turn clichés inside out, making each song sound bracingly fresh. Thom Yorke's tortured lyrics give the album a melancholy undercurrent, as does the surging, textured music. But what makes The Bends so remarkable is that it marries such ambitious, and often challenging, instrumental soundscapes to songs that are at their cores hauntingly melodic and accessible. It makes the record compelling upon first listen, but it reveals new details with each listen, and soon it becomes apparent that with The Bends, Radiohead have reinvented anthemic rock.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/04/1995
Label:
Parlophone (Wea)
UPC:
0724382962625
catalogNumber:
296265

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Radiohead   Primary Artist
Caroline LaVelle   Cello
Colin Greenwood   Bass
Jonny Greenwood   Organ,Synthesizer,Guitar,Piano,Recorder
John Matthias   Violin,Viola
Ed O'Brien   Guitar,Vocals
Phil Selway   Drums
Thom Yorke   Guitar,Piano,Vocals

Technical Credits

Radiohead   Producer
John Leckie   Producer,Engineer
Jim Warren   Producer,Engineer
Nigel Godrich   Producer,Engineer
Colin Greenwood   Composer
Jonny Greenwood   Composer,String Arrangements
Ed O'Brien   Composer
Phil Selway   Composer
Thom Yorke   Composer,String Arrangements
Stanley Donwood   Illustrations
Chris Brown   Engineer

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The Bends 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
After Pablo Honey, a lot of people thought Radiohead was going to be a one hit wonder. With this masterpiece everyone who paid attention realized that they were one of the best bands in music. The Bends has amazing lyrics, and great hooks, leaving the listener absorbed into the sound. I think I have listened to this album more than anyhting else released in the 90's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album does no wrong...it's musically solid throughout with no real weak spots or no songs that are "just ok"...no, this album has it all! it's moody and emotional like a freak thunderstorm...some songs flash like lightning and some songs crash and boom like thunder in a glorious fury that is THE BENDS
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Bends is the best album to play while driving around aimlessly in the middle of the night with the windows down. It hits you from all directions and will make you an instand fan of Radiohead. Standouts are the title track, Nice Dream, and Street Spirit [Fade Out]. 5 stars easy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this album because my friend is a huge Radiohead fan. I listened to it once to the end and thought it had two great songs "High and Dry" "Fake Plastic Trees". I never paid the CD much attention again until "Hail to the Thief" came out (over a year after I got The Bends) I gave it two more listens and now it is one of my favorite albums. (If your a FAN OF COLDPLAY THIS WOULD BE A GREAT ADDITION TO YOUR COLLECTION) The songs are not as obscure as some of radioheads more recent releases.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A showcase of near-perfect songwriting.
poughkeepsiejohn More than 1 year ago
When Radiohead first emerged with their 1993 hit single, "Creep", some were hoping they would become a band that was just as exciting and integral as The Beatles or Nirvana. While Radiohead didn't turn out to be another Beatles or Nirvana, the music they have created has been spectacular on its own terms. Lead singer and songwriter Thom Yorke has taken the gloom of alternative music to heart and created music that is sometimes danceable, sometimes depressing, yet always compelling. The first step towards that was this album. "The Bends" was released in 1995 and remains a pithy, churning classic. Loosely inspired by George Orwell's vision of computerized, dehumanized societies and by the angry, groudnbreaking comedy of Bill Hicks (in fact, the album is dedicated to him), "The Bends" was like smart arena rock for the flannel shirt generation. True, "High And Dry", "Fake Plastic Trees" and "Just" were timeless rockers. However, the rest of the album reveals a sense of generational surrender, particularly in the title track and the final cut, "Street Spirit", which remains one of their greatest songs. The second disc of the deluxe edition contains probably more material than we care to. Yet, much of it is very good, ranging from the unintentionally funny "You Never Wash Up After Yourself" to the heartbreaking "How Can You Be Sure?" There are also some impressive live concerts here from a BBC-1 Radio session and some striking acoustic live versions of "Fake Plastic Trees" and "Street Spirit". Radiohead would go on to make even better records in the future. Though it's nice to know that these guys went from making an average debut album and nearly all of their records since have been nothing short of original brilliance.
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