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All 164 Radiohead Songs, Ranked In Order From Worst To Best

Everything in its right place: All of Radiohead's songs – album tracks, B-sides, that one Bond song – listed in definitive order.

164. "MK 2," In Rainbows: Discbox

— Is this a song? It's included here because it appears as a separate track on the bonus disc from In Rainbows, but reasonable people could certainly disagree. Classic example of the sonic bits n pieces that hang around some of Radiohead's later albums. (SL)

163. "MK 1," In Rainbows: Discbox

— See "MK 2," above. (SL)

162. "Where Bluebirds Fly," There There (single)

161. "Fast-Track," Pyramid Song (single)

160. "I Am Citizen Insane," Go to Sleep (single)

159. "Trans-Atlantic Drawl," Pyramid Song (single)

158. "Million Dollar Question," Creep (single)

157. "Pop Is Dead," Pop Is Dead (single)

— The video for this song is just delightfully weird! Radiohead at their most campy. Guitarist Ed O'Brien once called the song "a hideous mistake." (SL)

156. "Melatonin," Paranoid Android (single)

155. "Treefingers," Kid A

— As opposed to everything so far on the list, this song appeared on a full album, and while it doesn't really stand on its own, at least in the context of an album it makes sense, marking a transition on Kid A between the pensive "How To Disappear Completely" and more straightforward rock of "Optimistic." (SL)

154. "Kinetic," Pyramid Song (single)

153. "Phillipa Chicken," Manic Hedgehog (demo)

152. "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)," Harry Patch (In Memory Of) (single)

151. "You Never Wash Up After Yourself," My Iron Lung EP

— Recorded live in a fruit farm for the My Iron Lung EP, this song is notable for its very Radiohead-esque ability to make the minor annoyance of never doing the dishes sound like an international tragedy, and for the fact that it clocks in at 1:44, making it the perfect track to fill up the extra space on the A-side of that mix tape you're making for your ex (yes, I am 100 years old). (JS)

150. "Fitter Happier," OK Computer

— The most-hated song on OK Computer, "Fitter Happier" nonetheless serves an important role on the album as a clear statement of the record's primary theme at its middle point: Essentially, "We are all just so unbelievably alienated by technology." The robot voice is not Stephen Hawking's – it was generated in a drunken late night at the computer, by Thom Yorke, if the legend is to be believed. Fun fact: The sample loop in the background says "This is the Panic Office, section nine-seventeen may have been hit. Activate the following procedure." So that's nice. (JS)

149. "The Butcher," Supercollider/The Butcher (single)

148. "Nothing Touches Me," Manic Hedgehog (demo)

147. "Meeting in the Aisle," Karma Police (single)

— One of the band's most substantial instrumental tracks, this is the perfect theme song for when you're home by yourself, being weird. (JS)

146. "Lozenge of Love," My Iron Lung EP

145. "I Am a Wicked Child," Go to Sleep (single)

144. "Faithless, the Wonder Boy," Anyone Can Play Guitar (single)

— A live favorite in the early days, "Faithless" doesn't really get as much love as it deserves in the modern era of Radiohead, what with its satisfying crunchy guitars and actual catchy chorus. What it does share with modern Radiohead is a whole lot of ambiguity around its lyrics – the band says that this is not about doing drugs despite the "I can't put the needle in" chorus. Instead, it's about, somehow, revenge. (JS)

143. "Coke Babies," Anyone Can Play Guitar (single)

— There are some lovely elements from this overlooked song, and it's a great example for how Radiohead moves along from an ambient opening into the melody of the verse. (SL)

142. "Up on the Ladder," In Rainbows: Discbox

— Like a lot of their B-sides, this one sounds like it was maybe intended for a film. It makes me want to be traveling through a rainy European capital as dusk settles, on some kind of mission. It's also the only time Radiohead refers to Doctor Who, as far as I know. (SL)

141. "Last Flowers," In Rainbows: Discbox

140. "Inside My Head," Creep (single)

139. "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors," Amnesiac

138. "Feral," The King of Limbs

137. "Yes I Am," Creep (single)

136. "The Amazing Sounds of Orgy," Pyramid Song (single)

135. "Stupid Car," Drill EP

134. "Paperbag Writer," There There (single)

133. "Go Slowly," In Rainbows: Discbox

132. "How Do You?" Pablo Honey

— Grungy, snarling, frenetic, and very straightforwardly about a specific person who sounds like he's a real asshole. It's an understatement to say that this is not a direction that Radiohead would pursue as they progressed as a band, but that doesn't mean it's not a banger. (JS)

131. "Molasses," Street Spirit (Fade Out) (single)

— Radiohead at their most word-salad-y, and certainly the first and last time anyone has thought to stick chickens, genocide, and molasses together to see what comes out. The languorous guitar line and Thom Yorke's soupy drawl do an excellent job of evoking the title. Food for thought: This song was recorded in the same session that produced "Lucky." (JS)

130. "Hunting Bears," Amnesiac

129. "Worrywort," Knives Out (single)

128. "Daydreaming," A Moon Shaped Pool

— This gorgeous, heartbreaking meditation on an irreparable loss is all the more devastating when you realize that the haunting, wounded-animal groans at the end are a backwards loop of Thom Yorke repeating "Half of my life." This album was released a year after the 47-year-old's separation from a 23-year relationship. "The damage is done." (JS)

127. "Bangers + Mash," In Rainbows: Discbox

— One of the few Radiohead songs that wouldn't feel at all out of place on a workout playlist. (SL)

126. "Vegetable," Pablo Honey

— For all their introspection and anxiety, Radiohead are often at their best when they're defiant. I love "Vegetable" because it's a rousing anthem for those of us whose default state is petty indignation. "I will not control myself;" "I spit on the hand that feeds me." Surprisingly cathartic things to shout at the top of your lungs if you have a complicated relationship with authority. (JS)

125. "Prove Yourself," Pablo Honey

124. "I Promise," OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017

123. "Ill Wind," A Moon Shaped Pool (special bonus edition)

122. "Staircase," The Daily Mail/Staircase (single)

121. "I Can't," Pablo Honey

120. "Fog," Knives Out (single)

119. "Down Is the New Up," In Rainbows: Discbox

118. "Morning Mr Magpie," The King of Limbs

117. "Lewis (Mistreated)," My Iron Lung EP

— What fun they had with this one. I'd like to think this came very, very close to making it onto The Bends. (SL)

116. "I Want None of This," Help!: A Day in the Life

115. "Permanent Daylight," My Iron Lung EP

— Notable primarily because it's a very convincing homage to Sonic Youth, which is not a particularly easy thing to pull off well. (JS)

114. "Maquiladora," High and Dry (single)

— Following directly on from the hysterical, humorless laugh that "India Rubber" devolves into on the High and Dry / India Rubber EP, this feels like a snapshot of the moments before a panic attack. (JS)

113. "How I Made My Millions," No Surprises (single)

— An early candidate for "Saddest Radiohead Song." The lo-fi recording only adds to the yearning quality here; I'm glad they never did another version of it. (SL)

112. "Ripcord," Pablo Honey

111. "Little by Little," The King of Limbs

110. "Give Up the Ghost," The King of Limbs

109. "Bloom," The King of Limbs

— A close cousin to Stereolab's "Brakhage," this one contrasts chill jazzy chords with a nervous beat that sounds like it's always on the verge of falling apart. It's like being in this calm, meditative state in the middle of a loud, cluttered world that's doing everything it can to distract you. (MP)

108. "Glass Eyes," A Moon Shaped Pool

107. "The Gloaming," Hail to the Thief

106. "The Trickster," My Iron Lung EP

— This one's primarily just a reminder that Jonny can shred. Some nifty guitar lines and a powerful forward momentum to create – as Bends-era B-sides often do – a kind of delightful alternate universe where Radiohead are rock gods instead of the sad kings of moping around. (JS)

105. "Pearly*," Paranoid Android (single)

104. "Palo Alto," No Surprises/Running From Demons (single)

— Despite originally being titled "OK Computer," "Palo Alto" still didn't make it to the final cut of that album, destined instead to be a favorite B-side. For an OK Computer-era song, this one's surprisingly raucous, and given the "I'm OK, how are you?" of its chorus, you could be forgiven for thinking it's about something more hopeful than the nervous alienation at the center of the album it never made it to. But it's not. (JS)

103. "Lull," Karma Police (single)

102. "Cuttooth," Knives Out (single)

101. "A Reminder," Paranoid Android (single)

— The audio clip at the start of the song is taken from the Prague subway system, including the phrase "the doors are closing," and there's something about this song that always makes me think of The Doors, both the sound and its main theme of longing and memory. Talking about its genesis, Thom Yorke said, "I had this idea of someone writing a song, sending it to someone and saying, 'If I ever lose it, you just pick up the phone and play me this song back to remind me.'" I also had a short-lived band in college called "A Reminder." (SL)

100. "The Numbers," A Moon Shaped Pool

— This song is the epitome of A Moon Shaped Pool's elegant, spacey aesthetic – acoustic guitar chords and tinkling piano notes seem to hover in the air, the beat is relaxed and understated, and when the strings come in, it's so startling and enormous in scale that it evokes natural beauty – a mountain range perhaps, or a moonlit waterfall. (MP)

99. "Sulk," The Bends

98. "These Are My Twisted Words," These Are My Twisted Words (single)

97. "Supercollider," Supercollider/The Butcher (single)

96. "Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2)," Paranoid Android (single)

— Another B-side that feels like it could have just as easily been a part of the album. The short acoustic intro (Part 1) is maybe the most intriguing snippet in any of Radiohead's songs – what would the full song based on this short idea have been like? – and one of Yorke's best-ever lines: "If I get scared I'll just call you." (SL)

95. "India Rubber," Fake Plastic Trees (single)

94. "Gagging Order," Go to Sleep (single)

93. "Codex," The King of Limbs

92. "Bones," The Bends

91. "Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong," My Iron Lung EP

90. "Killer Cars," Anyone Can Play Guitar (single)

— The most blatant of many Radiohead songs on the theme of dying in a car crash, this song's about as strong an argument for taking up cycling as you could ask for. The band obviously have a lot of affection for this song, having released it in a number of different versions, all of which treat the impassioned, almost defiant anxiety of its lyrics from a new angle. Compare the acoustic live version from the Itch EP with the increasingly frantic full-band treatment of the Mogadon Version on the Just single – and then buy yourself a monthly pass for the subway. (JS)

89. "Banana Co.," Pop Is Dead (single)

— Sounding a lot like it could have been on The Bends, this song's also a nice example of Radiohead trying to be The Pixies, going all loud/soft. (SL)

88. "Man Of War," OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017

87. "In Limbo," Kid A

86. "Electioneering," OK Computer

85. "You," Pablo Honey

84. "Go to Sleep," Hail to the Thief

83. "Anyone Can Play Guitar," Pablo Honey

— A flop single taken from Pablo Honey, released back when Thom Yorke still sang with a trace of a Johnny Rotten sneer, this song drips with disdain for the notion of rock martyrdom. Compared with modern Radiohead, it's gauche and unsubtle – but also weirdly heroic. Featuring an almost nursery rhyme-simple chorus offset by a thrillingly discordant Jonny Greenwood guitar solo, it's one to treasure, even if the band themselves are embarrassed by it: they've not played it live in twenty years. (LL)

82. "Lurgee," Pablo Honey

81. "Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief," A Moon Shaped Pool

80. "The Daily Mail," The Daily Mail/Staircase (single)

79. "Spectre," Written for the 2015 Bond film by the same name

— Such a better song than Sam Smith's, Oscar be damned! (If you'd like to imagine it had actually played during the opening credits, there's video.) Gorgeous and haunting, it manages to nail the Bond aesthetic while remaining very much a Radiohead song. (SL)

78. "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box," Amnesiac

77. "4 Minute Warning," In Rainbows: Discbox

— Until "Decks Dark" came along on A Moon Shaped Pool, this was the band's most dire, most beautiful statement about loss, though here framed literally as the end of the world. I love it when bands don't sound like themselves, and this spare arrangement, with the tambourine and simple piano chords, is like a totally different Radiohead. (SL)

76. "Life in a Glasshouse," Amnesiac

75. "We Suck Young Blood," Hail to the Thief

74. "Stop Whispering," Pablo Honey

— From their "On A Friday" days, this is Radiohead's uncharacteristically earnest attempt at a Pixies tribute. The third of three singles from Pablo Honey, "Stop Whispering" neither captured the zeitgeist in the way "Creep" did nor had the staying power of "Anyone Can Play Guitar," but I'm sticking with my long-held belief that this song kicks ass, even if it doesn't sound remotely like the Pixies. (JS)

73. "Like Spinning Plates," Amnesiac

— The live version and studio recordings are very different – the former is a solo piano ballad and the latter is a heavily processed mostly electronic composition – but both come at the same uneasy, utterly hopeless feeling from different angles. The piano version is more direct and melancholy, but the Amnesiac recording is better at communicating a profound sense of futility. (MP)

72. "Climbing Up the Walls," OK Computer

71. "How Can You Be Sure?" Fake Plastic Trees (single)

70. "Bishop's Robes," Street Spirit (Fade Out) (single)

69. "Lotus Flower," The King of Limbs

68. "Scatterbrain," Hail to the Thief

67. "I Will," Hail to the Thief

66. "Faust Arp," In Rainbows

65. "Ful Stop," A Moon Shaped Pool

64. "Sit Down. Stand Up," Hail to the Thief

63. "A Punchup at a Wedding," Hail to the Thief

62. "(Nice Dream)," The Bends

— Described by Colin Greenwood as the "Dreamy antithesis of 'Bones,'" this one's apparently based on an actual dream of Thom Yorke's. Producer John Leckie explains the whale sounds in the background of the song as "My stupid idea," and Jonny Greenwood takes credit for the foreboding, arpeggiated opening and the screeching guitars in the chorus, which were initially points of contention between him and Yorke, who felt the song should be simpler. The result, however, is a truly rich and lovely song, though perhaps a better title would be "Extremely Worrying Dream." (JS)

61. "Backdrifts," Hail to the Thief

60. "15 Step," In Rainbows

59. "Separator," The King of Limbs

58. "Dollars and Cents," Amnesiac

57. "Morning Bell/Amnesiac," Amnesiac

56. "Bodysnatchers," In Rainbows

— One of the band's most intense rockers, released at a time when everyone assumed Radiohead were finished with straightforward rock music. "Bodysnatchers" calls back to their Bends-era rockers, but the vibe is totally different – all the majesty and swing to those tunes is replaced with heavy paranoia and a frenzied tempo that builds and builds until it just collapses in on itself. (MP)

55. "Thinking About You," Pablo Honey

54. "Blow Out," Pablo Honey

— People forget that Radiohead ever had a foot in the shoegaze scene, but this cacophonous wigout – the final track on Pablo Honey, and always the feedback-soaked set-closer at early live shows – draws from the same well as early '90s bands like Ride or Slowdive. What those bands lacked, of course, was an incredible singer. And "Blowout" showcases Yorke's voice to stunning effect. "Everything I touch turns to stone", he sings, cutting through the sonic melee. The song represents a high point of that early period when his lyrical disquiet was focused in on himself, rather than outwards at society. (LL)

53. "Jigsaw Falling into Place," In Rainbows

52. "Kid A," Kid A

— "Kid A" could've been a straight forward ballad – the melody is gorgeous, the chorus is anthemic – but Radiohead didn't take the easy path. The heavily distorted vocals undermine the big hooks, but the drowsy synth tones and fragile electric piano part are distinctly beautiful. Look for a live recording: the sound of the music is more or less the same, but Thom sings it with his full voice so you get the best of both worlds. (MP)

51. "Lift," OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017

50. "Desert Island Disk," A Moon Shaped Pool

49. "Decks Dark," A Moon Shaped Pool

— "And in your life, there comes a darkness / There's a spacecraft blocking out the sky / And there's nowhere to hide." This song just perfectly captures the horrible, world-encompassing shock, surprise and terror of sudden loss. If you've ever had something unspeakably awful happen in your life, the metaphor of a spacecraft covering the sky or a sound so loud you can't block it out is incredibly resonant. (SL)

48. "High and Dry," The Bends

— This song pre-dates Radiohead, and was something Thom performed with the band Headless Chickens (video here) before recording it during the Pablo Honey sessions. It's one of the band's poppiest, most mainstream hits, which may explain why they hate it so much. (SL)

47. "Sail to the Moon," Hail to the Thief

— It's always struck me as some kind of very dark lullaby, this song, which is appropriate as Thom Yorke reportedly wrote it for his then-infant son. The interplay of the slowly advancing piano chords and the sparse guitar line (solidly in your right ear, if listening with headphones, recommended here) is a wonderful background for him to really draw out the long vowels of the lyrics: "Saaaaaaail us toooooooo the moooooooooon." (SL)

46. "Optimistic," Kid A

45. "The Tourist," OK Computer

44. "I Might Be Wrong," Amnesiac

43. "Black Star," The Bends

— I will hang my hat on the claim that this is the most genuinely gorgeous song in Radiohead's entire catalogue. The moment when Thom Yorke harmonizes with himself on the line "I keep falling over, I keep passing out, when I see a face like you" will knock you right over if you don't brace yourself. (JS)

42. "All I Need," In Rainbows

— "All I Need" from 2005's In Rainbows comes across as a spiritual sequel to the infamous "Creep." They both come from the perspective of a narrator haunted by their own failings in comparison with a beloved other, and even the darkly catchy refrain has that dive bar karaoke feeling that made "Creep" a hit. The similarities also make it that much more obvious how much this band has evolved — "All I Need" is an infinitely more interesting song. (SB)

41. "2 + 2 = 5," Hail to the Thief

40. "Videotape," In Rainbows

39. "Identikit," A Moon Shaped Pool

38. "Planet Telex," The Bends

— With its plangent descending chords and chorus of "Everything is broken", "Planet Telex" doesn't exactly scream "party vibes", but it was recorded during a heavy drinking session: Thom Yorke nailed the vocal in one take while crouching on the floor, too pissed on wine to stand. It was the last time Radiohead would record anything as straightforwardly anthemic. I saw them play it live on The Bends tour. When the chorus hit, a girl I didn't know grabbed my hand and punched the air with it. (LL)

37. "Knives Out," Amnesiac

36. "Morning Bell," Kid A

35. "Present Tense," A Moon Shaped Pool

34. "Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was," The Bends

— One of the things I love most about Radiohead is that I feel like their songs are "relatable" without being overly literal. Nowhere is that more true than on "Bullet Proof" – this song has always made me feel so much less alone by virtue of how it sounds exactly like a feeling I've had a thousand times, and yet when you read the lyrics, they're nearly abstract... "I could burst a million bubbles, all surrogate / And bullet proof." (SB)

33."House of Cards," In Rainbows

32. "Myxomatosis," Hail to the Thief

— This is as close as Radiohead have ever come to a metal song, even if the heavy riff is transposed from guitar to keyboard. Everything about this song feels ill and uneasy; listening to it can be like inducing motion sickness. (MP)

31. "The Bends," The Bends

30. "Where I End and You Begin," Hail to the Thief

29. "Nude," In Rainbows

28. "There There," Hail to the Thief

27. "You and Whose Army?" Amnesiac

26. "Creep," Pablo Honey

— It is hard to separate "Creep" from what it represents: a sometimes regrettable toe in the main-mainstream that the band rejected in their live sets for years, and for a hardcore Radiohead fan, that one song that everyone knows... damnit. And musically, it's pretty boring and doesn't have that special magic that Radiohead's very best songs conjure. Still, if you let yourself listen to it like you've never heard it before, it has a real power. Yorke once described it as being about the difficulty of "[asserting] a sexual persona and on the other hand trying desperately to negate it," which is quite frankly an incredibly bold and fascinating thing to write a song about. (SB)

25. "Subterranean Homesick Alien," OK Computer

24. "The National Anthem," Kid A

23. "A Wolf at the Door," Hail to the Thief

— Bad feelings permeate so many great Radiohead songs – they're all filled with anxiety, depression, and paranoia – and Hail to the Thief's finale. "A Wolf At The Door" is as bad feelingsy as something so beautiful could possibly be. To me it sounds like the taste of bitter coffee and the boiling over of anger when you're shoved by a stranger during a Monday morning commute. It's a masterpiece of vitriol. (SB)

22. "Karma Police," OK Computer

21. "Just," The Bends

— Is it any wonder that Radiohead have spent 20 years distancing themselves from straightforward guitar rock when they utterly mastered the form with this song in 1995? There's no topping this, really. There are a comical amount of chord changes in this, but you'd never know it by just casually listening – the dynamic shifts are so thrilling that it never sounds like they're just showing off their chops. (MP)

20. "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi," In Rainbows

19. "Airbag," OK Computer

— One of the best and most majestic opening tracks on any record ever made, hands down. The guitar parts are brilliant, of course, but this song is all about Phil Selway's drumming. No drummer has ever come closer to capturing the cut-up aesthetic of sampled percussion without losing the advantages of playing live drums. (MP)

18. "Reckoner," In Rainbows

— Four years on from the gloomy Hail To The Thief, In Rainbows highlight "Reckoner" proved that Radiohead could be deeply soulful as well as surly and challenging. It's a masterpiece of tension-and-release. Threatening to build to a cinematic climax, instead it fades away, leaving you marveling at how a band can summon so much emotion with such minimalist ingredients: just a stately swell of strings, a guitar arpeggio, and a whisper of counter-intuitively funky percussion, over which Thom Yorke harmonises with himself majestically. (LL)

17. "Burn The Witch," A Moon Shaped Pool

16. "Exit Music (For a Film)," OK Computer

— Since this was originally recorded for the William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, Thom Yorke tried to write the lyrics using only lines from Shakespeare, but settled for something amounting to a summary of the play instead. The fact that this one promises an escape won't fool any fans who are aware that there aren't any escapes in Radiohead songs, or, for that matter, anyone who's familiar with the plot of this play. (JS)

15. "Motion Picture Soundtrack," Kid A

— Despite, on its face, seeming like a dire coda to Kid A, there's something weirdly hopeful in this song, especially in the version recorded here with the magical harps and muted choir of angels at the end. An earlier acoustic version feels darker (and includes a bonus, extra-sad verse about a baby being pulled limb from limb). It was written around the same time as "Creep" but not released until seven years later, and I think it aged rather well. (SL)

14. "Everything in Its Right Place," Kid A

13. "Pyramid Song," Amnesiac

12. "Street Spirit (Fade Out)," The Bends

— Thom Yorke wants you to know that this is not a song about hope: "Our fans are braver than I to let that song penetrate them, or maybe they don't realize what they're listening to. They don't realize that 'Street Spirit' is about staring the fucking devil right in the eyes... and knowing, no matter what the hell you do, he'll get the last laugh." (JS)

11. "My Iron Lung," The Bends

— Every Radiohead fan site will tell you this song was supposedly written as an angry response to the overwhelming success of "Creep," and while there's a good bit of bitterness in the lyrics, it seems to take on broader themes than just the downside of fame (also, like, cry me a river Thom Yorke). It's the song on The Bends that seems most clearly a nod to Nirvana, though halfway through (and again at the end) a kind of sonic madness descends from Jonny Greenwood's guitar that feels fully original. (SL)

10. "Idioteque," Kid A

— Built on a haunting sample from electronic-music composer Paul Lansky, "Idioteque" is the most extreme version of the paradox that drives Kid A – the distance and alienation implied by programmed beats and synths taken straight out of the Warp Records catalogue, combined with some of Yorke's most frantic and impassioned singing to date. The effect is at once disconcerting and deeply moving. (JS)

8 & 9. "True Love Waits," I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings and A Moon Shaped Pool.

— This gorgeous song first emerged all the way back in 1995 and was first released on the 2001 live album I Might Be Wrong. That version is a fairly standard acoustic ballad in the style of The Bends, but with some of the most achingly beautiful lyrics Yorke has ever penned ("Your tiny hands / Your crazy kitten smile / Just don't leave"). The studio version that closes out A Moon Shaped Pool feels extra weighty and heartbreaking since Yorke separated from his long-time partner in 2015. Personal speculation aside, it's the greatest love song in the Radiohead canon and if you listen to either version with your full focus, you'll probably end up weeping. (SB)

7. "Let Down," OK Computer

— Fun fact! This song was recorded in Bath, England, in the ballroom of Jane Seymour's mansion, at 3 A.M. The chorus has some of the prettiest harmonies in all of Radiohead-dom. (SL)

6. "Paranoid Android," OK Computer

— This song began as three separate fragments and, clocking in at a tortured, schizophrenic 6-and-a-half minutes, it was a bold and uncompromising choice by the band as a first single from OK Computer. The infamous "kicking, screaming, Gucci little piggy" refers to a real woman Thom Yorke met in a bar, who violently overreacted to having a drink spilled on her: "the closest thing I have seen to the devil." (JS)

5. "Fake Plastic Trees," The Bends

— This one was recorded shortly after the band had seen Jeff Buckley play live, and during a particularly frustrating and tense day in the studio. Thom Yorke apparently did all the vocals in two takes and then broke down into tears. This was not the last time a person cried after hearing this song. (JS)

4. "Talk Show Host," Street Spirit (Fade Out) (single)

— Radiohead's sexiest song was on one of the low-key best albums of the '90s: the soundtrack to William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. As is their habit, the very specific mood of the song (in this case: hot, sweaty makeouts under fluorescent light) isn't achieved by straightforward lyrical storytelling so much as it is by combining stacks of sound with a beat that moves your body around independently, plus a few vague but well-placed poeticisms. (SB)

3. "How to Disappear Completely," Kid A

— For a band that just deleted their Internet presence as a way of announcing a new album after four years, this song may well be something of a mantra. In fact, the lyrics to the chorus come from something Michael Stipe told Thom Yorke to repeat to himself as a way of dealing with the anxiety of touring: "I'm not here. This isn't happening." (JS)

2. "No Surprises," OK Computer

— Submitted: "No Surprises" is the most beautiful song ever written about depression. (SB)

1. "Lucky," OK Computer

— Surprised? We were, too, but the more we thought about it, the more it made sense that "Lucky" would take the top spot. This is a perfect song, start to finish. Don't believe me? Radiohead released it originally for inclusion on a benefit album and wanted to remix it before adding it to OK Computer, but ended up not changing a thing because it was ALREADY PERFECT. It is, in four minutes and 19 seconds, all the things Radiohead are: technically complex but beautiful, soaring and disappointed, furious and sad and "standing on the edge." (SL)

What's your favorite Radiohead song?

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