[19] Radiohead, ‘Paranoid Android’

Radiohead’s first fan-shedding phase started, paradoxically, with the Greatest Album Of All Time (© Q Magazine, probably). It was a fantastic bit of over-hyping that even led to ‘No Surprises’ being tagged the Greatest Rock Single Of All Time early the next year. Stupendous. Your stalwart rock hacks were breathless, feverish. Just imagine the couple of seconds of awkward silence after they heard Kid A for the first time.

And last time.

Keeping up the contradictions, ‘Paranoid Android’ alienated swathes of fans and took Radiohead to the Top 3 for the first and – so far – only time. It’s a six-minute riot of joyous Italo-house pianos, frog choruses, Elton and Kiki Dee-style cheeky vocal interplay and Junior Senioresque infectiousness.

Nah, it’s a six-minute trial of studious fretwankery. But pretty good with it. It’s certainly worth a flash of air guitar, as Junior appreciated, and a wave of the castanets. I think she was being sarky there.

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