Radiohead: The Thom Yorke Intro…

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Radiohead and a strong intro – pretty much synonymous.

Spanning roughly 20 years, the Oxfordshire export (formed in 1985) have no less than 8 albums to their credit – they are alternative rock alumni and experimental innovators. A set of very diverse influences have contributed to the unique sound of Radiohead – resulting in a diverse body of work for the band. The lyric writing, however, is unmistakably the product of the brilliant mind of Thom Yorke.

Thom Yorke, Radiohead’s  visionary, vocalist and lyricist – his songs always kick off with a strong intro and many songs fully engage listeners before the chorus is delivered. The opening words to a Radiohead song are often as catchy as the chorus itself – some of the most popular songs in the band’s catalogue can be recalled by the first few lines alone – Creep, Just, and Paranoid Android are particularly memorable.  Here are a dozen examples of Thom Yorke’s masterful lyric writing – Radiohead songs that begin with Thom’s signature strong intro:

1 Creep (1993 Pablo Honey)

“When you were here before,
Couldn’t look you in the eye,
You’re just like an angel,
Your skin makes me cry…”

2 Fake Plastic Trees (1995 The Bends)

“Her green plastic watering can
For her fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth
That she bought from a rubber man…”

3 Street Spirit (1995 The Bends)

“Rows of houses, all bearing down on me
I can feel their blue hands touching me
All these things into position
All these things we’ll one day swallow whole…”

4 Just (1995 The Bends)

“Can’t get the stink off
He’s been hanging round for days
Comes like a comet
Suckered you but not your friends…”

5 Paranoid Android (1997 OK Computer)

“Please could you stop the noise, I’m trying to get some rest
From all the unborn chicken voices in my head…”

6 Karma Police (1997 OK Computer)

“Karma Police
Forgive this man
He talks in maths
He buzzes like a fridge
He’s like a detuned radio…”

7 Idioteque (2000 Kid A)

“Who’s in bunker, who’s in bunker?
Women and children first
Women and children first
Women and children
I’ll laugh until my head comes off
I swallow till I burst…”

8 Kid A (2000 Kid A)

“I slipped away
I slipped on a little white lie…”

9 I Might Be Wrong (2001 Amnesiac)

“I might be wrong
I might be wrong
I could have sworn
I saw a light coming on…”

10 There There (2003 Hail To The Thief)

“In pitch dark I go walking in your landscape
Broken branches trip me as I speak…”

11 House Of Cards (2007 In Rainbows)

“I don’t wanna be your friend
I just wanna be your lover
No matter how it ends
No matter how it starts…”

12 Lotus Flower (2011 The King Of Limbs)

“I will shape myself into your pocket
Invisible, do what you want, do what you want
I will shrink and I will disappear
I will slip into the groove and cut me up, and cut me up…”

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