A column that I hope will become a MHW mainstay is “MY best of”, in which our fine staff of music lovers decides to create their own compilation of a band’s best work…and what better band to start with than Radiohead, who actually have a (non-sanctioned, but isn’t what record companies do when a band leaves their label?) “best of” album out this week. Enjoy! More to come…


So EMI have released the first “greatest hits” compilation of Radiohead’s esteemed career, and I’ve gotta say, considering that they’re digging for pennies in an abandoned couch, it’s not too shabby. No matter the circumstances behind this release, you just can’t argue with the power of the songs, though somewhat predictably, the label have taken a safe route, heavily favoring the Bends/OK era (together comprising ten of the album’s sixteen tracks), sparing a few awkward glances toward Kid A & Hail to the Thief, and basically confining Amnesiac & Pablo Honey to the attic and feeding them a bucket of fish heads once a month. Not only is this presentation of Radiohead rather lopsided, but the sequencing kind of sucks too, especially in the latter half (the decision to throw “Everything In It’s Right Place” right after “Street Sprit” was either the work of a complete boob or someone with a demented sense of humor).

I remember awhile ago Money Mike made his own Prince retrospect in response to a set Warner was pushing at the time. So I figured I’d try and do something similar with the ‘Head’s EMI years, and this is what I came up with:

1.) Creep (Acoustic) [from My Iron Lung EP]
2.) The Bends [from The Bends]
3.) You and Whose Army? [from Amnesiac]
4.) Optimistic [from Kid A]
5.) 2+2=5 (The Lukewarm) [from Hail to the Thief]
6.) Paranoid Android [from OK Computer]
7.) Idioteque [from Kid A]
8.) Sail to the Moon (Brush the Cobwebs of the Sky) [from Hail to the Thief]
9.) Pyramid Song [from Amnesiac]
10.) Fake Plastic Trees [from The Bends]
11.) Karma Police [from OK Computer]
12.) Where I End and You Begin (The Sky is Falling In) [from Hail to the Thief]
13.) Knives Out [from Amnesiac]
14.) Just [from The Bends]
15.) Lucky [from OK Computer]
16.) Motion Picture Soundtrack [from Kid A]

There a few holes—many sacrifices, Pablo Honey still gets shafted, enough B-side material to make up a box set (hint hint EMI)—but I was going for a mosaic of the band rather a packaging of their “greatest hits” (and really, have Radiohead had anything in the way of an actual hit other than “Creep?”). So yes, this is what Radiohead means to me after a decade.

So what do you think? You’re given the Herculean task of compiling Radiohead into a single disc (or with a “bonus disc” if you feel like cheating). What the hell do you put on it?

-G. Harrell