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Radiohead - The Bends
Label: Capitol Records
Release: 1995

Planet Telex
The Bends
High And Dry
Fake Plastic Trees
(Nice Dream)
My Iron Lung
Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was
Black Star
Street Spirit (Fade Out)

The Bends - Radiohead
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Average Blamo User Rating: (157 votes)

After the Pop driven campaign of "Pablo Honey" had taken it's full effect upon the band, they decided to build a foundation they have followed ever since their new beginning, which was the release of "The Bends." This is by far a powerful album, with songs like "Just"( the video is the best video by the band) and "Fake Plastic Trees," which speaks of an evil materialism that has engulfed mankind. This isn't my favorite Radiohead album, but it is by far an excellent beginning for the band. This album set the stage for their message and meaning, and I am a very strong advocate of a strong beginning. I give it an 8 out of 10 merely becasue of the fact that it has achieved so much, but yet, all who claim to enjoy this music, as well as similar tunes, have not even heard of this album. This album is a must-buy, so go out there and get it......sincerly, your Kindergarten Cosmocrat...

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This is an old review I wrote back in 1998:

Since "The Bends" is my favorite album, I decided I would start
off my page by reviewing it first. (this is my first review, so
don't judge it too harshly)

Every song on "The Bends" is wonderful. From mellow, emotional
ballads like "High and Dry" and "Fake Plastic Trees" to driving
rock songs like "My Iron Lung", "The Bends" is definitely a

The album starts out with "Planet Telex", a futuristic tune that
even people who have never been to the moon can relate with. The
album ends with the haunting "Street Spirit", a song that could
give Alfred Hitchcock nightmares. Every song in between is a

My favorite song on the album would definitely be "High and Dry".
Thom Yorke's voice slides beautifully through the mysterious
riffs and drum beats to create a sound all it's own.

Other songs I would put on any mix tape I ever make would be
"Fake Plastic Trees", "Black Star", and "Sulk".

All in all, this album fell way above my expectations.

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A brilliant album, this for me is Radiohead's second best outing, just behind the seminal OK Computer. Bullet Proof & Black Star are particularly sublime.

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now this is more like it. still not RADIOHEAD per se, it's still quite solid.

aspiring to be U2, the band tones down the annoying grunge wannabeisms of the debut, and go in their own direction. delicate guitar melodies entertwine and then rock riffs erupt, thome york yells, falls off the roof of a trailer park, there's some piano, an orchestra, and it ends with their best song they ever did or ever will do, black star.

i like it because it's not pretentious and pretty. not groundbreaking but nice and extremly melodic.

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The Bends was the first Radiohead album I owned, after hearing “fake plastic trees” and deciding it was one up on the earlier single “creep”, I bought the album. I was very impressed at the guitar work on it, and very impressed with the vocals. I was just genuinely impressed. This album is Radiohead’s more musical of the first 4 they put out. It is less experimental, but still has a great sound to it, filled with strong songs with character all their own. The Bends is something that any Radiohead shouldn’t have to be told to have in their collection, as it is an important collection of songs to see where they came from, as this is more of their debut than Pablo Honey was, since Pablo Honey seemed to be more of a demo than an album. If you don’t own The Bends, you need to.

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My favorite story about the Bends album is when one of the other band members was in his car on the way to Bristol listening to a tape of Thom playing some new accoustic songs he'd recently penned.

So taken was he, that he stopped the car to listen to them. And spent the rest of the journey realising that Radiohead were going to only get bigger.

You can only guess what those songs were but probably one or two ended up on the album (ie maybe Fake Plastic Trees, or Nice Dream, or Street Sprit perhaps}.

For OK Computer fans, 'Just' sounds a bit like paranoid android. You can see the evolution occuring right before you.

But its the quality of this album which sets it apart. All are would be singles. High and Dry and Iron Lung are arguably the weakest tracks on the album, and yet they were chosen as singles. Listening to it again, its obvious that Bulletproof is the weakest track :)

Some say the album is overproduced, and blame producer John Leckie for this. But OK computer is even more produced - it was produced entirely bythe band themselves. Mixing strong emotion with new and unique sounds was the direction they wanted to head, and that feeling is an essential part of the Bends.

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