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All 160 Radiohead Songs, Ranked In Order


All 160 Radiohead Songs, Ranked In Order

134. “Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors,” Amnesiac

133. “Go Slowly,” In Rainbows: Discbox

132. “Paperbag Writer,” There There (single)

131. “Stupid Car,” Drill EP

130. “The Amazing Sounds of Orgy,” Pyramid Song (single)

129. “Yes I Am,” Creep (single)

128. “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)

127. “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)

126. “Hunting Bears,” Amnesiac

125. “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)

124. “Worrywort,” Knives Out (single)

123. “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)

122. “Prove Yourself,” Pablo Honey

121. “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)

120. “Down Is the New Up,” In Rainbows: Discbox

119. “Fog,” Knives Out (single)

118. “I Can’t,” Pablo Honey

117. “Staircase,” The Daily Mail/Staircase (single)

116. “Morning Mr Magpie,” The King of Limbs

115. “I Want None of This,” Help!: A Day in the Life

114. “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)

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. “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)

111. “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)

110. “Little by Little,” The King of Limbs

109. “Ripcord,” Pablo Honey

108. “Glass Eyes,” A Moon Shaped Pool

107. “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)

106. “Give Up the Ghost,” The King of Limbs

105. “The Gloaming,” Hail to the Thief

104. “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)

103. “Cuttooth,” Knives Out (single)

102. “Lull,” Karma Police (single)

101. “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)

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