Radiohead’s Best Albums: A Timeless Masterpiece!

This may come as a shock to you, but Radiohead is one of my favorite bands. To say that they are one of my favorite bands would be an understatement; perhaps “huge” is too strong of a word.

I can’t recall when I first started listening to them, but I do know that I eventually purchased all nine of their studio albums on CD (which isn’t saying much).

Aside from the compilation of their B-sides from the 1990s, I’ve been able to track down and listen to every song that they’ve ever put out. In all candor, I believe that even Radiohead’s most disappointing album is still fantastic.

1. Kid A (2000)

Of course, this is the Radiohead album I enjoy the most. Because of the album’s masterful blending of so many diverse sounds and textures, in my opinion, it best captures what Radiohead is all about.

Many people have criticized this album as being nothing more than a collection of noise, yet in my opinion, it has some of its most beautiful compositions. Every time I listen to this album, certain parts, like the conclusion of Treefingers and How to Disappear Completely, almost make me cry.

When I first heard those outros, I was in awe of how lovely everything sounded. And there are other instances like that on this album; “Kid A” is a great example. You can sense what they were trying for. They did a great job.

2. OK Computer (1997)

It was there that Radiohead established itself as a band of the highest caliber. This album set the standard for what a “rock” band should sound like in this day and age; it is also widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time by a large number of publications.

Regarding this album, there isn’t much more that can be said that hasn’t already been said. It revolutionized the way people listened to music and set a standard for the way that good music should sound.

3. In Rainbows (2007)

I believe that the majority of Radiohead supporters would rank In Rainbows as their favorite song. It’s my third favorite Radiohead album of all time, so I can understand where they are coming from, and I would concur with them.

Some excellent tracks are included in it (Reckoner, Nude). But for me, this is the most “bipolar” record on the list. Some songs I adore, while others I find completely unappealing.

The songs that don’t appeal to me are on side B, so I’m listening to them on my iPod rather than skipping through them via iTunes. But Side A is so fantastic; it’s one of the few albums I can listen to from beginning to end while enjoying every song.

4. A Moon-Shaped Pool (2016)

I hardly have A Moon Shaped Pool in my top five, but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the album. In fact, I adored it when it was first published in May 2016. But I’ve been listening to it less and less over the last two years.

I don’t have a favorite song on this album, but several of the tracks have lost part of their charm for me. There are a few tracks on this album that seem like they were taken directly from an old Hollywood movie, and most of the songs on it are so atmospheric and eerie that I have trouble identifying the instruments being used. It’s fascinating and lovely, but it hasn’t held up well for me over time.

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5. Hail To The Thief (2003)

Some of the tracks on “Hail to the Thief” by Radiohead are among my favorites, yet it also includes some of my least favorite songs by the band. The other two or three songs just don’t do anything for me, but I believe six or seven of them are amazing.

They aren’t incorrect; they’re just not as wonderful as the rest of the record. Having said that, this is a fun album to listen to from beginning to end. It sounds more like a collection of songs to me than like an album. There’s something about the way all these songs sound together that gives it a distinctive feel, if that makes any sense.

6. The Bends (1995)

Although The Bends was initially released in 1995, I did not become aware of it till the year 2010. After being dissatisfied with Radiohead for almost a decade, I made the decision to give them another try when their album The King of Limbs was finally released.

My experience was first impeded because I did not know any of the lyrics to their songs. But in the end, I gave up looking them up and instead focused on just listening to them.

It was Radiohead’s album The Bends that made me a fan of their music for the first time. On this album, there is not a single track that I do not find enjoyable to listen to. In addition to that, it is perhaps their most gloomy record, which is something that I enjoy about it.

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7. Amnesiac (2001)

Amnesiac and Kid A were going to be released together as a double album at one point, but the band ultimately chose to release each album alone instead. Both of these albums are wonderful but for entirely different reasons.

According to me, Amnesiac is a “weirder” character than Kid A. Although they are quite comparable to one another, many people refer to it as the “companion album” to Kid A; yet, it has its own distinct sound and vibe.

There are a few tracks that, similar to The King of Limbs, I don’t love listening to as much as the others on this album. In this instance, it’s a case of Dollars and Cents Packed Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Box. But despite the fact that those two songs aren’t as strong as the rest of the album, Amnesiac is still a fantastic record.

8. The King of Limbs (2011)

The King of Limbs is the only album on my list that I cannot listen to from beginning to end without missing a single song (although I do enjoy Morning Mr. Magpie and Little by Little). It’s not that I don’t like listening to the album; it’s just that I find it challenging to listen to the whole thing.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think what they produced here is impressive; The King of Limbs is special and fascinating. However, too many songs sound alike (Give Up The Ghost, Feral, Morning Mr. Magpie), and too many tracks have no real meaning (Codex, Give Up The Ghost).

It does a lot of things that I appreciate Radiohead for doing—it’s loud in certain spots and quiet in others. The length of this album prevents it from being rated highly, in my opinion.

9. Pablo Honey (1993)

I was nine years old when Pablo Honey was originally released. I had heard of Radiohead, but not any of their music (at least not any that counted). The CD was once brought home by my father and set in our stereo. The following day, when I was driving to school, I listened to “Blow Out” and thought it was awesome.

The rest of the record, however, really falls short. The only track on Pablo Honey that is better than merely passable is “Creep.” Yes, I am aware that it is their most well-known song, but to be quite honest, I got tired of it rather quickly.

They’re a fantastic band, no doubt, but back then, there weren’t many songs I really enjoyed. If you’re even remotely interested in it, the rest of the record is similar to a mashup of Oasis and Nirvana.

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