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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, OK Computer purists may find my statement inaccurate, but let me just ask you this, Radiohead fanatics... If you were to loan any Radiohead cd to someone who never heard their music before, which would it be?
Personally, The Bends was my introduction to the band in 1999... and I'm glad it was. Maybe 4 years too late, but hey - it's never too late right?
Anyway, this album is classic. Yorke is at his most comprehensible and his lyrics are more human than on future releases. This is the singer/songwriter at his most passionate. Deep, elegant songs like Fake Plastic Trees and High & Dry soar like the best U2 songs (One, With or Without You, etc).
Jonny Greenwood's uses of spacy guitar and keyboard effects adds mood to the pieces while the rest of the band gels together so well, you don't even notice it.
If you're looking for a rock album that you can really fall in love with, rock out with, sing a long with... you get the idea. You can't go wrong with the Bends.
There is rock music on this album that will make you move your body, but there is also a cohesive latticework of lurid spontaneity that causes the listener to hear each song as a charming facet of a youthful personality. The lead singer's voice is actually fun to listen to because it relates so well to the music. Sometimes Thom Yorke sounds like a sneering, cynical English fellow (Just, My Iron Lung), and sometimes he sounds like an orphaned angel (Nice Dream, Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was). The last song, Street Spirit (Fade Out), stares a brooding swarm of nothingness in the eye and finds unparalleled beauty. While the music on this album has a more traditional radio-friendly rock sound than their later work, it is certainly no less moving.
The album opens with the brilliant "Planet Telex." The sonic soundscapes of this song's introduction are very memorable, and set the scene for the rest of the song. Thom's vocals are very distinctive on this song and I enjoy the chorus a lot. The album's title track, "The Bends," is the next song and is one of my favourites on the whole album. A lot of people don't really like this song but I bloody love it. It gets off to a rocking start and has a very anthemic chorus, but my favourite part of the song is the part where Thom sings, "I wish it was the sixties, I wish I could be happy, I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen!" The next song is "High And Dry" and is a bit slower and more melancholy than its predecessors. The sunlight vocals of the chorus are very effective and the guitar in the chorus is great too - very similar to something Oasis were doing at the same time. "Fake Plastic Trees" is a fan favourite and is even slower than the mid-tempo track before it.Read more ›
But the Bends is still Radiohead's best work, and for obvious reasons. Epic in scope without being self-indulgent, The Bends takes the distorted guitars of grunge and adds a sense of melodrama and good old rock-n-roll majesty that, at that time, had been missing from popular music for almost two decades. In blending the two together, along with adding their own distinctly British personality, Radiohead makes The Bends a landmark recording that still feels fresh today seven years after its initial release.
The record has that wonderful touch of arrogance that transforms the band from one-hit brooders (as on "Creep") to bonafide rock gods. The guitars on the opening "Planet Telex" thunder in, heralding the band's arrival to the rock stratosphere, and the album just goes and goes from there. Every song works, be it balls out rock songs ("Bones"), or quieter, ghostly pieces ("Street Spirit," "Fake Plastic Trees"). All of it is tied together by lead singer Thom Yorke's voice. Credit Yorke with somehow making a voice that should, by all accounts, be incredibly irritating resonate and echo in the mind of the listener. It's alternately haunting, raging, and powerful; even making the transition from gentle lullabying to Billy Idol-quality snarling in the course of a single song ("Nice Dream"). It's a wonderful performance, and the band underneath matches him note for note.
Radiohead has released records more complex (OK Computer), more challenging (Kid A), and more ambiguous (Amnesiac) than The Bends.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent. I've loved this album since it came out. Bought new CD to replace a lost older versionPublished 2 months ago by SueF
One of the greatest albums of our generation. No record collection is complete without some Radiohead. Such a great album a price that won't break the wallet.Published 3 months ago by James Press
CD is in good quality and it plays fine. The case has a few cracks but that is just visual aesthetics.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer