This is my song for the Soundtrack of My Life today. It’s a little (okay, a lot) more depressing than my previous picks, but that’s how it goes, right? I really recommend watching the video to the end. It’s fascinating.
JUST by RADIOHEAD
I have been a fan of Radiohead ever since I first heard Thom Yorke wailing his way through ‘Creep.’ I bought the album ‘Pablo Honey’ and loved it. So, when the album this song was taken from came out, I bought it straight away. ‘The Bends’ came out in 1995, and to this day it’s one of my all-time favourites.
I could have chosen any song from this album because they are all fantastic. This one isn’t my favourite (that would be the title hit, ‘The Bends’) but the video for this song is brilliant. I love the mystery. I love the way the viewer is hooked into the man’s story. It’s clever and it’s different. The question, at the end, of what the man says, is a great way to end it. I’ve wondered for twenty years what it is! I’ve come to the conclusion now, though, that putting so much thought into it is kinda the point the band are making: people overthink everything because there has to be some kind of deep meaning. But, in the end, they’re wasting their lives. They will probably never get the answers they crave.
When I first listened to this album, I was at a low point in my life (one of the many!). I had been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder for the first time (although I’d been depressed forever) and this whole album spoke to me. I connected to Thom Yorke’s haunting voice and I managed to make every song a little bit about my own situation. It gave me comfort. I listened to this album non-stop, along with the Manic Street Preachers’ ‘Everything Must Go,’ which I also connected really strongly to. These two albums were like friends, in a way. They understood me. They didn’t judge me. They had been where I was. They got me through some tough times. But, that’s always how it had been for me. Music and writing kept me alive when everything else failed. The chorus is the part I related to the most:
You do it to yourself, you do
And that’s what really hurts
Is you do it to yourself, just you
You and no-one else
You do it to yourself
You do it to yourself
I can’t leave this post without saying I love the guitars in this! Apparently, Thom Yorke once said ‘Just’ became a competition between him and Johnny Greenwood to see who could fit the most chords into the song. The result: sublimity.