Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Song #11 of 9999 - My Iron Lung by Radiohead

Song #11 of 9999

Title: My Iron Lung
Artist: Radiohead
Year: 1994
Album: My Iron Lung (EP)

This is the first song I ever heard by Radiohead. It was the opening track of the January 1995 CMJ New Music Monthly CD that came with my magazine subscription. (The other song I really remember form that disc is Senorita by Superdrag.) At the time, I was listening to a lot of Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, etc. and this song appealed to me primarily because of the very heavy chorus. Not knowing anything about this band, I wasn't really listening closely to the layered guitar lines and complex chords emanating from Johnny Greenwood's guitar. Although they still seem a world away from OK Computer and galaxies away from more recent offerings, in retrospect, there's more here than I realized 16 years ago. Especially interesting are the (augmented?) chord that completes each of the first two lines of the second verse and the sustained dissonant lead lines in the bridge.

About nine months later, I was at an REM concert in Hershey and Radiohead was the opening act. Again, I had no idea who they were and didn't even make the connection to this song until they played it! They really kind of blew me away that night and I even bought a t-shirt, which seemed significant to me at the time. Seeing this video reminded me of what that young Radiohead looked like and how charismatic they were the night I saw them. Definitely one of the more memorable concerts I've attended and I still really like this song.

No comments:

Post a Comment