The Bends by Radiohead turns 20: the album that changed the group

The Bends by Radiohead turns 20: the album that changed the group

The Bends is 20 years old and celebrated thinking about what it meant for Radiohead and music.

The Bends Radiohead is not usually among the favorite albums of fans. Usually fight that battle the Ok Computer and Kid A , which are the most commercially successful band Thom Yorke . However, taking advantage of The Bends was launched on this day 20 years ago, is rarely put into context which meant that second album for the group.

First , remember that Pablo Honey had put many looks over Radiohead in an era when Nirvana was the rock fashion. The fault had “Creep” first single from the album eventually became a worldwide hit. Imagine the weight that should mean five twentysomethings have to compose more songs competing against their own creation, but what really got them was the media exposure and, above all, having to turn over two consecutive years, always playing the same songs. In fact, the title of The Bends refers to decompression sickness. In the same way that a diver becomes deep water and you feel lightheaded or dizzy, Radiohead faced a sudden success and the consequences it had for their lives. Pressure and discomfort almost finished separating .


Fortunately between August and November 1994, Radiohead was under the command of producer John Leckie and began recording in various studios in London (including the famous Abbey Road). It was the last time the band worked out the script of a record and, thereafter, Nigel Godrich , sound engineer in The Bends , eventually becoming the man confidence training, to the point of being considered the “sixth member” of Radiohead for their role in future compositions and ensemble sound.

Before discussing more about the album, let’s review the tracklist

  1. “Planet Telex”
  2. “The Bends”
  3. “High and Dry”
  4. “Fake Plastic Trees”
  5. “Bones”
  6. “(Nice Dream)”
  7. “Just”
  8. “My Iron Lung”
  9. “Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was”
  10. “Black Star”
  11. “Sulk”
  12. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”

If familiar you are with the issues, a quick look at all of them will serve to appreciate that there is indeed quite expendable songs like “Bones” or “Sulk”, but of course then you have other “Fake Plastic Trees”

Aside from being one of the most emotional CD was a turning point Thom Yorke and his singing. As he himself confesó, helped him to find his lyrical voice, ie his closest registration and both ended up taking him out years later. However, the most important was the way that inaugurated this court, which moved away from grunge of “Creep” and was closer to feeling sad and heartbreaking end up taking them to the overall success and transforming them into a absolute reference within the alternative rock in his next disc (which, interestingly, were Ok Computer and Kid A ).

Radiohead nearly separated by The Bends
The Bends was also the last job in the band clung to the Guitar . All songs have a structure in which a group of more or less conventional rock is sensed, but with some signs of what would become Radiohead. This album allowed them to discover what they were good and what could be improved. Later, began to flirt with electronics, synthesizers and different sounds that could offer its instruments to move to the next step and fill those gaps. Serve as a first approach “My Iron Lung” or “Just” which include unusual elements in rock bands of the 90s.

depressive lyrics Album led some media brought to Yorke like this martyr of rock and roll , and some even dare to predict that end up committing suicide. Obviously, that ended up not happening, but went appreciating that this way of writing is going to become increasingly encrypted, complex and full of metaphors that did not reflect precisely to a happy and optimistic man. One need only take a look at these verses of “My Iron Lung”

This is our new song
Just like the last one
A complete waste of time .

Fortunately, neither the song nor any of The Bends was a waste of time. Moreover, if the recording of this work felt the pressure of the one hit wonder of “Creep” on the neck, did not know what awaited them several years later when millions of people would live half a world awaiting new music from a group that, despite everything, decided to choose their own path and not be swayed by fads. But that’s another story to tell at another time

For now, let’s celebrate that Radiohead went ahead and left us these twelve songs.

Cover The Bends


You can buy it at Amazon or iTunes


The Bends by Radiohead turns 20: the album that changed the group
Source: english  
March 14, 2015

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