Radiohead – Amnesiac (2001)
Now, this is a story all about how
The world’s best band turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there
I’ll tell you how they became…well, still my favourite active band but one that has been equal parts fascinating & frustrating over the last 17 years.
This is a story about a family, let’s call them the Radio H family. No no, that’s too obvious, the R Heads.
The eldest child, Pablo, started school in 1993. He was often quieter than his colleagues, was a self-described weirdo/creep, but was full of potential. He may not have seemed exceptional at the time but looking back, there was something special about him.
The second child started school in 1995. Even though his class was one of the strongest in recent memory, he still rose above the rest, producing work at quality levels rarely seen before.
Though the third child’s peers were not as impressive, he arrived to high expectations in 1997. And he did not disappoint. His work was different from his predecessor, yet on par if not superior. He dazzled, leading teachers to question what heights, previously thought to be unattainable, their students might be capable of reaching.
When the fourth child, let’s call him Kid A, arrived in 2000, he was greeted with bemusement. Why wasn’t he like his older brothers??? But after some time, the staff realized, hey, there’s something to this kid after all. His talents weren’t as immediately obvious but by finding a new path, instead of trying to emulate the successes of his siblings, that was something worth celebrating.
Unfortunately, when child #5 appeared the following year, the magic had gone. While he demonstrated he was tech savvy like child #4, he didn’t produce anything terribly memorable.
There’s nothing more exasperating than when a student doesn’t perform up to his or her ability; in this case at least, the child seemed more interested in experimenting than excellence. There were a few above-average moments during the year but for the most part, this was a child who had lost his way.
Teachers at the school wondered aloud if the family could ever regain its former glory. At least child #5 had left on a high note: with his final assessment, Life in a Glasshouse, there was reason for optimism.
Fortunately, our tale also has a happy ending. The staff would have to wait a couple years but in the end, children #6 & #7 (and hopefully more offspring still to come) would bring honour to the family name.