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Radiohead Songs on Tour

Radiohead are making as best a comeback as any band could after a hiatus. Following its recent release of A Moon Shaped Pool, the follow-up to 2011's The King of Limbs, the band seemingly maintains a spot among daily entertainment headlines. The quintet also continues to make music news while on tour by performing not only material from its latest album, but incorporating fan favorites into sets. Many of Radiohead's most beloved tracks haven't been played live in nearly 10 years, and the group is breathing new life into them. At the first shows of its anticipated tour, Thom Yorke and company have performed older fare such as "Creep", "True Love Waits," and "2+2=5". Fans remain hopeful its set lists will expand to include even more favorites. Here are 10 songs we hope Radiohead will dust off on its current tour.

"Bloom"
"Bloom" is the opening track off The King of Limbs. It begins with a repeating piano loop, and is soon met with a redundant and simplistic drumbeat. Finally, Yorke's voice enters with slowly sung lyrics that, as usual, make most listeners scratch their heads in question. Considering there are few vocals throughout the song, it leaves a nice window of time for Yorke to display his dance moves.

"Everything In Its Right Place"
"Everything In Its Right Place" starts off 2000's Kid A, Radiohead's fourth studio album and a Grammy-nominated effort that changed how new music could be promoted. On the song, Yorke's vocals are seemingly recorded through a vocoder and sit atop layers of soothing synth that match the intended message of the song. We're curious how the band would arrange it onstage today.

"Fake Plastic Trees"
This song showcases a pre-experimental version of Radiohead and is included on the band's 1995 sophomore album, The Bends. "Fake Plastic Trees" is also arguably one the most widely recognized Radiohead songs. On it, Yorke sings a ballad with few bells and whistles – just his voice and some light instrumental accompaniment, making for a nice detour away from most of the band's more recent work.

"Go Slowly"
Radiohead's seventh studio album, In Rainbows, is still hailed as the album that forever altered how contemporary music is released. Controversially self-issued as a pay-what-you-want download on the band's website, it later received a physical that included a second disc of eight additional tracks. "Go Slowly" is one of the latter and probably the most popular for showing off Yorke's higher register and true vocal chops that echo over a lone guitar.

"High and Dry"
"High and Dry" opens with a very 90s-sounding guitar riff and light drumbeat. From The Bends, it illustrates Radiohead in stripped-down mode. The song takes a more traditional path, complete with instrumental build and cohesive lyrics presented in the pattern of verse/chorus (a design many of the group's songs don't always follow).

"Idioteque"
"Idioteque" is a favorite for reasons many fans can't explain. There's even a Reddit thread that spawned lengthy discussions. A Canadian Radiohead tribute band even named itself after the song, which comes from Kid A and features one sound clip on a loop layered under electronic production and impassioned vocals. Many argue the song is a spoof on modern day dance/electronic songs, by contrasting similar sounds against lyrics with substance.

"15 Step"
Any opening track typically carries the weight of setting the tone for an album and leaving listeners wanting to hear more. "15 Step" had the extra responsibility of opening In Rainbows, the album Radiohead decided to release for free. It delivers. The song samples syncopated clapping and the cheering of children from the Matrix Music School & Arts Centre in Oxford. In a live setting, these duties would be passed along to the audience.

"Karma Police"
"Karma Police" plays into the idea of what goes around, comes around. It's included on Radiohead's third studio effort, 1997's OK Computer, which won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. The song itself was nominated for five MTV Video Music Awards and is included on the 2008 compilation record Radiohead: The Best Of – odd in that it compiles selections from a group that's always been an album-oriented band.

"Lotus Flower"
The music video for "Lotus Flower" remains an all-time favorite among many because it shows Thom Yorke dancing as though no one is watching. One can only hope he would deliver a similar, if not better performance, during the current tour. The song is included on The King of Limbs and nominated for two 2012 Grammy Awards – Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song.

"Paranoid Android"
Within this six-minute long song from OK Computer, four sections largely differ in sound and genre from one another. Everyone from Weezer to the Los Angeles String Quartet has covered the track, and recently, rising talent Car Seat Headrest threw his hat in the ring. It encapsulates the artistry and vision of a band like Radiohead, one that always pushes the boundaries of sound and experiments with open minds.

May 31, 2016

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