Radiohead - Lift

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Radiohead - Lift

Directed by Oscar Hudson

Taken from OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017


"Lift" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, recorded during the sessions for their third album, OK Computer (1997). It was unreleased until 2017, when it was included on the OK Computer reissue, OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017, in June 2017.

Radiohead recorded "Lift" during the sessions for their third album, OK Computer (1997), but did not release it. Guitarist Ed O'Brien dismissed the song as a "bogshite B-side" and that the band were "very happy to leave it off the album ... There wasn't any stage where it was a key track for any of us." In 2017, he said that Radiohead had felt pressured by the song's commercial potential:

If that song had been on that album, it would've taken us to a different place, and probably we'd have sold a lot more records—if we'd done it right. And everyone was saying this. And I think we subconsciously killed it. If OK Computer had been like a Jagged Little Pill, it would've killed us. But “Lift” had this magic about it. But when we got to the studio and did it, it felt like having a gun to your head. There was so much pressure.

Around the release of Radiohead's fourth album, Kid A (2000), singer Thom Yorke said: "We haven't lost the song. We played it too much in a certain way that didn't work in my opinion. It didn't feel right. So we need to approach it in a different way, but at the time of OK Computer it was impossible to get into rearranging it because everyone had fixed ideas on what to play and we'd all just got into a habit we couldn't break."

Radiohead performed a slower, more restrained arrangement of "Lift" during their 2002 tour, described by Pitchfork as "a somber, almost queasy affair" and later dismissed by O'Brien and guitarist Jonny Greenwood as inferior. In 2003, O'Brien said: "The spirit of the song was there in '96 ... And we're not in that place at the moment." In 2015, Greenwood suggested that Radiohead had worked on "Lift" again, describing it as a "management favourite". He likened the song to "Nude" on In Rainbows, released on Radiohead's seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), but written years earlier.

"Lift" was finally released on the twentieth anniversary OK Computer reissue, OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017, in June 2017, alongside two other previously unreleased tracks: "I Promise" and "Man of War".
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Artist: Radiohead
Video title: Lift

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Category: Rock & Alternative
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