OK Computer: Top album of the last 20 years

by Jonathan on June 21, 2005

Spin magazine named Radiohead’s “OK Computer” the top album of the past 20 years, praising a futuristic sound that manages to feel alive “even when its words are spoken by a robot.”
The British band’s album edged out Public Enemy’s “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” and Nirvana’s “Nevermind” on a list in Spin’s 20th anniversary issue, currently on newsstands.
“Between Thom Yorke’s orange-alert worldview and the band’s meld of epic guitar rock and electronic glitch, (‘OK Computer’) not only forecast a decade of music but uncannily predicted our global culture of communal distress,” reads the editorial note on what separated the 1997 disc from the other 99 ranked albums.
Sandwiched between Radiohead’s straight-ahead rock disc “The Bends” and the more experimental, electronic “Kid A,” “OK Computer” was the album that propelled Radiohead to worldwide, stadium-sized popularity. Though it never went higher than No. 21 on the Billboard charts, it won critical raves and a Grammy for best alternative music performance.
Spin’s Chuck Klosterman says the album “manages to sound how the future will feel. … It’s a mechanical album that always feels alive, even when its words are spoken by a robot.”
Years earlier, Spin ranked Nirvana’s “Nevermind” the greatest album of the nineties. In the time since, however, editor-in-chief Sia Michel and others simply found they were reaching for “OK Computer” more than the slightly less relevant “Nevermind.”
“Whereas when Nirvana came out, everybody was talking about negation and slackers and everything like that — seven years later, it was the dot-com boom and 22-year-olds were making $80,000 on Web sites,” Michel recently told The Associated Press.
Also in the top 10, in order, are Pavement’s “Slanted and Enchanted,” The Smiths’ “The Queen is Dead,” Pixies’ “Surfer Rosa,” De La Soul’s “3 Feet High and Rising,” Prince’s “Sign ‘O’ the Times,” PJ Harvey’s “Rid of Me” and N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton.”
Read more at CNN…



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