Flashback: Lift

by Jonathan on August 27, 2010

Okay, this is our last flashback of the day. In going with the mid 90s theme of never-released songs, we now look at the very popular live song, “Lift.” It was played regularly in 1996 on tour and is the only Radiohead song where Thom actually refers to himself by name in the lyrics. Well, that is until the song was reworked in 2002. This brings us back to those pre-OK Computer days where a lot of fans thought (and hoped) that it would be included on the album.

Here’s the original:

And the reworked version from 2002:

Which one do you prefer?

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  • Todd


  • p n t r s

    give me a lift thom___ give me a lift with your big biceps___ oh yeah

  • Bec

    The 1996 version. I’ve always loved how thom refers to himself, it makes it.

  • jarod

    I love thom.

  • kyo

    I think the 2002 version is a lot less obvious, more subtle. I’m sure if they did the song now, it would sound different than both of these, which is good. It just feels like if they did a recording of it, it should have been done in 1996. But who knows?! Look at what happened with pulledapartbyhorses

  • shlomer

    *it’s feellingjustpulledapartbyhorses

  • claire

    pinkpop version, definitely

  • opaquiosq

    These videos are great, don’t get me wrong, but this site (which I still check regularly), has been rather lax on the “news” side of things. Sadly, I usually get the latest Radiohead news from Pitchfork (which I essentially hate most of the time) well before it’s posted here.

  • kyo


  • Emilie

    I love the site.

  • Beefcake

    The only time Pitchfork gives news that Greenplastic dosent have is when its fake or we heard it before. I think Greenplastic dose a great job of not feeding us the same crap we heard a thousand times and keeping us entertained with oldclips and bringing up little facts about them. You just cant expect to get news 24/7 about one band. Hell if there was a fansite on me you would go months without hearing anything new. It also dosent help that not a whole lot of media likes to cover radiohead there more intrested in Coldplay or Lil Wayne shit like that.

  • Kyo

    Coldplay shit!? You take that back sir!

  • peter

    theyre not shit…theyre just mediocre. nothing really special, interesing enough. Just another band for me. Liked them very much 5 years ago [or something like that..maybe 6]…now its pretty dry

  • peter


  • Brick

    I love lamp.

  • Kyo

    Sorry. I was actually joking. I don’t like coldplay. My apologies

  • Oh my oh my___ coldplay ___ could be crap but Chris Martin is the man ___ he get’s me soooo wet

  • Yours

    Reminds me of Smashing Pumpkin’s Mayonaise.

  • Esmo

    This is the first I’d heard the song, and considering that I’d heard it was the music journos’ favourite in the ’96 tour, I was very underwhelmed. The 2002 is marginally better but they’re both pretty boring songs.

  • alex

    i heard the 2002 version in Lisbon and it was so damn hypnotizing. a lot more subtle than the older version. both are great but i like the 2002 one a bit more.

    and jonathan, please keep doing what you’re doing. i am loving all these gems you’re posting.

  • Klarden

    The newer version sounds to the older one like the old concert Videotape to the album version – more minimalistic. Original Lift had simple yet great backing by Ed, which as with “swimming” guitar in the older versions of Videotape, made the song much more “complete”. Still, i would really like to hear them do the song today, i bet it will sound differently. And, God, when will they do Follow me around and Big Boots 😀

  • Cartman

    What a new finding for the newer version! Radiohead is soooo…. nice. I used to think Thom Yorrke is sooo…. good but they can only strive as Radiohead. Pls do not go solo…. Any idea when is the next Radiohead release? I am hungary for it… Juz heard ‘Hearing Damage’ to ease the crave..

  • Cartman

    Uh……oh ya, anal intercourse

  • The older version, by far. I’m sorry to say, but I think some of their unreleased songs from older days were changed in detrimental ways, including this one. In fact, the 2002 version is hard to listen to when I know how amazing it used to be (my opinion!). Another example would be True Love Waits, which is still amazing and beautiful, but I still prefer the older version(s) ^_^ I also wish they left in the other verse (about kissing with tongues) in Big Ideas (Nude) on the album, but that’s being nitpicky!

  • Klarden

    just remembered one small thing (after watching Prague concert) – the simple yet beautiful backing by Ed in the older Lift is, in some way, revisited in Weird Fishes

  • Suze

    The older version, definitely. I think the music fits the lyrics better. Thom’s been found and rescued by those who love him, assured he’s okay and in a safe place, and set right with words of hope.

    The newer version sounds darker and sadder, like the rescue hasn’t been wholly successful–like there’s been inescapable, residual damage. In this case, “So lighten up squirt” sounds like like a bitter, sarcastic remark–not a fond, loving one.

    I understand and appreciate where the darkness comes from. But I’d rather feel the redemption the lyrics offer.

  • Dawn

    i love the old one!

  • Rooooob


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