​Radiohead Say Including "Lift" on 'OK Computer' in 1997 "Would Have Killed Us"

The song is set to appear on the band's upcoming 'OKNOTOK' reissue
​Radiohead Say Including "Lift" on 'OK Computer' in 1997 "Would Have Killed Us"
Photo by Tom Sheehan
Yesterday (May 2), Radiohead revealed plans for an OK Computer reissue to mark the seminal album's 20th anniversary. Now, guitarist Ed O'Brien has spoken up about one of the previously unreleased songs included in the upcoming OKNOTOK package.
A new interview with the musician aired on BBC 6 Music this morning (May 3), and it hears O'Brien explaining why they chose to leave the song "Lift" off of the original version of OK Computer.
He claims that it would have helped the band sell a lot more records, but that the level of popularity it could have — ahem — lifted them up to would've been unbearable in 1997.
"'Lift' is a funny song," he said. "We played that live with Alanis Morrissette, and it was a really interesting song because the audience, suddenly you'd see them get up and start grooving, it had this kind of infectiousness about it. It was a big, anthemic song. If that song had been on that album, it would have taken us to a different place, and we'd have probably sold a lot more records, if we'd done it right, and everyone was saying this."
He goes on to say that the band "subconsciously" killed it out of fear of reaching the level of fame that Morrissette achieved with Jagged Little Pill.
"I think we kind of subconsciously killed it, because if OK Computer had been like a Jagged Little Pill, like Alanis Morrissette, it would have killed us," O'Brien said. "But 'Lift' probably had the potential, if we'd done it right, it just had this magic about it. And we didn't do a good version, because when we got to the studio and did it on that record it was a bit like having a gun to your head, it felt like so much pressure."
That pressure seems to have lessened over the last two decades, as the track will be included on the upcoming OKNOTOK anniversary reissue. As previously reported, it contains a remastered version of OK Computer, as well as a companion disc featuring eight B-sides and three previously unreleased tracks (including "I Promise" and "Man of War," alongside "Lift"). It's due out on June 23 via XL Recordings.
Listen to O'Brien's BBC 6 Music interview below.