Radiohead's Ed O'Brien Reflects on 25th Anniversary of 'OK Computer'
"we had no idea what it would become .. how could you?"
Published May 20, 2022Radiohead's seminal album OK Computer turns 25 this weekend, having originally been released on May 21, 1997. To celebrate the occasion, guitarist Ed O'Brien has shared some memories of that time and reflected on the album's legacy.
In a pair of Instagram posts, O'Brien wrote that 1997 "feels like an age away" and "belonged to a different era." He described it as a "magical time," as the band moved away from alternative rock and listened to music like Miles Davis, Underworld, Massive Attack, Portishead and more. Work often took place outside of traditional studios, including a "vast metal box for storing apples" called Canned Applause.
He gave a special shoutout to Alanis Morissette for selecting Radiohead as tour openers, giving the band a place to road-test the material.
As for the album's legacy as one of the classic albums of the era, O'Brien wrote, "we had no idea what it would become .. how could you? ..even now listening today to some of the talk on the radio, I'm truly overwhelmed and still surprised.. we were on one side of it and couldn't really comprehend the public side of it." He pointed out that there is a dark side to success, as "you think these things will fix you .. they don't .. that work comes later."
He rounded the posts out by thanking his Radiohead bandmates. See the posts below.
Several OK Computer tracks made it onto Exclaim!'s recent list of the 20 best Radiohead songs.