Radiohead - The Bends

The Bends, released in 1995, is the second full length album by English rock band Radiohead. Radiohead were well on their way to stardom, especially in the US, thanks to the huge success of the single "Creep" from their first LP Pablo Honey. The Bends met with stronger acclaim and assured their role as a standard-bearer of 1990s "indie" Brit-rock/alternative music. Though only an under-the-radar success in America (in the shadow of both "Creep" and Radiohead's later albums), in the UK The Bends remains well known to listeners outside the band's cult fanbase, and well liked by many who disavow their later material. Its musical style has increasingly formed a template for recent British pop bands.
It's cerebral anthemic rock. Occasionally, the album displays its influences, whether it's U2, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., or the Pixies.
While Radiohead saw its stock rising in 1994, it wasn't until 1995's The Bends that it really became a blue chip band. And for good reason. The quintet honed its talent for bombastic Brit Rock, yet still preserved an edge of unpredictability.

The title of The Bends refers to decompression sickness, when deep-sea divers come up too quickly -- a comment on the band's sudden fame. The lyrics are filled with Yorke's unhappiness rendered as health metaphors: He makes himself a cripple who can't climb the stairs in "Bones," and with "My Iron Lung," he immobilizes himself even more completely and complains, "This is our new song/Just like the last one/A total waste of time."


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