7. Radiohead : 'OK Computer' (1997)

'0K Computer' was a massive step forward for a band that had been merely promising up to that point, and whilst this might be a common or obvious choice, it is nevertheless a brilliant album. Radiohead are the 'thinking man's group'. They deliberately don't do the obvious, delving a bit deeper and welcoming in the avant-garde and the experimental. Part of the progression involved taking over production duties themselves with the help of Nigel Godrich, who had been the engineer for their previous record, 'The Bends'.

The album is filled with moody masterpieces, from the shimmering 'Subterranean Homesick Alien' and 'Karma Police' to the slow building epic 'Exit Music (For a Film)'.

Although most of the music is still dominated by guitar, the album's expansive sound and wide range of influences set it apart from many of the Britpop and alt. rock bands at the time, and laid the groundwork for their later, more experimental work. They stripped away many of the obvious elements of guitar rock, creating something much more subtle and textured. Even at its most adventurous - such as the complex, multi-segmented 'Paranoid Android' where the structure is so weird, with many odd changes and strange elements somehow going unnoticed - the effect is still melodic and muscular. Thom Yorke's voice effortlessly shifts from sweet falsetto to vicious snarling and, against all logic, you can sing along to it, you know all the melodies.

The record becomes even more impressive with repeated listens, revealing strange electronic rhythms, eerie sound effects, more odd time signatures, and complex syncopations - while the album's themes concentrate on consumerism, social disconnection, political stagnation, and modern malaise.

I've enjoyed what Radiohead have come up with since then although it's difficult to match the heights of 'OK Computer' - a tall act to follow. They've done well to continue to produce interesting, unusual albums and haven't tried too hard to recreate this one, with a confidence to know that as long as they apply their intelligence and logic to the way they think about music, they will arrive at something assured each time. It might not be similar to what they did before, but that's ok with them.

'Ok Computer' has stood the test of time and proved to be the work that established Radiohead as one of the most inventive and rewarding rock bands of the '90s.

01. Television : 'Marquee Moon' (1977)
02. Lou Reed : 'Berlin' (1973)
03. Public Image Ltd. : 'MetalBox' (1979)
04. Talk Talk : 'Spirit Of Eden' (1988)
05. Steve Reich : 'Reich: The Desert Music' (1997)
06. David Bowie : 'Aladdin Sane' (1973)
07. Radiohead : 'OK Computer' (1997)
08. Massive Attack : 'Collected' (1998)
09. Morrissey : 'You Are The Quarry' (2004)
10. Eno : 'Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy' (1974)
11. The Beatles : 'The White album' (1968)
12. Górecki : 'Symphony #3, Op. 36' (1992)
13. Pink Floyd : 'Meddle' (1971)