4 of 10 thought this review was well written
Radiohead is one of the most versatile bands of the last 20 years. They have gone from grunge, to rock, to electronic and everything in between. They have been labeled as "experimental" because of the many different flavors their albums come in. The Bends was a more straightforward rock album, but when Kid A came out in 2000, the world was shocked. It was radically different from The Bends, and highly expanded on the sound from their previous album, one of the most famous in music history, OK Computer. Their ability to change is their strongest asset. They can change, and while everyone is surprised at first listen, they will eventually get used to, and usually love, the new sound. This is what makes the band great. This is why they have many dedicated fans.
Usually when someone wants a simple introduction to a band, the first thing they look for is a greatest hits collection. If the band is highly popular, they will have one. They are usually satisfied with this record. Most "best of's" are a good way to introduce the band to someone who hasn't listened to their music before. It is an easy way to learn the most popular songs of the band and, later on, get into the deeper cuts.
But Radiohead is not a band like this. Radiohead is not a band that should have a comprehensive "greatest hits" collection twenty years from now that will be their biggest selling album like Queen or the Eagles. Radiohead is not Queen or the Eagles. They do not like staying in one place. They want to move into different territory on every album. Because of this, throwing together seventeen songs from their albums in a scattered and ineffective track listing will not be enough. People listening to to this collection, without having listened to any other song by Radiohead (even though that means they're living under a rock) won't understand the greatness of Radiohead because they listen to their "best cuts". The essence of Radiohead is in their albums. They are meant to be listened to from start to finish. They are not meant to be tossed haphazardly into a collection of songs that do not represent them.
Albums like Kid A are to be experienced. When hearing the first notes of "Everything In Its Right Place," I know that everything is indeed in its right place on this album. The songs on Kid A are arranged in an order by Radiohead, in the order that they are meant to be listened to in. The hard rock song The Bends leads into the quiet, beautiful, stormy, odd-time-signatured Pyramid Song. This would clearly throw off a new listener. They are not meant to be listened to in that order. For Radiohead, a greatest hits collection is useless. The songs can not be represented by a few songs off of each album, because of the contrast between them. I would not recommend this to anyone who hasn't heard Radiohead before, but rather one of their true albums. I also would not recommend this to anyone who has heard Radiohead before.