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05.08.20 very Radiohead Guide/Census05.03.20 Johnny ranks Unwound: ALL SONGS
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very Radiohead Guide/Census

This site has been around forever, and yet people are still posting confusing and inconsistent Radiohead rankings on a near-daily basis! The state of things! Here is a much needed guide to prevent any further such shortfalls, starting from your choice of #1 and going into all the detail you'll ever need! Sputnik is safe; next stop, Opeth.
In Rainbows

This is the best choice for your #1, and not just because it’s clearly Radiohead’s best album.

In Rainbows covers is such a perfect melting pot of Radiohead’s various different leanings that it’s much easier to get away with eyebrow-raisers in the rest of your ranking. Your #2 is Hail to the Thief? Makes sense - you clearly enjoy this band’s eclectic side. The next few spots are straight electronic? Obviously you prefer that side of the band but don’t like it *quite* enough to give it the top spot without a slight crossover back into rock territory.

Almost any ranking makes some measure of sense with this at the top - consider it the skeleton key of the Radioheadverse.

Users: JohnnyoftheWell, osmark86, AsleepInTheBack, Trifolium, neekafat, Drsmith4, TVC15, anat, samwise2000
OK Computer

Similar to In Rainbows, this is a fairly forgiving #1, but it does oblige you to take a bit of a rock skew. Putting The Bends outside of the top 4 is a weird look for this one; putting TKOL at #8 (or even #9) is acceptable. This ranking may prefer Amnesiac and/or HTTT over Kid A; let boys be boys, if so.

This is such a conventional placement that both In Rainbows and AMSP are likely to fill the remaining slots in the top 4. If Kid A is ranked second, then every connotation from placing that album at #1 applies here on a lower level - the strain between these expectations and the ‘90s Radiohead rock skew is a big part of why this is ultimately flawed as an appeasement option and you’re better off going with In Rainbows.

Users: Artuma, Lucman, JesperL, Boney, Icebloom, BlazinBlitzer, Doof, FR33L0RD
Kid A

Oh hi! So you like experimental Radiohead? You like this band’s electronic side? You like them at their most minimal! Nice! Wait, what’s that #2? You put OKC/AMSP there?? Wait, where’s Amnesiac? Where’s TKOL? Why am I scrolling down - what the fuck is the Bends doing here? And so on.

Yeah, don’t be that guy/gal.

Ranking Kid A at #1 is a good move, but not if you follow it with a barrage of boring consensus placements. Amnesiac should be 2-3 places behind minimum, putting either this or TKOL in your bottom three is the stuff of aneurisms. Kid A is great, but put it at the top of a rock list and you’ll look like the kinda person who gets 70% of their Experimental Musics from Radiohead solely.

Users: Pangea, Sowing, Royl123, Demon, tectac, hesperus, Wines

Lol, the cool kid’s #1. This is the most fun top pick because you can put whatever you like afterwards as long as it looks vaguely edgy. Hail to the Thief as #2? Why not. Pablo Honey above the Bends? Might look weird, but people will believe there’s a reason for it. Put Kid A at #9 just to prove Amnesiac’s superiority. Put OKC at #9 just because you can.

I’d recommend against a high placement for AMSP - choppy sequencing aside, that album is for people who are earnest about Radiohead’s ‘best’ qualities. None of that shit here; In Rainbows probably shouldn’t be #2 for similar reasons. Beyond that, you’re all good!

This is probably the best #1 for a troll ranking - Pablo is too obvious, TKOL is too associated with earnest electronic fans, and HTTT doesn’t pack quite the same goofball quality. Make of that what you will.

Users: Ars, Wolfe
The King of Limbs

Not necessarily the best option for #1, but certainly the easiest: as Radiohead’s most stubbornly anti-rock album, The King of Limbs presents a fairly inflexible roadmap. The next three placements *must* contain both Kid A and Amnesiac, and your bottom three *must* contain Pablo Honey and the Bends. Hail to the Thief is likely but not certain to place above AMSP, In Rainbows above OK Computer is pretty much a given.

Taking that into account, it’s pretty hard to make this ranking truly your own without having some genre-defying galaxybrained taste going on.

Users: JustJoe., Pots
A Moon Shaped Pool

You’ve got two options with this one:

1) Follow it up with other pick ’n’ mix Radiohead albums (IR, HTTT, Amnesiac) and end up with something shapeless that no-one, including you, particularly enjoys looking at.

2) You copy across the Adjusted Boomer ranking from the OK Computer #1 Kid A #2 path, with a little extra weighting in the direction of experimental albums.

If you go for 2), you may remember that this tension was what made the OK Computer ranking a little dicey to begin with; amplifying it further is a firm indication of why A Moon Shaped Pool is a poor choice for #1.

The Bends

Incoming boomer ranking. It’s very difficult to start off with The Bends and not follow up with OK Computer; your only other option is probably Pablo Honey, an ominous indication of how much of an eye-roller this one is cut out to be. Putting Kid A or In Rainbows in high placements after this is going to be so awkward in its “I like this but it’s not the Bends”-isms that you might as well spare yourself the embarrassment and put those in the bottom three.

TKOL is #9 as a matter of principle.

HTTT and Amnesiac will likely do modestly well on this, but no-one (including you) will really understand why.

Hail to the Thief

A tough one to land at #1 - your options are pretty limited from here. You clearly give no shits about consistency or sequencing, but your list should be consistent in this preference. In Rainbows also works as a pick ’n’ mix album, but Amnesiac in the top three is pretty much mandatory.

AMSP should be high, but not too high, as some parts of that album are too homogenous to fall into the same box as this, and the true HTTT stan likely has some anti-homogeneity attention deficit bullshit going on.

On this basis, having Kid A at #2 is a huge no-no unless you’re edgy enough to like your favourite two Radiohead albums for opposing qualities (plausible given how edgy you have to be to have this at #1 to begin with). TKOL won’t be high, but it will likely place above your expectations.

Pablo Honey

Uh yeah, the only way you can pass this off is if you put an Oasis album at #2 and The Bends at #3. Have fun with that.

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