Friday, May 1, 2009

This and That: High and Dry

Radiohead: High and Dry


It may seem hard to believe, especially for fans overseas, but after the freshman blip of Creep, American audiences took awhile to truly warm to Radiohead. So, apparently, did lead singer-songwriter Thom Yorke, who has not performed High and Dry in over a decade, and has gone on record as decrying the song -- recorded in the sessions for their first album, rejected by the band as too "Rod Stewart", eventually released in its original form as the first single from their second disc in 1995 -- as "not's very bad".

To be fair, the song is pretty poppy, nothing like the more experimental, electronic sounds which would emerge in their later work. But I recently rediscovered the simple joys of this tune through a lovely banjo-tinged cover from newcomers Roosevelt Dime, and, coming back to the original recording, find it offers a good antidote to those starting to lose interest in their overplayed late-career canon...and sweet evidence of early genius for popwatchers who are merely curious about Radiohead's origins in the British alt-rock movement of the mid nineties.

PS: If the Roosevelt Dime cover above isn't enough for you coverwatchers, 2004 Oscar-winner Jorge Drexler's acoustic indiefolk cover of this tune is still live over at Cover Me.

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