Making sense of Radiohead

There’s a really interesting post on Creating Passionate Users right now: Changing the user experience without changing the product describes how seeing Radiohead play live – for one fan – changed how she listens to, and hears the album Kid A. Following the gig, the fan’s opinion of the CD went from “good, interesting, creative” to “dynamic, layered, complex, brilliant”.

I found this particularly interesting because I had a similar experience with Radiohead. To me, the Kid A and Amnesiac albums were overtly experimental, avant garde and really quite difficult to engage with on a musical, or any level. Despite owning most of what Radiohead released previously, and having a broad taste in music generally, I just didn’t get them.

cover artwork of I Might Be Wrong

I haven’t been fortunate enough to see Radiohead play live, but I did stumble upon the superb live EP I Might Be Wrong, which features tracks from the afore-mentioned albums. Listening to the live album, just like with our young fan mentioned earlier, I had a kind of musical epiphany and suddenly the studio albums made sense. As a music fan, I found this as something of a relief: it was quite uncomfortable not being able to connect with music produced by one of my favourite artists. Perhaps this is measure of how good Kid A and Amnesiac really are?