The first album to boldly throw some old-school Macintosh “alert” beeps between songs turns 10 today. But this post is not about OK Computer‘s landmark status, its place in the rock canon, or its influence on the music that followed. Rather, it’s to celebrate the Radiohead disc for being one of those albums you can listen to all the way through, every single time. It’s a No Need To Track Forward Album! One among few.
Since it came out in 1997, I’ve spent probably an entire month of my life listening to OK Computer, but my one truly obsessive stretch occurred in college, when I sequestered myself in my dorm’s study lounge to write my senior thesis for five days straight. At times, the only things in this pathetic, horribly decorated little room were me, my laptop and a big styrofoam cup of guacamole (because I’d run out of chips). When I got writer’s block, I’d roll my finger around the edges of the cup for entire minutes at a time. It was not a good scene. But amid the dread, intense self-loathing, and repellent odor, there was light. I probably listened to OK Computer close to 100 times. I was in the zone because of this album. So thanks, Radiohead! You saved me. For those five days, I was not fitter and not happier, but definitely the most productive I’ve been to date.
Post your own OK Computer memories below, and if they’re not a lot cooler than mine, you’re banned from the site. (Don’t worry — it’s an impossible scenario! My roommates were calling me Paranoid Anniedroid. GEEK.)