Earlier this year, Radiohead's
landmark album OK Computer
turned twenty. The anniversary is cause for celebration, if only to remind ourselves just how groundbreaking the album was. The innovative English band is doing it right, releasing a two-disc, 23-track reissue entitled OKNOTOK 1997-2017
. The release will feature a remastered version of the original album and a bevy of b-sides, but the most enticing aspect of OKNOTOK
is the three "unreleased" tracks that kick off the second disc. To Radiohead diehards, none of the songs are entirely new—"I Promise
," "Man of War" and "Lift
" have all been played live throughout the years. The two decade wait for their respective studio versions, however, is finally over.
Following the release of "I Promise" earlier this month, the band has released another one of the "new" tracks, "Man of War." Alternatively called "Big Boots," the song was reportedly recorded a number of times back in the OK
-era, including for the 1998 film The Avengers
. While Radiohead was dissatisfied with the song's final version at the time, the band has since lightened up and released the studio version.
While it is certainly difficult to imagine "Man of War," on OK Computer, the track fits sonically and thematically. Opening with a subdued guitar and a subtle synth, the following four minutes incrementally layers rhythms, guitars and strings. All the while, Thom Yorke sings of OK staples such as paranoia ("When you come home I'll bake you a cake / Made of all their eyes") and technology ("So unplug the phones, stop all the taps / It all comes flooding back") in-between refrains of "You're my man of war."
Accompanying the release of "Man of War" is a Colin Read-directed music video reminiscent of vintage Radiohead videos "Just" and "Karma Police." The video follows an altruistic protagonist mixed between the pleasantries of day and paranoia of night. Check out the video below and make sure to pick up a copy of OKNOTOK 1997-2017, which arrives tomorrow.