The Bends

Label
EMI UK
Release date
30 Apr 2001
Running length
12 tracks
Running time
47:51

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Planet Telex 4:19 603,758
2 The Bends 4:06 647,686
3 High and Dry 4:17 944,335
4 Fake Plastic Trees 4:10 932,924
5 Bones 3:09 546,438
6 (Nice Dream) 3:53 412,985
7 Just 3:52 725,113
8 My Iron Lung 4:35 675,875
9 Bullet Proof ... I Wish I Was 3:28 65,352
10 Black Star 4:07 531,890
11 Sulk 3:43 473,871
12 Street Spirit (Fade Out) 4:12 707,200

About this album

The Bends, released on 13 March in the United Kingdom and on 4 April 1995 in the United States, is the second studio album released by the English band Radiohead. The album was dedicated to the late comedian Bill Hicks. The album contains singles “High and Dry”, “Fake Plastic Trees”, “Just”, “My Iron Lung”, and “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”.

The Bends was ranked number 110 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and number 2 on Q’s 100 Greatest Albums Ever.

The album was subject to much greater critical acclaim than their debut Pablo Honey (1993), and it reached number four in the UK Albums Chart. However, it failed to build on the commercial success of their single “Creep” outside the United Kingdom, and it peaked on the American charts at number 88. Although it lacked the instant success of later Radiohead albums, The Bends achieved triple platinum sales certifications in the UK and Canada and platinum sales in the US and the EU.

According to the band, The Bends marked the start of a gradual turn in Yorke’s songwriting from personal angst to the more cryptic lyrics and social and global themes that would come to dominate the band’s later work. Most of the album was seen to continue the lyrical concerns of Pablo Honey, although in more mature fashion. The songs “Fake Plastic Trees” and, in particular, “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” and its b-side “Talk Show Host”, are often seen as a precursor to their next album OK Computer (1997). “Fake Plastic Trees” was partly inspired by the commercial development of Canary Wharf, while “Sulk” was written as a response to the Hungerford massacre.

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