zappa phaze two
Essential Zappa: Phaze Two
ween comp
Understanding Boognish:
The Best of Ween
drag comp
Drag: A Witch House
Essential Zappa: Phaze One
Radiohead Album Series
It Took the Night to Believe
Killing in Style
Cadillac Casanovas
A Night in the Box
Brasil, Para Sempre!
Same As It Ever Was:
The Best of Talking Heads
Universe Dirt
The Best of
American Music Club
The New Dance
Cut the Kids in Half
Machines of Canterbury
Archimedes Said It Best
The Early Rock of
West Germany
Music from
the Republic of Iceland
Take Me Back:
The Best of M. Ward
The Best of...
Of Montreal
Dust & Diamonds
The Best of
Sigur Ros
The Hall of Mirrors

Imaginary Sounds Mix 23; Part 3: Radiohead - Permanent Daylight

One of the great things about Radiohead is that they have an extensive collection of b-sides, and most of them are so good they make you wonder why they never showed up on the full-length albums they were recorded during. I recently came across a collection of all the Radiohead b-sides from over the years and realized that that if they were good enough to be on those albums, they could be made into albums themselves. 

So I took those B-sides and compiled them into 3 different collections by the era they came from and, like the only-child-nerd I am, I created a story for these albums. They are 3 albums (not b-sides at all) the band recorded, mastered, and finished and shelved due to problems and the fickle nature of the band (not unlike other famously unreleased lost albums like SMiLE or Get Back) only to be found, finished, and released years later. And that's the story from here on out. Yeah, I even made art for the covers. Deal wit it.

The third and final release in this series is Permanent Daylight,

an album of curious and difficult conception for Radiohead. After the explosion of popularity that world-wide hit single Creep brought the band in in 1993 and the strenuous tour that followed, Thom and company settled down to relax and work on new songs for their sophomore album. The past year had felt like a musical rendition of Groundhog Day for the band; playing the same songs over and over again to the disdain of all members. The new songs weren't sitting right either, but good faith and mounting expectations pushed the band to quickly record a full albums worth of material. Disputes and unhappiness within the band of the quality of these songs almost tore the group apart. Against all odds, the album Permanent Daylight was completed in late 1994. Thom wasn't having it. According to legend, in a fit of delusional stress-fueled paranoia Thom threatened Ed O'Brien's role in the band; claiming that if he didn't help him destroy the master tapes to the new album, Permanent Daylight, he'd no longer cover up the fact that Ed's contributions to the band were trivial at best. Ed was, of course, terrified. He and Thom burned the tapes several nights before the cds would be pressed. Parlophone were not happy, and considered dropping the band. New producer John Leckie quickly stepped in and saved the band informing Parlophone that he had already begun recording the songs that would become the new album The Bends. It was discovered in late 2000 that several copies of the Permanent Daylight tapes existed, bringing us here.

It's hard to understand why Radiohead would have been dissatisfied with Permanent Daylight. Sure it isn't as conceptual or unified as later albums would be, the album is obviously born of influence and not inspiration, but the individual songs are actually quite nice. The pretension of later albums are substituted by dutifully standing on the shoulders of and upstaging their influences. "Easy answers / to easy questions" Thom sings on the fuzzy chorus My Bloody Valentine inspired opener Coke Babies. Lyrics of religious cynicism and jaded disenfranchisement (Bishop's Robe) sit right alongside silly, almost humorous (for Radiohead) pop-punk romps like Pop is Dead and Million Dollar Question. The rest of the band plays it fairly safe for most of the album, relying on a range of early 90s indie tropes as well as experimental concepts and powerful rock anthems. India Rubber plods along at the pace of a Soft Bulletin  b-side, Lozenge of Love's intricate acoustics (arguably one of the most beautiful songs the band ever recorded) sooth like a José González lullaby. Permanent Daylight shows the band growing up and learning what they love about their favorite music while finding how to use it as an influence and not just rip it off, something many bands of their generation never learned how to do. Maybe Thom just didn't like the sound of growing pains, but it shouldn't be a dissapointment to evolve.

1. Coke Babies
2. Lewis (Mistreated)
3. Million Dollar Question
4. Banana Co.
5. India Rubber
6. Killer Cars
7. Permanent Daylight
8. Faithless the Wonderboy
9. Lozenge of Love
10. Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong
11. Maquiladora
12. Inside My Head
13. Pop is Dead
14. Yes I Am
15. How Can You Be Sure
16. Molasses
17. The Trickster
18. Bishop's Robes
19. You Never Wash Up After Yourself

Previous Albums in this Series:

Society Page
(download full album) [96MB]

The first of these releases is Society Page, 
originally released (accidentally) only in Japan in 1998, an album that showcases the true duality of Radiohead that could only previously be experienced in the gap between OK Computer and Kid A.

Xendless Xurbia
(download full album) [111MB]

The second release in this series is Xendless Xurbia, an album that was completed and packaged to be released during the Radiohead world tour in May of 2003 between albums Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows.

1 comment:

A-Mfan said...

Great work on this set. Love it


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