An accident waiting to happen…

My first post on my first music blog was never going to be anything other than my favourite Radiohead song, There, There. This song blew me away the moment I first heard it. The heavy, epic tom-tom drums throughout the whole song are captivating and haunting. The reverb-laced guitar is catchy and hummable. The structure of the song leads to a big finish, but to me, it sounds like something menacing is just around the corner. There, There is on Radiohead’s most politically charged album, Hail To The Thief. I adore the album and appreciate the dark, ominous atmosphere it has.

The music video is weird and doesn’t seem to make sense, upon first watch. I see it like this: this video shows Thom in a lucid dream. He’s running and tripping, simultaneously curious and afraid. This song is a warning about getting caught up in illusions, hence the chorus – “just ’cause you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s there”. A fascinating thing about Radiohead is how impersonal lyrics seem at first glance. You can make your own interpretation of their songs, which is one of my favourite things about art in general. There, There has some great lines scattered throughout, and the opening line sets the tone of the song magnificently:

“In pitch dark / I go walking in your landscape
Broken branches / trip me as I speak”

It’s quite a special song, and easily one of my favourite songs of all time. Of course, this can change. I’m only 20, one of my favourite songs of all time? What do I know? Well, I know that I want to live in the moment and I know that I’ll always be passionate about music.

There, There is a whole other beast when it’s played live. The intense, booming melody and crowd singing along to lyrics that are easy to remember / sing along to just bring it to another dimension. I think some people even chant Jonny’s crazy solo towards the end. There, There makes a hell of a concert closer. I’m not sure how many times they’ve ended shows with it, but here’s how many times they should: EVERY NIGHT. Check this out:

Here are some more fun facts about There, There:

  • The alternative title is “There, There (The Boney King of Nowhere)”, a reference to the 1970’s TV show Bagpuss. The music video is inspired by the show.
  • Radiohead struggled making a final version of this song, as they were never quite satisfied with it. After rerecording There, There in their Oxfordshire studio, Thom was so overcome with relief that they finally captured the song. He felt like it was the best song of their career. It’s one of the few songs that Thom wept to when listening to the final cut (the other is Fake Plastic Trees).
  • There, There was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance, and won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction.
  • The single has two B-sides: Paperbag Writer and Where Bluebirds Fly. 
  • There, There song’s structure is influenced by krautrock band Can, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Pixies.

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