8. Exit Music (For a Film) - Radiohead
Around the mid ‘90s, Radiohead’s mind wasn’t necessarily in film soundtracks. They had already had some of their songs show up in ‘90s movies like Clueless, and even then not all of the characters were that excited about them, with Alicia Silverstone calling them whiny. They were on the verge of something much bigger though, and Baz Luhrman’s twisted take on Shakespeare gave them just the right opportunity to stretch out a little more.
Even though Thom Yorke was familiar with ballads like Fake Plastic Trees off of the Bends, Exit Music for a Film is more than just a cheeky song title. Going through the actual song, there’s a much more cinematic scope to the way the band constructed the whole thing, starting off with an acoustic guitar as Thom imagines a scenario where Romeo and Juliet have their chance to elope together just underneath the eye of their parents.
Though the lyrics make it sound like some sort of teenage fantasy, the song morphs halfway through into something a lot more sinister, with the guitars getting more and more fuzzy and the strings swelling up and going off the rails as Thom lets out his final high note, intoning that he hopes that we will choke from what we are listening to. Seeing how the next phase of OK Computer would come right after this, Radiohead were ready to reinvent themselves again, and the entire world seemed to choke on it.