The Beatles recorded some of the greatest music ever made. The problem is, or rather was, that they never got a chance to try and reproduce their studio marvels live.
Many Beatles songs have never been played live by the Beatles themselves because technology did not allow for songs like “Strawberry Fields” or “Penny Lane” to be played onstage.
Radiohead, on the other hand, set out earlier this year to prove that they could reproduce the ambient sounds of their recent two releases, 2000’s dark and brooding “Kid A,” and 2001’s eclectic and often times schizophrenic “Amnesiac.”
Radiohead then captured a few sets on reel to reel and put the best, or at least the most interesting, eight songs on their newly released live album “I Might Be Wrong.”
“I Might Be Wrong” is a live album like no other this reporter has seen. The only live album that could possibly stand up to the high standards set by Radiohead’s latest work is the “Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore.” Both of these albums capture the bands at their highest peak, and most transcending moments.
On their live release, Radiohead has eschewed the live album mold of putting the crowd favorites on there for putting the more experimental songs from their last two albums. This bold move of defiance pays off. The versions of tracks like “Idioteque,” “Everything in its Right Place,” and “Like Spinning Plates” blow the studio versions out of the water. “Idioteque” is stripped down to the bare essentials and recreated live with an overtly “human” sense to it, something of which the studio version was devoid.
The song “I Might Be Wrong” is recreated live with an almost Neil Young feel to it. The brash guitars, the only distorted ones on the album, are loud and angry.
This cynical song is performed to perfection. “National Anthem” opens up the album with a very energetic and chaotic start. The horns that are present in the studio version of the track are replaced with the faster tempo and the haunting mellotron type sounds in the background.
The closing piece to the album, and what makes the album worth buying, is the song “True Love Waits.” “True Love Waits,” a song about unrequited love and a more mature version of “Creep” if you will, is sheer beauty.
The song contains one of the catchiest and purest guitar figures in recent history. Again, the album is worth purchasing for this track alone.
Despite the short list of tracks on here, only eight, this album is worth the money. It is certainly one of the better, if not best, live albums in recent history. Radiohead creates realistically, if not more emphatically, live, the somber and often times harrowing mood their past couple of studio ventures have had.
Despite being often labeled the greatest band in the world, Radiohead proves on this album they are just five guys that like to make music, critics be damned. Radiohead once again proves that they are a band that is all about the music.