March 14, 2009

Music Review: Versions of Paranoid Android

Of course, there are many ways to listen to Radiohead's music without having to hear them perform it. (I'm referring to the British band, not to be confused with the late-John-Lennon-song cover band we had in college.) I woke up this morning to discover someone had put this entire song into a program called Mario Paint Composer. I'm not sure which came first, if the version off the album OK Computer is a painstaking re-creation of this one or visa versa:

There are several solo piano arrangements, from different universes. The NPR host Christopher O'Riley has arranged dozens of Radiohead songs for classical piano. My friend Mr Holt tells me that whole project is a bit sloppy, & also that O'Riley's performances of these arrangements are unsatisfying.

Now, Brad Mehldau's jazz versions are a whole different kicking squeeling gucci little piggy. Here's the version from the album Largo. I'll never get tired of hearing the prepared piano in the beginning:

Brad Mehldau - Paranoid Android

Found at bee mp3 search engine

And if you're into nerdily comparing dozens of different live jazz solos, Mehldau has no shortage to dig thru. There's a couple other covers of just this song released, & there's a few more on bootlegs, like this one in Perugia 1999, only about fifteen wanky minutes total:

The reggae band Easy Star All-Stars has covered the entire OK Cupid album, a bit of a hit-or-miss project. My favorite part about it is the newfound ability to understand the lyrics. About two minutes into Paranoid Android, the brass part is great. If there's anything Radiohead can learn from the Easy Star All-Star covers & Mehlau's Largo version, is that they should have much more trombones in their productions.

Easy Star All-Stars - Paranoid Android

Found at bee mp3 search engine