Radiohead

On the Air

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Unlike other bands who must pick the most important parts of a song's instrument lines or rely on loops to fill out their sound live, Radiohead's three-guitar attack makes it easy to transfer the eerie soundscapes and intertwining melodies of The Bends and OK Computer to the stage intact. Taken from the 1997 de Belfort Festival in France, disc one is a mix of outright rockers -- "My Iron Lung," "The Bends," and "Just" -- and moody, modern-day psychedelia: "Exit Music (For a Film)" and the epic "Paranoid Android." Thom Yorke slips effortlessly from falsetto to snarl as the band recreates the huge, multitextural atmospherics, the shimmering melodies, and the anthemic guitar lines behind him. The only stumbling point is a half-hearted rendition of "Creep," which lacks the emotional punch of the album version. Disc two contains demos from the band's pre-Radiohead days as On a Friday, as well as a handful of acoustic demos from Pablo Honey, outtakes from 1994 and 1995 BBC Sessions for The Bends, and a trio of OK Computer songs from a June 1997 Holland concert. With the exception of the concert, the disc only holds interest for die-hard fans who like listening to scratchy and flat-sounding snippets of the band's creative process. The Holland concert, however, provides three excellent versions of "Climbing Up the Walls," "No Surprises," and "The Tourist."