Top Ten Best Radiohead Songs

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The Top Ten

1 Paranoid Android

This is probably the greatest song that there has ever been, and probably the greatest that there will be. If there is a song better than this by anyone on this planet, I would be truly astonished. It is probably not the best known Radiohead song, but the truly best songs are very rarely are the best known songs. OK Computer is Radiohead's best album and probably the best album ever recorded (it has won countless polls already). This song is the pinnacle of the ultimate album. It's sheer majesty just makes me want to weep. It is number one on the Radiohead list, but that position should also apply to any list of songs on this site. If you haven't heard this, for gods sake listen to it, it will change your life.

I just listened to it, amazing? Totally! A legend in rock music? Again, totally! Top 500 Rock songs ever? Yeah! Best song ever? Yea-wait, wait, wait... Slow down a little there. It's not the best song ever, there is many greater songs. Not just from Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, exedra, but also from Mozart, Rossini, Beethoven, exedra. It's not the best song to ever show on the face of the earth, but it's a damn good song! - MontyPython

This is awesome! Really really godd it makes you soul come out alive... I don't know what I am typing I just want to fill many words

Creep at number two... Really? Regardless, it is nearly impossible to choose a favourite Radiohead song but for some reason this one seems the obvious option.

Epic song. A seven-minute, three-part masterpiece complete with time signature changes and Jonny Greenwood having a guitar do everything except speak. Breathtaking in its scope and virtuosity. Their best song. Period.

V 65 Comments
2 Fake Plastic Trees

damm I love Karma Police, No surprises and Fake Plastic Trees! its just so hard to decide between them, so I voted Fake Plastic trees because its too down on the list! - suarez44

Not anymore, and that's a good thing because this song is amazing. - Quart

This is for sure my favourite Radiohead song, followed by "There There. "

Great to see both of them in the top 10. I know how tough the competition is, so I really do like seeing this a lot.

Radiohead has a collection like no other and this top 10 list proves that.

Its hard to decide the best song from the best band of all time. But the best had to be Creep and second this one, third paranoid android and fourth, as it is, amazing "karma police". Creep should be one cause it touched millions of people on earth and became instantly popular cause of that. It touched peoples souls and it's the anthem for all rejects and introverted people on earth. This is an unmatchable achievement for any song ANY time ever. Fake Plastic trees its just the song I wanna listen to when I marry the love of my life just when I watch her showing her angel face, at the altar. That's how deep this song is. God bless Radiohead. God bless music. Love to everyone.

"She looks like the real thing, she tastes like the real thing, my fake plastic love." - ColinH

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3 Karma Police

"this is what you get...
When you mess with us", mm how can you not love this?
Definitely their best' song! Radiohead forever!

This song should be number one, the most enjoyable song by Radiohead... "arrest this girl, her Hitler hairdo is making me fill ill, and we have crushed her party" "this is what you get when you mess with us"

I wanted to vote all the songs on this list as no band compares to radiohead except the likes of queen. However it had to be said that it sheer genius at constructing songs no group even touches them... There needs to be more groups like them, that actually suffer for their art. I adore karma police as its just poetry and includes all my favourite instruments and styles, it even includes a coda. I would have to say that this is the best radiohead song there is without very prominent guitar, although everything in its right place is a very close second

A little bit overplayed song. This one and 'Creep' arÄ™ the only songs by Radiohead that appear regularly in rock music radio. Well, at least in my country. However, it is a very good song. With a good music video and a bit cryptic lyrics. All in all, very solid alternative rock piece.

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4 Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Quote from Thom:

"'Street Spirit' is our purest song, but I didn't write it... It wrote itself. We were just its messengers... Its biological catalysts. It's core is a complete mystery to me... and (pause) you know, I wouldn't ever try to write something that hopeless... All of our saddest songs have somewhere in them at least a glimmer of resolve... 'Street Spirit' has no resolve... It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end. It represents all tragic emotion that is so hurtful that the sound of that melody is its only definition. We all have a way of dealing with that song... It's called detachment... Especially me.. I detach my emotional radar from that song, or I couldn't play it... I'd crack. I'd break down on stag e.. t hat's why its lyrics are just a bunch of mini-stories or visual images as opposed to a cohesive explanation of its meaning... I used images set to the music that I thought would convey the emotional entirety of the lyric and music working ...more

There's just nothing like the emotion in this song. Here, Radiohead did something no one has really done before in creating a sad song that's incohesive in its meaning. Where other songs have the explanation and the resolution, Street Spirit just has more sadness and leaves it up to the listener to deduce a meaning and resolution for it all. Simply stunning.

This is ranked far too low. Such a powerful and moving song. To think that Creep is higher on the list than this..

This song kills me every single time. Radiohead have SO many beautiful and complex songs. It's a tough choice to pick just ONE song, for sure. However, Street Spirit has such a masterfully blended combination of emotions. I adore it.

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5 Idioteque

Despite giving a reaction of "what the hell am I listening to? " at first, it later becomes apparent this is an absolute masterpiece. After OK Computer, Radiohead were poised by critics everywhere as the next Beatles, rock saviors. Then they released Kid A. The whole album, especially Idioteque, ushered in the 21st century. The electronic sound could be interpreted as symbolizing technology and its importance on us now. The lyrical themes, however, are more terrifying. Talk of bunkers, protecting the children, scaremongering. Warning us about wars, global warming, and other threats made significantly worse with the inclusion of modern technology. Idioteque is not a song, it is a message, welcoming us to the 21st century. Or maybe, a warning.

This is the greatest song of the entire decade. Might not sound 'that' good at the first time you would hear it; but as you uncover its wonders through careful and repetitive listens, you will gradually discern its power, emotion, and sublime texture and feel (just like every other tracks on Kid A).

Glitchy electro beats meets calming but disturbing electronic chords and also disturbing but powerful lyrics... Everything about this song is genius. One of the first Radiohead songs that I obsessively got into. It haunts you, but calms you, but [disturbs] you. We're not scare mongering, this is really happening.

This song has something that few others do: A simple, minimal tune but with a deep message in it. - Nintendonix

V 22 Comments
6 Creep

"your just like an angel, your skin makes me cry"... "but I'm a creep"
i love this song

Gosh.. This song is so connected with my life... Every word of its lyrics fits right with what's going 'round me... A brilliant song anyway...

Nothing beats this, the pinnacle of Alt rock, simply amazing.

6th,How just how this needs to be number 1 simply cause it is mindblowing.

V 124 Comments
7 Reckoner

Possibly the best song of the 2000's, with the exception maybe of Idioteque or Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels). Lists of the "best" songs are, of course, extremely difficult because it is impossible to define the standard for what "best" means. I voted for Reckoner because of the chills I get through my entire body when I hear the gorgeous melody, as well as the imagery I feel while listening. I have no problem with Paranoid Android being #1, and in many senses, it probably is their "best" song. I'll leave you with a quote from Jonny: "It was when we recorded Reckoner that we felt we'd first got something special on tape." Beyond music theory and what music makes you think, Reckoner has that elusive ability to make you FEEL. And, in my opinion, I don't believe Radiohead has made a song that does quite like Reckoner does.

Honestly, one of the best songs ever made. You can't beat the emotions created by Reckoner

So loud... And so quiet. Before I listened to In Rainbows I had already listened to OKC and Kid A. I liked them very much, but nothing about them really hit me. Then I found this song and I believe this has changed my life. After the first two listens I didn't get into it that much - loud noises and a dinky melody. But over the following week I could not stop thinking of those unpredictable cymbals and snares, the beautiful swirling violins and choir, and the way it relaxes and builds from scratch again to climax to that... Final minute melody (which for me is the best minute of music I've ever heard). After that week I listened to it properly again and I fell in love. Only after finding Reckoner did I come back to OKC and Kid A and truly appreciate them for what they were - masterpieces. Reckoner was for me the key to accessing Radioheads more alienating songs, but no song before and since has ever made me shiver with joy so much. If you haven't heard it, please do so and if you ...more

Wow... Underrated

V 31 Comments
8 No Surprises

It's a song that can make you feel sad and happy at the same time, and not many songs can blend those feelings together. The melody is the true definition of beauty.

This is my favorite Radiohead song by far. When I'm not feeling happy or just having a bad day, this song speaks out to me. It almost makes me feel worse, it hurts, and the song feels utterly hopeless and depressing. However on days where I feel wonderful and full of joy this song feels euphoric. It's like the tone of the song is interpretable, it somehow binds with the listener. With many songs artists tend to shove everything in your face, but this song works with you, it doesn't tell you what to do or how to feel, it works with you. The song becomes a reflection of your soul. The simple idea that anybody could make something like this is incredible, and it goes to show how good these artists are.

This is the most beautiful song ever written by any band. A deceptive and light ballad shrouds the morbidness and the sadness of the lyrics. Which, in turn, is what the song is about. Shrouding one's life with prettiness to cover the bad. Right before the song ends, and Thom Yorke belts out "Such a pretty house, and such A... pretty garden" gets me every time. Radiohead, overall, is incredible. However, this is my favorite song, off my favorite album of all time.

Made me die

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9 Everything in Its Right Place

My favourite song of all time. Simply amazing, I will never be the same after listening to this song. The amount of peace this song gives to me is incomparable. I literally have 512 plays of this song on my iTunes, and I like it more every time I hear it. Amazing.

The first 3 seconds are amazing. This keyboard is got a beautiful sound. The song is very dark, you feel just like Thom Yorke during his depression. Even being sad, Everything In Its Right Place is great, it brings you to another dimension. Very deep.

I'll never believe Creep, High and Dry things is in 10 and there's only 1 Kid A Song. 'Kid A' is truly masterpiece and Most innovative and beautiful album I've ever heard. I can't sure what is best song of them. But I know all the Kid A songs should have more reputation.

I've loved this song since I heard the first ten seconds for the first time. Never gets old. Truly the best from Kid A, and the best from their entire discography.

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10 How to Disappear Completely

This song makes me cry every time. It's so beautiful and amazing and I can't believe its not higher!

This song is so natural, I can't help think that by nothing more than the forces of gravity, inertia and vegetation, it grows out of its opening chord progression.

Masterpiece. Here's why. Thom plays a calm, peaceful melody over the most ominous chord ever. Gives a strong sense of false safety. Very inventive song and the highlight of Kid A for me.

Undeniably the best Radiohead song of all time. If I had to vote on my favorite songs of all time, this would be in the top three for sure. Thom Yorke never sounded better, and his vocals carry this song to the highest point of the genre. I really like Radiohead, and went to see them in Camden. I was devastated when they didn't play it, but this is still one of my favorites of all time.

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The Newcomers

? Tell Me Bitch

Can't believe this wasn't here before. Truly the greatest song ever made by Radiohead. The lyrics are just so deep and inspiring; I tear up every single time. - Onafriday

? You

Really good song. How has none voted for this masterpiece yet?

Oh man why does nobody know this? This song is so beautiful!

Highly overlooked and underrated should be higher. - Quart

Better than that lah

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The Contenders

11 Let Down

How is this not #1? The song starts in a 5/4 time signature until the standard 4/4 comes in with the drums and the 4/5 keeps playing through the song! Simply an amazing effect most people won't ever notice. There's also something incredibly haunting and almost spiritual about the lyrics, especially- "one day I am gonna grow wings, a chemical reaction, hysterical and useless..." & "you'll know, you'll know where you are when, you'll know where you when, floor collapse and floating, bouncing back in...". Then of course these lines meet up and are sung together (as in - at the same time! ) into a crescendo of Thom belting out - "you'll know where you are! " It's so dammed beautiful sounding it brings tears to my eyes. Best way to describe the feeling I get when listening to this song is that something is tugging on my soul. I love most all radiohead's music, but this song does me in like no other.

This song has changed my life, inspired me and I listen to it when I'm happy, sad or any emotion. I have no idea why this isn't number 1. The intro is amazing and the lyrics are intensely moving. Overall - a work of art!

This is the best radiohead song song ever. Everything about this song music lyrics vocals I mean everything you know those tiny things that no one noticed but you do. When you listed to this song you are on your own world nothing else whatever is happening matters you feel so empty...

How Creep is ahead of this really annoys me... this a masterpiece.

V 47 Comments
12 Pyramid Song

Just like Idioteque, you start listening to the song, and you're all like "what the-? ". When you've listened to it as many times as I have, That just adds to how epic and beautiful this song is. One of the greatest ever made.

The song structure is as odd as it can be, making it one of the most intriguing songs made by radiohead, as long with mellow piano chords that fit perfectly here. The progression is layered well with the introduction of different instruments that make this song eerie and melodic. The subject introduced in the lyrics is widely debated by its fans, as some say it's the tale of a dream, others allude to the feeling of illusion and its fatality. Personally, it feels like reaching rock bottom and realizing how mellow and comfortable is that position for the writer, making it feel like he drifts through a black hole

One of the most beautiful songs made, it makes me feel lost in the space. - mattlol

How can this not be the best?

V 22 Comments
13 There, There

Just can't stop listening to this epic song, a real masterpiece! Its the only song that makes me think Lennon? Hendrix? Mercury? Jagger? No none! York is the king!

Very dark, the guitar is so great and the drums are very peculiar. Another one that is more complete when you watch its clip.

The way it starts out with the thumping beat creates this sort of anticipation. You're anticipating lots of emotions and thoughts, and when the guitar starts, I always get this sort of "point of no return" feeling. Then everything comes together, and builds up until it all explodes. Stylistically, it's the best Radiohead song on this list.

Haunting song, pulsing heart of sadness. Lyrics mark the beginning or the end of something - something that may or might went terribly wrong. Despite its groovy rhythm one of the saddest Radiohead songs.

V 19 Comments
14 Nude

I really don't have a way of choosing just ONE best Radiohead song, but I'm choosing this one anyway just because of how hauntingly beautiful, lonesome yet fulfilling this piece is.
Not many songs can have the effect Nude has.
The lyrics, are sung majestically while taunting "you're going to hell for what your dirty mind is.." then Thom holds "thinking." In a way that sends shivers down my spine just replaying the song in my head.
The cherry on top is Johnny's beautiful and broken guitar riff that hangs on like a soul crying for help, almost.
If any song can make you feel lost AND found. It's this one.

I don't know what it is, feels so cold and empty but still warm and connected? So much purity

Literally the most beautiful song ever written from the most beautiful album ever written. The lyrics are so hopeless they make me want to curl up in a ball under blankets for the rest of my life.

I can never really choose my favorite Radiohead song, but this one is just the one I have to go for. The uneasy song adds just a little zing to the lyrics. "Don't get.. Any.. Big ideas.. They're not.. Gonna happen.."
My jaw drops as the song haunts you into the steady rhythm and beat.
The song is depressing, but it still gives off this warm glow of joy. I think this has to be my favorite song. Ever. ( by the way, watch the music video for Nude! )

V 18 Comments
15 Just

This is definitely the best Radiohead song. Paranoid Android and Creep are definitely up there, but every time I hear this song it's just so obvious that it is better. I can't get over this song.

BEST ROCK SONG EVER! YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF YOU DO... AND that's WHAT REALLY HURTS YEAH YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF JUST YOU... YOU AND NO ONE ELSE... YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF!

What the hell happened?! Why isn't this number one? It just felt so obvious to me, that I was in genuine sincere shock when I happened upon this list and saw this song at no. 14! Haha, I mean the other songs are fantastic, but this song packs so much of a kick-ass punch, and that finale.. DAMN!

Of the many great Radiohead songs, "Just" is the one that I would want to keep on my desert island when all the others were washed away. I could listen to the outro over and over and never get tired of it.

V 26 Comments
16 High and Dry

When you listen this song you remember your past, your future, your regrets but mostly you feel high and dry, that's how this song works on human body.

This song makes me cry, does the effect of this wave will make you have a somethis in your heart? The answer is yes!

This son is my favorite from Radiohead foverer men! Classic from the 90's I think should be the number 3

This song should be in the top 5!

V 20 Comments
17 Jigsaw Falling Into Place

... You can't really say that one radiohead song is the best because they are all amazing...!

I love everything about this song. All of the instruments blend and transition so beautifully. This song is definitely number 1 for me.

This song is uncommonly my favourite one, it makes you wanna run and never stop.
In Rainbows is my favourite album, and I know it's impossible to make a rank of the most beautiful masterpieces..

Feels like flowing in the air...

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18 Exit Music (For a Film)

Thom Yorke is a real poet and this is the song that proves it music meets the lyrics in a way I've never heard before it encloses in itself all his sadness which culminates whit one melancholic sentence: We Hope That You Choke

One of if not the best Radiohead song. Unbelievably haunting and powerful. The first line "Wake from your sleep" gives me chills. This song got me through an extremely hard time, and the line "Breath, keep Breathing" was one of the things that kept me alive.

Its just great, starting slow and building. Love the vocals and just the general feel of the song. If you like the slower songs like codex or pyramid song then you will love this.

Ever since it appeared in the ending of Shut Up and Dance, the song has had more of an emotional impact on me. Great vocal work and lyrics from Thom as always, great instrumentals as a whole and an overall great song.

V 21 Comments
19 All I Need

So underrated... Very good song, its simple buts touches you, don't think is the best but needs to be higher in the list, love this song!

Totally needs to be higher on this list. When I first listened to it, I was shocked that a song could pull out love and hate at the same time, and Thom Yorke managed to do that perfectly on top of an eerie, and addicting backing track. Love it.

The best of radiohead, the music is simple and the video changes your mind. Must watch the MTV video if you really wanna know why radiohead is different from all the rest.. :'(

Best song on In Rainbows

V 13 Comments
20 Daydreaming

This, the possibility of "Lift", and "Burn the Witch" will team up to make their next album their best. Which will mean the best album to exist so far.

It's melodious to the point of haunting, the piano blends in with Tom's chilly vocals and the 'Radiohead-ish' lyrics. This song is depressing yet cheerful at the same time and it talks about the 'walk of life' in a way that has never been portrayed before. This is and will be my favourite Radiohead song closely followed by 'Exit music for a film', 'I Promise' and 'No Surprises'.

Dreamiest song I've heard in a long time, and by the end it has perfectly straddled that beautiful/creepy line that Radiohead walks so well

Something beyond, makes me feel like I'm above the sky

V 18 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 18 Aug 2017

12,000 votes
164 listings
8 years, 359 days old

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1. Street Spirit (Fade Out)
2. How to Disappear Completely
3. Nude
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1. Fake Plastic Trees
2. Street Spirit (Fade Out)
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2. Fake Plastic Trees
3. Just
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