Top 10 Best Radiohead Songs

The Top Ten
1 Paranoid Android

This is probably the greatest song that has ever been, and likely the greatest that ever will be. If there is a song better than this by anyone on this planet, I would be truly astonished. Although it may not be the best-known Radiohead song, the truly best songs are rarely the best-known ones.

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 that ultimate album. Its sheer majesty just makes me want to weep. It holds the number one position on the Radiohead list, but that ranking should also apply to any list of songs on this site. If you haven't heard this song, for God's sake, listen to it. It will change your life.

2 Karma Police

I wanted to vote for all the songs on this list, as no band compares to Radiohead except the likes of Queen. However, it has to be said that their sheer genius at constructing songs is unparalleled. No group even comes close. There needs to be more groups like them, groups that actually suffer for their art.

I adore Karma Police because it's just poetic and includes all my favorite instruments and styles. It even includes a coda. I would have to say that this is the best Radiohead song without a very prominent guitar, although Everything in Its Right Place is a very close second.

3 Fake Plastic Trees

It's hard to decide the best song from the best band of all time. But the best has to be "Creep," followed by this one, then "Paranoid Android," and fourth, "Karma Police." "Creep" should be number one because it touched millions of people on Earth and became instantly popular because of that. It touched people's souls and is the anthem for all rejects and introverted people on Earth.

This is an unmatchable achievement for any song at any time ever. "Fake Plastic Trees" is just the song I want to listen to when I marry the love of my life, just as I watch her show her angelic face at the altar. That's how deep this song is. God bless Radiohead. God bless music. Love to everyone.

4 Idioteque

Despite giving a reaction of "What the hell am I listening to?" at first, it later becomes apparent that this is an absolute masterpiece. After "OK Computer," Radiohead was poised by critics everywhere as the next Beatles, the saviors of rock. 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 impact on us now. The lyrical themes, however, are more terrifying. Talk of bunkers, protecting the children, and scaremongering - warning us about wars, global warming, and other threats - becomes 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.

5 Street Spirit (Fade Out)

This changed the way I listen to music. The power in the lyrics, guitar, and Yorke's vocals make you feel haunted in a way that no other song can achieve more than once. The build-up is incredible, and every part of the song is so... listenable!

I will never get tired of looping this song endlessly. And the music video is one of the cleverest ever, too. I'm actually fearful that this comment won't pay enough homage to this song. Definitely worth worshiping.

If you haven't heard this song, listen to it NOW! You'll instantly like it when you hear it, and it's way better than the others above. It's very emotional yet calming, and great for easing anxiety. I love the arpeggio played.

It's one of the first songs I learned on guitar years ago. This is a song you'll want to take off your shoes for, lie in bed alone, blast it, and just sort of fade out everything else.

6 No Surprises

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.

7 Creep

I think Creep is vastly overrated by people who aren't familiar with the rest of Radiohead's discography, but it is also underrated by true Radiohead fans. While it may be simpler than (in my opinion) perfect songs like those on OK Computer, the melancholic feel it creates is one of the most poignant out of any Radiohead song.

The brilliance of this song lies in the connection it can make with the listener. I actually feel as if I enter the most ridiculous yet beautiful cocoon that could possibly exist, and I just drown in my own self-pity and sorrow.

The words and music serve as a reflection of our daily struggles through life and its multiple letdowns and huge disappointments. Music has never been as intimate as this, and it never will be. This isn't just a song. It's an absolute anthem.

8 Reckoner

Possibly the best song of the 2000s, with the exception maybe of "Idioteque" or "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," is up for debate. Lists of the "best" songs are, of course, extremely difficult to compile because it's impossible to define the standard for what "best" means. I voted for "Reckoner" because of the chills that run through my entire body when I hear the gorgeous melody, as well as the imagery I experience while listening.

I have no problem with "Paranoid Android" being #1. 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 intellectual engagement, "Reckoner" has that elusive ability to make you feel. In my opinion, I don't believe Radiohead has made a song that does so quite like "Reckoner" does.

9 How to Disappear Completely

Undeniably, this is the best Radiohead song of all time. If I had to vote for my favorite songs of all time, this would be in the top three, for sure. Thom Yorke has never sounded better, and his vocals elevate this song to the pinnacle of the genre.

I'm a big Radiohead fan and went to see them in Camden. I was devastated when they didn't play it, but this song remains one of my all-time favorites.

Its progression is incredible. Seeing the skeletal baseline build into this operatic mass is awe-inspiring. The song also creates an amazing soundscape.

When I listen to it, I see images of a barren, almost alien world, and it nearly engulfs me in this emotional state of solemn emptiness. It makes me feel like I'm slowly fading and disappearing completely.

10 Everything in Its Right Place

Utterly, mesmerizingly brilliant. The keyboard riff is so haunting, so raw, so melodic, so rhythmic, and so in your brain, it just gets inside you. I have unashamedly used this more than once as a backing track to parts of school musicals. I even used it as the interlude music in "The Wizard of Oz."

It played during the opening minute and a half when we were changing the set from Kansas to Oz, and then during the climactic minute when we were changing back from Oz to Kansas. "Everything in its right place." I want to curl up with the whole experience of this song and show the world what is up and what is down.

The Contenders
11 Pyramid Song

The song's structure is as odd as it can be, making it one of the most intriguing songs made by Radiohead. It features mellow piano chords that fit perfectly here. The progression is layered well with the introduction of different instruments, making the song both eerie and melodic.

The subject introduced in the lyrics is widely debated by its fans. Some say it's the tale of a dream, while others allude to the feeling of illusion and its fatality. Personally, it feels like reaching rock bottom and realizing how mellow and comfortable that position is for the writer, making it feel like he drifts through a black hole.

12 Let Down

How is this not number one? The song starts with a 5/4 time signature until the standard 4/4 comes in with the drums, and the 5/4 keeps playing throughout the song! It's simply an amazing effect that most people won't ever notice. The lyrics are also incredibly haunting and almost spiritual, especially the lines "One day I am gonna grow wings, a chemical reaction, hysterical and useless..." and "You'll know, you'll know where you are when, floor collapses and you're floating, bouncing back in..."

Then, of course, these lines meet up and are sung together - at the same time - into a crescendo of Thom belting out, "You'll know where you are!" It's so damn beautiful sounding, it brings tears to my eyes. The best way to describe the feeling I get when listening to this song is that something is tugging on my soul. I love most of Radiohead's music, but this song affects me like no other.

13 Exit Music (For a Film)

My personal favorite Radiohead song. Despite the fact that many of the band's songs escalate toward the end, I believe this track does it best.

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 "Breathe, keep breathing" was one of the things that kept me alive.

So underrated and rarely talked about. The softness of the lyrics only makes the lyrics that much more haunting and powerful. The song continues to build to the epic finish that always leaves me feeling "something" by the time it's over. Love this song.

14 There, There

I personally like the more organic songs of Radiohead more than the electronic ones, and this song is very organic and natural-sounding to me. This was one of the Radiohead songs that I fell in love with on the very first listen, in the first 20 seconds of the song, to be honest.

I remember having goosebumps all over when the guitar starts. Hail to the Thief itself, I feel, is a very underrated album.

That's it. These guys are aliens. I was suspicious about it, but this song confirms it for me. How can you speak so vividly? Never mind speaking, it's like screaming with a thunderous sound, guitars, and drums that just leave you perplexed and in another state of consciousness. It's like a screaming of cataclysmic truth, as another comment here mentioned. A truth we're too scared to admit. Yet we keep denying it throughout our whole lives.

The truth is that whatever we do is really worthless because we're just creatures deluded with the idea of self-transcendence, of self-grandiosity. The ego rules the world. Everywhere, every time - wars, corruption, creation of diseases for profit, environmental destruction, species extinctions - we're driven by our egos. Everywhere you look, despite how beautiful or harmless it may seem, it's taken over by man's ego, the real devil of this world.

Vicious and powerful companies who only care about money and governments work together for control of the population, implementing fear to control the masses, and making us believe whatever they want in order to keep us down and somnolent. They keep the poor where they meant them to be and keep all the world's resources for a few. That is the underlying truth this song screams. In the proper context, it's simply life-cathartic (I tell you firsthand). Talk about alien stuff.

15 Jigsaw Falling Into Place

This song is so pure, innocent, and melancholy. Yet, the lyricism paints a beautiful story about a meeting in a bar between star-crossed lovers. This chorus-free song is a culmination of Thom Yorke's vocal prowess and Radiohead's instrumental genius.

Never in this song do the instrumentals deviate from a medium-strength tone, yet it keeps us engaged miraculously. The soft melodies allow Thom's vocals to shine. The only frustrating aspect of this song is that we are left in suspense as to how the story ends.

16 Just

What the hell happened?! Why isn't this number one? It felt so obvious to me that I was in genuine, sincere shock when I happened upon this list and saw this song at number 14. Haha, I mean, the other songs are fantastic, but this song packs so much of a kick-ass punch, and that finale... damn!

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.

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.

17 Nude

I really don't have a way of choosing just one best Radiohead song, but I'm choosing this one anyway. It's hauntingly beautiful, lonesome yet fulfilling. Not many songs can have the effect that "Nude" has. The lyrics are sung majestically, while taunting, "You're going to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking."

Thom holds the word "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.

18 Weird Fishes

I was going to pick "Everything In Its Right Place," but this song being at number 31 is an injustice. It's the most underrated Radiohead song of all time. As others have noted, the instruments and vocals give an aquatic effect.

If you close your eyes, you can see pretty much anything. I listened to it on a beach in Florida one night, and it transcended time and space. It was beautiful.

This song is so beautiful. It takes the listener to an entirely new world while somehow keeping them grounded and connected. Along with that, the emotional connection is so strong. The metaphor of fish at the bottom of the sea is spot on and sincere to the true meaning.

Definitely up near their best.

19 High and Dry

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

This is by far my most favorite song by Radiohead. It should be in the top 10. I have no words to describe it. It's so beautifully written, and the guitar! Just the best moments of my life flash every time I hear this song.

This is one of the best Radiohead songs. It deserves a better position. It strikes the perfect balance between sadness and happiness.

20 The National Anthem

I was under the impression that this song had a bigger following. This song is easily top ten and, in my opinion, their best. It's a great example of Radiohead at their best, where they absorb whatever they might be listening to and create something totally unique.

This song is incredible! It's one of the highlights of Kid A, which is the best album of the 2000s. Watching them perform it on SNL in 2000 was amazing because it felt so ahead of its time. All the musicians are at their best in this song, especially the bass.

21 Daydreaming

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.

It talks about the 'walk of life' in a way that has never been portrayed before. This is and will be my favorite Radiohead song, closely followed by "Exit Music for a Film," "I Promise," and "No Surprises."

This song... my god. The haunting ease of singing is melodious, yet unbelievably chilling. Hands down, it's the best song from A Moon Shaped Pool and maybe one of their best ever.

22 15 Step

Amazing song! I'm loving it so much. Since I watched Twilight, this song has impressed me a lot. I feel like I'm addicted to it. I'm new to Radiohead. This is the first song of theirs I've listened to. I'm wondering, if this song is great, what is their most-voted song? I'm going to do some research.

I was going to pick "Paranoid Android," but I noticed that one of my other favorites was feeling a little lonely. "In Rainbows" opens with a truly epic progression that'll make you feel things you've never felt before.

These are the type of lyrics today's society is missing!

"How come I end up where I started? How come I end up where I went wrong? Won't take my eye off the ball again, you reel me out then you cut the string..."

23 All I Need

This 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.

This is my favorite Radiohead song. Simply beautiful. Hauntingly beautiful. Outside of Everlong, this song puts you in a trance where desolation meets a glimmer or flicker of hope.

So underrated. Very good song. It's simple but touches you. I don't think it's the best, but it needs to be higher on the list. Love this song!

24 Climbing Up the Walls

Climbing Up the Walls has the mood and reflective nature of its parent album, all the atmosphere of Motion Picture Soundtrack, the emotion of Fake Plastic Trees, and the instrumental texture of There There - except darker. It's the perfect Radiohead song. (Yes, I'm aware that Motion Picture Soundtrack and There There were written and recorded years after this song).

This is the stuff that haunts you at night. It's a perfect representation of some of your darkest feelings and moments, and an even better representation of the hell people with depression and such go through.

25 Airbag

The way this song starts off is amazing: cello in one ear and a grinding, rough guitar in the other, both playing the same riff. Then you hear the third guitar start to play too, and the drums kick in as one of the catchiest tunes ever starts to play. Thom Yorke starts his singing and carries you on a four-minute, forty-four-second journey. Yeah, Radiohead is back to save the universe.

Some intro songs to albums prepare you for the rest of the album. Not this one. I had to stop for five minutes the first time just to realize what I had just listened to.

Sure, the other songs are absolutely outstanding - such as Lift, Man of War, No Surprises, Paranoid Android, and Climbing Up the Walls. Basically, every song on the new remastered version is great, but this, this is where I can stay and be happy.

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