Radiohead’s reissue of their landmark album OK Computer, titled ‘OKNOTOK 1997-2017,’ has arrived. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of one of the most important alt-rock albums of the ‘90s, the entire album has been remastered. Additionally, the reissue includes three unreleased songs and eight B-sides.
The British band took their revolutionary third album and re-released it in form of a box set that includes three black 12” vinyl with: all 12 original ‘OK Computer’ tracks, 3 previously unreleased tracks, which are “I Promise,” “Man Of War,” and “Lift” – yes, finally, a studio version of “Lift,” now you can throw away those trashy live recordings you’ve been saving for the last twenty years, or not; and eight B-sides, most of them from the ‘Airbag / How Am I Driving?’ EP, like “Meeting in the Aisle,” “A Reminder,” “Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2)” and more.
The vinyl comes with a hardcover book along with 40 pages of artwork and lyrics. The box set also includes a 104-page notebook, a 48-page sketchbook of artwork and notes, a C90 cassette mixtape compiled by the band – composed of ‘OK Computer’ session archives and demos.
A 320k MP3, 16-bit WAV or 24-bit WAV download of all tracks are also available.
Twenty years later, ‘OK Computer’ remains as important as ever
Back in April, speculation about an album anniversary celebration arose, as several posters with messages that seemed to reference lyrics from “Fitter Happier” were spotted by fans in cities including London, New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Berlin. All posters had different messages, but they all ended with the year 1997-2017. That was enough for fans to let suspicions turn into facts.
A month later, marking the album’s 20th anniversary on May 21, the band officially announced that a reissue was coming.
Let’s remember that Radiohead doesn’t do things just for the sake of doing them. The ‘OK Computer’ reissue is not some maneuver to exploit a classic. Neither it is just a show-off of improved audio quality, and a way to reach new generations. ‘OK Computer’ feels more necessary than ever. In the quasi-nostradamic dystopian album, Thom Yorke talked to us – or more like warned us – about the world in which people are basically automatized. This not refers only to technologic advances and how computers and robots will eventually rule the world, but also to how unempathetic and submissive society would become.
That’s how well-intended and important this reissue is. It’s not just a way to make a profit from a classic. It’s a way to preserve the message of such an important record. In 2015, it was introduced to the Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” That’s how important it is.
Radiohead is not exactly a band that sits around for too long in the same idea, nor they are the nostalgic type that keeps bringing back the past, just because they are always too busy moving forward. So this ‘OK Computer’ reissue is an actual rarity.
The band dedicated ‘OKNOTOK’ to Yorke’s late wife
Days before the reissue of the 1997 classic was released, a fan who got an early copy realized something while reading the small print. He discovered that the band has dedicated the reissue to vocalist Yorke’s ex-partner Rachel Owen. The two got married in 2003 and divorced in 2015, but remained friends. Owen died of cancer in December 2016.
The dedicatory written on the album’s back sleeve reads: “this re-issue is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Rachel Owen 1968-2016 who died after a long and brave battle with cancer. We hope you are ok. Thank you for listening.”
OMFG THEY DEDICATED OKNOTOK 2 RACHEL :'(
rip . pic.twitter.com/lhqVf4sepD
— ｆｃｋｎ ａｌｉｅｎｓ ａｇａｉｎ (@thmyork) June 19, 2017