Plugging into the Music that Matters

Flashback: Radiohead’s OK Computer in Library of Congress

2017 is a big year for Radiohead as their genre-defining album, OK Computer turns 20.

Artwork for Radiohead's OK Computer
Radiohead’s iconic album, turns 20 next month.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of Radiohead’s OK Computer, it’s worth looking back to when the record was submitted to the Library of Congress. Each year, the Library of Congress submit 25 recordings into their archives that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

2017 is a year that sees a few milestones, with Interpol’s debut, Turn On The Bright Lights turning 15 and Arctic Monkeys’ Favourite Worst Nightmare turning 10 as well. It’s Radiohead’s 1997 release, OK Computer that’s deservedly the most celebrated of all.

It’s an album that turned heads and captured the world of music back in 1997. With tracks like ‘Paranoid Android‘, ‘Karma Police‘ and ‘No Surprises‘, the record was a pivotal moment that cemented the Oxford outfit’s place in rock history.

OK Computer penetrated the mainstream and opened up doors for many bands to follow its formula and develop synth-infused rock. Something possibly not achieved since New Order in the 80’s.

It’s been just over a year since Radiohead released their ninth album, A Moon Shaped Pool and next month, they’ll be headlining Glastonbury. It’s rumoured there’s plans for a special 20th anniversary set for their Pyramid Stage performance but that’s yet to be confirmed.

Matt Burton, the Congress’s curator spoke about the album, saying “I see it as part of a certain ongoing phenomenon in rock music that maybe begins with The Velvet Underground but also The Doors, who are on the registry this year [2015]. Pop music is not entirely positive in its outlook, shall we say. I think we can say that OK Computer really sums a lot of that up.”

The Grateful Dead’s Barton Hall Concert, The Doors self-titled 1967 debut and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon are also archived.  The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which turns 50 this year is in the Library. You can read the full list of those archived by clicking here.

What are your memories of OK Computer? Share them with us on Facebook and Twitter and we’ll share the best ones on June 16th. Search for @JACKSmedia on Facebook or follow us, @JACKSMusicMedia on Twitter!

The poster used to advertise the upcoming release of Radiohead's OK Computer.
The advert put out ahead of OK Computer’s release back in 1997.

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