On June 17, 1997 Radiohead released their third album, OK Computer,  in Canada. It has since gone on to become one of the band’s most critically-acclaimed albums, being listed as one of the greatest albums of all time according to Rolling Stone, TIME, Pitchfork and more.


Celebrate the legendary album’s anniversary below:


1. The title was taken from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  In the 1974 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series, character Zaphod Beeblebrox says, “Okay, computer, I want full manual control now.”

2. The album coincided with the decline of Britpop. Up until the release of OK Computer most mainstream British music was simplistic. Following Radiohead’s release, other British bands began composing more complex music.

3. It was recorded in a castle. The band set up shop at St. Catherine’s Court – the manor owned by actress Jane Seymour. Songs were recorded throughout the house in different rooms. “Let Down” was recorded in a ballroom at 3AM.



4. Produced by a legend. The band co-produced OK Computer with Nigel Godrich. Godrich is widely regarded as Radiohead’s “six-member”.

5. An original Apple computer is featured. The band used the “Fred” voice included on Macintosh LC II computers to recite the lyrics of “Fitter Happier”.



6. The album never won an award. It was nominated for the 1998 Grammy for Album of the Year but lost to Bob Dylan.

7. Dark themes. Critics and fans both recognize the album’s depiction of a world torn apart by consumerism, social alienation, emotional isolation and political malaise. It’s often regarded as the album that “encompassed the mood” of the 21st century.

8. The band debuted “Karma Police” while opening for Alanis Morissette. The band was on tour with her for the Jagged Little Pill tour in 1996.

radiohead alanis


9. “Karma Police” was the song of a generation. In a song review, AllMusic referred to Karma Police as “haunting, mystifying, and exquisite”, labeling it “one of the cornerstones of one of the greatest albums of the ’90s.”

10. The location of the album artwork was recently revealed.  According to Reddit user Mapmikey, the location is at the intersection of  I-84 and I-91 in Hartford, Connecticut.


Internet sleuths discover the real-life location of #Radiohead's OK Computer artwork – check it out at CoS.

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Filed under: Karma Police, OK Computer, Radiohead