‘Let Down’ remains one of the more beloved Radiohead tracks from OK Computer. Situated in-between ‘Exit Music (For a Film)’ and ‘Karma Police’, ‘Let Down’ has more of the alternative rock DNA than most of OK Computer‘s experimental, prog-influenced guitar buzz. Jangly, slightly downtrodden, and relatively straightforward, ‘Let Down’ has all the anxiety that remained essential to OK Computer while still being among the band’s most traditional and engrossing compositions.
The song was originally planned to be the album’s first single, but Radiohead decided that ‘Paranoid Android’ was more in-line with the album’s themes and departure from the more simplistic guitar rock of the band’s past records. Thanks to its arpeggiated guitar figure that was central to the song’s catchiness, ‘Let Down’ was instead shelved for a later single release. The band even shot a video for it, but when they came out unhappy with the results, ‘Let Down’ was once again pushed away.
Eventually, ‘Let Down’ was given out as a promotional single to radio stations towards the tail end of OK Computer‘s initial promo cycle. It charted modestly on the US Modern Rock charts, but it never got the same recognition as songs like ‘No Surprises’ or even album cuts like ‘Airbag’.
Despite this, ‘Let Down’ became an unlikely favourite for bands who wanted to play Radiohead covers but didn’t want to look like basic fans. The most surprising of covers came from Toots and the Maytals, the legendary Jamaican reggae band who took on the song for the 2006 full OK Computer cover album Radiodread.
Now we get another take on ‘Let Down’ from the likes of American indie rockers Pinegrove. The band are still out promoting their perfectly good album 11:11 which came out back in January, and the five-piece appeared on SiriusXMU recently to give their own take on the OK Computer track.
Check out Pinegrove’s cover of ‘Let Down’ down below.