What’s this, two of the 1990’s greatest alternative rock bands sharing the same stage? You’re damn right it is. This footage, taken at an unknown arena concert in 1998, shows Michael Stipe singing Radiohead’s ‘Lucky’ while Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, Philip Selway, Ed O’Brien and Colin Greenwood provide the backing.
‘Lucky’ was released on Radiohead’s 1997 album OK Computer, an album which seems to embody the paranoia and excitement of a world hurtling towards the digital age with no understanding of what it will entail. In Yorke’s explanation of the line “We are standing on the edge”, the frontman reveals certain apprehension about humanity’s desire to run open-armed into the new millennium. “The history of our times calls to mind those Walt Disney characters who rush madly over the edge of a cliff without seeing it,” he began. ” The power of their imaginations keeps them suspended in mid-air, but as soon as they look down and see where they are, they fall.”
‘Lucky’ was famously recorded in a single day on September 4th, 1995. Originally released on the album Help: A Charity Album for the Children Of Bosnia, it was later included on OK Computer. Though some of the artists featured on the record delivered songs that were deemed slightly below par, Radiohead were careful to deliver the best song they could muster. Speaking about Help, Ed O’Brien told Q Magazine “We wanted to give the Help album the best song we had at the time. We didn’t have any fear about holding songs back. We’ve been touring the bends and played ‘Lucky’ for the first time in a sound check in Japan. It was probably the best song that we’d done to that date. It was like, ‘OK this is what the next phrase could be.'”
After the release of Help, Radiohead were praised for offering a brand new track where so many others had provided cover songs. O’Brien would later admit, however, that the only reason they decided to write a new song was that the Radiohead boys were terrible at covers. Unfortunately, the single release for ‘Lucky’ was a bit of a flop and the track didn’t make any money for the charity. However, it would later reemerge as one of the stand-out tracks on OK Computer, no small feat considering it sits alongside the likes of ‘Karma Police’, ‘Paranoid Android’ and ‘No Surprises’. Make sure you check out Michael Stipe’s rendition of the track with Radiohead if you haven’t already.