Never one to avoid the redevelopment and redefining of their art, it has come to our attention that Radiohead’s lead singer, Thom Yorke had actually premiered indie-hit ‘High and Dry’ with his old band Headless Chickens back in the 1980s, and we have the footage.
While the track does hold a resemblance to the eventual 90’s hit for Radiohead, it is missing the certain qualities which have made it one of the greatest alt-rock songs ever written. The footage, reportedly shot in the 80’s, shows Yorke doing his best to add some intelligence to the ramshackle rabble of riffs. Despite the finishing the song requires, it can still be easily identified, with its rousing chorus, as the 1995 The Bends song.
Radiohead’s history of redeveloping songs from their past is something Yorke and co have never shied away from. Not only did ‘High and Dry’ get a reboot for The Bends but 1997 song ‘Nude’ featured on 2007s In Rainbows album and 1996 track ‘Lift’ also got a recent reboot. Jonny Greenwood, in fact, was once quoted as saying “when the idea is right, it stays right. It doesn’t really matter in which form.”
It makes sense then that a track written with Thom’s old band back at Exeter University in the 80’s could be redefined and developed by Radiohead to be released into the world as the fully fledged smash some years later.