Airbag / How Am I Driving?

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Airbag/How Am I Driving?
Airbag - How Am I Driving? (Radiohead EP - cover art).jpg
EP by
Released21 April 1998
Recorded1996–1997
GenreAlternative rock
Length25:34
LabelCapitol 58701
ProducerNigel Godrich, Radiohead
Radiohead chronology
OK Computer
(1997)
Airbag/How Am I Driving?
(1998)
Kid A
(2000)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media9.2/10[2]

Airbag/How Am I Driving? is the fifth extended play (EP) by English rock group Radiohead, released in April 1998 specifically for the North American market. It collects most of the B-sides from Radiohead's OK Computer CD singles.

Background and contents[edit]

The contents of Airbag/How Am I Driving? differ slightly from the No Surprises/Running from Demons EP released a few months earlier in Japan. The song "Airbag", which opens OK Computer, was never officially released as a single. The version on this EP has its original ending, rather than transitioning to the song "Paranoid Android" as it does on the album.

"Meeting in the Aisle" was Radiohead's first instrumental, featuring programming by Zero 7's Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker.

The sample that opens "A Reminder" is a recording from Prague Metro's automated announcement system: "Finish getting on and getting off; the doors are closing. The next station will be Jiřího z Poděbrad." An early version of "Palo Alto" was entitled "OK Computer".

The EP stylistically bridges the gap between the progressive-alternative OK Computer and Radiohead's experimental future sound, much as the My Iron Lung EP of 1994 had foreshadowed The Bends and OK Computer.[original research?]

Release and reception[edit]

The EP's cover featured the phone number 1426148550, which led to a recording of singer Thom Yorke saying, "Hello?" Fans could leave a message, and some of the content was used in later productions.[citation needed]

Airbag/How Am I Driving? debuted at number 56 on the Billboard 200,[3] selling 20,000 copies in its first week.[4] Although only 25 minutes long, the EP was nominated for a 1999 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance,[5] up against full-length albums by other artists.[6]

The EP was re-issued in the Netherlands and the UK in early 2007. Before its re-release, the EP had been a highly sought-after item by Radiohead fans outside of North America.[citation needed] In 2009, the album was re-released by EMI on iTunes.[7]

"Meeting in the Aisle" made its live debut in 2012 on The King of Limbs tour.[8]

In 2017, Radiohead released a remastered version of OK Computer to commemorate the album's twentieth anniversary. OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017 includes a bonus disc with OK Computer-era B-sides released on the Airbag/How Am I Driving? EP, as well as "Lull" (from the "Karma Police" single) and "How I Made My Millions" (from the "No Surprises" single). The OKNOTOK bonus disc also includes three previously unreleased songs from the same period.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Radiohead.

  1. "Airbag" – 4:46
  2. "Pearly*" – 3:33
  3. "Meeting in the Aisle" – 3:09
  4. "A Reminder" – 3:51
  5. "Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2)" – 4:22
  6. "Melatonin" – 2:09
  7. "Palo Alto" – 3:43

Personnel[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[9] Silver 60,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "Radiohead: Airbag/How Am I Driving?: Pitchfork Review". 2 October 2000. Archived from the original on 2 October 2000.
  3. ^ Randall, Mac (2004). Exit Music: The Radiohead Story. Omnibus Press. p. 181. ISBN 1-84449-183-8.
  4. ^ Basham, David (6 December 2001), Got Charts? Busta's New Beginning; Radiohead Might Have Been Wrong, MTV, retrieved 11 July 2008
  5. ^ "THE US GONG SHOW". NME. 6 January 1999. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  6. ^ Sherman, Heidi (5 January 1999), The Miseducation of the Recording Industry, Rolling Stone, archived from the original on 14 January 2009, retrieved 11 July 2008
  7. ^ "Airbag/How Am I Driving? EP added to iTunes". ateaseweb.com. 12 March 2009. Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  8. ^ "See Radiohead Play Two New Songs Live in World Tour Debut". Spin. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  9. ^ "British album certifications – Radiohead – Airbag / How Am I Driving?". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Airbag / How Am I Driving? in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.