|Single by Radiohead|
|from the album OK Computer|
|Released||12 January 1998|
|Studio||Canned Applause, Didcot, Oxfordshire, England|
|Radiohead singles chronology|
"No Surprises" is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released as the fourth single from their third studio album, OK Computer (1997), on 12 January 1998. The music video features songwriter Thom Yorke singing inside a diving helmet as it fills with water. The single peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart.
Radiohead wrote "No Surprises" while touring with R.E.M. in 1995. It was the first song recorded in the sessions for OK Computer. Singer Thom Yorke said the "childlike guitar sound set the mood for the whole album", and that they were aiming for a mood similar to the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds (1966).
The version on the album is the first take recorded. Yorke said: "We did endless versions afterwards [...] and they were all just covers of the first version. So we gave up and went back to [the original]."
The music video for "No Surprises" was directed by Grant Gee. The video consists of a single close-up shot of Yorke inside an astronaut-style dome helmet. The lyrics are shown throughout the entire song slowly scrolling upwards but mirrored, as they are being reflected off of the dome. After the first verse, the helmet begins to fill with water. Yorke continues singing as he attempts to lift his head above the rising water. Once the bubble completely fills, Yorke is motionless for over a minute, after which the water is released and he resumes singing. For Yorke's safety, the video was filmed at high speed and played back in slow motion.
One of the scenes in Gee's documentary about Radiohead, Meeting People Is Easy, cuts from the British news channel Sky News showing and (unfavourably) discussing the video to several takes of its filming. The song speeds up during filming when his face is fully submerged, until he breaks the rubber seal to release the water and members of the film crew help him out. Despite the safety measures, Yorke is shown getting visibly more uncomfortable and agitated with each take.
"No Surprises" was released as the fourth single from OK Computer on 12 January 1998. It reached number four on the UK Singles Chart. In 2008, it was included in Radiohead: The Best Of. An early version with different lyrics is included in the 2017 OK Computer reissue.
No Surprises/Running from Demons
|No Surprises/Running from Demons|
|Released||10 December 1997|
|Radiohead EP chronology|
"Meeting in the Aisle" is Radiohead's first completely instrumental track.
This "remixed" version of "Pearly*" (as opposed to the "original version" available on the "Paranoid Android" single and Airbag/How Am I Driving? EP) features clearer production values, louder guitar at the beginning of the song, and a different guitar line at the end.
The song "Bishop's Robes" refers to Yorke's experience of cruelty at school. Though he claims that he suffered no physical punishment as a schoolboy, violence was felt in ghastly mind games, and in the teacher's cruelty: hence the line "bastard headmaster." The song covers similar thematic material as The Smiths' "The Headmaster Ritual", which Radiohead covered in one of their 2007 webcasts.
"Bishop's Robes" is also included on the "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" 'CD1' single.
- CD 1
- "No Surprises" – 3:51
- "Palo Alto" – 3:44
- "How I Made My Millions" – 3:07
- CD 2
- No Surprises/Running from Demons
- "No Surprises" – 3:49
- "Pearly*" – 3:38
- "Melatonin" – 2:08
- "Meeting in the Aisle" – 3:07
- "Bishop's Robes" – 3:23
- "A Reminder" – 3:51
- Thom Yorke – vocals, acoustic guitar
- Jonny Greenwood – glockenspiel, organ, string synth, electric guitar
- Ed O'Brien – electric guitar, tambourine, backing vocals
- Colin Greenwood – bass guitar
- Phil Selway – drums, tambourine
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
sales+streaming figures based on certification alone
Alternative versions and covers
Versions have also been recorded by Luka Bloom, Malia, Blake Morgan, Yaron Herman Trio, Christopher O'Riley, Paige, Peter Jöback, Motorama, Louis Durra, Stanisław Sojka, Scott Matthew, Northern State, and Postmodern Jukebox. American singer songwriter Amanda Palmer recorded a version of this song for her album of Radiohead covers performed on ukulele, "Amanda Palmer Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukulele". It was also covered by Blake Morgan on his 2006 album Silencer. A piano interpretation of the song was used in the second episode of the HBO show Westworld in 2016. Roman GianArthur, of Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Arts Society, released OK Lady, an EP of Radiohead R&B mash up covers including No Surprises (featuring Monáe) in the fall of 2015.
Regina Spektor version
|Single by Regina Spektor|
|Released||27 April 2010|
|Regina Spektor singles chronology|
Regina Spektor, alternative pianist and anti-folk musician, released a one-track charity single of the song on April 27, 2010. All proceeds of the song go to the Doctors Without Borders Emergency Relief Fund.
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- "A 1930's Jazz Remake of Radiohead's "No Surprises," featuring Chloe Feoranzo - Postmodern Jukebox". Postmodern Jukebox. 2016-12-29. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
- Hutchinson, Sean (October 3, 2016). "Ranking All the Songs on the Dope 'Westworld' Soundtrack". Inverse. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
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