The Radio Cure
Where Music Makes Friends

Throwback Thursday

September 22, 2011

Radiohead – Talk Show Host


Only a band like Radiohead can get away with writing a transcendent song like “Talk Show Host” and then relegating it to a B-side, whereas most other bands would be lucky to write anything as good as this song’s opening riff. But the fact that it’s a B-side just adds to its mystique as well as its interesting rise to being recognized by most critics as possibly the best B-side ever recorded, by any band.

“Talk Show Host” may represent Radiohead’s first foray into its genre-bending style. The tune is the band’s signature, solid Brit-rock sound married with the trip-hop temp of Portishead. It was recorded in 1995 for the band’s Street Spirit (Fade Out) single, and then remixed by Nellee Hooper for the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack. The soundtrack version is the one most people are familiar with, but it’s this original, more guitar heavy version that allows its darkness to shine. It’s blend of trip-hop and Brit-rock make it sound like something off of Blade Runner, a slightly electronic exercise in musical noir. In 1997, the band included this song in most of their concert setlists and it quickly became a fan favorite. Considering how ubiquitous and acclaimed Radiohead is, there are still many people who associate this song with the band.

This clip is the original version from the Street Spirit (Fade Out) single.

About the Author

Wesley Warren