Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Money Well Spent

Since Monday's blog was all about cheap albums, I thought I'd use today's blog to talk about the most expensive album I've ever bought. Y'know, for balance.

I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings is a live album by Radiohead. If I remember correctly, it cost me £14.99 from my local Virgin Megastore (this was back in the mid-noughties, when Megastores could still be found outside of the Middle East).

I realise that fifteen quid is hardly yacht money, but bear in mind that you'd only need ten or eleven pounds to successfully purchase a CD that came out this week. When I Might Be Wrong landed in my shopping basket, it had been out for a solid five years, so I was paying well above the odds given the album's age.

Oh, and it's only got eight tracks, seven of which can be found amongst Radiohead's far more cost-effective studio output.

So why spend all that money, Joel?

The reason for my eagerness to own I Might Be Wrong - and for my willingness to pay through the nose - was as follows: I had heard the live version of Idioteque on radio and decided that my music collection simply couldn't be without it. It's hard to articulate what makes the live performance of Idioteque so much more exhilarating than the version on Kid A; it just feels far more alive, and when the second verse drops, it really does make you wish that you'd been there.

Additionally, some of the other cuts from Kid A and Amnesiac had been substantially reworked for the live arena. Like Spinning Plates is practically unrecognisable, and Everything in Its Right Place is a far more formidable beast when it has an audience in front of it.

And then there's True Love Waits, the album's sole exclusive, which is somehow worth £15+ on its own:

When did Radiohead learn to be so...y'know...human?

Was it worth it?

Absolutely - I've bought albums for £3 and regretted it more than I regret this purchase. I remember coming home from Virgin Megastore, popping the CD in my stereo, and hurling myself around the room (maraca in hand) while I Might Be Wrong blared from my speakers. I remember wondering if Thom Yorke was making a cheeky reference to R.E.M.'s E-Bow the Letter when he sang "here comes a flood" during the extended intro of Everything in Its Right Place. I remember sitting on a train, listening to True Love Waits, and wondering if it might just be my favourite Radiohead song of all.

But I don't remember ever wishing for that £15 back.

1 comment:

  1. I reckon Idioteque is one of my fave Radiohead songs, and that's based on the studio alone. I love the coldness of the track against the emotion of Thom Yorke's vocals. Off to check out the live version now.....