Pop Is Dead (single)

Troisième single du groupe, sorti 3 mois après l’album “Pablo Honey” en plusieurs formats: cd, cassette, vinyle 12”, et surtout pour attirer l’attention… Le groupe a admis depuis qu’il s’agissait sûrement de leur plus mauvais single…
Il s’agit du premier single où creep a le rôle d’une simple B-side mise là pour augmenter les ventes, le reste n’étant pas franchement terrible. La version de banana co a été enregistrée lors d’une session acoustique, celle de Chesire, passée à la radio en 1993. Quant-aux deux autres pistes live, elle proviennent de l’enregistrement d’un passage en première partie de Belly, au Country Club de Londres en février 1993.
Selon les infos qu’avaient Jonny en avril-mai, le single étaient prévu pour ne contenir que deux titres :
Tell me about Pop is Dead.

Its not very long, its only two and a half minutes and is going to be backed with a new acoustic song called Banana Co and live versions of Creep and Ripcord. Pop is Dead is like an explanatic statement kind of thing, Oh no pop is dead it died a horrid death by back catalogue. It basically says that you can only sell so many albums before everyone has got one. It’s nice to make a few statements for people to react against it and say oh no it’s not.

— Jonny Greenwood / Dissident, mai 1993
Colin dit la même chose, mais lui parle de la version “college” pour les Etats-Unis, et Thom trouve encore ça très bon :
Colin: “Yeah, there’s a chance of… for college, a limited edition thing being done of a new single we’re releasing in England, called ‘Pop Is Dead’, which isn’t on the album.”Thom: “Which is corking, it’s very, very good indeed, I think.”
— Thom Yorke / Capitol, Interview with Thom & Colin, avril 1993
Pourquoi sortir un album ? Parce que le groupe a des titres qu’il aime bien à faire découvrir. Colin révèle que du côté d’EMI, on n’était pas trop chaud…Thom que plusieurs remixes ont été testés :
The boys’ next single is out on May 10 and, contrary to all expectation, is not a track off the album. Why release ‘Pop is Dead’ instead of going for obvious singles on the album or re-releasing underexposed old singles?

Jonathan is adamant, “Because people have got the album. If they want to hear things from the album they can go and buy it.”

Colin: “Also, we’re a right-on bunch of people.”

Thom: “We’ve got a lot of new material that we want to release. Everybody who heard it said we should release it. Anyhow, we don’t want to do an REM.”

Colin: “ I mean, they’re releasing ‘Everybody Hurts”’ “Fourth track off the album?” Jonathan queries in the tone of a man who is giving someone the benefit of the doubt, “I mean they’ve sold the bloody album. It’s just an excuse for Stipe to do another video.”

Was there any resistance from Parlophone about releasing ‘Pop is Dead’?

Colin: “Yes, they said ’No’.”

Thom: “Did they?”

Colin, smugly, “But we had the statistics to back us up. Frank and Walters’ label carried out a survey which showed that releasing another single after the album came out did not increase album sales.” Jonathan: “And was also very, very expensive.” Thom: “‘Pop is Dead’ marks a point. It puts a full stop on what we’ve been trying to say for ages. And now we can move on as a progression rather than ‘that’s it, bye bye’. It’s a very vitriolic song and I think it homes in on what people think.”

Colin: “The kids will like it.”

Jonathan: “I’m a kid. I like it.”

Thom: “Our audiences now know all the words to it which is very interesting seeing as it’s never been played other than live. Perhaps there are some bootlegs floating around. It had different mixes one of which was done by Al Clay who did Frank Black. Wasn’t very good.”

Jonathan: “And Dave Bascombe – which was very expensive and even worse.”

Colin: “l liked it.”

Thom: “‘Cos it was radio-friendly.”

Colin: “It was. Very commercial. I’m the commercially-minded member of the band – along with Ed.”

Thom: “Jon refuses to sell out and I do occasionally.”

Colin: “Thom probably has the healthiest attitude.”

— avril 1993


Mais avec le temps, le groupe va reconnaître que ce single était une grosse erreur :

ED’S DAD sounds like a great bloke. He rates Primal Scream, reads the music press and rips the piss out of old Radiohead videos. He actually throws parties, bringing all of his mates around for a few beers, for some banter and the inevitable rerun of the ‘Pop Is Dead’ promo. That’s his favourite.
“What’s going on there, then?” he’ll ask his boy, jabbing at the remote control switch. “You call that a music video? So why is there a lizard in that scene? Explain it to me.” He rewinds the tape just for the hell of it, thoroughly enjoying himself, as his guests chortle at the grand pretentiousness of it all.
“Look. A lizard. Call yourself an O’Brien? Do you, son?”


Ed: “The thing is, when ‘The Bends’ was released, we felt we were still fighting people’s preconceptions. We thought it was great – we don’t release a record unless we think it’s really good. But we’d had no critical acclaim, which is fair enough, because we were an incredibly inconsistent band.
“It’s not surprising people thought we were crap. And we’d released dodgy singles. ‘Pop Is Dead’ – I have to admit that was a rubbish record.”
Colin: “Keith Richards would say, it’s the price of an education…”

— NME, 21 juin 1997
Critiques :” type=”h4″ color=”blue”]
“Bollocks,” according to Ed, who should know. This shallow, gimmicky single sees them taking on Jam-like mod-pop – and it doesn’t suit them. ‘Pop Is Dead’ was written as an “epitaph for 1992”, a time when record companies sought to maintain sales during a torpid UK music scene by pushing old stock, and when magazine journalists were desperately proclaiming just about anything – comedy, computer games, plants – to be the new rock’n’roll.
Shallow and short, it never transcends its contrived feel of Making A Statement. Released at a time when Suede were raising standards with their initial triad of classic singles, this flimsy 45 helped label Radiohead as makeweights.
— novembre 1999
Artworks :” type=”h4″ color=”blue”]

R-384144-1238202718 R-384144-1238202731

1- Pop is dead
2- Banana co  (recorded live courtesy of Craig Cash at Signal Radio, Cheshire ) 
3- Creep  (live at The Town & Country Club, London by Manor Mobile) 
4- Ripcord  (live at The Town & Country Club, London by Manor Mobile) 
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Amatrice du groupe, surtout en concert. Travaille sur ce site depuis 10 ans.

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