Ed O’Brien told BBC this year that Radiohead left the anthemic Britpop rocker “Lift” off of OK Computer because it would have become a huge hit and made their fame too enormous to manage. The official version of the long-unreleased track that ended up on the OKNOTOK reissue didn’t really prove his theory, as it’s skeletal and laidback compared to the commanding live bootlegs that are floating out there online. However, a new video for that official version completes the portrait of this 90s alt-rock smash that could-have-been.
The clip stars Thom Yorke as he waits in an elevator (a “lift” in the UK) with a bunch of varying people. He more or less just chills there the entire time, at one point being swallowed up by a mob of identical bald businessmen. The surface-level commentary on loss of individuality and the background noise of the Information Age seems quaint by 2017 standards, but maybe it’s best to see it as part of the other quirky, minimal, tech-anxious visuals that accompanied OK Computer. What I’m saying is that that the “Lift” video would not have been out of place on MTV’s Buzz Bin in the late 90s, and that’s a compliment. Watch the video above.
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