Some music becomes irrevocably linked to the year or the events it accompanied – Ghost Town, Shipbuilding, What’s Going On, Ball Of Confusion, even Nessun Dorma. We’ve questioned on this blog before where all the political pop has gone, but ‘Burn The Witch’ by Radiohead really is 2016 in four minutes. The video in particular perfectly captures that chilling moment (at exactly 3 minutes in) when you realise that the country you live in has gone completely and irrevocably insane That guy is me.
Apparently Radiohead did not get permission for this obvious Trumpton homage, presumably on the grounds that it would have been denied, given it fuses cosy childhood nostalgia with The Wickerman to stunning effect.
Musically it’s one of the best things Radiohead have ever done, the edgy strings accompanying subtle lyrics – presumably written before this car crash of a year – perfectly anticipating the ‘low flying panic attack’ that has been 2016.
Abandon all reason
Avoid all eye contact
Do not react
Shoot the messengers
This is a low flying panic attack
Sing the song of sixpence that goes:
Burn the witch
We know where you live
Sure, as Roy has pointed out the album could not follow up on the promise of the single, but really how could it? There is also a great live version posted by Roy as his number 5 pick here.
Talking of Roy, his number 2 is below along with Andy’s.