Radiohead Coachella 2004
Radiohead performing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California on May 1, 2004

Radiohead are being dubbed modern-day Mozarts by highbrow classical artists who are ditching traditional pieces and covering the Oxford band’s songs.

The String Quartet Tribute To Radiohead‘ has released, and features the likes of ‘My Iron Lung‘ and ‘Idioteque‘, while the whole of ‘OK Computer‘ has also been recorded in a classical style. The recordings, made by Radiohead obsessives, are supposed to give a different perspective and open up their music to a whole new audience.

“I never let a day go by without hearing Radiohead,” Christopher O’Riley told. His album, ‘True Love Waits: Christopher O’Riley plays Radiohead’, covers Radiohead songs on piano and was released on the prestigious Sony Classical label, Radio stations such as Classic FM have picked up on the record and O’Riley’s version of ‘Fake Plastic Trees‘ is playlisted and broadcast on the station up to 15 times a week alongside works by Beethoven, Bach and Mozart.

“I happen to be a classical player, so the shapes my hands get around are molded by intimate knowledge of a wealth of classical style. But I really just wanted to play Radiohead,” O’Riley told.

“The things that attract me to their music are the same things that make me want to play any great music – sensuous and colorful harmonies like Scriabin, Ravel and ‘True Love Waits’; interestingly woven textures like Schumann, Shostakovich and ‘Let Down‘, and great stories like Schubert songs, ‘Knives Out‘ and ‘Fake Plastic Trees‘”.

“I would occasionally get the urge, although I’m not a composer or arranger by trade, to make piano versions of Strainsky orchestra pieces or Bach organ works, but the 24 Radiohead songs I’ve done represent the largest body of work I’ve ever arranged.”

Leave a Reply