"Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2)" (1997)
A reminder that one of Radiohead's great strengths has always been their ability to make the clinical feel visceral, this OK Computer contender is one step removed from Thom Yorke just reading names out of a phone book (instead, it's lines like "Decaffeinate, unleaded, keep all surfaces clean,"), and yet it still packs a punch. Opening with a gently strummed aside, we get an abrupt stop, a live-room count off, a whirring organ and then twin booster rockets of guitar and drums that send this one skyward. It keeps twisting the higher it climbs, all gnashing chords and spiky leads and propulsive bass, before finally combusting somewhere in the upper atmosphere. The resulting cloud is probably still up there — more proof that it pays to shoot for the stars. J.M.