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March 6, 2014 11:56 AM   Subscribe

Radiohead music during a wedding ceremony? It's (hopefully) more likely than you think.

I’m a huge Radiohead fan and I’d like to use some of their music during our wedding ceremony as the pre-bride, wedding party entrance music but I’m having trouble picking out a song since their music doesn’t exactly lend itself very well to such occasions.

I’ve listened to the various String Quartet / Christopher O'Riley tribute albums but nothing grabbed me. The covers are slightly too slow and morose. The version of True Love Waits off the I Might Be Wrong EP almost works but the quality is rough. My current front runner is the album version of Give Up The Ghost.

Any suggestions about fitting Radiohead songs to use during a wedding ceremony would be wonderful. No song is off limits (B-Sides, covers, remixes, etc).
posted by Diskeater to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Brad Mehldau (jazz pianist) does a version of "Everything in its Right Place" that might work. Also, Jamie Cullum does a great "High and Dry" with a bouncy, upbeat feel.
posted by jbickers at 12:04 PM on March 6, 2014

Ha, I also have a difficult time coming up with anything I'd consider appropriate for wedding festivities. "True Love Waits" is 100% heartache for me. My hesitant answer is "Stop Whispering."
posted by naju at 12:06 PM on March 6, 2014

Rockabye Baby, perhaps?

I'm also partial to introducing people to Rodeohead - maybe that's more of a post-ceremony jam.
posted by enfa at 12:08 PM on March 6, 2014

Jacques Stotzem has a fairly sprightly acoustic guitar version of No Surprises.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:17 PM on March 6, 2014

In addition to Brad Mehldau, another jazz musician that does some nice Radiohead covers is Matt Jorgensen + 451.
posted by matildaben at 12:19 PM on March 6, 2014

Ooh, OK Rainbow Thief might be what you want.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:25 PM on March 6, 2014

I have friends who did their first dance to an accoustic version of "Creep" by a musician friend.

YMMV, obv.
posted by politikitty at 12:35 PM on March 6, 2014

Ah man, I love love love the Christopher O'Riley recordings, and I'm not always a fan of covers.

Definitely second Mehldau - the 17 minute version of Paranoid Android on Live in Tokyo is amazing. Probably too long though.

If you're looking for tongue in cheeck, Idioteque might be clever (women and children first, while the bridesmaids/flower girls are walking up), but pretty dark. Or...Drunken Punch Up At A Wedding? Maybe not the right tone...

In all seriousness and honesty, I think these would be fitting for a wedding:

All I Need
House of Cards
Exit Music
Talk Show Host
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:37 PM on March 6, 2014

I immediately thought Everything in its Right Place would be interesting. Not sure if some would find it off-putting, though, but I find it sweetly soothing.
posted by General Malaise at 12:41 PM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

A bit of a long shot but what about something from the Radiodread album? Reggae album by Easy star all stars.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:21 PM on March 6, 2014

Okay so I think you might be looking for Lozenge of Love, Lull or the live, reworked version of Fog. Though maybe the lyrical content of those songs isn't all that appropriate for a wedding...? (but really what radiohead lyrics are?)
posted by aparrish at 1:55 PM on March 6, 2014

All I Need
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
No Surprises
National Anthem

Where I End And You Begin
Kid A
Fitter Happier

posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:04 PM on March 6, 2014

We actually had a version of "True Love Waits" on the mix cd we gave out as favors. I think that if you love a song, go with it!
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 4:09 PM on March 6, 2014

Oh oh! I know what you should play!

"Punch up at a wedding" In a total tongue-in-cheek way!
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 4:12 PM on March 6, 2014

Separator? more uplifting lyrics for me than most and about being open, accepting etc. A Reminder? Skirting on the surface?

Not exit music - too specifically about Romeo and Juliet. Otherwise further afield, how about some of Johnny 's compositions, or Ingenue?
posted by wingless_angel at 4:42 PM on March 6, 2014

Have you seen this thread? I adore this version of "Reckoner".
If older, The Bends era still works for you (and the verse "I don't want you anymore" being used in your wedding), maybe How can you be sure?
posted by queseyo at 5:21 PM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

What about Black Star? I think musically it's one of their "sweetest" songs, and even though the lyrics are facially rather miserable, I can see them being very romantic and apropos in an off-kilter way, if you approach them sort of impressionistically.

you're still standing in your dressing gown

makes me think instantly of a bride standing in a wedding gown (maybe just because I don't really know what the fuck a dressing gown is)

What are we coming to?
What are we gonna do?

As I mentioned, on the face of it this sounds vaguely desperate, but it could also be approached as a lyric about the future, opportunity, seeking, etc.

Something about "blame it on the black star" makes me think of a richer and more complicated take on the classic metaphor of lovers being manipulated/guided/brought together by the cosmos. It evokes fate, destiny, cosmic weight, etc.

I keep falling over I keep passing out
When I see a face like you.
What am I coming to?
I'm gonna melt down.

Nervous breakdown...or being ridiculously in love?!

Damn, I've sold myself on the idea of this as a perfect wedding song.

(Gillian Welch also does a cover of Black Star that is very nice but more musically morose and probably less appropriate for your needs.)
posted by threeants at 6:57 PM on March 6, 2014

Response by poster: This is all great stuff so far, keep it coming! I completely forgot Fog (Again) existed and I'd use that in a second although I'm worried it might come up short at only two minutes long.

I'm not at all concerned about lyrics or song meanings since that would rule out 99.5% of their stuff.

A Punch-Up At A Wedding has been in our "songs to play at dinner" playlist since Day One.
posted by Diskeater at 8:31 PM on March 6, 2014

All I Need has my vote, mainly because of the euphoric climax at the end which always makes me get slightly teary.

If lyrics really are totally irrelevant then Lull or even Sulk - they're so joyous :)

Congratulations! Both on your wedding and your excellent choice of soundtrack!
posted by greenish at 1:53 AM on March 7, 2014

Best answer: My immediate #1 pick, no question: "A Reminder". An old OK Computer B-side.

Radiohead is almost always So Dark, but this one's different. It's a slow, dreamlike, heartfelt song, fading from the bustle of a foreign crowd in to a desperate, lovesick plea from a guy begging his lover to never let him forget himself, or their love, or this moment. The lyrics are IMHO ideal for a wedding ceremony:
If I get old, I will not give in.
But if I do, remind me of this:
Remind me that once I was free.
Once I was cool. Once I was me.

And if I sit down and cross my arms,
Hold me up to this song.
Knock me out, smash out my brains,
If I take a chair, start to talk shit...

If I get old, remind me of this:
The way that we kissed, when I really meant it.
Whatever happens, if we're still speaking...
Pick up the phone. Play me this song.
The extended intro, reminiscent of an orchestra tuning up, could allow time to get people settled and paying attention, and the beat even has the slow and steady cadence of a procession. The only potential problem is that stray "shit" in mixed company, but it's not very noticeable in context.

If you're willing to loosen your criteria, another fantastic choice is Yorke's "Ingenue" from his Atoms for Peace side project. It's lyrically appropriate -- musing over the entrancing beauty of a young woman with lovely, timeless sentiments -- and while the album version is all minimalist skittering electronica, the live version, on piano, is incredibly, achingly soulful and would work wonders (and jerk tears) in this setting.

Other good choices:
"How I Made My Millions" - "picked you... out..."
"Lift" - "Today's the first day of the rest of your days..."
"Lull" - very good, but very short
"Motion Picture Soundtrack" - "I will see you in the next life..."
"Fog (Again)" for more pretty piano (versus the original's glitchy effects)
posted by Rhaomi at 3:45 AM on March 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: For those keeping score at home, we decided to go with the live version of "Ingenue". There won't be a dry eye in the house.

"Fog (Again)" is a close second but I'm worried that it's too short. I may test it out at the rehearsal just for the hell of it.
posted by Diskeater at 4:38 PM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

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