BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Music

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Radio 1 Zane Lowe

Mon-Thu 19.00-21.00

Radiohead - 'OK Computer'

Masterpieces albums On March 31 2008, Zane played out this epic album in full, just as Radiohead intended it to be heard. The show also contained interviews and other music to put the album's greatness into context.

See the tracklistings
Radiohead At The BBC info

Browse the complete album artwork by clicking on one of the images below:

This is the full tracklisting of the album. Click on the links below to listen to 30-second clips (in Real Audio).

1. Airbag - Listen to clip
2. Paranoid Android - Listen to clip
3. Subterranean Homesick Alien - Listen to clip
4. Exit Music (For A Film) - Listen to clip
5. Let Down - Listen to clip
6. Karma Police - Listen to clip
7. Fitter Happier - Listen to clip
8. Electioneering - Listen to clip
9. Climbing Up The Walls - Listen to clip
10. No Surprises - Listen to clip
11. Lucky - Listen to clip
12. The Tourist - Listen to clip

We asked you to send us your 'Masterpieces Masterpiece' - a picture explaining why the Masterpieces albums meant so much to you and why you think everyone should hear it. Click on the pics below to see the gallery of the pictures created.

Also, during the show, we asked you to text us your stories and thoughts about the album - here is a selection of the texts we received:

· Ok Computer is the dictionary definition of music - Ben, Bournemouth
· The proper way to listen to OK Computer - take the phone off the hook, turn the lights off, lie on the bed and submerge yourself in the music, nic in Bristol
· 3 day old des and new dad chris onboard. His first listen to any of the greatest albums made sounds like a perfect start!
· Why am i so excited about hearing ok computer on the radio, when i own the album? James northampton
· Neck hairs = erect
· I'm taking a drive out to newcastle to sit in my car on a hill and enjoy this.I'm glad the bbc have room for this.danny in durham.
· Sitting with a bottle of wine waiting to be amazed by a band i have heard so much about but never heard play . Richard eastbourne :)
· With OKC, Radiohead sucked in what was relevant in the previous 40 years, chewed it up, gulped it down, & regurgitated it as the ultimate benchmark. Rob, Grnthm
· I truly beleive that any problems i may have are taken away after I hear the 'ding' at the end of ok computer. This is my album. Alex, southend
· The best ever album bar none. 11 years on and its never far from my ears...
· Amazing album. Turned my world around and got me home. Monkeyboy
· I am Driving up the dreary M6 and thank you for the incredible tunage. Your whats getting me through my drive. Much gratitude. Claire x
· There is something so special about OK Computer. No matter how down I am it picks me up and makes me fly. Nina
· It drips with emotion. Makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. Neil
· Right i'm going 2 have a beer. I know it's a bit naughty on a Monday night but i'm loving this and a beer would enhance my appreciation. Zoe xxx
· First time listen-its brought emotions to me i didnt even no existed. This is the definition of music. Matt
· Stunning power spine tingling. First time listener truely staggering. Ed lincoln
· Total rapture, I'd forgotten what it was like to give upself up to music like that. Feel 15 again. Genius. Hits me hard just like it did then. nat brighton
· Truly amazing!! Was brilliant in 97, even better now, what an album!
· I wonder how many other people are at home singing at the tops me their voices to this.
· Used to dance my baby to sleep to this now he has it on his i-pod. I almost forgot how fantastic it is. Alison x
· I've never felt compelled to text in before, but i'd forgotten how totally amazing this album was. Takes me straight back to my freshers year listening to it on a tinny tape recorder. Didn't realise what an effect this album had had on me until now. It is truly legendary. Becky in cumbria.
· What an inspiring album, made me pick my guitar up 11 years ago, has made me pick it up again tonight, soaring lead work from Johnny, unforgettable!
· Everybody remembers their first time. Awesome. Neil
· Hi Zane. I absolutely love these legend series'. Newer really had time for radiohead before, dint really get it, now i understand. Thank you. JonnyB.
· Whenever i listen to this album i wonder if music could actually get any better. A truly seminal work. JC
· We all have an album we should have brought but havent for what ever reason - you have made my decade out tom orrow to buy it stuff the council tax toby just listerning in buckingham
· Beautiful album, there's just something about radiohead that makes everything except the music fade away. Shame you can't play their whole back catalogue. Leah.
· I've never listened to this album mate but i'm defo on board.this is amazin.i'm sat in my hotel room lovin it from danny
· A timeless masterpiece. As breathtaking today as it was the day I first heard it over a decade ago. I can't imagine ever not having this in my cd collect ion, one of those albums i'll always replace if lost, stolen or damaged. Joe from Leeds.
· Spiritual. Out of this world. Immense. Better with every passing year. Thank you for letting the uninitiated in on the worst kept secret, the best album ever written.

We wanted to know how this album has touched your life.  See some of the comments we received below:

The soundtrack of my wonderful yet angst ridden mid teens. Reminding me of the glossy,naive expectations i had of my 20's and the feeling 'it was all to come'. A right of passage 11 years on, i'm still discovering it's many layers.
Ters, Kent

I recently rediscovered this record, plus the other early radiohead stuff. It's a timeless piece of work. I can't wait to see them on tour this summer.
shaun, hawarden.

My new girlfriend at the time had a copy of OK Computer ahead of release (dinnae ask), I joked about getting some cash for it, then listened and just felt amazingly priveliged to be keeping the secret. Problem was, like obsessing over an old girlfriend, nothing much has measured up since. Only really opening myself up again now! If this was your first listen, check the band out live too and be taken to yet another level. Such an awesome band and album. And strangely enough, Appetite for Destruction is also a fave - really well balanced and some brilliantly stuctured tunes. Just keeps comin' at ya! What a great week!
Paul, Coventry

This album proved that radiohead are the most important band of the last twenty years, it is sheer brilliance. The musicianship is superb and the album takes you through the motions. Its take you on a journey that will touch you forever.
David, Derry

Ok Computer is the absolute BOMB.A Piece of Art and Magic.Doesn't get much better.

Hearing OK Computer in its entirety last night was spinechilling, even though I may have spoiled Mum's enjoyment of Eastenders by singing very loudly to 'Exit Music For A Film' :)
Dani, Plymouth

iloveold radioheadok,
jennylouise kenchington,

I can rememeber this album so vividly as it was a beautiful summer and a beautiful time when I was only 19. I can recall travelling on the national express to visit a new girlfriend in Plymouth and listening to this on tape over and over again. Tracks like Karma Police just blowing me away. This changed the way I viewed music as the emotion in the album was unbelievable.

There is no excuses for not owning Ok Computer you either love it or adore it! The final track ''The Tourist'' is the most underated of all the Radiohead songs the line ''they ask me where the hell Im going at a thousand feet per second'' makes the hairs stand up! beautiful.
Ben, Teesside

Genius and masterpiece seem to be words that are banded around about all sorts of groups and musicians with monotinous regularity these days. Radiohead and OKC is one of only a handful of modern pop albums that can described accurately using these words. Utter, unadulterated brilliance.
Alex - London

Best album ever, really creates an atmosphere that is lacking from most albums. Every single song is amazing and you don't dare skip any of them. Impossible not to listen to from start to finish.
Alexander, Cheshire

I was a Royal Marine based in Plymouth when I got this album on its first day of release. I went back to my digs, put this on my stereo, layed on my bed and cried listening to it, such is its beauty. I'm on my 5th copy due to them being played so much. This is the greatest band of our time, if not ever. Thom Yorke is up there with Mark Hollis as the greatest songwriters the world has seen.
Bash, Rawtenstall

This is what a radio station is for. BBC take note, more of this please.
Ryan, Plymouth

I must admit that I took a while to actually like OK Computer. I was used to the guitar-based sounds of the band in the previous two albums and the stronger electronic influence of this album felt a little strange. However, Karma Police and Exit Music for a Film were the songs that convinced me to keep on listening to the whole album, and by the tenth listen I was sold... A cohesive album overall with sounds that transcends time and space. it's more than ten years since its release and listening to the album , especially at night, still sends chills down my spine. Prodigious songwriting, with incredible production.
James, Singapore

Absolute genius. Fell in love with Thom Yorkes voice on Creep and since then been hooked on anything they do. Talented beyond belief this is real music, clever music, mind blowing, make you think music. Favorite track Lucky (war child) heavy with emotion, powerful and very relevant at the moment with whats going on in iraq -
Niki, Penzance

This is amazing!! Its the first time ive listened to the radio for ages and this is on.... Radiohead were/are my favourite band and this has reminded me how amazing this album is....I went to the 1997 Glasto at 16 and remember standing in mud in awe at them... its sending shivers down my spine!!
Mary, Brighton

Thanks to Radiohead for this absolutly profound Album, its the reason i started Playing my guitar and still to this day sends Shivers down my spine...My 76 year old Nan loved the Album too but didnt appreciate me playing along to it till the early hours of the morning
Jim, Margate, Kent

It took me a few listens to actually work it out, but once I did it was epic.
Jamie, Lincs

not knowing so, came for a drink in the pub i work at and have had to work this evening. no one here though so have had the pleasure of listening to this incredible album whilst at work. cheers zane. looking forward to public enemy!
Toby Edward Baggott

Never a great Radiohead fan until I heard Karma Police live from glasto a few years ago on the radio and it blew me away....the rest as they say.
Ian (Bath)

Just listening to Karma Police, one of my all time favourite songs and I loved the video. Reminds me of a strange summer, leaving Winstanley College to go to Manchester Uni, working in The Emporium and the Sooty Shop at Camelot Theme Park and hearing of Diana's death on a very rainy morning. I can think of no other record which has such a unique sound, their best work.
Christina, Manchester

I've had this album for almost two years but i've never really took the time to appreciate it properly. Listening to it in the context of masterpieces with all the history and everything just brings it to life. Let down sounds amazing! Thanks!
Joel, Ballymena

OK Computer - stunning album - still find it brilliant every time I listen to it.
Iain, Bristol

beautiful, haunting, timeless. what more can you say?
meg, kent

Love the lyrics and the amazing arrangements, certainly more artful than most if not all of their contemporaries. Beats the boring conference call that I'm in on (since muted)!
Mike, Norfolk (Massachusetts)

It's great to hear, without question, the greatest album of all time getting the treatment it deserves tonight. I can honestly count the numbers of days in the last 11 years that I HAVEN'T listerned to this record on one hand! The Bends got me hooked, OK Computer got me completely mesmerised!!
Chris, Shropshire

This album is my favourite album ever!It introduced me to better music and electronica, and is what makes Radiohead the best band of modern times, along with their 6 other masterpieces
Lee, Redcar

Thanks Zane for this great selection, it's extraordinary ! ok computer really is THE radiohead album to listen to ! hearing it this evening was the only way to relax during the stress of the revision period ! and that's just perfect !
Samantha, France

This band and their music just seem to have been a soundtrack to my life. I remember seeing them supporting Zodiac Mindwarp in Coventry to headlining festivals and they always seem to offer more emotion than the also rans. I look forward to seeing them in Paris this summer and so may the soundtrack continue.
Neil C, Witney

This album saved and changed my life for the better, I owe everything to this album and this band.
Name here, Somewhere

Plum, Farrington Gurney

Paranoid Android was the first song I truly loved, I remeber wigging out to the solo on my parents bed when I was just 7. When I was about 14 I gave OK computer a proper listen and it became the first album I loved. Everytime I give it a listen I find a layer I didn't knew existed, a true great!P.S. Up the bracket is cack!
Matt, Loughborough

I remember picking OK Computer up on the first day of release, I'd read the reviews heard a little of the hype. I had already bought The Prodigy Fat Of The Land and that was on loop on my CD so this would have to be some album to get me to turn that off. I unwrapped it and laid on my bed. I had to put my headphones on as my Dad didn't like my music. I turned up the volume and my world opened up. I could not believe what I heard. I smiled, I wept, I laughed, this album has it all. I could not believe that this was better than The Bends, an album that I adore also. Radiohead, you rock my world, your songs have every moment of my life captured with a melody or a lyric to sum up how I feel.WOW!!
Pete, Southampton

OK Computer what a materpiece. I remember the excitment of waiting for the album to be released. While i was at Reading uni the local virgin music store opened up the store late to play the first ever playing of the album. What amazing piece of work. Nothing quiet like it!
Marc, Watford

You mentioned all the great cover versions of Radiohead songs but somehow missed out on Easy All Stars' Radiodread. Their Karma Police is hot.
Charlotte, Swansea

OK Computer was released on 16th June 97 the day before my daughter [Molly] was born I will always remember driving home listening to Paranoid Android in the early hours of Wednrsday morning with tears in my eyes.
Luke in Chichester

I was doing a round the world trip in 1997 and this album followed us from country to country. I felt like these lads knew something, they had all the answers. It might have had something to do with the smoke. Up there with Dark Side of the Moon.
Sean, San Sebastian

OK Computer is the album that killed off the Brit Pop stuff in the 90's. It was like, all of a sudden after all the mediocre student guitar pop they were playing on the radio, UK music had great depth again. The lyrics, music and artwork all capture that feeling of the late 90's: music would never be the same again.
Christian, Staines

A masterpiece is an album you can listen to, enjoy and remember from start to finish. OK Computer is a masterpiece.
James, Bristol

please read this out! never heard the album, CANT WAIT!!!!!
mark from scarborough

OK Computer is a true classic in every sense of the word.The album not only flows perfectly, but each track compliments those around it and the songs are genuinely good. From the darkly uplifting "Airbag" to the Romeo and Juliet inspired "Exit Music (For a Film)" and the three pronged emotional attack of "No Surprises", "Lucky" and "The Tourist". It's not my favourite Radiohead album, but it's easily their most consistant and varied album
Thomas, Belfast

they created something much bigger than the sum of its parts with this album. time will tell if they've recently bettered it, but this record represented a stellar leap on from what they had achieved thusfar and it is a technical and artistic statement the equal or better of any timeless rock record you care to mention. it hasn't dated one bit, and while people often complain that they make dreary, depressing music the album as a whole is such a touching evocation of humanity that it feels like a celebration of life rather than the opposite.and it rocks.
mathew, herts

OK Computer - without it I don't know how I'd live. There's so much music I love, but if I only had one album to pick, this would be it. For sure.It's a proper album, not just a collection of tracks strung together. It needs to be heard as an album, the way you'd listen to an entire concerto or symphony and not just pick out the pretty movements. And it works as such so well.For me, it represents leaving home, meeting wonderful new people, being open to new experiences, relaxing, seeing reality for the first time and realising that a better life than the one I'd had was possible. A friend lent it to me. I was hooked and have been for the last deacade. I listened to it non-stop with my then-new boyfriend and it's been outs ever since. I still have those friends and I still have that music and where I am now would not be possible without both. I've just lost that great boyfriend and can hardly bare to listen to OK Computer now, but know I can't live without it either. Thank you Radiohead, thank you Zane.
Martem, Lost

I can't help but feel slightly guilty that this, their most "commercial" (by their standards) album goes down as my favourite.. pablo honey, pure, undiluted angsty glory; the bends, the next step really (though utterly beautiful), and kid a + truly incredible progressive music... but, for all the political and socialogical undertones, the essential emotion in this album is overwhelming.. you can just lose yourself in it. for me, lucky is the highlight, but sublime throughout, ut im so glad they didnt stick on this style in their subsequent albums. OK Computer gave them the scope to devlope their sound, and the future of music.and btw, yes muse are great, love them too, but they owe a HECK of a lot to Thom, Jonny, Ed, Colin and Phil...
Tom, High Wycombe

This album kept me company whilst I spent the summer of 1998 living and working in the gangland projects of New York... As a terrified student from a village in Leicestershire it's sinister overtones struck a chord and (looking back) provided a great soundtrack to some quite harrowing times; thankfully it was tracks like "No Suprises" and "Sub. Homesick Alien" that helped keep me at least a bit sane!
Alex, London

I was genuinely worried when I listened to OK Computer that it was their final album, because musically there's nowhere else for a band to go after such an exquisite album, except to change their genre, which they sort of did for a bit (Kid A and Kid B). It has everything - originality, deftness, humour and the rest.
Darren Oldfield, UK

Unquestionably deserving of 'masterpiece' status. From the first note of 'Airbag' right the way through to 'The tourist' this album echoed the thoughts of a jilted generation who had been downtrodden by life in the late nineties. Paranoid Android, with Thom Yorke's haunting vocals and sweeping melodies, is particularly deserving of the 'ground-breaking' label which so many have labelled it with. An album of trully epic proportions.
T, Scotland

Classic Album that I hadn't listened to in a while. Was round a mates house having a beer and he put this on. We all hadn't heard it for a while. I had to rush home and make sure my copy was still there. It has even got better with age.
Scott Meekings, London

I was 15 when this album came out and having been a radiohead fan for 3 years prior i was kind of expecting another bends, however when i first listened too it i was blown away. Every song seemed to mean so much and was perfect. The album seemed to spell out the future before it happened, it also seemed to sum up the paranoid feelings of a nation heading into the unknown and mega change.
Brad Essex

This album is one of only about five albums that i can listen to over and over again, the music puts shivers down my spine. I bought it when it first came out and it sounds just as good now as it did then. Nuff said.
George, Scotland

OK Computer is better than the sum of its excellent parts. Playing it in full from start to finish is the only way to enjoy it in its full glory. I can't wait for tonight, so I'm getting the CD out now.
Rick Cuthbert, London

Any other band would be happy with "The Bends" as their master work. Radiohead managed to eclipse it magnificently. What I love about "OK Computer" is its ambition and its beauty. People say Radiohead make miserable music. People are idiots.
Bruce Smeath, Windsor

Simply Fantastic, although there never seems to be any words that can REALLY describe the lengend that OK Computer is. This album means so much, it descibes the music of my childhood and gives me goose bumps and a huge simle whenever i hear any of the songs from it. Long live Radio Head and Ok Computer!!
Andy, Suffolk

definitely a classic, and actually one of the only albums I can listen to all the way through besides Dark Side of the Moon, its a masterpiece that just wrings emotion from you to the very last note.
Bobbit, Sunderland

Ok Computer definitely deserves to be labeled a "Masterpiece." So rich, so dynamic, so completely like nothing else. It has the combined elements of the band's previous sound on The Bends and Pablo Honey, as well as a sort of introduction into what Radiohead had in store for their adoring, music-loving fans on later albums. I have recently had to purchase a second copy for myself due to continuous play of the first copy, which is now very well worn! Ok Computer is indeed a great masterpiece, and, though difficult to pick a favourite, one of Radiohead's best albums.
Amanda, Atlanta GA

Ok Computer is a piece of rock gold classic, it's like a bit of history for our rock family tree, nobody has never come close to even matching this cd, Karma Police is my best track, I remember them performing Karma Police at Glastonbury a few years ago, It brought tears and spine tingles to my body... A Peach Of A classic.... ;)
Karl Cross, Uppingham, Rutland

What makes OK Computer a classic is the whole package. It's matched and often bettered by other Radiohead material but Ok Computer captured a moment in time. From the artwork, to the 'Meeting People is Easy' documentary it takes you back to the summer of 97 capturing it's political change (false hopes), new millennium paranoia, being trapped but also celebrating the small things in life.
Rich, Edinburgh

I do love Muse but non of their albums are YET to be masterpieces in the same calibre as ok computer and even the bends, maybe in 5 years time if muse are still seen as influencial then yes maybe zane could choose absolution or origin of symmetry, but no where near yet, i would like to thank the bbc at the point for randomly selecting me to come see radiohead on tuesday even if it does give me about 3 days to work out how to get to london. okay, ok computer rules ok =]
Sam, Felixstowe

Never before or since has an album encapsulated a sense of trepidation about life both in terms of everyday living and global dread. It also reawoke a musical school of thought dulled and dumbed by the excesses of britpop. It is doubtful another body of music will meld both technical excellence with listener accessibility. A masterpiece.
Phil Belfast

OK Computer. Simply Amazing. I first heard it when i was 15 and was mostly listening to american heavy rock bands. A friend of mine convinced me to give the album a shot saying i'd love it. She was not wrong, it blew me away. The whole album from start to finish was unlike anything i had ever heard, almost alien in quality.The sheer diversity of the music on OK computer is another of its strengths, from the beautiful exit music (for a film) to the frankly terrifiying climbing up the walls, this album grips you and doesnt let you go until the last note of the tourist. All 5 members of the band (6 if your counting Godrich) working at their very best and proving to every doubter that this band is no one-trick pony or a one-man band. Asking someone what their favourite album of all time is, is a very personal and subjective question but if you asked me? What would i say? This. By a country mile.
James, Glasgow

wow an amazing selection of albums, OK computer is one of my favourite albums of all time, so this is much desrved. Next time though, Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth deserves a mention
Troll, Oxford

End of June, beginning of a hot, sweaty July in 1997, working a crappy Summer job and saving up my money to hit Phoenix, Reading and V97 with my friends before heading off to Uni. Two BIG releases (round the same couple of weeks) Prodigy ' The Fat Of The Land' and Radiohead's 'Ok Computer' Prodigy was gonna be MASSIVE eveywhere, whatever (it was their renaissance really) but OK Computer was something else. Entirely.Ambitious, complex, bewitching, it revealed its secrets with more and more listens. I played it three times one summer night in June when it was released and just kept thinking...This is gonna change everything.
Bling Crosby, Speedboat - Saint-Tropez.

OK Computer, legendary, and the rest to be fair.Nice one Zane!
Ceri, NW

I think that OK Computer is the only true masterpiece here.Up the bracket has too many stinkers on it to be classed as a masterpiece.GNR, i won't argue with that too much as I used to love that album as a kid so no point hating now.P.E, no arguments there.
Andy, Notts

Great choice for Ok Computer, but a bit of Muse next time please!
Jack, Essex

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Sonar Festival
Sound Of Sonar

Get a taster of the Barcelona festival

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy