See also: Brad Mehldau

"Strung Out on OK Computer: The String Quartet Tribute to Radiohead" is a string quartet arrangement of Radiohead's critically acclaimed modern classic, 1997's OK Computer. It was released on October 23, 2001, catalog # VIT-8621.

All 12 tracks from the original album are transformed into literature for two violins, a viola, and cello, and all basic structures of the songs remain the same. However, the arrangement reveals a new side to the already-amazing album.

Here is a bit of the press release from Vitamin Records, the label that released the album:

"...Textured soundscapes, eerie futurism, angst and alienation comprise the rock masterpiece and most critically acclaimed album of the 90s. These elements have been captured in remarkable and haunting string arrangements of the songs of OK Computer. The String Quartet Tribute to Radiohead features a complete reworking of the album OK Computer in rich classical style. Featuring performances by The Section, the album was arranged and produced by Los Angeles-based musician Eric Gorfain, who also plays violin on the tribute. Gorfain, who began playing violin at age four, has performed with such notable artists as Eric Clapton, Sinead O'Connor, Cristina Aguilera, Maria McKee, and Rod Stewart...This unique collection of string quartet interpretations pulls us into a world of isolation, loneliness, and paranoia with its intensely emotional virtuoso performances..."

"Strung Out on OK Computer" brings out the sheer emotion in the peices. Highlights include: the pizzicatoed "Exit Music (For a Film)," which matches the near-insanity in Yorke's voice near the end with gut-wrenching high violin notes; chilling rendidtions of "Karma Police" and "Paranoid Android;" and a striking exposure into the background music of "Fitter Happier." Most of all, look out for the arrangement of "The Tourist," if one isn't familiar with the song they could swear it's a genuine quartet peice written by a classical composer.

The arrangments dig up the classical influence in Radiohead's music, much like Brad Mehldau's highly technical piano performances of "Paranoid Android" and "Exit Music (For a Film). Though generally regarded as pop/rock, OK Computer is shaped by the conventionalisms of Thom Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood, as well as Greenwood's training as a classical musician. Through the bare power of a string quartet, the full expression of the songs transcend the limits of mere pop music. "Strung Out on OK Computer" shows what makes Radiohead's songs so special in today's music scene: their sophistication.

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