“Lift” sounds a bit like a relic. Originally slated to be on Ok Computer, the song has been floating around in Radiohead’s back log for years and has finally been released with the 1997 album’s 20th anniversary reissue. The band played “Lift” live throughout the lead up to the original release of the album, leaving fans surprised when the track did not appear on the final cut. It’s not surprising that “Lift “ didn’t make it. With the song’s Gallagher-esque choruses, it feels more at home on the band’s second album The Bends, and not with the endless experimentation present on this and subsequent releases.
But that view of the song overlooks the tracks status as a transition between the two albums. While the hooks may sound like a b-side from The Bends, the cacophony of the drums and Johnny Greenwood’s guitar tone place the track somewhere closer to OK Computer on the spectrum. It doesn’t seem completely divergent from the rest of the album. It’s just a peak into another sonic reality- one where Radiohead not only released one of the most forward looking albums of the 90’s, but also managed to turn their innovative spirit into a strong single.