Music

Amazing Early Radiohead ‘High & Dry’ Footage Emerges

It's one of Radiohead's best-loved songs: a touching, beautiful, emotional ballad that formed one half of the double whammy of the middle of The Bends, alongside the equally amazing Fake Plastic Trees.

But it wasn't always like that.

Footage has emerged online of the band that Thom Yorke was in before joining Radiohead - Headless Chickens - performing a very early prototype of the song. It's believed to have been filmed in 1989 at a gig at Exeter University's Lemon Grove; at the time he was studying for a degree in Art and Literature.

It's a far faster, more shoegazy take on the track, but it's unmistakably the same song.

Headless Chickens, a five piece melodic punk band were hugely popular in the Exeter area while they were active, but when Yorke finished his studies he returned to Oxford to restart his earlier band, On a Friday, which morphed into Radiohead.

High and Dry was eventually released as the first single from their hugely-acclaimed second album The Bends, which came out in 1995. Interestingly, Yorke himself is not a fan of the song, saying to Pitchfork: "It's not bad... it's very bad". He also said that the record label pressured the band into putting the song on the album - interestingly, the finished version is simply a demo; it was never rerecorded for the album sessions. It's not been played live for almost two decades, which is, frankly, a shame.

Check out the final Radiohead version below and compare the two. What a song.