I Might Be Wrong Live Recordings


Capitol, 2001


REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy


Fans who hoped Radiohead were going to assume the mantle of “best rock band in the world” in 2000 were put off by Kid A. Those fans must have been crushed when they heard Amnesiac after being teased in late 2000 and early 2001 that it would be a “return to guitars” album. On first listens, both albums seemed to bury Thom Yorke’s vocals in a cocoon of computer blips and atmospheric droning. How the hell could this translate into a live concert environment?

Actually, fairly easily.

Concert reviewers marveled how the sterile, standoffish songs from Amnesiac took on a much warmer tone in a live setting. For fans who couldn’t catch the band on their my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Amnesiac tour, I Might Be Wrong – Live Recordings is a testament that even Radiohead’s more experimental tunes merit the Bic lighter treatment in a live setting.

I Might Be Wrong captures highlights from Radiohead’s shows in Berlin and Oxford, among other places. The album kicks off with Radiohead’s most ‘arena-ready’ song from their Kid A and Amnesiac albums, “The National Anthem,” where Johnny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien unleash a scorching guitar assault while drummer Phil Selway shows why many of Radiohead’s best songs have his percussion at the forefront of their sonic attack.

The post-OK Computer output of Radiohead may be described as “difficult,” but live tracks like “Idioteque” and “Everything in its Right Place” feature the audience rhythmically clapping along (the former is particularly solid). Like Dylan or even Miles Davis (often cited as an inspiration by the band when they were recording Kid A and Amnesiac),  Radiohead often mixes up the structure of its songs for their live show. As a result, the sometimes stiff arrangements of their more challenging songs on record takes on an almost jam band-like sound for the live performances.

The album ends with “True Love Waits,” a song that remains one of Radiohead’s most requested songs but has never been released in a studio version. The lyrics are the typical Thom Yorke variety: “I’ll drown my beliefs / To have you be in peace / I’ll dress like your niece / And wash your swollen feet.” But the chorus “Just don’t leave / Don’t leave” is one of the most heartbreaking choruses he has ever written.

I Might Be Wrong – Live Recordings is near the bottom of the list of essential Radiohead purchase and barely makes the list for Best Live Albums But unlike other live albums, I Might Be Wrong serves a purpose in getting people to look at Radiohead in another light and appreciate the risks they take in the studio.

Rating: B

User Rating: B


© 2006 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol, and is used for informational purposes only.