One of the best things about any form of art is its absence of absolutes. Art is subjective and indefinable. One man's fuzzy eyesore is another man's Monet. This is what makes art such an interesting topic of discussion - each person's individual declaration of what is "best".
What is the best painting ever? Some would say the Mona Lisa, some would say The Scream and every parent would say "That finger-painting held to my refrigerator by magnet," if its creator is listening in. There is no definitive best television show ever (but note that the list of correct answer candidates is restricted to Breaking Bad and The Wire). Besides disaffected youth who generally favor Catcher in the Rye, there is no unqualified best book. And there long had been no certain answer to the question "What is the best song of all-time?" Fortunately, however, loyal readers -- after extensive research and reflection there is now an answer to this question, and it is "Paranoid Android" by Radiohead.
Disagree? Let us know your pick in the comments.
The second track from the 1998 highly-acclaimed OK Computer, a song that never charted in the United States and peaked at #3 in the band's native UK, is the greatest song ever made. "Paranoid Android" fits in squarely with the themes of the album, namely alienation, sanity/insanity, identity crisis, claustrophobia, and the over-modernization of today's world.
Taking its title from the character Marvin the Paranoid Android from Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of books, the lyrics were written by lead singer Thom Yorke after a miserable experience in a Los Angeles bar. Many theories abound as to the actual meaning of the song, including the process of a man going insane, a robot lost in the human world and (seriously) the fall of the Holy Roman Empire. The animated music video isn't particularly helpful for further gleaning meaning from the lyrics, but watch it if you want to have a thoroughly bizarre six-minute viewing experience.
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