Paranoid Android is a song by English alternative rock band Radiohead, featured on their 1997 third studio album OK Computer. The lyrics of the darkly humorous song were written primarily by singer Thom Yorke, following an unpleasant experience in a Los Angeles bar. At more than six minutes long and containing four distinct sections, the track is significantly influenced by The Beatles’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. “Paranoid Android” takes its name from Marvin the Paranoid Android of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.
When released as the lead single from OK Computer, “Paranoid Android” charted at number three on the UK Singles Chart. It was well received by music critics and highlighted in many reviews of OK Computer. The track has appeared regularly on lists of the best songs of all time, including Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Its animated music video, directed by Magnus Carlsson, was placed on heavy rotation on MTV, although the network censored portions containing nudity. Since its release, the track has been covered by numerous artists working in a variety of musical genres.
The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.
All through my life I’ve had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was.