A. OK Computer is the third studio album by English rock band Radiohead, released on 16 June 1997. The band distanced themselves from the guitar-centred, lyrically introspective style of their previous album, The Bends. OK Computer’s abstract lyrics, densely layered sound and eclectic range of influences laid the groundwork for Radiohead’s later, more experimental work.
OK Computer received widespread critical acclaim and has been cited by listeners, critics and musicians as one of the greatest albums of all time. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and won Best Alternative Music Album at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards in 1998. The album initiated a stylistic shift in British rock away from the then-ubiquitous Britpop genre toward melancholic, atmospheric alternative rock that became more prevalent in the next decade. The album depicts a world fraught with rampant consumerism, social alienation, emotional isolation and political malaise; in this capacity, OK Computer is often interpreted as having prescient insight into the mood of 21st-century life. In 2014, it was included by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
The album expanded Radiohead’s international popularity and has sold at least 7.8 million units worldwide. A remastered version with additional tracks, OKNOTOK 1997 2017, was released on 22 June 2017 to commemorate the album’s twentieth anniversary.