Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: OK ComputerReleased: 1997Charted:
Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke: "I spent a lot of time trying not to do voices like mine. The voices on 'Karma Police
,' 'Paranoid Android' and 'Climbing up the Walls' are all different personas. No Surprises is someone who's trying hard to keep it together but can't."
Bassist Colin Greenwood: "'No Surprises' is our 'stadium-friendly' song. The idea was: First frighten everyone with Climbing Up The Walls and then comfort them again with a Pop song with a chorus that sounds like a lullaby."
Thom Yorke introduced the rest of the band to this song in their dressing room in Oslo, Norway, following a support gig to REM on August 3,1995. Later the lyrics were rewritten and a new glockenspiel melody was added.
Yorke (from Humo
magazine July 22, 1997): "We wanted it to have the atmosphere of Marvin Gaye. Or Louis Armstrong's 'Wonderful World
Thom Yorke told Q magazine a song such as "No Surprises" has to be played a certain way for it to work live. "If you play it right, it is f--king dark," he said. "But it's like acting. It's on the edge of totally hamming it up but you're not. It's just the words are so dark. When we play it, we have to play it slow. It only sounds good if it's fragile."
The video, directed by Grant Lee, is one continuous shot of Yorke, who is trapped in a water chamber that fills midway through the song. He holds his breath for nearly a minute before the water recedes, at which point he gasps for breath and continues miming the song.