Fitter Happier

Album: OK Computer (1997)
  • This less-than-two-minute insert is a long commentary on life and how artificial it has become. It is spoken in a metallic voice and it is not listed as a song on the album, although it is right next to "Karma Police" in small letters on the back. The voice was generated by the Macintosh computer SimpleText application. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jim - Oxnard, CA
  • In an interview with Guitar World magazine, Yorke described the song as a checklist of slogans for the '90s, which he called "the most upsetting thing I've ever written."
  • This song, known for its computerized voice, is musically a hybrid of a score composed by Jonny Greenwood, and a piano part written by Thom Yorke (and recorded while drunk). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Charlie - Stittstown, Canada
  • Thom Yorke (from Humo magazine July 22, 1997): "I had writer's block for three months. In that period I could only make lists of words. It took me a long time to figure out that the only way I could translate my thoughts was with these lists." Yorke added in the same interview that he wasn't standing behind the lyrics any more as "sometimes your ideas get entangled with other ideas and then you have to apologize for the original idea because it doesn't make sense any more. That's what happened with 'Fitter Happier.' Now, I listen to the piano part."
  • This was featured in printed form in adverts promoting the album, prompting Ed O'Brien to comment, "I think that some people really believe that message and think that we are some kind of health-freaks."
  • During Radiohead's 1997 tour this song was used to introduce the band on stage. Previously they had used pieces from French minimalist composer Olivier Messiaen.
  • The sample loop in the background of the song says: "This is the Panic Office, section nine-seventeen may have been hit. Activate the following procedure." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Martin - Rostock, Germany
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Comments: 17

  • Louis from Spring, TxI never thought of this song as a list, but more like a letter to a friend or relative telling them how he's doing lately and what he tries to accomplish. When I hear, "Like a pig in a cage on antibiotics," I think of the helpless person writing the letter from his hospital bed feeling like he's stuck inside a prison only surviving on the pills and medicine the staff give him. He writes about how he's recovering but longs for his freedom and tries to keep his sanity by talking with old friends and trying to enjoy himself the best he can, even though he's dying inside. That's at least what I think.
  • Emma from Brooklyn, NyI love radiohead but this song is really stupid.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaOh wait sorry I didn't read that last bit. I blame it being 1 in the morning.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaThis song is listed on the album, it's just in really small print.
  • Hebrew from St. Paul, MnOne day we will be forced to have an antenna hard wired into our skulls completely blocking out the voice of God, and replacing it with the words of men such as these. Turn off your TVs folks.
  • David from Austin, Txthis song is about a person trying to follow a list of what society tells him he should do to be a better person. the song isn't about robots - the voice is computerized to portray how the man has become like a robot after following this societal advice, because the advice is materialistic and unnatural. occasionally in this song, the man will slip and say how he truly feels about something, such as "moral bank (hole in wall)", "like a cat tied to a stick that's frozen into winter sh*t" and "like a pig in a cage on antibiotics." aside from these lyrics, he's successfully spouting back the advice society gave him, though his robotic voice shows how inhuman it has made him.
  • Joe from Chicago, Arthis song creeps me out for some reason.....don't ask me why.....i just get weird things in my head when i listen to it it's just so random but it ties in good with karma police which is also a great song.
  • Tyler Pead from Fredericton, CanadaThe mechanical voice on this song you hear is none other than Professor Stephen Hawking himself
  • Mongrol from Istanbul, Turkeythis song is about "how radiohead suck young blood"... yeah, true....

  • Max from Sydney, AustraliaFitter Happier was the only product of an otherwise barren three months when Thom Yorke found himself unable to write anything but lists.
    This song is Basicallt a broad-sheet supplement's survival's kit to contemporary living, the lyrics consists of "50 wishes" covering a range of 'issues'-from health and practical concerns to morality and spiritual matters. Idly running his checklist of desires of SimpleText on his 'AppleMac Computer', Yorke indadvertenly found a way to salvage somthing from his period of writers' block. Utilising the machines 'voice' to deliver the lyric also freed gim from the prospect of him having to sing such a goal-driven subject matter straght-faced.

    Thom Yorke Describes 'Fitter Happier' as " The most upsetting song i've ever written".
  • Max from Sydney, Australiasorry, its after simple its supposed to be "life" there
  • Keegan from Richmond, EnglandThe Lyrics "like a cat tied to a stick driven into frozen winter s***" i think are brilliant because when you first hear them you laugh and the following line is "the ability to laugh at weakness" which is of course what you have just done. song-writing at its finest there ladies and gentlemen
  • Pete from Wheaton, Mdit's not a robot talking about how robots are better, that stops working after the beggining. It's about how there's only so much one can do to improve himself. There is a radiohead quote that says something like: the album is about how if you want to change the world or make a difference these days you have to have superhuman powers or be extremely lucky.
  • Patrick from Muncie, InThis song is actually a list of 1990's colloquialisms and phrases. Thom Yorke was drunk when he played the piano on this one and his sloppy playing can be heard with a sharp ear.

    The voice is actually the Macintosh voiceover, which the song was made on.
  • Christine from Sunderlandthere's a line "like a cat tied to a stick that's frozen into winter s**t"near the end.
    is s**t the word you mean?
  • Leo from Grimsby, CaThe voice used is Microsoft Sam for Windows 95/98, the same voice used by Steven Hawkings who allowed microsoft to use the voice technology to microsoft in 1994.
  • Al from Sterling, VaThis is the only track on OK Computer which contains a word that can't normally be played on the radio.
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