Let Down

Album: OK Computer (1997)

Songfacts®:

  • Lead singer Thom Yorke: "I was pissed in a club, and I suddenly had the funniest thought I'd had for ages - what if all the people who were drinking were hanging from the bottles... if the bottles were hung from the ceiling with string, and the floor caved in, and the only thing that kept everyone up was the bottles? It's also about an enormous fear of being trapped."
  • Radiohead recorded OK Computer at the mansion of actress Jane Seymour. This track was recorded at 3 a.m. when the band found inspiration.
  • The blip noise at the end of the track was created with a ZX Spectrum, which is an old computer the band members used in their youth.
  • This is a difficult song to reproduce live, so Radiohead rarely plays it on stage. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for all above
  • Jonny Greenwood (from Humo magazine July 22, 1997): "Andy Warhol once said that he could enjoy his own boredom. 'Let down' is about that. It's the transit-zone feeling. You're in a space, you are collecting all these impressions, but it all seems so vacant. You don't have control over the earth anymore. You feel very distant from all these thousands of people that are also walking there."

Comments: 10

  • Anima Mundi from South AfricaA perfectly timed cathedral uplift on the album. Like the rest of the album, there are very blatant references to the way society is progressing technologically but regressing in matters of purpose and personal fulfillment. Constantly on the go without thought or mindfulness which is counter productive to our own happiness. Once this is realized we are left lost, hysterical (rushing but we don't where to or what for) and useless (like a dog chasing his tail)and let down - wee even fail to escape through intoxication (clinging onto bottles), like being crushed like a bug in the ground. This song is a serenade to that realization and is a great example of what I love about Radiohead, the ability to make utter tragedy and despair sound so beautiful and almost elated.
  • Dan from New York, NyI always thought this song was about one of those horrible break ups that leaves you near death, I mean somebody really does a number on you and so nonchalantly, much like simply crushing you like a bug, and you realize it's the end, the journey is over! But one day you rise above it all and get over it and move on, and you end up better off than the person who left you... or something like that. As depressing as heartache can be, it's about growing stronger because of it and so it's actually rather uplifting.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationOf the line "Crushed like a bug in the ground" (from 'Let Down') Thom offers; "I am fascinated by how insects are squashed, especially wasps - the cracking sound and the yellow gak, just like people."
  • William Swan from Wichita, Ks, KsThis song is simply one of there best. It feels like its being built up. Even though its about a bug being crushed. Or it could mean alot of things.
  • D-money from Vancouver, BcI think Johnny's riff at the beginning is in 5/4 time. But the drums keep a 4/4 beat during the song.
  • Bernard from Auckland, New ZealandOne of the best Radiohead songs,
    i love it so much, Although it seems to be a sad song
  • Francia from Caracas, --This is such an amazing song
  • Sean from Los Angeles, Cai think this is radiohead's masterpiece. The instrumentation in the song is spectacular. the music compliments the helplessness behind Yorke's lyrics
  • Dylan from New Britain, CtHas Jimmy Buffet moments
  • Hanah from London, Englandbeautiful song.
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