The Easy Star All-Stars, the musical collective behind 2003’s underground hit, ‘Dub Side of the Moon’, are going to do a complete reggae version of Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’. The disc, entitled Radiodread will be released worldwide in September 2006 on Easy Star Records.
“It was always the number one question we’d get asked in interviews, on tour, at parties, wherever” says Easy Star CEO Eric Smith, “but while everyone had suggestions on what album we should do, from ‘The Wall’ to ‘London Calling’ to ‘Thriller’, it was not at all easy to find a release that had the right combination of music, concept, fan loyalty, and translatability to make it a worthy follow up.”
Michael G says: “Conceptually and thematically we knew the album was a solid candidate; but we just weren’t sure whether the arrangements could work. On one hand, ‘OK Computer’ has elements that are perfect – strong melodies, intense dynamics and trippy soundscapes; on the other, it has complex time signatures, chord changes and things that typically aren’t found in reggae. The more we looked at it, the more we realized that this was an album we had to do.”
Michael G spent several months working on arrangements, at the end of which all three Easy Star founders felt they had not only a great sequel on their hands, but a record that could be even stronger and more nuanced than ‘Dub Side of the Moon’. Basic tracks were recorded in September and October, followed by overdubs and vocals with guest artists. Already completed are performances by Horace Andy, Morgan Heritage, Frankie Paul, and Kirsty Rock, with more big names to hit the studio in the coming month.
“We’re just as excited as everyone else to see what this ends up sounding like after we finish mixing it,” says Oppenheimer. “So far, we have been amazed at how well it’s been working. After listening to what Michael G and the band has done with the songs, it almost sounds like they were meant to be written for reggae.”