Fake Plastic Trees

Fake Plastic Trees

Infobox Single
Name = Fake Plastic Trees

Artist = Radiohead
from Album = The Bends
Released = 15 May 1995
Format = CD and 2 cassettes
Recorded = ?
Genre = Alternative rock
Length = 4:52
Label = Parlophone
Producer = John Leckie
Last single = "High and Dry" / "Planet Telex"
This single = "Fake Plastic Trees"
Next single = "Just"
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Album = The Bends
Type = studio
prev_track = "High and Dry"
prev_no = 3
this_track = "Fake Plastic Trees"
track_no = 4
next_track = "Bones"
next_no = 5

"Fake Plastic Trees" is a song by Radiohead, from their second album "The Bends". It was the third single to be released from that album in the UK, but in the US, it was released as the band's first single from the album. "Fake Plastic Trees" is often seen as a turning point in the band's early career, along with "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" from the same album. The track also placed at number 376 on "Rolling Stone" magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


According to singer Thom Yorke, the song was recorded as the band had just been to see Jeff Buckley play a set at Long Wong's in Tempe, ArizonaFact|date=June 2008 and when they got back into the studio, Yorke recorded the vocals in two takes. The song's lyrics are about Canary Wharf in London and about the world of mass marketing and mass consumption. [ [http://www.greenplastic.com/lyrics/fakeplastictrees.php Sourced from the page regarding the song on Green Plastic, a Radiohead fansite] - retrieved August 29, 2006] One source of frustration for the band at the time was their US record label, Capitol, who wanted a strong track for American radio to follow the success of their previous hit single, "Creep". Surprised that the slow paced "Fake Plastic Trees" was seen as a potential single to follow up "Creep" , Yorke ultimately realized the label had remixed the track without his approval: "Last night I was called by the American record company insisting, well almost insisting, that we used a Bob Clearmountain mix of it. I said 'No way'. All the ghost-like keyboards sounds and weird strings were completely gutted out of his mix, like he'd gone in with a razor blade and chopped it all up. It was horrible."

Music video

Directed by Jake Scott, the music video set inside a supermarket where the band go around in shopping carts among several other characters, including clerks, children, an old man with a large beard who plays with toy guns, a woman in a large black hat, a bald man, a young man playing with a trolley, etc. The director has said about the video: "The film is actually an allegory for death and reincarnation but if you can read that into it you must be as weird as the people who made it." [http://www.greenplastic.com/discography/videography/fake_plastic_trees/index.php]

Cover versions

British singer KT Tunstall covered this song in Radio 1's Live Lounge, and Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette performed "Fake Plastic Trees" in some concerts during the "Jagged Little Pill"-era tours and concerts. [ [http://www.blender.com/guide/articles.aspx?id=824 Fake Plastic Trees Article on Blender] ] An acoustic version of the song appears on the "Clueless" soundtrack. Travis has also acoustically covered the song. Dashboard Confessional has also covered this song during concerts before. Marillion have also covered the song on their acoustic live CD "Unplugged at the Walls".

Track listing

Released over two singles, the b-sides accompanying "Fake Plastic Trees" include "India Rubber", a song in which Jonny Greenwood can be heard laughing, and "How Can You Be Sure?" which dates from the band's earliest On a Friday days. It is from the Shindig Demoand this finished version features backing vocals by a woman. The B-sides on the second single are acoustic versions by Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood recorded live at the Eve's Club in London.

CD 1

# "Fake Plastic Trees" - 4:50
# "India Rubber" - 3:26
# "How Can You Be Sure?" - 4:21

CD 2

# "Fake Plastic Trees" - 4:50
# "Fake Plastic Trees" (acoustic) - 4:41
# "Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was" (acoustic) - 3:34
# "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" (acoustic) - 4:26


External links

* [http://www.ateaseweb.com/songs/fakeplastictrees.php/ At Ease] — song info and lyrics

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