Lucky (Radiohead song)

Single by Radiohead
from the album The Help Album and OK Computer
Released December 1997 (France)
Format CD
Recorded 4 September 1995
Length 4:19
Writer(s) Radiohead
Radiohead singles chronology
"Karma Police"
"No Surprises"

"Lucky" is a song by Radiohead from their third studio album OK Computer (1997), released as a single exclusively in France in December 1997.

Recording and release

In 1995, Radiohead—singer Thom Yorke, guitarists Jonny Greenwood and Ed O'Brien, bassist Colin Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway—were on tour, promoting their second album, The Bends. During June concerts in Japan, O'Brien made a high-pitched strumming sound at soundchecks. A few weeks later, this sound had developed into a full song that became part of the set list.[1] At this time, producer Brian Eno contacted Radiohead to contribute to The Help Album, a charity compilation organized by War Child to benefit children affected by the Bosnian War. The Help sessions were to take place during a single day, 4 September 1995, and rush-released later that week.[1] That day the band recorded the song "Lucky" in five hours[2] with producer Nigel Godrich.[3] All the band members believed that "Lucky" was the strongest song they had written at that time in their career.[4][5]

"Everyone knows about this one: recorded for War Child, unplayed by Radio One. Who's 'Sarah'? No one I know. It's just my favourite name." – Thom Yorke[6]


The song is a soft, ballad style song that starts off slowly with guitar strumming and gentle ride ticking before building into an anthem-style chorus. Throughout the entirety of the song, Ed O'Brien strums above the nut of the guitar. The verse is then repeated, albeit more upbeat. After a second chorus the song builds into an instrumental before finishing the last line from the chorus. The climactic qualities of the song are enhanced by the use of the choral sound on a Mellotron M400.


The song was well received, with Six Feet Under director Jeremy Podeswa stating that he was pleased with the emotional gravity that it gave to episode “Parallel Play”.[7] The song was later included in the compilation Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends.

Track listing

  1. "Lucky" – 4:19
  2. "Meeting in the Aisle" – 3:10
  3. "Climbing Up the Walls" (Fila Brazillia Mix) – 6:24



  1. 1 2 Footman 2008, p. 113.
  2. Irvin, Jim (July 1997), "Thom Yorke tells Jim Irvin how OK Computer was done", Mojo, pp. 100–102
  3. Randall 2004, p. 129.
  4. Sutherland, Mark (31 May 1997), "Return of the Mac!", Melody Maker
  5. "Radiohead: The Album, Song by Song, of the Year", HUMO, 22 July 1997
  6. Moran, Caitlin (July 1997). ""I was feeling incredible hysteria and panic…"". Select: 92.
  7. Six Feet Under DVD box set audio commentary
  8. Footman 2008, p. 270.


  • Footman, Tim (2008). Welcome to the Machine: OK Computer and the Death of the Classic Album. New Malden: Chrome Dreams. ISBN 1-84240-388-5. 
  • Randall, Mac (2004). Exit Music: The Radiohead Story. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-183-8. 
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