March 1995
Length: 4:50
Disc: The Bends | Fake Plastic Trees single
Tablature: Guitar | Drum
Fake Plastic Trees Video

Other Versions:
Acoustic @ Eve's Club - Fake Plastic Trees single CD2 & US | Clueless Soundtrack
2 Meter Session - Het Beste Uit 10 Jaar 2 Meter Sessies
Live @ Rock City - The Bends - Pinkpop
Live @ Tibetan Freedom Concert - Tibetan Freedom Concert
Live @ MTV - MTV's 120 Minutes Live
Cover by Transient/Shelonda - Plastic Mutations Tribute LP
Cover by October Hill - Anyone Can Play Radiohead Tribute LP

The band had just been to see Jeff Buckley play a set, and when they got back into the studio, Thom recorded the vocals in two takes and broke down in tears.

According to Thom, this song is about Canary Warf in London.

This song is one of the band's largest hits.

A song written for the world of mass marketing and mass consumption. Many versions of 'Fake Plastic Trees' are available, including the single from The Bends and an acoustic version on the CD2 single, which also appears on the Clueless soundtrack. This song was the band's proudest moment, and it remains a live favourite for obvious reasons.

One of the most emotional tracks I've ever heard, Fake Plastic Trees starts off acoustic, but progressively gains momentum and tension until towards the end, Thom's voice becomes a lot more intense, and the guitars get louder. It creates an amazing feeling, and many fans consider this the band's greatest song of all time. It's played less live, lately. But still pops in and out of the setlists.

A green plastic watering can
For a fake chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth

That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself

It wears her out, it wears her out
It wears her out, it wears her out

She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns

He used to do surgery
For girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins

And it wears him out, it wears him out
It wears him out, it wears...

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love

But I can't help the feeling
I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run

And it wears me out, it wears me out
It wears me out, it wears me out

And if I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted
All the time, all the time
Thom Yorke "Last night I was called by the American record company insisting, well almost insisting, that we used a Bob Clearmountain mix of Fake Plastic Trees. I said: 'No way.' All the ghost-like keyboard 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." - Thom

"The product of a joke that wasn't really a joke and a very lonely drunken evening and well, a breakdown of sorts." - Thom

Ed O'Brien
"When we first recorded Fake Plastic Trees it was terrible! It sounded like Guns 'n' Roses. It was awful! It was like loud guitars... you could envisage one of these dreadful hilltop, Grand Canyon-esque videos. It was long hair flowing." - Ed

"This took a while to record only because it was hard to better thom just singing it with an acoustic guitar. Amazing lyrics." - Ed
Phil Selway
"Some of my favourite lyrics on The Bends - gravity always wins - what a line." - Phil Jonny Greenwood

"My favourite lyrics from The Bends. Writing the string parts was my studio highlight, in a megalomaniac kinda way." - Jonny
Colin Greenwood
"Er..., deep?" - Colin
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