"Just" is a single by the English rock band Radiohead, released in 1995. It is the seventh track on their 1995 album The Bends. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke wrote the song about a narcissistic friend of his, which on closer inspection is showcased by the imagery in the lyrics - a parallel to earlier My Iron Lung EP track "Lewis [Mistreated]". He also says that it was somewhat of a competition between him and Jonny Greenwood to see who could fit the most chords into a song. "Just" is especially notable for Greenwood's guitar solo. In the UK, this single was available as two CDs: the first one featured different tracks, and the color of the album art on the second single was inverted. In 2007, NME placed "Just" at number 34 in its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever.
The single's video was directed by Jamie Thraves
, who was hand-picked by the band after they saw several of his experimental short films. It was filmed near Liverpool Street Station
, and intersperses footage of Radiohead playing the song inside an apartment with scenes of a middle-aged
man who lies down in the middle of the pavement. People start to gather, thinking that something must be wrong with the man, and the band are shown looking out the window at the events below. A heated (subtitled
) conversation between the man and the crowd develops, as the people start demanding to know what the man is doing and why he is lying there. In subtitles, the man finally gives in and says, "Yes I'll tell you, I'll tell you why I'm lying here... but God forgive me... and God help us all... because you don't know what you ask of me." The camera zooms in on his mouth as the man finally gives the answer, but the subtitles have suddenly stopped, so the reason is not revealed to the viewer. As the camera zooms back out, it shows the pavement covered with the crowd of people, all lying down just like the man. Radiohead members have yet to reveal what specific words the man was intended to have said, if any, and Thraves has said "to tell you would deaden the impact, and would probably make you want to lie down in the road too". The video is available on Radiohead's 7 Television Commercials
DVD and the EMI released Radiohead: The Best of
- "Just" - [3:54]
- "Planet Telex (Karma Sunra mix)" - [5:23]
- "Killer Cars (Mogadon version)" - [3:50]
- "Just" - [3:54]
- "Bones (Live at the forum)" - [3:14]
- "Planet Telex (Live at the forum)" - [4:07]
- "Anyone Can Play Guitar (Live)" - [3:40]
Mark Ronson version
English DJ and producer Mark Ronson released the Radiohead song in early February 2008, the fourth single from his second album Version. The song had been released earlier under the compilation Exit Music: Songs with Radio Heads (a Radiohead album tribute) but was never given much promotion by the label. The song quickly gained airplay, being featured in BBC Radio 1's "A-List". The version on Exit Music featured Alex Greenwald on vocals and Sam Farrar on bass, both of the band Phantom Planet, however, the single release credits the entire band.
The song played as the follow up to "Valerie", which was still inside the UK top 20 upon the "Just" release. "Just" reached #31 after it's release and fell to #36 a week later. A music video was made for the song. Directed by Jim Canty, it acted as a sequel to and paid homage to the earlier Radiohead video.