OK Computer is the third studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released in 1997 on Parlophone and Capitol Records. OK Computer was the first self-produced Radiohead album, with assistance from Nigel Godrich. Radiohead recorded the album in Oxfordshire and Bath between 1996 and early 1997, with most of the recording completed in the historic mansion St. Catherine's Court. The band made a deliberate attempt to distance themselves from the guitar-oriented, lyrically introspective style of their previous album, The Bends. OK Computer's abstract lyrics, densely layered sound and wide range of influences laid the groundwork for Radiohead's later, more experimental work.
Upon the album's delivery to Capitol, label representatives lowered their sales estimates, deeming the record uncommercial. Nevertheless, OK Computer reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and became the band's highest album entry on the American charts at the time, debuting at number 21 on the Billboard 200. Three songs from the album—"Paranoid Android", "Karma Police" and "No Surprises"—were released as promotional singles. The album expanded Radiohead's worldwide popularity and has to date sold over 4.5 million copies.
OK Computer received considerable acclaim upon release. Prominent British and American rock critics predicted the album would have far-reaching cultural impact. In subsequent years, the album has been frequently cited by listeners, critics and musicians as one of the greatest of its time. OK Computer initiated a shift away the popular Britpop genre of the time to the more melancholic and atmospheric style of alternative rock that would be prevalent in the next decade. Critics and fans often comment on the underlying themes found in the lyrics and artwork, emphasising Radiohead's views on rampant consumerism, social alienation and political malaise; in this capacity, OK Computer is often interpreted as having prescient insight into the mood of 21st century life.