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Radiohead

Radiohead were one of the few alternative bands of the early '90s to draw heavily from the grandiose arena rock that characterized U2's early albums. But the band internalized that epic sweep, turning it inside out to tell tortured, twisted tales of angst and alienation. Vocalist Thom Yorke's pained lyrics were brought to life by the group's three-guitar attack, which relied on texture -- borrowing as much from My Bloody Valentine and Pink Floyd as R.E.M. and Pixies -- instead of virtuosity. It took Radiohead a while to formulate their signature sound. Their 1993 debut, Pablo Honey, only suggested their potential, and one of its songs, "Creep," became an unexpected international hit, its angst-ridden lyrics making it an alternative rock anthem. Many observers pigeonholed Radiohead as a one-hit wonder, but the group's second album, The Bends, was released to terrific reviews in the band's native Britain in early 1995, helping build a more stable fan base. Having demonstrated unexpected staying power, as well as increasing ambition, Radiohead next released OK Computer, a progressive, electronic-tinged masterpiece that became one of the most acclaimed albums of the '90s.

Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar), Ed O'Brien (guitar, vocals), Jonny Greenwood (guitar), Colin Greenwood (bass), and Phil Selway (drums) formed Radiohead as students in 1988 while living in Oxford. Initially called "On a Friday," the band began pursuing a musical career in earnest in the early '90s, releasing the Drill EP in 1992. Shortly afterward, the group signed to EMI/Capitol and released the single "Creep," a fusion of R.E.M. and Nirvana highlighted by a noisy burst of feedback prior to the chorus. "Creep" was a moderate hit, and their next two singles, "Anyone Can Play Guitar" and "Pop Is Dead," gained a small following, even as the British music press ignored the group.

Pablo Honey, Radiohead's album, was released to mixed reviews in the spring of 1993. As the band launched a European supporting tour, "Creep" became a sudden smash hit in America, earning heavy airplay on modern rock radio and MTV. On the back of the single's success, Radiohead toured the U.S. extensively, opening for Belly and Tears for Fears. All the exposure helped Pablo Honey go gold, and "Creep" was re-released in the U.K. at the end of 1993. This time, the single became a Top Ten hit, and the band spent the following summer touring the world.

Although "Creep" made Radiohead a success, it also led many observers to peg the band as a one-hit wonder. Conscious of such thinking, the group entered the studio with producer John Leckie to record its second album, The Bends. Upon its spring 1995 release, The Bends was greeted with overwhelmingly enthusiastic reviews, all of which praised the group's deeper, more mature sound. However, positive reviews didn't sell albums, as Radiohead struggled to be heard during the U.K.'s summer of Brit-pop and as American radio programmers and MTV ignored the record. The band continued to tour as the opening act on R.E.M.'s prestigious Monster tour. By the end of the year, The Bends began to catch on, thanks not only to the band's constant touring but also to the stark, startling video for "Just." The album made many year-end best-of lists in the U.K., and early in 1996, the record reentered the British Top Ten and climbed to gold status in the U.S., helped in the latter by the video for "Fake Plastic Trees."

During the first half of 1996, Radiohead continued to tour before re-entering the studio that fall to record their third album, OK Computer, which was released in the summer of 1997. A devoted following of fans and a handful of enthusiastic critical supporters immediately embraced the album's majestic blend of unfettered prog rock, post-punk angst, eerie electronic textures, and assured songwriting. Since it skillfully teetered between rock classicism and futurism, it earned near-unanimous critical and popular support over the course of the year, which turned into unrestrained adoration in the final two years of the decade, even though its sales still hadn't climbed above gold status.

Expectations for Radiohead's fourth album were stratospheric, which placed additional pressure on the already perfectionist band, and led to several stumbling blocks along the way. An intense buzz of excitement among the band's still-growing following greeted the pre-release appearance of most of the album's tracks on the Internet in MP3 form; they displayed an all-out fascination with challenging, often minimalist electronica. Titled Kid A, the album was finally released in October 2000 and astonished many observers by debuting at number one on the U.S. album charts. While the band didn't release any singles or embark on a formal tour, the album met with a mixed critical response as the group was accused of creating a distant and radio-unfriendly record; however, it did remain a fan favorite.

In June of 2001, Radiohead quickly released an album under the name Amnesiac that consisted of material that was recorded during the Kid A sessions. The band made it very clear, though, that it was not to be considered an outtakes album; rather, they insisted that the two albums were of clear and separate concept. Regardless, Amnesiac debuted at number one in the U.K. and number two on the U.S. chart (behind then-stronghold Staind), while outselling Kid A in week one by 25,000 copies. The singles "Pyramid Song" and "Knives Out" were culled from Amnesiac with a subsequent world tour. While planning "I Might Be Wrong" for a third single, the idea expanded into a live "mini-album," titled after the track, that was released in November of 2001. Hail to the Thief, the proper follow-up to Amnesiac, was relatively direct in structure and peaked at number three on the U.S. chart. Sporadic recording sessions resumed in early 2005, but a projected release date for the band's seventh studio album remained 2007 as Yorke prepared a solo album, The Eraser, which was issued in July 2006.

On October 1, 2007, the bandmembers announced that they had finished their seventh album, In Rainbows, and that it would be "out" in a matter of ten days. Giving fans the option to pay whatever they'd like for the album as a zip file of MP3s, Radiohead also devised a pre-order system for the physical version of the album -- a "discbox" containing a double-vinyl version, a CD copy with an enhanced six-track bonus disc, a lyric book, and photos. This was done without the involvement of a record label. However, deals were eventually struck for standard retail releases. In late December, XL issued the album in the U.K., where it topped the album chart. The feat was repeated the following month in the U.S., where it was issued through the TBD label. Sonically and lyrically, In Rainbows was one of their warmest and most direct albums to date.

Radiohead took a somewhat similar approach for the release of The King of Limbs. On February 14, 2011, the band announced that the album would be issued in five days as a fixed-price download with physical releases to follow. Standard CD and vinyl versions were scheduled for late March via XL and TBD, while an elaborately packaged double 10" vinyl/CD set was scheduled for early May. The two-disc TKOL RMX 1234567 followed five months later, featuring 19 remixes of King of Limbs tracks from the likes of Jamie xx, Caribou, Four Tet, and Nathan Fake. The band also recorded a live set of songs from the album as part of the From the Basement video series, and subsequently released the set, titled King of Limbs: Live from the Basement, in 2012. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Andy Kellman
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The King Of Limbs

1. Bloom

2. Morning Mr. Magpie

3. Little By Little

4. Feral

5. Lotus Flower

6. Codex

7. Give Up The Ghost

8. Separator

x

Track List: In Rainbows

1. 15 Step

2. Bodysnatchers

3. Nude

4. Weird Fishes / Arpeggi

5. All I Need

6. Faust Arp

7. Reckoner

8. House Of Cards

9. Jigsaw Falling Into Place

10. Videotape

x

Track List: Go To Sleep

1. Go To Sleep

2. Gagging Order

3. I Am A Wicked Child

x

Track List: Hail To The Thief

1. 2 + 2 = 5

2. Sit down. Stand up.

3. Sail To The Moon

4. Backdrifts

5. Go To Sleep

6. Where I End And You Begin

7. We Suck Young Blood

8. The Gloaming

9. There There

10. I Will

11. A Punchup At A Wedding

12. Myxomatosis

13. Scatterbrain

14. A Wolf At The Door

x

Track List: I Might Be Wrong (Live)

x

Track List: Knives Out

1. Knives Out

2. Cuttooth

3. Life In A Glasshouse (Full Length Version)

x

Track List: Amnesiac

1. Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box

2. Pyramid Song

3. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors

4. You And Whose Army?

5. I Might Be Wrong

6. Knives Out

7. Morning Bell/Amnesiac

8. Dollars & Cents

9. Hunting Bears

10. Like Spinning Plates

11. Life In A Glasshouse

x

Track List: Pyramid Song

1. Pyramid Song

2. The Amazing Sounds Of Orgy

3. Trans-Atlantic Drawl

4. Kinetic

x

Track List: Kid A

1. Everything In Its Right Place

2. Kid A

3. The National Anthem

4. How To Disappear Completely

5. Treefingers

6. Optimistic

7. In Limbo

8. Idioteque

9. Morning Bell

10. Motion Picture Soundtrack

x

Track List: Airbag - How Am I Driving? EP

1. Airbag

2. Pearly

3. Meeting In The Aisle

4. A Reminder

6. Melatonin

7. Palo Alto

x

Track List: O.K. Computer

1. Airbag

2. Paranoid Android

3. Subterranean Homesick Alien

4. Exit Music (For A Film)

5. Let Down

6. Karma Police

7. Fitter Happier

8. Electioneering

9. Climbing Up The Walls

10. No Surprises

11. Lucky

12. The Tourist

x

Track List: The Bends

1. Planet Telex

2. The Bends

3. High And Dry

4. Fake Plastic Trees

5. Bones

6. Nice Dream

7. Just

8. My Iron Lung

9. Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was

10. Black Star

11. Sulk

12. Street Spirit 'Fade Out'

x

Track List: My Iron Lung (EP)

1. My Iron Lung

2. The Trickster

3. Lewis (Mistreated)

4. Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong

5. Permanent Daylight

6. Lozenge Of Love

8. Creep (Acoustic)

x

Track List: Pablo Honey

1. You

2. Creep

3. How Do You?

4. Stop Whispering

5. Thinking About You

6. Anyone Can Play Guitar

7. Ripcord

8. Vegetable

9. Prove Yourself

10. I Can't

11. Lurgee

12. Blow Out

13. Creep

x

Track List: Com Lag (2plus2isfive)

2. Remyxomatosis (Cristian Vogel Rmx)

3. I Will (Los Angeles Version)

4. Paperbag Writer

5. I Am A Wicked Child

6. I Am Citizen Insane

7. Skttrbrain (Four Tet Remix)

8. Gagging Order

9. Fog (Again) (Live)

10. Where Bluebirds Fly

x

Track List: Knives Out (CD 1)

1. Knives Out

2. Worrywort

3. Fog

x

Track List: The Daily Mail / Staircase (Single)

1. The Daily Mail

2. Staircase

Comments

Report as inappropriate
nbaca78
I see you did that here Dennis. Hats off to you sir.
Report as inappropriate
MUFFIN WHERE ARE YOU!?
Report as inappropriate
The best way to stop those annoying chain postings is to report them as inappropriat e . Just scroll over the posting and click on the option and they get deleted. Pass this on so we don't have to keep reading them!
Report as inappropriate
Hungry for new album!
Report as inappropriate
nbaca78
Also, it doesn't work because you never see random names after chainposts.
Report as inappropriate
nbaca78
You chain posters make it difficult to see relevant comments.
Report as inappropriate
dannyleeherr
Radiohead is the best band of the modern era.
Report as inappropriate
gabefrost11
Turned up!
Report as inappropriate
Karma Police, my favorite song of all time! I adore Radiohead!!!
Report as inappropriate
Art. This is art. OK Computer is literally the best album I have ever listened to.
Report as inappropriate
The Pink Floyd of my generation.. . Alongside TOOL.
Report as inappropriate
@ a boy named sue / ditto that! special soul....that man who fell to earth
Report as inappropriate
one of the best songs ever made! from the rifts to the lyrics everything! TY RH for this master piece!
Report as inappropriate
Radiohead is the greatest band in all the land❤️❤️❤️❤️
Report as inappropriate
R.I.P - David Bowie 1947-2016
Report as inappropriate
andrewcevery
Radiohead is one of the greatest bands in rock history.
Report as inappropriate
Good song
Report as inappropriate
sarasmiles.3 4 8 4
Idioteque is by far tha absolute best
Report as inappropriate
paranoid android is by far my favorite Radiohead song.
Report as inappropriate
I'm a creep I'm a weirdooooooo what the hell am I doing here??? I don't belong here!! I LOVE creep from Radiohead <3<3<3<3<3
Report as inappropriate
timeless
Report as inappropriate
Jesus! I keep forgetting its 2015 :,(
Report as inappropriate
lol someone just called radiohead a 1 hit wonder.
Report as inappropriate
Hard to believe I saw them open for Teenage Fanclub! (And don't get me wrong, I love the Fannies, it's just that the combination, and their now completely disparate levels of success just make the idea hard to believe)
Report as inappropriate
RIP Scott Weiland too
Report as inappropriate
it was Courtney Love's fault!!!!
Report as inappropriate
what a fabulously raspy voice! rad!!
Report as inappropriate
Thank you Radiohead for bringing music to the world
Report as inappropriate
"Back then ,they didn't know me, now I'm hot ,they all on me"~Mike Jones
Report as inappropriate
Read this because it really works! If you post stupid copy/paste crap, you won't get reported and banned!
Report as inappropriate
R.I.P Kurt from a gun and kill his self:(
Report as inappropriate
Creep is a great song
Report as inappropriate
Love Creep! How many of us have felt just like that
Report as inappropriate
borrowed from my bloody valentine? worst comparison Ever Made!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Coachella 2004, with HS junior daughter, we saw Thom never before more intimidated to take a stage than he did in having to follow The Pixies' reunion performance. Nonetheless they delivered a performance to remember for a lifetime. Yes, they pulled out Fake Plastic Trees that night.
Report as inappropriate
I've been to many a concerts of all different genres over last 20yr's & I can say w/o hesitation Radiohead's nearly 3hr long, stellar performance at Bonnaroo '06 is best concert I've ever attended. Feel truly grateful to be one of the lucky peeps fortunate enough to have witnessed magic that transpired that night in TN.
That said I do hope to see another show in future that supersedes said concert however they set bar so f'n high that night likelihood of this happening seems unlikely..
Report as inappropriate
If i could be who you wanted, all the time. *sniff* brings tears to me every time
Report as inappropriate
Creep is an amazing song :')
Report as inappropriate
Reminds me of my friend Muffin...MUF F I N WHERE ARE YOU!?
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Mitochondria is the power house of the cell
Report as inappropriate
Sorry, I skipped a space.
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Radio head released 'Kid A' 15 years ago today. It was released on October 2nd 2000.
Report as inappropriate
guess what apparently this works if you stop posting retarded chain mail you won't get reported :D
Report as inappropriate
neilwilkinso n 7 4 7
I am a creep, and I can't . . .
Report as inappropriate
tf
Report as inappropriate
:/
Report as inappropriate
Wish I was a creep- then maybe I'd get laid
Report as inappropriate
Listening to radio through earpieces- congrats, you're a radio head
Report as inappropriate
CREEP ;-)
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terrymcaydle s
Exit music is creepy but radio head is amazing
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