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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Knives Out (CD 1)

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Track List: The Daily Mail / Staircase (Single)

Comments

One of my top five epic shows I've seen...and on my list they are very close to one
Like rain ? Then burn natural wooden logs in a free air enviroinment like outside and after two days, it will begin to rain and our drout will be no more, all in season of course
I love radiohead!!! ! !
I never gave this band a chance as a kid. I regret it now looking back, but thank goodness for Pandora to save the day.
alexfornuto
Radiohead *was* one of the few alternative bands...
As creep*
This band is so good, to bad their less popular stuff isn't as recognized as say creep
@sillypandac l u b you would probably like their second album The Bends. It's a lot like Creep, but better.
bigspamcatch e r
the song creep sums up life for most of us actually. LOVE IT!
I've never heard them until now. But wow, I've fallen inlove
sillypandacu b
Wow. I love their music, you can feel the emotion they put into it, and I feel like I'm a part of the song. The quick transition between the heavy bass and the light beat has an amazing effect... My favorite is Creep
stlouis22
Haa
stlouis22
Hiehae
stlouis22
Yes
stlouis22
Hidood
Radiohead is amazing ❤
This is one of the most perfect songs -- lyrics, vocals, melody, production, arrangement, meaning. Incredibly powerful in its simplicity, sadly beautiful. The children's xylophone line cinches it, the loss of innocence, a total surrender.
One word: Professional . . .
golstonv
WOw that is an Awesome song. I've never been suicidal or just self deprecating, but this song makes me feel like I am sitting across from a man who is. You feel for the guy. The song is almost like a play or a really good movie, all you can do is watch their pain.
rihil
One must check out the female fronted (Audra H. is gorgeous & devastatingl y poetic) 3-piece Oakland band 'Faust Arp' ... They rotate instruments & I don't think they are on here but their full EP is on soundcloud at /faustarp - it's just glorious sounding.
My marching band did a show over Radiohead, this was one of our songs we played!!
i love radiohead but the song creep is better when sung by korn
Amazing
Best thing since sliced bread
Tjweu
use guys are inf#!kncredi b l e
Radio head very talented
i still have not begun to understand why these dolts all place spam all over artist comments. it ruins the morality of the artist. stop making spam people!
speaks without speaking at all.
love
The first time I heard this song was when I was 8 and it made me cry it made me thought of someone who passed away and I love this song so much thank you RADIO HEAD!!!! :)
good lord when will pandora: 1. create forums to get rid of the spammers, (ONLY PLACE i SEE THIS SHEET HAPPEN)
2. create a frigg'n forum dummies.
radiohead changed my life ��
muchness, great !!!!
Scfar
Radiohead was the forerunner of all arena pop
My favourite band. This is real music.
Me too!
Just love Radiohead so much
731103081
Love this group. Amazing on Austin City Limits. <3<3<3
This song compares to me. That made me cry :,)
awesome song
Radiohead or Arcade Fire? hmmm.
1. Kiss your left hand
2. Say your crushes name
3. Close your hand
4. Say your name
5. Pick a school day
6. Repost this on 15 other songs and your crush will say that they like you and ask you out on the day you picked
don't read this because it actually works. you will be kissed on the nearest friday by the love of your life. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this, you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
Love this song!
That song sucks...He should not be singing acapelo
Radiohead is the equivalent to life <3
Love them soo much!!!!!!
radiohead makes beautiful sounds, the noise is a brilliant accent
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