It kills me to give Radiohead's new album anything under five stars. They are, afterall, the finest band this country has produced since The Beatles and are one of the only bands who are prepared to take deeper artistic plunges on every record they produce. Their two best records, The Bends and Ok Computer, are still considered amongst the ten best albums of all time whilst the "problematic" Kid A was a milestone in experimentalism in the alternative scene. And after the two experimental skits Kid A and Amnesiac, Radiohead are finally ready to ditch the drum machines, plug in the guitars, turn up the gain and rock are socks off once more... or maybe not... All is not as it seems in the world of Radiohead, and whilst Thom Yorke would like us all to believe that Hail To The Thief is "Ok Computer Part 2", this is simply not the case. It depresses me to write this but Hail To The Thief can only really be seen as a somewhat regression on all fronts. The songs are here, melodies are present and electric guitar work is ominous throughout the record, but where for the last 10 years Radiohead have gone on a musical journey that no other band can even compare to, it seems they are now stranded in a creative No-Man's Land. And although the frenetic splurges of guitar spliced with electronic drumbeats and bile-filled vocals comes across as particularly affecting here, the sense that you are listening to something new, a revelation is completely lost and on at least three of this album's fourteen songs, it seems as if Radiohead have lost the plot altogether. If you're a bit confused, as I'm sure you are, don't worry. This record is made to confuse, being a culmination of everything the band has ever done and as any Radiohead fan should know, mixing together elements from Kid A, Ok Computer and The Bends could end up as messy, and that, unfortunately, is the result here. There's
something for everyone here. For fans of The Bends, there are plenty of lush ballads and prog rock outs. For fans of Ok Computer, the sense of that album's melancholy is littered on every single track but if you're (and this is unlikely) a fan of Kid A, this album is best suited to you, having several weird, but not always wonderful, moments of sheer lunacy and artistic bravery. The Radiohead album best to compare this with is The Bends. As on The Bends, there are songs here that will re-house you're faith in Radiohead completely, but for every High and Dry, there is a Bones, and (in this case) for every 2+2=5, there is a We Suck Young Blood. It's wonderful musicinterspersed with some duds and if this had been released as a ten track record, that rating would have definitely been a five star one. But it is the duds, some of which are the worst studio songs that I have heard Radiohead ever produce, that really drag this record down. I'm talking about songs like A Punch Up At The Wedding, We Suck Young Blood, Backdrifts and Myxomatosis. And, ironically, these are not the REALLY experimental songs. Although the riff of Myxomatosis rocks like nu-metal's finest, the final product is just plain boring with ana annoying synth backing. Just as bland is Go To Sleep, a song that would fit well on Pablo Honey, with its acoustic guitars and pounding drums. But although the song builds onwards and onwards, with Yorke singing the line "over my dead body", there is no culmination, nothing end with so that listening to it is like hearing Creep without the chorus, without the payoff, if you can imagine that. Backdrifts, however, is firmly rooted in the experimental camp and sounds like the beat-heavy brother of Amnesiac's Packed Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box, but as you'll find out, the terms "beat heavy" and "synth" and "Thom Yorke's deepest voice" do not mix well. Worse still, and po
ssibly the worst song by Radiohead I have ever heard is We Suck Young Blood, a track so unbelievably dreary I felt like skipping tracks as soon as I heard the first sludgy piano notes cave in. The lyrics also, ar efairly uninspiring with the lovely little couplet of "are you fresh? are you strung up by the wrists?" proving why Radiohead will never be a truly commercial band. But enough of the bad, and on to the good. I know its hard to feel there is anything good in this album after all I've said but the other ten tracks on this album are all absolutely fine, listenable and completely enjoyable. Particularly thrilling is the opener 2+2=5 which opens with the nice little in-joke of the sound of guitars being plugged in after the whole "we hate guitars" message sent out by the Kid A/Amnesiac period. The song feels like The Bends but is much tighter, much faster, and much more exciting with relentless pace changes, bile-spitting lyrics ("there's no way out, so hail to the thief; don't put me in a box, because I'm not) and a whole new abrasive demeanour that absurdly evokes this mini-epic with the gung-ho spirit of the Sex Pistols, as strange as it may seem. The single There There is also a lovely little rocker with another fantastic couplet of "just 'cos you feel it, doesn't mean it's there" but it is the really strange tracks that really impressed. Sit Down, Stand Up is the commercial alternative to Everything In Its Right Place, with a proper song structure melded perfectly with a haunting refrain about "walking through the jaws of hell", backed up by a sweet little keyboard tune. Sail To The Moon is a Radiohead ballad akin to Pyramid Song, but is much, much more enthralling and other-worldy this time round as the previously dreary piano stretches are now energised by The Bends style guitar riffs and lilting Ok Computer-esque melodies. There are others, many others but the likes of the
synth-heavy Where I End And You Begin, the haunting Scatterbrain and the haunting ballad I Will should all satisfy, if not particularly excite, Radiohead fans. The real tour de force of the record, Wolf At The Door is saved till last. And here is where I will really throw down the plaudits to Radiohead. Wolf At The Door is the best "angry" Radiohead song ever- better than Paranoid Android, Just, Creep or No Surprises. The amount of bile in this song is utterly unbelievable as Thom Yorke fires rapidly, never stopping in what seems like one huge slug mfest which he isn't prepared to lose. The tune drags us down into the mire with him, as we get line after line, and second after second of pure anger. The opening verse has to be one of my favourite Radiohead moments of all time, the sound is revolutionary, and it once again makes me feel excited by Radiohead. The organs, and rapid fire vocals are a progression, late into the album- but still undoubtedly a progression. One can only cross their fingers to hope Radiohead can do that on a whole album, the next time round. drag him out your window dragging out your dead singing i miss you snakes and ladders flip the lid out pops the cracker smacks you in the head knifes you in the neck kicks you in the teeth steel toe caps takes all your credit cards get up get the gunge get the eggs get the flan in the face the flan in the face the flan in the face dance you fu**er dance you fu**er don't you dare don't you dare don't you flan in the face take it with the love is given take it with a pinch of salt take it to the taxman let me back let me back i promise to be good don't look in the mirror at the face you don't recognize help me call the doctor put me inside put me inside put me inside put me inside put me inside i keep the
wolf from the door
As John Lennon said in 1971”all I want is the truth, just gave me some truth.” At the moment the only band giving us the truth nowadays are Radiohead. They are quite simply the best band on the planet (maybe ever). Okay Thom Yorke is a little eccentric, but he has to exaggerate to bring his point across that :our reality is depressing, disturbing, dark and scary. This is why Radiohead are ignored by the average Joe. The problem with society today is that everyone is taught to believe that good will always win. Disney has taught us (from a very young age) that good will always win, and that if you get married and have lots of money, you’ll live happily ever after. That’s NONSENSE! 1st of all, sooner or later (in this life or the next) your gains will equal your losses, and 2nd of all, your materialistic happiness will only last you so long. Radiohead however give us the truth. Of Street Spirit, Thom Yorke says that the song is about how the devil will win in every case – without exception. Not quite the sort of statement you’d hear from S Club 7, now is it? For instance, let’s take a look at Robbie Williams. His videos portray him to be fully content with life. He’s young, rich, gets all the girls. However, they don’t show the fact that he’s depressed (something the bosses at SONY wouldn't want you to know). He’s depressed because, as I said before, materialistic happiness will only last you so long. We are led to believe as we grow up that we are going to be superstars one day, and when we see our lives not taking shape quite the way we thought it would, we get p!**?d off. I think if we taught children the truth from a young age, we’d be able to deal with situations such as war, murder, rape etc. As u2 said in 1991, EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG.
This was without doubt the best gig I have ever been to, Radiohead organised this for-charity gig, and it topped each of the other 15 radiohead gigs I've been to. Here's a brief summary of my weekend... Woke up about 8:30 on the day before the gig, and drove up to my flat to pick up my big coat which I planned to spend the night in. Met a friend who I gave a lift up to Oxford, and then we set off around 1. We got off the motorway and somehow found our way to South Park directly without having a map - I knew it was near Headington and so we found our way after asking a couple of people. We got there around 2:30 and Radiohead had just started soundchecking. A few Radiohead message boarders were already there, and so I found a place to park and we joined them as quickly as we could, taking my sandwiches and coat with me. It was a beautiful sunny day and there were quite a few people in the park just lying down and listening. I climbed a tree so I could see over the 15 foot high fence they had erected all around the area, and got my first view of what was inside...I could see a fenced off area right at the front which I presumed was for the first few thousand people only...and the stage where they were putting up the massive crying minotaur banners at the time. Did some shopping for snacks and supplies. Loitered around the production entrance and managed to catch Phil walking out after the soundcheck, and he stopped and talked for a while - looked very happy. Then Jonny drove out in his car, Thom was driven out in a car with tinted windows - very rock and roll, and then Ed got driven out and waved at the 4 of us outside with a manic grin on his face. We never saw Colin leave, so we suspect that either he snuck out in disguise or stayed in there for ages.. We popped off to the nearest pub and had a drink before coming back and sitting in the park until about 9 when we went to the pub for our only hot meal of the t
wo days we were there. About 10, my friend and I went back into the park and set ourselves up by the entrance fence and settled down for the night. At that point we were the only people there... About 11:30 to midnight people started turning up, although most only to check the place out after the pubs closed. Two girls settled down for the night, and there a bunch of drunk people further down in the park who it turned out had got a tin of Dulux paint and painted "Nation" in huge letters on the fence. The reason why eludes me. People carried on arriving in dribs and drabs all night, and by about 5 am there were about 40 people in the line up. The crowds really started arriving from about 10 am onwards in anticipation of the gates opening at 1. By the time the gates opened there were several thousand people there, and when they did open it was chaos...everyone ran forward to get their tickets checked and then were sprinting to get to the front. It was a longer run than I thought, and then when we got in we saw that the other entrance gate had been opened for (apparently I was told later) an HOUR before ours... Fortunately very few people were there, and so there were about 20 people who had got in line for the front boxed off section. The rest of us sprinted down and somehow my legs and lungs carried me to the front centre of the crowd barrier, right smack bang in the middle. We sat down with our backs to the fence and recovered slowly. Around 1:30 I think, The Rock of Travolta came on stage an Oxford 7/8-piece (I forget now)...It was strange, the only member of the band that seemed daunted by the fact there were over 42,000 people staring at them was the violinist who looked distinctly pale. They were pretty good - they were basically an instrumental band, and their opening pre-entrance music was extremely amusing... they had parodied Fitter Happier and done pretty much the opposite of wh
at it says..."Fitter, unhealthier, unproductive. Drinking too much. No excercise at the gym (8 days a week)" "Enjoy a drink now and then - get pissed all the time" etc etc... it was absolutely hilarious, and set the stage brilliantly for their entrance. Great set, and got the crowd going. Hester Thrale were up next and didn't get the crowd going at all...they played a rather lacklustre set and tended to avoid eye contact with the crowd at all. I suppose when there's only 3 of you versus 42,000 people or more, it would get kind of scary. Next came quite a highlight - Humphrey Lyttleton and his band... I think the security guards were kind of surprised by the appearance of a bunch of people old enough to be their parents on stage with jazz equipment, playing to a huge crowd of (for the most part) young people. They were absolutely brilliant and the crowd loved them. Humphrey is quite a witty guy, and he really got the crowd going... The highlight of the set was (if I remember rightly - bear in mind no sleep in 48 hours) a piece by Duke Ellington which involved the saxophonist circular breathing and playing for aover 5 minutes straight without a break in the music. The cheers and the applause from the crowd were deafening when he finished... Sigur Ros - I love their music, but it can sometimes be unsuited to live gigs - well especially for me after I'd been up all night etc...their album is incredible, but they are really more suited to relaxing in your favourite easy-chair and settling down with a mug of hot chocolate. Having said that I still thought it was a great set...although it was embarassing with the idiots in the crowd making rude comments. Supergrass - they were pretty good, although there was a whole bunch of morons who were really violently moshing around which kind of spoiled it and made the whole set an excercise in staying upright and intact. The song t
hat they played which they said wasn't finished yet was really good...as was the rest of the set when you had a chance to pay attention. Beck - I didn't realise until I was told the day before that it was only an acoustic set, and apparently nor did a lot of the people who came. The woman DJ on Xfm while I was driving back the next day (today as I am writing this) was pretty negative about the set - saying it was too sombre... Now forgive me for sounding out of line, but I thought the set was absolutely brilliant. I think far too many people like Beck because he has gained a foothold in popular culture for being zany and having crazy stage shows. I've seen him twice like that - once at Wembley arena, and once at the Leeds Festival last year. DJ Swamp is incredible, as is the full performance, but South Park was more about going back to roots and he proved he can sing with the best of them. He did quite a few covers and wasn't on for long (mainly I think due to Supergrass running overtime). I, and most of the people around me at the front, really enjoyed it, and I think it is not deserving of the criticism he got. Radiohead - what can I say? They were full of energy, they played perfectly with only a couple of glitches - Jonny having the wrong guitar in Airbag, and the organ cutting out in MPS (THANK GOD!), and they played Creep! The set was absolutely flawless, and the pouring rain near the end just added to the atmosphere...the crowd were well mannered then, and there was only a little jostling during My Iron Lung and Paranoid Android. If you want the song-by-song breakdown then there are plenty of people who've done that, but I just aim to give you an idea of the atmosphere on the day... We got out from the front pretty sharpish before people started clamouring for setlists, picks, Jonny's Kaoss Pad etc. Headed over to the sound desk and got a setlist for my ex-girlfriend and went to the waste tent and bought a
ll the t-shirts that were new since last year, then headed out where some of the 40/50,000 people were causing traffic chaos. After that I drove some of the way back to London listening to Xfm doing their radiohead special - went in and out of reception and came back in to hear the bootleg of Thom singing Nobody Does it Better - quite a fitting song to end an unforgettable weekend.
I've just rediscovered Radiohead's Creep, and remembered exactly why I loved the song the first time I heard it. Wow, the song is just so powerful. From the very start, and that relaxed and laid back guitar, to the crashing chorus, to the goosebump raising finale, I just so enjoy this song. The lyrics are so poignant. The way that they speak for so many people is just amazing. I would ask anyone to disagree with me when I say that at some point in their life they have not felt the way that the lyrics descibe. I would hate to belittle this song by saying that it is an absolutely superb anthem, but this is one song that everyone should have in their record collection. Quite simply, amazing!
T'is a monumental occasion for me as I choose to write my first ever Dooyoo opinion on the best band in the world today, Radiohead. Being of a relatively young age, I didn't really notice the band until 1996, four years after their 1992 debut offering, Pablo Honey. HAVE NO FEAR. HAVE NO DOUBT.' At the age of 14, vocalist Thom Yorke formed Radiohead along with his best friend Colin Greenwood and Ed O'Brien. Phil Selway joined as drummer, and Colin's brother Johnny, a budding guitarist, wanted in too. They played a number of small clubs in their hometown of Oxford before being snapped up by record label EMI in 1991. A year later they released 'Creep'. This song gets my vote as the best ever written, yet it only peaked in the charts at no. 78 and received very little media attention and virtually no airplay. Unbeknown to the band, a San Francisco radio station votes Creep as their record of the year and the publicity sends Pablo Honey gold in the US and a year after it's original release, it is re-issued in the UK and manages to get to no. 7 in the charts (which is still a crime against humanity in my eyes). Many saw Radiohead as one-hit wonders following the release of Creep, but they proved all the critics wrong with the EP, My Iron Lung in 1994, which showed that the band were going through a transition that would result in the huge album, The Bends, a year later. Although at was acclaimed by all in the music industry, it did not sell very well and the band realised that they needed to take a new approach and quit their London studio to tour the Far East and Australasia. The break rejuvenated the band and they recorded The Bends over a three month period. Quite simply, The Bends is a classic. I would go into more detail about it, but I will be writing an opinion next week hopefully. The album proved that Radiohead were a bit special, and any music lover must be impressed with an LP that features
39;High and Dry', 'Fake Plastic Trees' and 'My Iron Lung'. Let's not also forget the rock-orientated 'Just' and my personal favourite 'Street Spirit (Fade Out)', a relaxing, lush, inspiring climax to a fabulous album and one that easily makes my top ten of all time. OF COURSE I'D LIKE TO STAY AND CHAT, OF COURSE I'D LIKE TO CHEW THE FAT.' Questions were raised to whether the band would be able to live up to the high expectations set by The Bends with their 1997 follow-up, OK Computer. These questions were answered as the album took the world by storm, hitting top-spot in every imaginable country, going multi-platinum and sent music critics wild with admiration. The album is widely hailed as one of the best albums of the 90s, if not of all time. To anyone who has listened to the album, they will understand when I say that it is like no other album ever released, an emotional rollercoaster that engrosses you throughout, with a modern day Bohemian Rhapsody in the magnificent Paranoid Android, and one of the most depressing songs of all time (No Surprises). It became clear that the band were comepletely transforming from the light-hearted rock band as portrayed in Pablo Honey, to an alternative band who wanted to push boundaries in the music world and set new standards. They tried to do so with Kid A in 2000. They failed. Although many see it as a modern-day masterpiece, it just didn't do anything for me and I felt a bit overwhelmed with the general lack of vocals and reliance upon computers and synthesisers. The band promised to return to more familiar roots with this years Amnesiac, which does a lot for me. The album just goes to show how good Radiohead are, and I could not recommend it highly enough. Go and get it. So...I've gone through all their albums. Now what? I would write about the band member themselves, but the truth is there is not a lot to te
ll. They are notoriously private, refusing to do TV shows or the like of, and I have never known them to attend an awards ceremony. Recently they were voted the 2nd most influential band of all time by a top American music magazine, which just goes to show how widely-respected they are. And rightfully so. Many people have claimed Radiohead to be 'depressing' and 'dull', but these people probably like Atomic Kitten. If you have heard some of their new material, but not enjoyed it fully, check out Pablo Honey or The Bends. They will blow your mind. So that's my first opinion on Dooyoo. I hope you enjoyed reading it and please feel free to leave a comment. Thank you. Radiohead in a nutshell: Members -------- Colin Greenwood - Guitarist Johnny Greenwood - Guitarist Ed O'Brien - Guitarist Phil Selway - Drums Thom Yorke - Vocalist Albums ------- Pablo Honey (1992) The Bends (1995) OK Computer (1997) Kid A (2000) Amnesiac (2001)
I don't understand all the hype about Radiohead's new album. If the single Pyramid Song is anything to judge it by, then it looks like it will become the top album for misery-loving, suicidal maniacs. As far as I can tell Radiohead are a washed up band surviving on past glories, only good enough for soundtrack songs for documentaries on depression, or films focussing on tragedy. I would rather go to a Hear'say concert (i despise boy/girl bands) than listen to an hour of Thom Yorke's whining! Now I realise that I shall now be bombarded by comments from sincere Radiohead fans, so let me explain that I actually do respect Radiohead in that their album The Bends is absolutely fabulous. If you don't believe me, see my top ten list of albums ( I think I placed it at number 7). I also own Ok Computer which in its own right is also a good album, though a little bit too whiny for me to listen to very often. The first album Radiohead produced (Pablo Honey) was quite rocky, 'Creep' being the stand-out song. As a debut album, it was promising, but Radiohead had not landed until the release of The Bends! This album features some of the best music ever. Thought-provoking realism combined with beautiful melodies, the best tracks have to be 'Street Spirit (fade out)', 'Fake Plastic Trees' and 'High and Dry'. As the critics dubbed Radiohead as one of the best bands of the nineties, they soon released 'Ok Computer' which was lapped up even more generously! A very good album, with some good songs, notably 'Karma Police' and 'Paranoid Android'. But after that, it seems to me that Thom Yorke lost the plot. Anything I've heard by Radiohead since, resembles a screaming cat crying over the sound of clever but depressing guitar work. No longer does Radiohead music plunge me into a world of thought and spirituality; it plunges me into a world of depression, misery and hel
plessness. It makes me feel that I should be offering Thom Yorke the chance to see a therapist, talk about his troubles, alleviate his pain. My God, why would anyone actually want to buy that feeling?
With Amnesiac being released on Monday it seems a suitable time to evaluate the importance of Radiohead in the music industry(and I use the term music lightly) Maybe it's always been like this,maybe musicians have never had integrity,maybe music is only something that Ford will use to sell their next car.Although we all like to see it(sweet Jesus we like to see it),will Britney Spears bending down in front of the camera in her next video have anything to with her thoughts(?) or feelings? I mean,for Christs sake we live in a world where slaughtered in the media because album(Kid A) wasn't commercial enough.Being commercial has become taboo. The same goes for music that's depressing.People say 'Oh,that's a bit morbid,turn that off and stick on the radio.',as if it were a bad thing.They're afraid of people expressing their feelings,what they want is a thirteen year old girl singing about love,love of all things,could there be more proof of it all being a sham.It would be funny if it wasn't so bloody depressing. Radiohead make music that means something,music that's written from the heart,music that is written to exress something rather than sell a million copies. There's nothing wrong with selling millions of an album or a single,it's a great thing and I'm sure it's a great feeling,but that shouldn't be the goal.The goal should to be good. And good Radiohead certainly are.From Thom's songwriting down to the last beatb of Phil's drum,everything is perfect.You,Vegetable,High and Dry,Street Spirit,Paranoid Android,Karma Police,Idioteque,Kid A,each the musical equivalent of The Lord of the Rings or The Catcher in the Rye.Each positively drowning in talent,emotion and effort.That,ladies and gentlemen,is what it is all about. I have to go now,my dog has written a love song and Pedigree Chum are int
erested in using it in their new ad.
Radiohead was rightly hailed as the most important band of the era after the release of Ok Computer in 1997. Unfortunately, they were mercilessly hounded by fans, the media, and other musicians because they are the most important band in the world. And they weren't prepared. And the sad thing is that they are really nice guys. They deserve to have space and privacy and just a little bit of normality. But Ok Computer took away those precious things forever. In retaliation, Radiohead has retreated from the spotlight, they've tried to make a very uncommercial album, and they've tried to defuse the star making machine before it explodes again. But they're not going to be successful. The simple truth is that they are brilliant. Each band member is blessed with fabulous ability, a genial personality, and a unique insight. Their synergy makes them one of the best touring bands in the world, people often name their shows as life changing experiences. Thom Yorke is a gifted singer/songwriter and he can handle a guitar quite well. It's his enthusiastic creativity and vision that spawns the genius they create. He's got an amazing vocal range, he can shift from an angelic falsetto to an earthy midtone seemingly without effort. His lyrics are brilliantly deranged, often a bit abstract. Yet they paint a clear picture because Yorke uses his words as weapons to form a picture or emotion in the listener. Jonny Greenwood is the secret weapon of Radiohead. Without his outstanding contributions they would sound the same as any other rock band. But Jonny's passion for expanding the sound palette often finds him adding organ, synthesizer, feedback, strings, and various sound effects to the mix. His work is beautiful and varied, not flashy just appropriate. He always finds a way to lift the songs to another level yet never draws attention away from the song itself. Listen to his beautiful organ work in Fake Plastic Trees, his eerie sy
nthesizer sounds in Talk Show Host, his delicate piano accompaniment in Karma Police, and his brilliant xylophone tracking on No Surprises. On top of being a gifted composer and accompanist, he's a fine guitar player that loves to add a bit of a kick to Radiohead's heavier songs. Creep's trademark guitar crunch was Jonny's work. Ed O'Brien is Radiohead's third guitar player (a true anamoly in today's music scene) and he's very talented. He's got a knack for writing unusual lyrical leads that add to the sound and lift it to a higher level. The fact that he can flawlessly play the single note sweeps of Let Down impresses me as a guitar player. He's also probably the most media friendly of the group and seems to spend more time giving interviews than the others. While I'm sure that many journalists are frustrated that Yorke doesn't have his laid back manner, I think Ed is perfect to be a spokesman. He knows exactly what he's talking about, he has no problem talking for the others (and they don't seem to have a problem with him doing it), and he effectively showcases his personality while still devoting time to the thoughts and feelings of the others. His praise for Thom and Jonny's talent is easy and genuine and he clearly shows that the secret to Radiohead's success is their mutual respect, admiration, and kinship. Colin Greenwood (Jonny's brother) is the bass player and his contributions are often overlooked. His bass playing is unique, rich and colorful, yet not distracting. He holds his own in a band with three guitar players, that alone takes loads of talent. He can vary his style from formfitting rhythmic accompaniment to bouncing melody to bouyant and abstract embellishments. He holds the rhythm down in songs like No Surprises and Let Down, nimbly leaps around and adds to the melody in The Bends and Karma Police and makes his own abstract rhythms in songs like Planet Telex and
Airbag. Don't overlook Colin, he's one of the finest (and most necessary) elements of Radiohead. Phil Selway is undoubtedly the most overlooked member of Radiohead. But seriously, how many people ever pay any attention to the drummer? Then again, how many drummers have their own Japanese fan club? Selway is the gel of Radiohead. He's the vital player that pulls everyone together. His fascination with techno beats often finds it's way into straightforward rock/pop songs like Airbag and Planet Telex, but they add a nice bouncing rhythm that complements the song. He doesn't over do it, he just adds a different flavor to a familiar format. His solid rhythmic work in Fake Plastic Trees and Karma Police adds the necessary base for the band to work it's magic. His comptent and flashier work in Exit Music (For a Film) and Talk Show Host lifts the songs out of the realm of rock and makes them anthemic ballads of emotion. He may be overlooked, but Selway is a great drummer. He's more than competent but his true gift lays in his exploratory personality, he's the one that pushes the limits of what is possible in rock. Many bands experiment with sounds and intruments, but Selway's the only drummer that experiments with style and dynamics to change the sound of rock. Stanley Donwood is the "sixth" member of Radiohead. Donwood is a brilliant artist, a gifted designer that visually presents Radiohead's themes and thoughts. His artwork on the band's website and albums (The Bends, Ok Computer, Airbag/How Am I Driving?, and Kid A) is beautiful and powerful. He's another secret weapon of the band. Few bands have the luck of finding a graphic soulmate to present their vision and sound on a record cover. Overall, Radiohead is more than the sum of it's parts. Gifted in every area (writing, live performance, instrumentally, and emotional relevance) they've made a habit of writing top notch music. T
hey have a close kinship to the Beatles and are probably the best rock band since the Beatles. That's a coveted title and a label that's handed out a bit too freely, but I think this time it fits. Aside from the obvious similarities (both from England, started as a club band and there were no real signs of the brilliant songwriting they were capable of, unexpected success, etc.), there are deeper links. Just like the Beatles, Radiohead not only write the best songs in rock today, they are also the best performers. (That's why the Beatles always won more praise than other musicians of their time, ie: Dylan was a brilliant songwriter but not a great performer, Elvis was a great performer but not a great songwriter, the list goes on and on.) Also like the Beatles, Radiohead writes the most relevant and important music on the scene. Not in an attempt to be important but out of a genuine brilliance that captures the emotions of listeners and makes them generational spokesmen. They also both have brilliant musicians who know when to let others take the spotlight. Too often virtuosos monopolize things and strangle the sound. Radiohead always lets the best sound come forward, it doesn't matter who's idea it was or who plays it. And Radiohead's evolution continues relentlessly and beautifully. When they became popular off the radio friendly Creep and were quickly written off as one hit wonders, Radiohead made a wise decision. They disappeared and decided to work on writing great songs. And while they may regret the success that Creep brought them, I am utterly pleased with it. Without the clout they'd earned from record sales of Pablo Honey (thanks to Creep) they never would have been able to release a song as delicate as Fake Plastic Trees. When Radiohead quietly re-emerged from the studio and laid The Bends out for everyone to play with, few people paid any attention. The critics rallied around it and MTV slowly came
around and the album finally went platinum almost a year after it's release. Looking back, many are calling it one of the finest albums of the nineties. Packed with pop gold like High and Dry, the majestic Street Spirit Fade out, the inventive rock of Just, and the beautiful Fake Plastic Trees, Radiohead proved that they weren't a one hit wonder. Far from it. They proved that they were a force to be reckoned with. With the release of Ok Computer in 1997, Radiohead was undeniably pushed to the top of the music scene. Rarely have critics and fans come together like this. Brilliant from beginning to end, Ok Computer absolutely attacked the listener and set the template that Radiohead will happily follow for the rest of their career (strong songs, meaningful lyrics, brilliant album art, beautiful playing, strange sounds, terrifying visions of the near future). And now Radiohead has released it's latest musical genius, Kid A. The praise will continue to roll in (although I suspect the album won't sell as well as Ok Computer because it's not as radio friendly) and Radiohead will continue to be heralded as the return of meaning to rock. And I can't think of a better band to praise. They've earned respect through tireless touring, brilliant songwriting and performance, and a truly visionary sense of art. Radiohead are the most important band of the nineties. Nirvana originally had this label but upon reflection Nirvana didn't say too much about this generation. There was also an unexpected shift in the attitude of this generation (from apathetic to very serious and emotional). Nirvana just gave the generation a voice to say what it wanted. Radiohead is the voice, Radiohead is talking about the world right now and how it feels to be a part of it. And it can be a frightening vision sometimes. But it's a true vision. It's honest in a world that often lies to you and uses your emotions and beliefs to sell produ
cts. And that's why Radiohead is so popular. They're not selling anything new here, they're just showing people that they're not crazy. And that's worth all the money in the world
By far the best band of the 90's, their music is beyond description. Listening to Pablo Honey and OK computer was the only thing that got me through my GCSE exams. Shouldn't this be what music is all about??? I would like to see a 'best of' album to save me having to keep changing cd's. I think that their web site could be improved as it doesn't contain as much informatiuon as I would like. Was anyone at the concert where someone threw a pumpkin at the band? Apparently it rolled back off stage and knocked out a steward!!! I have seen Rdioohead three times in concert and believ that they are getting better and better. In my opinion, they always seem able to move with the times and this is displayed through their excellent music. What does everyone else think?
I have now seen Radiohead perform live twice now. The first time I was quite surprised about, this being because I won the opportunity to win the tickets through W.A.S.T.E products. Most people might find that strange winning the tickets but still having to pay for them. A true Radiohead fan would agree with me that it was a really good deal paying £40 for 2 tickets to see them at the Meltdown 2000 Festival 1st July at the Royal Festival Hall, London. The second time I saw them was on the 1st September at Tedegar House, Newport. London was probably the best gig as we were 10 seats from the front. The front line of seats was basically the start of the stage. They played a really good set. 9 of their new songs from ‘Kid A’, and classics such as Talk Show Host, Paranoid Android, Just and Street Spirit. During Paranoid Android my friend and I moved right down to the stage and were really in touching distance of Jonny Greenwood. We got some really good close up pictures. Yeah right check this out. I still cannot belive that Phil (drummer) walked right past the main entrance! Loads of Radiohead fans were there and only 1 girl noticed him. I saw him signing something, so it was like 'Jon!, Jon! who's that signing something!, is it!' then Jon kinda said to me, 'Matt its Phil'. he was walking off so we had to run a bit to catch him up a bit. We had a little chat to him. Shook his hand and got him to sign our tickets. Jon gave him a tape of his band Vacant's 5 track EP. The gig itself was really good. There was an aisle in between us but when they started playing everyone stood up and some went down the front to stand right by the stage (no moshing, really relaxed, security didn't have to do anything) So Jon came across and we were able to stand a bit closer to the middle but luckly on Jonny's side. Some of the new songs were ok, some were pretty good actually. But i got the feeling that they all seemed to be mainly a mai
n bass riff and drum beat and Jonny plucking over the top with Thom singing, totally different from anything that they have done before. Ed would add extra bits to it. Ed a lot of the time seemed to be sat on a box having a beer or messing around with his effects. Ed actually attempted to play the keyboard! for one new song. He did quite an interesting intro. Bones was mental. Jonny was just going mad with his delay and tremolo effects in a typical Jonny style of on the floor adjusting his effects to change the speeds. I'm pretty sure that he broke a string during bones, but still sounded really good. You could see him telling his sound crew to turn him up louder. Karma Police was hell of a good, Jonny was really loud on a real piano for the best sound. In Street Spirit Jonny like does the high picking bits at the end of the song with a capo on and then with the end of his guitar he used it to play his keyboard (wow or what!). And it was like fast keyboard notes too, not just the occasional one, full on playing whilst plucking his guitar. My Iron Lung was just funny, Jonny kinda got a bit carried away and was too far away from him pedals to engage his pitchshifter whammy effect for the plucking bit at the end of a heavy bit, so he tried plucking with his distortion on. Thom just burst out laughing and he couldn't sing and the whole band stopped. They regained themselves and finished the song off, with jonny just going really mental at the end. Airbag i love too, Jonny almost did he full on engine reving effect thing. You know in 'Meeting People Is Easy' video near the end of Airbag you see Jonny stradling his pedals engaging them on and off with both feet getting this cool effect, but it didn't quite get a good as on the video. Just was amazing, with Jonny doing all his extra little riffs and stuff, using his cut off button etc... For Paranoid Android, we went right up to the front and were literally standing right in front of Jonny, like at a di
stance where you could almost touch his foot. Saw him using his button again. His button in Paranoid Android is quite weird it seems to completely cut off the sound and then when engaged again it zips up the sound quickly. Jonny used his Tele's mostly but seemed to get good use out of his Starcaster too. Altogether it was just wow! Thom’s piano playing during the gig was interesting. One song he dedicated to Tony Blair and basically just took the piss out of him doing Tony Blair smiles and stuff. One song too, Thom got a bit carried away and decided to start kicking and jumping on the piano a bit until it nearly falls over later found out it was because it wasn’t working properly. Thom didn't use his normal black electro acoustic either going for some other one and what looked like a gibson electro (not sure, just going by the shape) It also looked as if he used a red/yellow Rickenbaker guitar and he had his black strat too with the Applemac sticker. The gig at Newport wasn’t quite as good. This was mainly due to a section at the front being fenced off to prevent moshing. Only the first 1000 or 2000 people got access to this area. So we were quite far away. The sounds were better as the tent is designed with that in mind. The noises for ‘Lucky’ from the de-tuned radio were so load it nearly pierced your ear drums.
Radiohead definately are one of the most talented and influential bands of the 90's, ranking, in my opinion, up there with Nirvana, Gun's 'n' Roses and (although I'll probably get slagged for this) Oasis for brilliance. I own The Bends and OK Computer and both are works of art full of breathtaking songs such as Just, Street Spirit, Lucky, Exit Music (for a film) and of course, the almighty Paranoid Android. Thom Yorke is one of the best lyricists and vocalists for a long time and the way he performs the songs is unmistakably unique. Every Radiohead song I have heard has been a joy to listen to and although I have not heard Pablo Honey I'm sure it will be just as good as the others. As for Kid A, I'm not sure what to make of all the criticism of it. Some of my friends hate it but others love it. I guess i will just have to listen to it myself and find out. Another great thing about Radiohead is they always have very entertaining videos for their songs such as Just, Street Spirit and (the classic) Paranoid Android. It bemuses me when I hear people (usually fans of crappy dance or pop music) say that Radiohead songs are just depressing and boring. I find it completely the opposite, and listening to such great musical masterpieces lifts me right up. Radiohead are probably the second most influential band of the 90's, just behind Nirvana and a lot of new talent is coming through recently such as JJ72 and Muse, whom I have both been very impressed with, and have both got quite strong Radiohead-esque influences in their music. I look forward with anticipation to hearing Pablo Honey, Kid A and the new album soon to be released. I have now heard Kid A and have so far decided that it is good, I just don't know how good yet. Maybe when I've listened to it 20 times I'll fully understand it's supposed brilliance. It contains some very good songs such as "Everything...&q
uot;, "Treefingers" and "Idioteque" and others. My advice to anyone who hasn't heard it is to not be influenced by what others have told you of it, but to listen to it with an open mind and make your own conclusions about it. It probably will not appeal to people who are not already radiohead fans but don't let that put you off and give it a listen (or ten), it might introduce you to the best band around. Now I also own Pablo Honey and although it is not as brilliant as the Bends or OK computer it is a good album with some high quality songs, the most famous of which is Creep. It is a lot more 'rocky' than the other three albums and although the band themselves dislike it now I think it is some great work from a very talented band. I recommend anyone who likes Radiohead but has not heard their debut album to buy it and any others, since they are all excellent.
I LOVE RADIOHEAD! They are without a doubt the best British band out there at the moment. Pablo Honey is a great album with plenty of great songs on it but the two to buy are The Bends and OK Computer. The Bends has some of the classics on it(Street spirit, The Bends and My Iron Lung) but OK Computer has not got a single Track on it that I would Rate less then top class. Ii is a album that never can be played out songs like Paranoid Android, Lucky, Climbing up the Walls and Karma Police can be listend to round and round without ever getting boring if you only ever buy one album ever again make it this one, you can't go wrong with it! Kid A is a bit in the strange side but nonetheless great too with top songs on it like everything in its right place. Radiohead are the band of today and probably of tomorrow. I can't say enough good stuff about them.
Although many will argue that Oasis, with 70'000 sell out gigs at Wembley, are the biggest British act of the last decade, it cannot be doubted that Radiohead have left a far bigger mark on the music scene than any other contemporary group. Even now, every new group which has emerged over the last 12 months, namely Coldplay, JJ72 and Muse, are said to have been influenced by Radiohead. As pioneers Radiohead have set a new standard of creative music. Although I am not saying every band should change their image just for the sake of it after each album, Radiohead have produced a range of music which no other band would currently be able to do. For example, Oasis tried to change style in songs such as Who Feels Love and that, for me, was by far their worst record to date. The first album Pablo Honey was a pure rock album with 100% guitar music. The two highlights and classic examples of Radiohead as a rock group are Creep and Anyone Can Play Guitar. The infamous guitar riffs of Creep supposedly came about when Jonny Greenwood was trying to sabotage the song and it is fitting that even by mistake, arguably the most musically talented man in British music today made a good song into an all time classic. Even at this early stage it was clear that Radiohead had a very left wing stance on social issues and the major song which demonstrates this on their debut album is How Do You which contains the lyrics 'he's a dangerous bigot but we always forget'. For many people The Bends is Radiohead's finest album. Looking back now, after OK Computer, it is clear that the album was the beginning of Radiohead's darker side and that the image of just another rock group was not going to stick. The highlights for me on this album is the downbeat stuff with songs such as Fake Plastic Trees and Street Spirit ranking as two of the best songs of the last decade. Street Spirit in particular seems to contain the most depressing melodies ever and, just
as Karma Police and Fitter Happier would on OK Computer, seems to be the musical equivalent of George Orwell's novel '1984'. For many fans the highlights on this album will be the songs leaning more towards Pablo Honey, for example Just and My Iron Lung. In recent magazine polls of the best album of all time etc etc The Bends has usually featured in the top five of every one and is arguably more infulential on new artists today than OK Computer because it is more commercially accessible than its follow up album. Personally, OK Computer is the finest British, if not worldwide, album of the ninities. Nearly every song is a classic, in particular Karma Police, Exit Music (For A Film), Lucky and the magnificent Paranoid Android; arguably the complete Radiohead song - starting off with strained Yorke vocals similar to Black Star and Street Spirit off the Bends, continuing with a 'Just'esque middle and ending with arguably their most brilliant depressing climax warning against the 'yuppies networking'. Without doubt their most depressing album to date it also makes the best use of Thom's vocals yet, rather than their earlier albums, is much harder to take in. However, if the listener allows themselves to be drawn in then the album is generally relaxing. Whereas Kid A is equally as downbeat yet leaves the listener feeling claustrophobic, OK Computer doesn't leave you feeling strangely disturbed but rather comforted. After seeing them live at Warrington this year it was songs such as Lucky which raised the hair on the back of the neck whilst the crowd watched on in almost drugged like faze - ok most people probably were but you get my drift. After the hype of OK Computer, which was universally aclaimed as one of, if not the best, British album of all time (for example it topped Q Magazine's poll of all time albums months after it's release and three years later was still being voted the second best British alb
um) Thom Yorke again decided that the group needed to change the style again and the result, Kid A, is an album which features only three, what you would describe as 'normal' songs - ie those which feature guitar and have lyrics that are audible. That these songs, How To Disappear Completely, Optimistic and Motion Picture Soundtrack (the first and latter amazing live) rank as some of the finest they have done demonstrates that Radiohead have not lost any of the power they had before. Many argue that Kid A is a result of Thom Yorke's writers block and that his voice is often edited on the album so that nothing can be understood. However, having seen the lyrics to many songs on the internet there can be no doubt that Yorke is not only a magnificent lyricist but also a modern day poet as well. The lyrics on Kid A are not really meant for singing a lot of the time but are still poetically brilliant. It was only on about the tenth listen, when I was lying ill in bed the other night, that I began to totall appreciate and understand what the album was about. For example, The National Anthem creates a very claustrophobic atmosphere that Yorke probably felt after the success of OK Computer (a time in which he nearly had, or did have a mental breakdown) and every note closes in as though the country itself will swallow Yorke up - hence the title. Although not the most commercially appealing or digestable album ever, Kid A is still very, very good and is just another path that Radiohead have decided to explore. The fifth album, rumoured to be released next March, is supposedly going to be based upon a lot of material omitted from OK Computer and the group's production team believe the work is some of the best they have done. Songs like Knives Out and Egyptian Song have already been played live and already have been highly acclaimed. Bring it on. With three of the best albums of the last decade, and with OK Computer probably the best, and t
he most adventorous, unique and mystifying album so far of the new millenium, Radiohead are currently Britain's most inspiring act with probably the best vocalist, in Thom Yorke, and musician, Jonny Greenwood, currently around. Amended ideal set list of songs for a gig: 1) National Anthem (Kid A) 2) Lucky (Ok Computer) 3) Street Spirit (The Bends) 4) Talk Show Host (Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack/Street Spirit B-side) 5) Karma Police (Ok Computer) 6) Creep (Pablo Honey - no longer played live) 7) High And Dry (The Bends) 8) Climbing Up The Walls (Ok Computer) 9) How To Disappear Completely (Kid A) 10) Exit Music (For A Film) (Ok Computer) 11) Fake Plastic Trees (The Bends) 12) You And Whose Army (confirmed for Amnesiac) 13) Idioteque (Kid A) 14) No Surprises (Ok Computer) 15) True Love Waits (unreleased as yet) 16) Motion Picture Soundtrack (Kid A) 17) Anyone Can Play Guitar (Pablo Honey) 18) Just (The Bends - much better live) 19) Pyramid Song (confirmed for Amnesiac) 20) Paranoid Android (Ok Computer) As you can see, with six choices from Ok Computer that is my personal favourite album but it's probably best to buy this after the first two. Leave Kid A till last until you know whether you like Ok Computer enough to want even more weird stuff. ADDED STUFF... Hmmm re-read the setlist and found out that I had left out the class Idioteque so in the ideal set list include this! Also, since writing the review I have heard a lot of the material that will be present on 5th LP, Amnesiac. This material promises to be the best yet and there are a number of cracking songs due to be on it - noteably Egyptian Song, You And Who's Army and Knives Out - all songs that have been played live before. This 5th album, due out in June, will surely secure Radioheads position as the biggest and most diverse 'Indie' group in the world today. AND
MORE ADDED STUFF... Thom Yorke has confirmed the track listing for the new album - 01. packt like sardines in a crushd tin box 02. pyramid song 03. pulk/pull revolving doors 04. you and whose army? 05. i might be wrong 06. knives out 07. amnesiac/morning bell 08. dollars & cents 09. hunting bears 10. like spinning plates 11. life in a glasshouse again, true love waits has been left off which has almost made me cry. That as well as songs such as lift and big ideas may be b-sides. All three songs are superb. Egyptian song will be called Pyramid Song and that and Knives Out are tipped to be singles. It is described by Ed O'Brien as being more like the Bends. Other rumours suggest that a few tracks are just Thom and a violin. Morning Bell was on Kid A but has changed dramatically according to Yorke. The band are rumoured to be planning a gig in Oxford in June and possibly a Free Tibet festival in the UK, probably in September. Anyways thats all for now - bring on June 4th... --------------------------------------------- March 23rd Radiohead are playing the planned gig in Oxford on July 7th with Beck as support plus other special guests to be announced. Fortunately I have a ticket as they are sold out (unless you can get to the Zodiac in Oxford). Pyramid Song is the first single to be lifted from the album and will be released shortly before the album.
I am a huge fan of Radiohead. Without a doubt, they are the best British band of the 90s. With all the rubbish boy/girl bands about nowadays, Radiohead could be the only saviour when they release their new album next year. It will be completely different from Kid A, a return to their old form. Hopefully it will be another classic album, like OK Computer, which gave us brilliant songs like Karma Police and No Surprises. Lead singer Thom Yorke has an amazing voice and produces some emotion lyrics. He is also a very good song writer. I would say that Radiohead are my favourite band around nowadays alongside the Prodigy.My favourite songs would be Karma Police, No Surprises, Creep, Talk Show Host, High and Dry, Street Spirit and Just. They also produce some of the most thought- provoking videos around today. Just has a brilliant video, where a man is lying on the ground and causes a lot of interest from by- passers. They all beg with him to tell them why he is lying there, but he refuses to. At the end of the video we see the people joining him on the ground, but you never find out why they are doing it. Their videos are a refreshing change from the videos you see nowadays, where it just seems to be some soppy, love- struck man moaning on about how he loves some woman who doesn't love him. I would highly recommend this band to anyone who is not familiar with their music. Great stuff!
Radiohead who are arguably one of the best band of all time. They consist of Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, and Phil Selway all met each other while in school at Abingdon, in England. They first called themselves "On A Friday" because they mainly played on Fridays. Radiohead who come from Oxford U.K, play a lively depressive rock. In 1993, Radiohead released Pablo Honey, which had the "one-hit-wonder-esque" anthem, "Creep". They had huge success in the United States and Europe, Many critics dismissed Radiohead as another band with their 15 minutes of fame and a one and only hit single. To an extent, they were right. But the best was yet to come and in 1995, Radiohead struck gold with devoted fans and critics alike with their release of The Bends. It was widely adored by fans and other musicians, making everyone's top ten list of the year. Though Radiohead didn’t have the same success they had with "Creep" in the US, in Europe they were huge. With songs like "Fake Plastic Trees" and "Street Spirit (fade out)", which is one of the best. Radiohead formed a cult following with fans. I thought that there would be no way that Radiohead could top The Bends album, but I was wrong and in 1997 when OK Computer was released. It just blew me away. It was a classic moment in music history when it hit the shelves. OK Computer wasn't full of singles. It didn't have a top ten hit. It's succuss as formed through word of mouth and critically positive reviews. To this day, many don't know who Radiohead is. That's the beauty of this band. They make music from their hearts and don't let commercialism and money gets in their way. That's rare for today's rock bands. Radiohead have been away for the past 3 years writing and recording the new album Kid A. I hope they carry on the success. Long live Radiohead.
The band's first full-length release was 'Pablo Honey' in 1993, but it wasn't until 'Ok Computer' and 'Amnesiac' that the band reached its heights of worldwide success.