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Radiohead

About Radiohead

Radiohead emerged from the shadow of Britpop with a sound that was moody, melodic and explosive, with roots planted firmly in both alternative culture and the art-rock legacy of bands such as Pink Floyd, Neu!, R.E.M., Pixies, The Smiths, Neil Young and Talking Heads (from whose song they picked up their name).

The band formed in Oxfordshire 1985 as On A Friday, after the day they’d usually rehearse. The line up hasn’t changed since: Thom Yorke, Ed O'Brien, Phillip Selway and the brothers Jonny and Colin Greenwood.

In 1991 they signed with EMI, changed their name to Radiohead and the next year they released their first EP, Drill to little impact. It wasn’t until the catchy single “Creep” became a massive worldwide hit in 1992-3, that the band was launched into stardom.

When the band released Pablo Honey in 1993, however, most critics believed the band would be nothing but a one-hit wonder – an opinion that would prove wrong in 1995 with the release of a much more complex and mature second album The Bends, which spawned many successful singles.

With the release of 1997’s OK Computer, their status became solid. It was widely considered the best record of that year and by many to be among the most important rock albums of the 1990s. Radiohead became one of the most closely watched and influential bands of the decade.

The band’s response to the hype created around them was two electronic and experimental follow-up albums, Kid A and Amnesiac. Threading on less radio-friendly territory, Radiohead was now far from their britpop beginnings, more influenced by avant-garde composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki and Olivier Messiaen. Their lyrics also became more politicized.

Since then, Radiohead released four more albums, always trying new experiments in their sound as well as in alternative marketing strategies – specially since they ditched their record company and became independent, with the acclaimed 2007 album In Rainbows.

Since the mid-2000s, band members have also worked on side projects, such as Atoms for Peace, on soundtracks and solo records.

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