The History Of Radiohead
What's So Good About Radoihead?

The History Of Radiohead

Radiohead are
Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway. They're all local lads from Oxford, England, and they all met each other while attending Abingdon Secondary School for boys. Thom and Colin were friends in the same year and got together to form what they wanted to be a new band. Ed was included because Thom thought he was cool, and later Phil joined up too. Phil was older than the rest, and in a different year. Together, the foursome formed On A Friday. Which was the band's original name. Simply because Friday was the only day they had time to practice on. After a while, Colin's younger brother Jonny was included in the band on harmonica. He'd been pestering them all to let him in for some time.

Without making any kind of progress, the band separated for a while as they pursued their education onto University. Thom studied English and art at Exeter, Ed went to Manchester for politics, Colin went to Cambridge to study English, and Phil went to Liverpool, to study the same subject. The band did get back together in summer holidays to play numerous gigs. But it wasn't until after University, in the summer of 1991 that the five all reunited back in Oxford to form what was to become Radiohead. They changed the name of the band after a Talking Heads song (Radio Head) and from then on went by that name.

With no more school to get in the way, the five could concentrate on the band 100%. And pretty soon after their first official gig, they had record companies lined up taking notice. And all the representatives paid to get in, too. They signed a deal and released their first single into the UK charts. It peaked at 101st. But the band had been noticed, and went on tour with Tears For Fears in 1992.

Their second single, Creep, was released but didn't gain much excitement in the UK. Radio 1 dropped it from its playlist after only airing it twice. It wasn't looking too well, as their first two singles had failed to make any sort of impact in the UK charts. Radiohead were about to continue touring when they heard that Creep had become a sudden hit in America. Immediately they packed their bags and went to tour the US instead. Later, Creep was re-released in the UK and peaked at 7th in the chart. The album Pablo Honey followed in 1993. Though it wasn't exactly what the public expected, and the continuing singles didn't create nearly as much interest, Pablo Honey did eventually reach gold status. Radiohead hadn't been prepared for the overnight success of Creep, and couldn't provide more of the goods. They were labelled as one-hit wonders by the music press, and almost split up.

However, after extensive touring of America, the band returned to the studio in 1994 and eventually released their second album The Bends in '95. The music press dived on it, and it was being hailed as one of the greatest rock albums of the decade by everyone in the industry. Despite this, it failed to make any kind of impact on the public, who ignored it. It looked like Radiohead were always going to be known as 'The band who wrote Creep' and nothing more. It wasn't until early 1996 that The Bends started to generate public interest in the band. Coupled with the release of the single Street Spirit [Fade Out], which was the first single to reach the top #10 since Creep had hit #7, Radiohead and The Bends were suddenly popular. The album eventually reached a number of 'best album of the year' lists and climbed into the top #5 in the charts.

The band toured with R.E.M and Alanis Morissett for a while, but eventually returned to the studio in 1996 to record what would be their 3rd album. Given the working title 'Ones And Zeros' refering to binary code, the album was eventually named OK Computer. And what an album it was. Eclipsing the (now religiously praised) The Bends album by far, OK Computer entered the UK charts at #1. This started something the band didn't expect, however... The entire world went Radiohead mad. Press interviews, TV, radio, newspapers... everyone wanted a piece of the new 'saviours of rock'. The album had made such a huge impact that the media went Radiohead crazy! The band toured all year long leading into 1998. The strain that the media interest, and the extensive touring put on the band is highlighted in the video Meeting People Is Easy by Grant Gee. After the tour, Radiohead went away for a 3 year break. They simply were not seen or heard of at all for three long years.

In the year 2000, the band returned with Kid A, their 4th album. But had now decided things would be different from OK Computer. Kid A was to have no singles and no videos to promote it. It was also not going to be a guitar album as the other three had been. Kid A would be electronic. Described as 'difficult' by many reviewers, Radiohead's completely new musical style was hard to get used to. Given time and patience however, the genius behind their music was still there. Just different than before. Kid A entered the UK and US charts at #1, something Radiohead had yet to achieve in America, but the reviews by the press were mixed. Some said it was the most original, most genius album for a long time. And that Radiohead should be hailed as the best band ever. Other reviews said Radiohead were too far up their own arse and had released a lazy album simply because after OK Computer, they could get away with anything. Well, I know what I beleive ^_~

It's now 2001, and as I write this, the wait for the band's new album Amnesiac is ever getting shorter. It's going to be Kid A part 2, the band say. As it was recorded at the same time. They just wanted to get two separate releases out of it, rather than make a double album. This time however, we will be getting singles and videos. The first of which, Pyramid Song, is due for release on the 21st of May. Check these pages for up to date Amnesiac news... The Amnesiac page, and the Fitter Happier News page. - Paul Marshall

What's so good about Radiohead?

I can't explain why I'm so passionate about this band. My words will only fail me miserably. But it's just something about them. Something about their music. About the way that they don't care about commercialism, or money. They write music because they enjoy it. They write music simply because they want people to hear it. Each one of them is a very talented and original musiscian, and Thom's voice is perfect. Because there are 5 members, they're able to create amazingly layered sounds. They're mainly a guitar driven band, but they're not like the rest. When they play the guitar, they don't simply use it as a backing noise for the vocals. It's played as if it was the only noise being made. The result is that Radiohead songs wear very well. You can listen to them over and over again, and pick out individual sounds from each instrument. New sounds are noticed years after your first listen.

As I've said, I can't explain what it is... But the music just says something to me. It's not a clear message, it's more a feeling. Everyone thinks Radiohead are a depressing band. But they just miss the point. How is music creation a depressing thing? Music is amazing. And Radiohead are one of not many bands around today who share that passion for music. It's not about money, and it's not about fame. It's just about music. And what music it is. This site is dedicated to the greatest band in the world. Thank you, Radiohead.

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