RADIOHEAD

22 April 2011

[Picture of the members of Radiohead]I heard Creep in the early 1990s and was more intrigued than hooked.  I saw Radiohead on Jooles Holland’s Later, and was struck by their prog rock sensibility.  I even remember saying “I bet these guys went to some posh public school” — not in a derogatory way, but simply because they reminded me of Genesis and the like. I was right.

So anyway, as one does, one moves on, and Radiohead keep releasing records.  These keep getting played, they provide a soundtrack to the passing times — and before you know it, you are a fan.

[Embedded video of Radiohead’s High and Dry on You Tube]

This realisation hit me after OK Computer.  I gave in, and went to the chops to buy it in CD format. It was only once I had got home that I realised I needed more.  So I went beck out and got The Bends!

Earworm central — if it wasn’t Karma Police or Anyone Can Play Guitar, it was Creep, No Surprises or Fake Plastic Trees.

This really is a band of songwriters.

[Embedded video on YouTube of Best of]

So what is it with these guys?  Why do folk group them with Yes and Genesis — or with Coldplay and Muse?  The only similarity they have to my mind with Coldplay is that they are sad-sounding, to Genesis and Yes, that they are not delivering simple pop or rock, and to Muse, they have falsetto vocals and anthemic moments.

Radiohead are themselves. Thom Yorke is as much of a natural frontman as anyone in Muse, Genesis or Yes.  They all prove Simon Cowell wrong about what is required to be a hit.

  • I admire Radiohead for trying to get to grips with copyright, digital rights, and so-called piracy.  In fact I just admire Radiohead fullstop.

Radiohead are Thom Yorke lead vocal plus  guitar and keyboards; Jonny Greenwood on guitar and keyboards;  Ed O’Brien playing guitar; Colin Greenwood on bass, and synth; and Phil Selway on drums. I like that they have not listened to marketing, to record company profiling.  I envy that they found themselves to be what they are, and that that was something distinct that sold.

They do things their own way, and thank goodness for that!

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