Radiohead, alternative rock quintet from Oxford, England, 1988 - Present. Partial Discography: The release of Radiohead's first major-label album, Pablo Honey, brought lackluster reviews and sales in their native Britain until "Creep" began to receive major airplay on the radio and MTV in the USA. On the back of the single's success, Radiohead toured the USA extensively. Pablo Honey went gold, and "Creep" was re-released in the UK at the end of 1993. This time around, the single was a hit, and the band went on a world tour in the summer of 1994.

Unfortunately, the song that brought them stardom also became a source of intense frustration. (The song "My Iron Lung" is about the band's love-hate relationship with "Creep.") Critics had tagged Radiohead as a one-hit wonder, and, determined to prove them wrong, Radiohead entered the studio and recorded The Bends. Lauded by critics for a more mature sound but largely ignored by the public, The Bends received attention only after constant touring. The Bends contained a wealth of great singles, including High and Dry, Fake Plastic Trees, Just, and Street Spirit.

In 1997, Radiohead released OK Computer, which was an immediate hit in both the US and the UK, and also received critical praise on both sides of the pond. The band stripped down their sound for this album, creating a more subtle, textured work with a darker tone than either The Bends or Pablo Honey. Highlights include Airbag, Paranoid Android, Let Down, and Karma Police.

In 1998, the Airbag: How Am I Driving? EP was released, essentially a mini-album in its own right, containing material left off of OK Computer.
IainB and I were at the Glasgow Green gig on the 28th of September. Radiohead's Tent Tour is worth the £25 (sterling) it costs to see a performance.

In the UK they've been supported by Clinic, a band I'm only familiar with through mtv2, but in Europe I think they were being supported by an Icelandic band whose name I'm unsure of...
Anyways, Clinic got a warm reception but approx. 8,000 were waiting to see Radiohead and things were getting intense as a lot of people had already been queuing for a couple of hours to get in (Iain and I got into the front barrier).

You should have heard the crowd when Radiohead came on stage, you should have heard me, I didn't know that I was such a big fan. I'm ashamed to say I can't remember what their opening song was, most of what I remember of the concert is that I was jumping and singing a hell of a lot.

They played My Iron Lung, which was the first song for which the crowd could really go mental (I've still got the bruises).
From the play list I can also remember them playing Optimistic from their new album and it's title song Kid A.
Our crowd got two encores and the night was finished off with Exit Music(for a film), the song played at the end of the Hollywood film rendition of Romeo and Juliet.

I came away with a really nifty t-shirt with one of the Kid A bears on it.


Iain bought Kid A after the concert, I think it's brilliant... though I know a lot of people don't.

KID A is:

  1. EVERYTHING IN IT'S RIGHT PLACE
  2. KID A
  3. THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
  4. HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY
  5. TREE FINGERS
  6. OPTIMISTIC
  7. IN LIMBO
  8. IDIOTEQUE
  9. MORNING BELL
  10. MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK

The cover is very jazzy, but not very informative... sort of in keeping with the blips they've produced instead of music videos. To my knowledge they're not planning on releasing any singles but if you want a preview of the album you should go to napster or one of the various other outlets on the internet.

I've also been informed that the title of the album "Kid A" is because of Thom's belief that the first human cloning has already taken/is taking place. The album is dedicated to the first human clone (the origin of the title varies from one interview to another.)

If you already have or do buy the album you should keep an eye out for the hidden booklet, I only say because it's quite easy to miss.


UPDATE!!!

September 28, 2000 - Glasgow Green, Glasgow, Scotland

Setlist:
Optimistic, Morning Bell, The National Anthem, Airbag, Karma Police, In Limbo, Knives Out, No Surprises, My Iron Lung, Pearly*, How to Disappear, Dollars and Cents, Paranoid Android, Street Spirit, Paranoid Android, Idioteque, Just, Everything In Its Right Place

Encore:
Lucky, The Thief (Can cover), Bones, Egyptian Song(now called "Pyramid song")
2nd Encore:
Talk Show Host, Exit Music.

I got the setlist from greenplastic.com.

I was sure they played Kid A. I think it's possible that the setlist I found is wrong and they played Kid A and Paranoid Android rather than Paranoid Android twice.

Radiohead's 5th album, Amnesiac, was released on the 5th of June, 2001 in the U.S, the 4th of June in Europe and Australia.

After 2000's Kid A, there was much speculation on the direction this album would take. Kid A was a radical departure from previous Radiohead albums, so many fans were eager to find out whether Amnesiac would continue along the same vein, or if it would return to the sounds of The Bends and OK Computer. Speculation was fueled by rumours that Amnesiac would contain more commercially accessable songs than Kid A, for which no commercial singles were released.

One of the clearest indications that Amnesiac was not going to be so radically different to Kid A came through a statement by singer Thom Yorke :

"It's about the things you forget..And remembering..if you look at the artwork for Kid A, well that's the fire from afar. Amnesiac is the sound of what it feels like to be standing in the fire"

It's also important to note that the songs from Amnesiac were recorded during the same sessions as Kid A. To expect the two albums to be so different was perhaps a touch niave

Amnesiac and Kid A are two Radiohead albums that seem to have divided the fan base. Following the release of these albums, there seems to be a clear division, between fans who love the new material, and those who think these albums are a giant step backwards for the band. A common sentiment was 'What happened to the guitars'? Many fans felt alienated by the new material, others felt that Thom Yorke was being self-indulgent releasing these albums, that he had in essence taken over the band, and was steering it in his own direction. However, many other fans appreciate the fresh sound these albums share, and the fact that Radiohead are not a band resting on their laurels - rather than reproduce the sound of massively successful albums they have released previously, they are willing to risk producing albums that sound nothing like their old work.

It is also interesting to listen to the 1998 U.N.K.L.E. release, Psyence Fiction, which Thom Yorke was a contributor to, with the song Rabbit In Your Headlights. In hindsight, it seems to become clear which direction he was thinking of taking his music, this song would fit perfectly into either Kid A or Amnesiac.


Update: June, 2003

2 years after Amnesiac, Radiohead have released Hail to the Thief. It's interesting to note the direction they have taken with this album - personally, I'm thrilled with their latest work (mind you, I've never been disappointed with a Radiohead album).

To my ears, this is Radiohead drawing back from the deliberate extremism of Kid A and Amnesiac - while still retaining elements of those two albums - and retaining the freedom of expression that began in the days of OK Computer. There are even glimpses of The Bends in this album. While I very much doubt that anyone who craves a return to the Radiohead circa The Bends will ever be satisfied, this is likely the closest they've been.

In fact, what Hail to the Thief sounds like to me, is a Radiohead who have imposed no restrictions upon themselves, and decided to write whatever sounds good to them - no restraints. During the creation of Kid A and Amnesiac, anything that sounded remotely like the music Radiohead had created in the past was ruthlessly culled - this was a deliberate effort to push the boundaries. This time, it seems like the attitude has been more relaxed, and accepting of sounds that may remind some of previous work.

This is not to say that anything sounds recycled, nor a suggestion that Radiohead have decided to quit pushing the envelope. This time around, the envelope has simply been allowed to return to the sender a few times - several addresses have been crossed off, as it takes a more circular route to its final destination. Many people will catch glimpses of addresses they recognise, memories of places they've visited in the past. Of course, time changes everything, and if you expect these places to remain unchanged...well, don't be too surprised when you hear a familiar sound with a subtle twist.

Nothing about Radiohead will ever truly remain static - possibly the only constant is the unique voice of Thom Yorke. It will be interesting to see where they go in a couple of years time, when the next album hits the shelves. About the only guarantee is that Hail to the Thief will not be an accurate indication of what we'll hear from Radiohead next time around.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.