Radiohead life and biography

Radiohead picture, image, poster

Radiohead biography

Date of birth : -
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England
Nationality : English
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-03-29
Credited as : Rock band, In Rainbows album, King of Limbs: Live from the Basement

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Radiohead is widely regarded as one of the world's most important bands of today. While their debut was rather modest, they were shot to stardom after the success of "OK Computer" - a success that few probably would have expected or predicted when the five of them started playing together in the early 80s after meeting at Abingdon School in Oxford.

Thom Yorke was the driving force of the band. He was singing in the punk band TNT, but asked the TNT bass player, Colin Greenwood, if he wanted to join him and guitar player Ed O'Brien in a new band. One year older Phil Selway started playing drums in the band. Colin's younger brother Jonny hung around them, bugging them, asking to join. Eventually, he was allowed to play with them, first on the harmonica, then, on the keyboards. Finally, he became the lead guitarist.

The band was named "On A Friday" because they rehearsed on Fridays. They made their debut at the Jericho's Tavern in 1987. April 1991, they recorded their first demo tape. The demo gave them the opportunity to record another tape, and the Manic Hedgehog Demo got the ball rolling for the band. Parlophone A&R representative Keith Wozencroft heard it, and after seeing the band live at Jericho's, "On A Friday" signed for EMI. They also changed their name to Radiohead after Talking Head's song "Radio Head" from the True Stories album.

In May 1992, the band released Drill EP which would eventually be a very sought after collector's item. When it was released, however, it reached #101 only and the band toured as a support band. Then, they released Creep EP in September 1992. Still, the big break didn't come before 1993 when Creep entered the Billboard Modern Rock Track Chart, peaking at second place. A re-issue of the single gave Radiohead the break they needed in the UK. Still, the album Pablo Honey never took off, and the fuss around the band faded in spite of them releasing My Iron Lung EP which got fairly good reviews.

Radiohead's second album, The Bends, was released in March 1995. This album got a better reception than Pablo Honey, and the band got a slowly growing horde of loyal fans. However, they had to release five singles from the album before they got a top 10 hit with the beautiful Street Spirit [Fade Out].

One month after the release of the six-minute-long single Paranoid Android, Radiohead released OK Computer in June 1997. The album skyrocketed to the top of the charts and spent 71 consecutive weeks on the UK Chart, harvesting amazing reviews. MTV played the Paranoid Android single regularly, and Radiohead became superstars, winning several awards. OK Computer sold to platinum, and it has gained reputation as one of the 90s most significant albums.

Then, things went quiet around Radiohead. They released Airbag/How Am I Driving? EP and Meeting People Is Easy, a weird little movie about the band made by Grant Gee, who also directed the No Surprises video. However, the band ran into some problems making the follow-up album to OK Computer. The recording sessions were long and in many ways, the band members had to re-define their roles in the band.

Radiohead's music was also kind of re-defined when their fourth album, Kid A, was released in October 2000. The album went straight to number one in spite of the fact that no ordinary promotion scheme was used, and no singles were released from the album. Kid A was totally different from OK Computer. Radiohead had found inspiration from a lot of other sources, turning their heads to more experimental music. Still, Kid A was a success.

June 2001, eight months after Kid A, Radiohead released the second part of their long recording session. The album Amnesiac contained tracks that were made at the same time as Kid A, and while the album held songs with guitar riffs, the Kid A experimental sound was also present at Amnesiac. On tour, Radiohead premiered a few new songs that showed a tendency towards going back to the good old guitar-based style. However, where Radiohead will go from now on is hard to tell. But a whole lot of loyal fans are waiting for their next move.

On October 1, 2007, the bandmembers announced that they had finished their seventh album, In Rainbows, and that it would be "out" in a matter of ten days. Giving fans the option to pay whatever they'd like for the album as a zip file of MP3s, Radiohead also devised a pre-order system for the physical version of the album -- a "discbox" containing a double-vinyl version, a CD copy with an enhanced six-track bonus disc, a lyric book, and photos. This was done without the involvement of a record label. However, deals were eventually struck for standard retail releases. In late December, XL issued the album in the U.K., where it topped the album chart. The feat was repeated the following month in the U.S., where it was issued through the TBD label. Sonically and lyrically, In Rainbows was one of their warmest and most direct albums to date.

Radiohead took a somewhat similar approach for the release of The King of Limbs. On February 14, 2011, the band announced that the album would be issued in five days as a fixed-price download with physical releases to follow. Standard CD and vinyl versions were scheduled for late March via XL and TBD, while an elaborately packaged double 10" vinyl/CD set was scheduled for early May. The two-disc TKOL RMX 1234567 followed five months later, featuring 19 remixes of King of Limbs tracks from the likes of Jamie xx, Caribou, Four Tet, and Nathan Fake. The band also recorded a live set of songs from the album as part of the From the Basement video series, and subsequently released the set, titled King of Limbs: Live from the Basement, in 2012.

Radiohead have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, with the band's work being placed highly in both listener polls and critics' lists, they have the distinction of doing so in both the 1990s and 2000s. In 2005, Radiohead were ranked number 73 in Rolling Stone's list of "The Greatest Artists of All Time", while Ed O'Brien and Jonny Greenwood were both included in Rolling Stone's list of greatest guitarists, and Thom Yorke in their list of greatest singers. In 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the second best artist of the 2000s.

Current members:
-Colin Greenwood – bass guitar, keyboards
-Jonny Greenwood – lead guitars, keyboards, Ondes Martenot, other instruments
-Ed O'Brien – rhythm guitars, electronics, percussion, backing vocals
-Phil Selway – drums, percussion, backing vocals
-Thom Yorke – lead vocals, rhythm guitars, keyboards, piano

-Pablo Honey (1993)
-The Bends (1995)
- OK Computer (1997)
-Kid A (2000)
-Amnesiac (2001)
- Hail to the Thief (2003)
-In Rainbows (2007)
-The King of Limbs (2011)

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