Whole Directory

band or artist name
song title

This Category


Advanced Search

Top » Bands and Artists » R » Radiohead » Biographies

Biography: Radiohead

Around 1982, Thom Yorke, at the age of 14, asked Colin Greenwood to join him and Ed O'Brien, as bassist in forming a band. Thom and Colin were in a school punk band called TNT.

After Phil Selway was asked to join the band, they decided to go on their own and form "On A Friday". Playing small gigs, such as schools, they took every chance they could to play live. During some of these shows Colin Greenwood's younger brother, Jonny Greenwood, looked on with excitement and anxiety as his brother's band played on. He was eager to join and brought a harmonica to shows, in case they needed him.

One day, they decided to let Jonny play a gig with them and since then, he had become part of the band. Playing small venues, the group was not too thrilled and they were seeking fame and huge shows.

They created demos that a friend took to Courtyard Studios where an executive was quite interested in their music and wanted more. Later, the Manic Hedgehog demo brought the band to another gig in the Jericho Tavern.

In the meantime they'd already been on the cover of "Curfew", a magazine based in Oxford. After that, they started to become known quickly. On A Friday were booked for gigs frequently throughout the local venues.

Various record labels got interested and finally EMI signed the band.

Before signing to a major record label, a producer suggested that they change the name because signs such as "Playing this Thursday, `On A Friday'" would be confusing. After a bit of searching, the five members decided to take the name Radiohead from a 'Talking Heads' song called "Radio Head".

Radiohead's first album is "Pablo Honey". Pablo Honey includes a song entitled "Creep", which became known as the "one-hit-wonder" anthem. Although it was a huge success in the United States, Europe and Israel, many people dismissed Radiohead as a one-hit-wonder band.

Their 1995 release of "The Bends" was a huge success in Europe. Although it didn't achieve as much favoritism as "Creep", "The Bends" was widely enjoyed by fans and other musicians. It was listed as Top 10 on many charts across the globe. Many people thought that Radiohead could not top the perfection of "The Bends".

Meanwhile the band toured the United States and Europe.

The media and critics were proven wrong with the release of "OK Computer" in June of 1997. The album received many awards including a Grammy for Best Alternative Album. The album was followed by their "Against Demons World Tour". An intensive touring schedule and rave reviews for 'OK Computer' and Radiohead's live shows had it's influence on the band both emotionally and physically. Grant Gee, accompanied the band on their tour and filmed their lives on tour which resulted in the documentary "Meeting People Is Easy".

Radiohead had decided not to promote their upcoming album the old fashioned way (singles,videos,etc.). They wanted to use the Internet as a source of promoting it before the release. With the help of web designers, they created movie iBlips that contained short cartoons with clips of songs from the new album. These were showed all over the Internet and on music television programs. On October 3, 2000, Radiohead's 4th album, "Kid A", was released. After just a week it reached #1 on Billboard selling approximately 89,000 copies. It then became a #1 album in countries such as the UK, United States, New Zealand, Canada, France, and Ireland, being #2 in many others.

Many songs were made during the production of "Kid A". Although only ten of them made it, the dozens of the rest were put into consideration for the next album, Amnesiac.
Contributed by: Maciej Modzelewski
Contributor organisation: Subterranean Homesick Alien
This category needs an editor