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|Radiohead is a British rock band from Oxford. Their current moniker, "Radiohead", was taken from the song "Radio Head" by Talking Heads, whose album Remain in Light (1980) is a band favorite and major influence on their Kid A (2000). The band consists of Thom Yorke (vocals, rhythm guitar and keyboards), Ed O'Brien (guitars, vocals), Jonny Greenwood (guitars, keyboards, Ondes Martenot, and other electronics), his brother Colin Greenwood (bass guitar), and Phil Selway (drums and percussion). Yorke and J. Greenwood are chiefly responsible for songwriting, most often with Yorke originating songs and Greenwood building on them. The band's early influences include artists such as Elvis Costello, the Pixies, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., U2, Talking Heads, The Beatles, The Smiths, and Mancunian post-punk acts The Fall, Joy Division, and Magazine. Later influences include German art-rock band Can, electronic artists such as Autechre, and jazz artists such as Charles Mingus and Miles Davis.
Producer Nigel Godrich has worked with the band since the recording of The Bends, where he assisted producer John Leckie, and has contributed significantly to their sound, often being dubbed the "sixth member" of the band. Another major contributor is Stanley Donwood, who has produced the artwork for the band's albums since their My Iron Lung EP in collaboration with "Dr. Tchock"—a pseudonym for Yorke. Donwood and Yorke met at the University of Exeter, and also produce the official band website.
While not normally considered Britpop, Radiohead's strong influence on Britpop bands such as Coldplay, Stereophonics, Muse and Travis, some believe to be huge . The Bends, released in 1995, has been particularly influential to the genre. With his usual wry wit, Thom commented on this: in 2001, when asked by The New Yorker, "how do you guys feel about the fact that bands like Travis, Coldplay, and Muse are making a career sounding exactly like your records did in 1997?" he replied, "good luck with Kid A." Radiohead influence also flows further in many other acts as well as public style from the late 90s and nowadays. The band has a revered rock 'n roll status and is hailed as one of the best acts of the middle 90s. Fans and media regard them as seminal rock outfit and natural inheritors of R.E.M. and Pink Floyd. In the late years, Yorke showed some of Bono and Michael Stipe's public persona features with disagreement and outcry against the Iraq war in 2003 and against various other topics in politics and social life.
Radiohead formed during the late 1980s, originally under the name On A Friday, a name referring to the only time where all band members were able to practice. They first came to international attention in the early 1990s, when their single "Creep" received extensive airplay and charted in many countries. Striking a highly popular and sympathetic note of similar self-loathing among fans, "Creep" was released around the same time as other so-called "slacker" anthems such as Beck's "Loser".
The band weren't unanimously keen on Creep and, until recently, refused to play it, believing that its meaning had been misinterpreted and given too much weight by fans. It was initially passed over, dismissed by Yorke as 'Jonny's Scott Walker song'. Legend says that Jonny's famous guitar crunches were supposedly an attempt to ruin a song he didn't like. "Jonny played the piano at the end of the song and it was gorgeous" notes producer Paul Kolderie. "Everyone who heard Creep just started going insane. So that's what got us the job doing the album." The album was finished in three weeks. The single "Creep" was released in September 1992, while the album was scheduled for February next year. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the band, a radio station in San Francisco, "Live 105" had just named Pablo Honey its favourite record of the year and quickly crossed over onto L.A.'s KROQ and other West Coast stations. The single eventually peaked at a modest 34 in the US, but Pablo Honey went gold. A year after its original release, a reissued "Creep" finally hit the UK charts, peaking at number 7. Because the album kept on breaking around the world, the Pablo Honey supporting tour lumbered into its second year. Pablo Honey was a solid, if unremarkable recording, that lacks both the force and experimentation of their later work. Regardless, their potential was evident with songs like the aforementioned "Creep", "Anyone Can Play Guitar", "Thinking About You" and "You".
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