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Radiohead emerged from the fading '90s Brit-pop invasion with a sound that was moody, melodic, and explosive, with roots planted firmly in both alternative culture and the art-rock legacy of such classic rockers as Pink Floyd. With the release of 1997's OK Computer, Radiohead was among the most closely watched bands of the decade, drawing on influences as varied as Queen, R.E.M., and Miles Davis. The Oxford musicians were embraced as saviors of modern guitar rock, only to resurface in 2000 with a new sound heavy with electronics, minimal vocals, and few guitars.

Singer/guitarist Thom Yorke first turned to music while growing up in Scotland and Oxford, England. Born with his left eye closed and paralyzed, Yorke endured five corrective surgeries before age six. He learned guitar while unhappy at boarding school, where he met bassist Colin Greenwood. The two formed a punk band called TNT. In 1987 they joined friends Ed O’Brien (guitar) and Phil Selway (drums) in a new band called On a Friday. Colin’s younger brother, Jonny, was soon recruited on guitar. The band dissolved as members scattered to different universities. The quintet regrouped in 1991 as Radiohead, a name taken from a Talking Heads song.

Radiohead quickly built a following on the Oxford club scene, and soon drew record-company interest from London. The band signed to U.K. label Parlophone within a year, and in 1992 toured England and began recording a debut album, Pablo Honey (#32, 1993), released on Capitol in the U.S. That collection included “Creep” (#34), an intense anthem of self-loathing that blended Yorke’s alternately anguished and gentle vocals (“I wish I was special... but I’m a creep”) with Jonny Greenwood’s raw spasms of guitar. It was a hit in both the U.S. and England, but Radiohead was labeled a one-hit wonder by critics. The band responded two years later with The Bends (#88), which demonstrated a growing musical scope and explored deeper levels of alienation on the songs “Fake Plastic Trees” and “High and Dry” (#78). Sales were significantly less than for the debut, but critics began to reassess the band.

With OK Computer (#21, 1997), coproduced by the band and Nigel Godrich (an engineer on The Bends), the band enjoyed wide acclaim. Though Yorke and the band denied any coherent theme to the album, various tracks - including “Karma Police” and “Paranoid Android” - examined encroaching technology and millennial anxiety. OK Computer topped many of that year’s critics polls and won the Best Alternative Music Grammy. Though the album enjoyed no Top 40 singles, Radiohead built a committed following through incessant touring. (The ’97–’98 tour was later depicted as a dehumanizing exercise in boredom and fatigue in Meeting People Is Easy, director Grant Gee’s downbeat 1999 documentary.)

The members of Radiohead continued to work and reside in Oxford. While fans waited three years for a followup to OK Computer, a wave of Radiohead-influenced guitar bands (Travis, Coldplay) began to enjoy chart success in England and the U.S. - which made the long-awaited release of Kid A (#1, 2000) and the band’s new electronic and ambient leanings more surprising. Recorded during sessions with Godrich, Kid A sent guitars deep into the background while exploring long instrumental passages and sometimes incoherent vocals. The album won mostly positive, if sometimes puzzled critical notices and a second Best Alternative Music Album Grammy. The band released no singles from the album and played few shows. A second album featuring some tracks from the same sessions, Amnesiac, debuted at #2 in June 2001. Radiohead have been recently working on their newest project, scheduled for release sometime in late 2007, after their sixth album Hail To the Thief came out in 2003.

and here's a cool ani of Thom :hehe: thommovieku8.gif

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