Radiohead

2014 Radiohead

Radiohead has consistently impressed audiences and critics alike for over a decade, and the demand to see them live increases every year. It’s no surprise then that their latest tour is one of the most popular of the season. Get your tickets now and see this legendary band the way they were meant to be seen – live in concert!

With their most recent release, 2007's In Rainbows, Radiohead - from Oxford, England - hardly resembles the chunky, three guitar garage-band sound of their debut single, "Creep." A veritable rock 'n' roll hodgepdge, Radiohead -- two parts Pink Floyd, two parts Loveless, one part Bossanova with a liberal dusting of U2's early fervor -- has grown into a progressive, electronic-tinged quintet with its tortured and angst ridden lyrics of alienation.

Their 1993 debut, Pablo Honey, only suggested their potential, and one of its songs, "Creep," became an unexpected international hit, an alternative rock anthem. While there were those ready to chalk up Radiohead - named after a Talking Heads song - as a one-hit wonder, the group's second album, The Bends, was released to terrific reviews in the band's native Britain in early 1995, but it didn't satisfy everyone.

Having toured with the likes of P.J. Harvey, REM, Alanis Morrissette, Tears for Fears, and James, some fans were disappointed by the comparative mellowness of the new album, though plenty were fascinated by the band's distinct and varied sound. Especially because here was a new British band that owed more to Pink Floyd than to usual suspects the Beatles or the Sex Pistols (in 1995, the band even tipped their hat to Pink Floyd by mounting a quadraphonic surround-sound tour of the U.K.).

Having demonstrated unexpected staying power, as well as increasing ambition, Radiohead next released OK Computer, an art-prog-rock, post-punk, electro-mix of genuine emotion, complex imagery, and tortured and angst ridden lyrics of alienation. It would go on to become one of the most acclaimed albums of the '90s, garnering near-unanimous critical and popular support.

Especially since OK Computer, touring has been an integral part of the creation process for the band in terms of breaking in the songs and testing new sonic textures. For instance, one of the songs that has changed since the initial performance was "Paranoid Android."

"If you think it's a long song now, you should have heard it then," boasts Ed O'Brien. "It was eight to ten minutes longer, and when we started playing it live, it was completely hilarious. There was a rave down section and a Hammond organ outro, and we'd be pissing ourselves while we played. We'd bring out the glockenspiel and it would be really, really funny."

"Paranoid Android" ended up being the first single from OK Computer - a six-and-a-half-minute track - and entered the U.K. charts at No. 3.

Expectations for the band's fourth album were stratospheric, which placed additional pressure on the already demanding, perfectionist band. Titled Kid A, the album was finally released in October 2000, and astonished many observers by debuting at number one on the U.S. album charts. And in June of the next year, Radiohead released a second album under the name Amnesiac which consisted of material that was recorded during the Kid A sessions, including the Smiths-like "Knives Out." It seems as though Radiohead has tucked Pink Floyd in their back pocket and are embarking on new musical journeys along the lines of Can or Sigur Ros.

Radiohead returned in 2003 with Hail To The Thief, a bold and mature statement embracing the middle ground between epic prog-rock and skittering electronic theatrics. But instead of punching the volume to express dissatisfaction and angst (as on the first two albums), the band has substituted complex metaphor and layered arrangement texture to speak their collective mind. This is clearly a record from a band that is more interested in challenging themselves, than ruling the rock world.


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