By Katherine Barton
Radiohead began in 1985, producing rock music in England. They have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and accrued 70 nominations and 18 awards including 3 Grammy Awards and an MTV Video Music Award. The members are Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Phil Selway, and Ed O’Brien. Their debut album “Pablo Honey” became a hit, especially with the single “Creep” released in 1992 that had already attracted fans. With each album following, including The Bends and OK Computer, Radiohead rose in popularity and critical acclaim due to their intellectual pursuit of music and the ideas of alienation that aligned with the grunge movement of the 1990’s. Their sound was increasingly avant-garde and esoteric by incorporating electronic sounds and being overall more experimental.
In albums such as Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail to the Thief their sound is more instrumental and minimalist. Kid A won a Grammy Award but has also received criticism such as claims that their music is intentionally difficult. Thom Yorke said that Hail to the Thief was written about the “the general sense of ignorance and intolerance and panic and stupidity.”
Radiohead then stopped recording with the record label EMI, and released In Rainbows in 2007 and The King of Limbs in 2011 on their own. In Rainbows was released under a “pay what you want” model, which was tremendously successful. It became their most popular album since Kid A. To perform the complex rhythms live for their album The King of Limbs, the band hired another drummer – Clive Deamer.
Fun Fact: Radiohead raised over $500,000 by auctioning tickets to a live performance for Haiti earthquake relief in 2010.
Radiohead is currently working on a ninth album, so keep on the lookout. For their “most popular” song: