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Radiohead are an English rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Abingdon or archaically Abingdon-on-Thames is a market town and civil parish in Oxfordshire, England. It is the seat of the Vale of White Horse district. Previously the county town of Berkshire, Abingdon is one of several places that claim to be Britain's oldest continuously occupied town, with...

, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke
Thom Yorke
Thomas "Thom" Edward Yorke is an English musician who is the lead vocalist and principal songwriter for Radiohead. He mainly plays guitar and piano, but he has also played drums and bass guitar...

 (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood
Jonny Greenwood
Jonathan Richard Guy "Jonny" Greenwood is an English musician and composer, best known as a member of the English rock band Radiohead. Greenwood is a multi-instrumentalist, but serves mainly as lead guitarist and keyboard player. In addition to guitar and keyboard, he plays viola, harmonica,...

 (guitars, keyboards, other instruments), Ed O'Brien
Ed O'Brien
Edward John O'Brien is an English musician, songwriter and guitarist for the rock band Radiohead. He is also responsible for harmony vocals during live concerts and on many tracks from the band's albums...

 (guitars, backing vocals), Colin Greenwood
Colin Greenwood
Colin Charles Greenwood , is an English musician and composer, best known as the bassist of the rock band Radiohead. Apart from bass, Colin plays keyboards, synthesizers and works on sampling on the electronic side of Radiohead...

 (bass) and Phil Selway
Phil Selway
Philip James "Phil" "The Graf" Selway is an English musician and songwriter, best known as the drummer of English rock group Radiohead. He also drums and provides backing vocals, along with occasional guitar and lead vocals, for 7 Worlds Collide...

 (drums, percussion).

Radiohead released their debut single "Creep" in 1992. The song was initially unsuccessful, but it became a worldwide hit several months after the release of their debut album, Pablo Honey
Pablo Honey
Pablo Honey is the debut studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released in February 1993. The album was produced by Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie and was recorded at Chipping Norton Studio and Courtyard Studio, Oxfordshire from September to November 1992...

 (1993). Radiohead's popularity rose in the United Kingdom with the release of their second album, The Bends
The Bends
The Bends is the second studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released on 13 March 1995 by Parlophone. The Bends was produced by John Leckie at EMI's studios in London, and engineered by Nigel Godrich, who would go on to produce all future albums by the band...

 (1995). Radiohead's third album, OK Computer
OK Computer
OK Computer is the third studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released on 16 June 1997 on Parlophone in the UK and 1 July 1997 by Capitol Records in the US. It marks a deliberate attempt by the band to move away from the introspective guitar-oriented sound of their previous...

 (1997), propelled them to greater international fame. Featuring an expansive sound and themes of modern alienation
Social alienation
The term social alienation has many discipline-specific uses; Roberts notes how even within the social sciences, it “is used to refer both to a personal psychological state and to a type of social relationship”...

, OK Computer is often acclaimed as one of the landmark records of the 1990s.

Kid A
Kid A
Kid A is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in October 2000 by the Parlophone label. A commercial success worldwide, Kid A went platinum in its first week of release in the United Kingdom. Despite the lack of an official single or music video as publicity, Kid A...

 (2000) and Amnesiac
Amnesiac
Amnesiac was generally well-received by critics. It was also ranked as one of the best albums of the year by several publications. The Village Voice Pazz and Jop poll ranked it number 6 on their top 10 albums of the year. Alternative Press declared it the #1 album of the year...

 (2001) marked an evolution in Radiohead's musical style, as the group incorporated experimental electronic music
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

, Krautrock
Krautrock
Krautrock is a generic name for the experimental music scenes that appeared in Germany in the late 1960s and gained popularity throughout the 1970s, especially in Britain. The term is a result of the English-speaking world's reception of the music at the time and not a reference to any one...

 and jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 influences. Hail to the Thief
Hail to the Thief
Hail to the Thief is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in June 2003 through Parlophone Records. After two Radiohead albums that featured heavily processed vocals, less guitar, and strong influence from experimental electronica and jazz, Hail to the Thief was seen...

 (2003), a mix of piano and guitar driven rock, electronics and lyrics inspired by war, was the band's final album for their major record label, EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

. Radiohead self-released their seventh album, In Rainbows
In Rainbows
In Rainbows is the seventh studio album by the English rock band Radiohead. It was first released on 10 October 2007 as a digital download self-released, that customers could order for whatever price they saw fit, followed by a standard CD release in most countries during the last week of 2007. The...

 (2007), as a digital download
Music download
A music download is the transferral of music from an Internet-facing computer or website to a user's local computer. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyright material without permission or payment...

 for which customers could set their own price, and later in physical form to critical and chart success. Radiohead's eighth album, The King of Limbs
The King of Limbs
The King of Limbs is the eighth studio album by English rock band Radiohead, produced by Nigel Godrich. It was self-released on 18 February 2011 as a download in MP3 and WAV formats, followed by physical CD and 12" vinyl releases on 28 March, a wider digital release via AWAL, and a special...

 (2011), was an exploration of rhythm and quieter textures, which the band released independently.

Radiohead have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, and the band's work has been placed highly in both listener polls and critics' lists. In 2005, Radiohead were ranked number 73 in Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

s list of "The Greatest Artists of All Time", while Ed O'Brien and Jonny Greenwood were both included in Rolling Stone's list of greatest guitarists, and Thom Yorke in their list of greatest singers.

Formation and first years (1985–91)



The musicians who formed Radiohead met while attending Abingdon School
Abingdon School
Abingdon School is a British day and boarding independent school for boys situated in Abingdon, Oxfordshire , previously known as Roysse's School. In 1998 a formal merger took place between Abingdon School and Josca's, a preparatory school four miles to the west at Frilford...

, an independent school
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

 for boys in Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Abingdon or archaically Abingdon-on-Thames is a market town and civil parish in Oxfordshire, England. It is the seat of the Vale of White Horse district. Previously the county town of Berkshire, Abingdon is one of several places that claim to be Britain's oldest continuously occupied town, with...

. Thom Yorke and Colin Greenwood were in the same year, Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway were one year older and Jonny Greenwood two years younger than his brother. In 1985 they formed the band "On a Friday", the name referring to the band's usual rehearsal day in the school's music room. The group played their first gig in late 1986 at Oxford's Jericho Tavern
Jericho Tavern
The Jericho Tavern is a music venue and pub in the Jericho area of Oxford, England at 56 Walton Street. In the late 1980s and early 1990s it was an important part of the music scene which spawned Ride, Radiohead and Supergrass.-History:...

; Jonny Greenwood originally joined as a harmonica and then keyboard player, but he soon became the lead guitarist.

Although Yorke, O'Brien, Selway, and Colin Greenwood had left Abingdon by 1987 to attend university, the band continued to rehearse often on weekends and holidays. In 1991, when all the members except Jonny had completed their university degrees, On a Friday regrouped, began to record demos such as Manic Hedgehog, and performed live gigs around Oxford at venues such as The Jericho Tavern. Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley
Thames Valley
The Thames Valley Region is a loose term for the English counties and towns roughly following the course of the River Thames as it flows from Oxfordshire in the west to London in the east. It includes parts of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, North Hampshire, Surrey and west London...

 had an active independent music scene in the late 1980s, but it centred around shoegazing
Shoegazing
Shoegazing is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged from the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It lasted there until the mid 1990s, with a critical zenith reached in 1990 and 1991...

 bands such as Ride
Ride (band)
Ride were a British alternative rock band that formed in 1988 in Oxford, England, consisting of Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Laurence "Loz" Colbert, and Steve Queralt. The band were initially part of the "shoegazing" scene. Following the break-up of the band in 1996, members moved on to various other...

 and Slowdive
Slowdive
Slowdive were an English shoegaze band that formed in 1989. The band formed in Reading, Berkshire and primarily consisted of Nick Chaplin , Rachel Goswell , Neil Halstead , and Christian Savill...

; On a Friday were never seen as fitting this trend, commenting that they had missed it by the time they returned from university.

Nevertheless, as On a Friday's number of live performances increased, record labels and producers became interested. Chris Hufford, Slowdive's producer and the co-owner of Oxford's Courtyard Studios, attended an early On a Friday concert at the Jericho Tavern. Impressed by the band, he and his partner Bryce Edge produced a demo tape and became On a Friday's managers; they remain the band's managers to this day. Following a chance meeting between Colin Greenwood and EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

 A&R
A&R
Artists and repertoire is the division of a record label that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists. It also acts as a liaison between artists and the record label.- Finding talent :...

 representative Keith Wozencroft at the record shop where Greenwood worked, the band signed a six-album recording contract with the label in late 1991. At the request of EMI, the band changed their name to Radiohead, inspired by the title of a song on Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

' True Stories album. The song in turn was inspired by a story the actor, writer and director Stephen Tobolowsky
Stephen Tobolowsky
Stephen Harold Tobolowsky is an American actor. He is well known for his role as Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day, as well as portraying Commissioner Hugo Jarry in Deadwood for nine episodes and Bob Bishop in Heroes for eleven episodes over the second and third seasons...

 told David Byrne about psychic experiences he had as a teenager.

Pablo Honey, The Bends and early success (1992–95)


Radiohead recorded their debut release, the Drill
Drill (EP)
Drill is the debut extended play by English alternative rock group Radiohead, released in May 1992. It is the first-ever commercial release by the band, debuting on the UK charts at number 101...

 EP
Extended play
An EP is a musical recording which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full album or LP. The term EP originally referred only to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play records and LP records, but it is now applied to mid-length Compact...

, with Chris Hufford and Bryce Edge at Courtyard Studios. Released in May 1992, its chart performance was very poor. Subsequently, the band enlisted Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade—who had worked with US indie bands Pixies
Pixies (band)
The Pixies are an American alternative rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986. The group consists of Black Francis , Joey Santiago , Kim Deal , and David Lovering . While the Pixies found only modest success in their home country, they were significantly more successful in the United...

 and Dinosaur Jr.—to produce
Record producer
A record producer is an individual working within the music industry, whose job is to oversee and manage the recording of an artist's music...

 their debut album, recorded quickly in an Oxford studio in 1992. With the release of the "Creep" single later that year, Radiohead began to receive attention in the British music press, not all of it favourable. NME
NME
The New Musical Express is a popular music publication in the United Kingdom, published weekly since March 1952. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s, changing from newsprint in 1998. It was the first British paper to include a singles...

 described them as "a lily-livered excuse for a rock band", and "Creep" was blacklisted by BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

 because it was deemed "too depressing".

The band released their debut album, Pablo Honey
Pablo Honey
Pablo Honey is the debut studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released in February 1993. The album was produced by Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie and was recorded at Chipping Norton Studio and Courtyard Studio, Oxfordshire from September to November 1992...

, in February 1993. It stalled at number 22 in the UK charts, as "Creep" and its anthemic follow-up singles "Anyone Can Play Guitar
Anyone Can Play Guitar
"Anyone Can Play Guitar" is a single taken from Radiohead's first album Pablo Honey, released just in advance of the album. It is the band's second single, and their first to receive a wide hearing...

" and "Stop Whispering
Stop Whispering
"Stop Whispering" is a single from English alternative rock band Radiohead, released as the band's fourth single in 1993. It is the fourth track of their first album, Pablo Honey . It reached #23 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart.-Background:...

" failed to become major hits. "Pop Is Dead
Pop Is Dead
"Pop Is Dead" is a song by the British alternative rock band Radiohead. It was released as a non-album single in 1993.Released only several months after their debut single "Creep" and their debut album Pablo Honey , the song also hit before "Creep" had begun its slow and surprising ascent up the...

", a non-album single later disavowed by the band, sold equally poorly. Some critics compared the band's early style to the wave of grunge
Grunge
Grunge is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song...

 music popular in the early 1990s—to the extent of Radiohead being dubbed "Nirvana
Nirvana (band)
Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987...

-lite"—yet Pablo Honey failed to make either a critical or a commercial splash upon its initial release. Despite shared influences with popular guitar-heavy acts, and some notice for Yorke's falsetto
Falsetto
Falsetto is the vocal register occupying the frequency range just above the modal voice register and overlapping with it by approximately one octave. It is produced by the vibration of the ligamentous edges of the vocal folds, in whole or in part...

 voice, the band toured only British universities and clubs.

In the first few months of 1993, Radiohead began to attract listeners elsewhere. "Creep" had been played very frequently on Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i radio by influential DJ Yoav Kutner
Yoav Kutner
Yoav Kutner , is an acclaimed Israeli music editor, TV and radio presenter, who has significantly promoted performers ranging from Mashina to Radiohead. The 'Little Man from the Radio', is rather, a passionate hero calling for the love of new music.-Life:Yoav Kutner was born in Jerusalem, Israel on...

, and in March, after the song became a hit in that country's charts, Radiohead were invited to Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 for their first live gig overseas. Around the same time, the San Francisco alternative radio station KITS
KITS
KITS is a San Francisco, California, USA-based radio station broadcasting at 105.3 MHz. The station is owned by CBS Radio and programs a modern rock format. The station also broadcasts on HD channel L2, locally on Comcast cable channel 986, and is streaming online.-Hot Hits:The station's...

 added the song to its playlist. Soon other radio stations along the west coast of the United States followed suit. By the time Radiohead began their first North American tour in June 1993, the music video for "Creep" was in heavy rotation on MTV. The song rose to number two on the US modern rock
Modern Rock Tracks
Alternative Songs is a music chart in the United States that has appeared in Billboard magazine since September 10, 1988. It lists the 40 most-played songs on modern rock radio stations, most of which are alternative rock songs...

 chart, entered the lower reaches of the top 40 pop chart, and finally hit number seven in the UK Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

 when EMI re-released it in the UK in September.

Unexpected attention to the single in America caused the label to improvise new promotional plans, and the band shuttled back and forth between continents, playing over 150 concerts in 1993. Radiohead nearly broke up due to the pressure of sudden success as the Pablo Honey supporting tour extended into its second year. Band members described the tour as difficult to adjust to, saying that towards its end they were "still playing the same songs that [they had] recorded two years previously... like being held in a time warp", when they were eager to work on new songs.

The band began work on their second album in 1994, hiring veteran Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio located at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London, England. It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, its present owner...

 producer John Leckie
John Leckie
John Leckie is a British music producer, notable for producing many high-profile albums such as The Stone Roses's debut and Radiohead's The Bends...

. Tensions were high, with mounting expectations on the band to deliver a superior follow-up to match or exceed the success of "Creep". Recording felt unnatural in the studio, band members having over-rehearsed their material. They sought a change of scenery, touring the Far East, Australasia
Australasia
Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

 and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 in an attempt to reduce the pressure. The band found greater confidence performing their new music live. However, confronted again by the fame he had achieved, Yorke became disillusioned at being "right at the sharp end of the sexy, sassy, MTV eye-candy lifestyle" he felt he was helping to sell to the world.

My Iron Lung, an EP and single released late in 1994, was Radiohead's reaction, marking a transition towards the greater depth they aimed for on their second album. Promoted through alternative radio stations, the hard-edged single's sales were better than expected, and suggested for the first time that the band had found a loyal fan base beyond one hit. Having introduced more new songs on tour, Radiohead finished recording their second album by year's end, and they released The Bends
The Bends
The Bends is the second studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released on 13 March 1995 by Parlophone. The Bends was produced by John Leckie at EMI's studios in London, and engineered by Nigel Godrich, who would go on to produce all future albums by the band...

 in March 1995. The album was driven by dense riffs and ethereal atmospheres from the band's three guitarists, with greater use of keyboards than their debut. It also received stronger reviews for both songwriting and performances.

While Radiohead were seen as outsiders to the Britpop
Britpop
Britpop is a subgenre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom. Britpop emerged from the British independent music scene of the early 1990s and was characterised by bands influenced by British guitar pop music of the 1960s and 1970s...

 scene that dominated the media's attention at the time, they were finally successful in their home country with The Bends, as singles "Fake Plastic Trees
Fake Plastic Trees
"Fake Plastic Trees" is a song by the British alternative rock band Radiohead, from their second album The Bends . It was the third single to be released from that album in the UK, but in the US, it was released as the band's first single from the album...

", "High and Dry
High and Dry
"High and Dry" is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, and was the first single released from their second album, The Bends . It was as a double A-side with album opener "Planet Telex"...

", "Just
Just (song)
"Just" is a single by English alternative rock band Radiohead, released in 1995. It is the seventh track on their 1995 album The Bends. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke wrote the song about a narcissistic friend of his, which on closer inspection is showcased by the imagery in the lyrics - a parallel...

", and "Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
"Street Spirit " is a song by English alternative rock band Radiohead, featured on their second studio album The Bends, which was released in 1995...

" made their way to UK chart success; the latter song placed Radiohead in the top five for the first time. In 1995, Radiohead again toured North America and Europe, this time in support of R.E.M.
R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

, one of their formative influences and at the time one of the biggest rock bands in the world. The buzz generated by such famous fans as Michael Stipe
Michael Stipe
John Michael Stipe is an American singer and lyricist. He was the lead vocalist of the alternative rock band R.E.M.Stipe is noted and occasionally parodied for the "mumbling" style of his early career as well as his social and political activism. He was in charge of R.E.M.'s visual image; often...

, along with distinctive music videos for "Just" and "Street Spirit", helped to sustain Radiohead's popularity outside the UK.

However, Radiohead's growing fan base was insufficient for them to repeat the commercial popularity of "Creep" worldwide. "High and Dry" became a modest hit, but The Bends peaked at 88 on the US album charts, which remains Radiohead's lowest showing there. Radiohead were satisfied with the album's reception. Jonny Greenwood said, "I think the turning point for us came about nine or twelve months after The Bends was released and it started appearing in people's [best of] polls for the end of the year. That's when it started to feel like we made the right choice about being a band".

OK Computer, fame and critical acclaim (1996–98)



In late 1995, Radiohead had already recorded one song that would make their next record. "Lucky
Lucky (Radiohead song)
"Lucky" is a song by Radiohead. In December 1997, the song was released as a promotional single in France.- Recording and release :In 1995, Radiohead—singer Thom Yorke, guitarists Jonny Greenwood and Ed O'Brien, bassist Colin Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway—were on tour in promotion of their...

", released as a single to promote the War Child
War Child (charity)
War Child is a non-governmental organisation founded in the UK 1993, which focuses on providing assistance to children in areas of conflict and post-conflict. They use their film and entertainment background to raise money for aid agencies operating in former Yugoslavia...

 charity's The Help Album
The Help Album
The Help Album is a 1995 charity album devoted to the War Child charity's aid efforts in war-stricken areas, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina...

, had come out of a brief session with Nigel Godrich
Nigel Godrich
Nigel Godrich, , is a recording engineer, record producer and musician. He is best known for his work with the English rock band Radiohead and is sometimes referred to as the "sixth member" of the band...

, a young audio engineer who had assisted on The Bends and also produced a 1996 B-side, "Talk Show Host". The band decided to produce their next album with Godrich's assistance, and they began work in early 1996. By July they had recorded four songs at their rehearsal studio, Canned Applause, a converted apple shed in the countryside near Didcot
Didcot
Didcot is a town and civil parish in Oxfordshire about south of Oxford. Until 1974 it was in Berkshire, but was transferred to Oxfordshire in that year, and from Wallingford Rural District to the district of South Oxfordshire...

, Oxfordshire.

In August 1996, Radiohead toured as the opening act for Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette
Alanis Nadine Morissette is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and actress. She has won 16 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and also shortlisted for an Academy Award nomination...

, seeking to perfect their new songs live before completing the record. They then resumed recording, again outside a traditional music studio, settling instead at a 15th-century mansion, St. Catherine's Court, near Bath. The recording sessions were relaxed, with the band playing at all hours of the day, recording songs in different rooms, and listening to The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

, DJ Shadow
DJ Shadow
Joshua Paul Davis better known as DJ Shadow is an American music producer, DJ and songwriter. He is considered a prominent figure in the development of instrumental hip hop and first gained notice with the release of his highly acclaimed debut album Endtroducing....., which was constructed...

, Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone, Grand Officer OMRI, , is an Italian composer and conductor, who wrote music to more than 500 motion pictures and television series, in a career lasting over 50 years. His scores have been included in over 20 award-winning films as well as several symphonic and choral pieces...

 and Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz,...

 for inspiration. Radiohead contributed "Talk Show Host", as well as a newly recorded song called "Exit Music (For a Film)
Exit Music (For a Film)
"Exit Music " is a song by Radiohead, written specifically for the ending credits of the 1996 film William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. Although not included on either of the two soundtrack albums at the request of Thom Yorke, the song appears on the band's highly acclaimed third album, OK...

", to Baz Luhrmann
Baz Luhrmann
Mark Anthony "Baz" Luhrmann is an Australian film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for The Red Curtain Trilogy, which includes his films Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!...

's adaptation of Romeo + Juliet late in the year. Most of the rest of the album was complete by the end of 1996, and by March 1997, the record was mixed and mastered.

Radiohead released their third album, OK Computer
OK Computer
OK Computer is the third studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released on 16 June 1997 on Parlophone in the UK and 1 July 1997 by Capitol Records in the US. It marks a deliberate attempt by the band to move away from the introspective guitar-oriented sound of their previous...

, in June 1997. Largely composed of melodic rock songs, the new record also found the band experimenting with song structures and incorporating some ambient
Ambient music
Ambient music is a musical genre that focuses largely on the timbral characteristics of sounds, often organized or performed to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual" or "unobtrusive" quality.- History :...

, avant garde and electronic
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

 influences, prompting Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

 to call the album a 'stunning art-rock tour de force. The album's lyrics took a more observational, less personal tone than The Bends, expressing what one magazine called "end-of-the-millennium blues". OK Computer met with great critical acclaim, and Yorke admitted that he was "amazed it got the reaction it did. None of us fucking knew any more whether it was good or bad. What really blew my head off was the fact that people got all the things, all the textures and the sounds and the atmospheres we were trying to create."

OK Computer was the band's first number one UK chart debut, propelling Radiohead to commercial success around the world. Despite peaking at number 21 in the US charts
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

, the album eventually met with mainstream recognition there, receiving the first Grammy Awards recognition of the band's career, a win for Best Alternative Album
Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album
The Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album is an award presented to recording artists for quality albums in the alternative rock genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards...

 and a nomination for Album of the Year
Grammy Award for Album of the Year
The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys. It has been awarded since 1959 and though it was originally presented to the artist alone, the award is now presented to the artist, the producer, the engineer and/or mixer and the mastering engineer...

. "Paranoid Android
Paranoid Android
"Paranoid Android" is a song by English alternative rock band Radiohead, featured on their 1997 third studio album OK Computer. The lyrics of the darkly humorous song were written primarily by singer Thom Yorke, following an unpleasant experience in a Los Angeles bar...

", "Karma Police
Karma Police
"Karma Police" is a song by English alternative rock band Radiohead from their 1997 third studio album OK Computer. The song's title and lyrics derive from an in-joke among the band, referring to the Hindu theory of retributive enforcement, known as karma....

" and "No Surprises
No Surprises
"No Surprises" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead. It was released as the third and final single from the group's 1997 album OK Computer. It was accompanied by a music video that featured a single shot of singer Thom Yorke's head in a plastic bubble filling with water. The single peaked...

" were released as singles from the album, of which "Karma Police" was most successful internationally.

The release of OK Computer was followed by the "Against Demons" world tour. Grant Gee
Grant Gee
Grant Gee is a film director and cinematographer currently living in Brighton. He was born in Plymouth and studied Geography at St Catherine's College, Oxford....

, the director of the "No Surprises" video, accompanied and filmed the band, releasing the footage in the 1999 documentary Meeting People Is Easy
Meeting People Is Easy
Meeting People Is Easy, first released on 30 November 1998, is a rockumentary by Grant Gee following British alternative rock band Radiohead on their exhaustive world tour following the success of their 1997 album OK Computer...

. The film portrays the band's disaffection with the music industry and press, showing their burnout as they progressed from their first tour dates in mid-1997 to mid-1998, nearly a year later. The film is also notable for documenting earlier versions of songs that were never released or were not released until years later, such as "How to Disappear Completely", "Life in a Glasshouse", "I Will" and "Nude". During this time the band also released a music video compilation, 7 Television Commercials
7 Television Commercials
7 Television Commercials is a collection of music videos from English alternative rock band Radiohead, covering the period from their The Bends and OK Computer .-Release:...

, as well as two EPs, Airbag/How Am I Driving?
Airbag/How Am I Driving?
Airbag / How Am I Driving? is the fifth extended play by English rock group Radiohead, released in April 1998 specifically to the North American market...

 and No Surprises/Running from Demons
No Surprises/Running from Demons
No Surprises/Running from Demons is the fourth extended play by English rock group Radiohead, released in December 1997. The EP was aimed at the Japanese market in order to promote the band's Japan tour of January 1998.-Track listing:...

, that compiled their B-sides from OK Computer singles.

Kid A, Amnesiac and a change in sound (1999–2001)


Radiohead were largely inactive following their 1997–1998 tour; after its end, their only public performance in 1998 was at an Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 concert in Paris. Yorke later admitted that during that period the band came close to splitting up, and that he had developed severe depression. In early 1999, Radiohead began work on a follow-up to OK Computer. Although there was no longer any pressure or even a deadline from their record label, tension during this period was high. Band members all had different visions for Radiohead's future, and Yorke was experiencing writer's block, influencing him toward a more abstract, fragmented form of songwriting. Radiohead secluded themselves with producer Nigel Godrich in studios in Paris, Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, and Gloucester
Gloucester
Gloucester is a city, district and county town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, and on the River Severn, approximately north-east of Bristol, and south-southwest of Birmingham....

, and in their newly completed studio in Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

. Eventually, all the members agreed on a new musical direction, redefining their instrumental roles in the band. After nearly 18 months, Radiohead's recording sessions were completed in April 2000.

In October 2000 Radiohead released their fourth album, Kid A
Kid A
Kid A is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in October 2000 by the Parlophone label. A commercial success worldwide, Kid A went platinum in its first week of release in the United Kingdom. Despite the lack of an official single or music video as publicity, Kid A...

, the first of two albums from these recording sessions. Rather than being a stylistic sequel to OK Computer, Kid A featured a minimalist
Minimalism
Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is set out to expose the essence, essentials or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts...

 and textured style with less overt guitar parts and more diverse instrumentation including the ondes Martenot
Ondes Martenot
The ondes Martenot , also known as the ondium Martenot, Martenot and ondes musicales, is an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. The original design was similar in sound to the theremin...

, programmed electronic
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

 beats, strings
String orchestra
A string orchestra is an orchestra composed solely or primarily of instruments from the string family. These instruments are the violin, the viola, the cello, the double bass , the piano, the harp, and sometimes percussion...

, and jazz horns. It debuted at number one in many countries, including the US, where its debut atop the Billboard
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

 chart marked a first for the band and a rare success in the US by UK musicians. This success was attributed variously to marketing, to the album's leak on the file-sharing network Napster
Napster
Napster is an online music store and a Best Buy company. It was originally founded as a pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing Internet service that emphasized sharing audio files that were typically digitally encoded music as MP3 format files...

 a few months before its release, and to advance anticipation based, in part, on the success of OK Computer. Although Radiohead did not release any singles from Kid A, promos
Promotional recording
A promotional recording, or promo, is an audio or video recording distributed for free, usually in order to promote a recording that is or soon will be commercially available...

 of "Optimistic
Optimistic (song)
"Optimistic" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, the sixth track on their 2000 album Kid A.-Release:No singles were released from Kid A, but promos of several songs from the album, including "Optimistic", were sent to radio stations...

" and "Idioteque
Idioteque
"Idioteque" is the eighth track from the British rock band Radiohead's 2000 album Kid A. It was seen as a departure for the rock band, as the song is driven by electronic beats. The song has been played at nearly every concert since 2000...

" received radio play, and a series of "blips", or short videos set to portions of tracks, were played on music channels and released freely on the Internet. The band had read Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein is a Canadian author and social activist known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization.-Family:...

's anti-globalisation book No Logo
No Logo
No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies is a book by Canadian author Naomi Klein. First published by Knopf Canada in January 2000, shortly after the 1999 WTO Ministerial Conference protests in Seattle had generated media attention around such issues, it became one of the most influential books...

 during the recording, and they decided to continue a summer 2000 tour of Europe later in the year in a custom-built tent free of advertising; they also promoted Kid A with three sold-out North American theatre concerts.
Kid A received a Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 for Best Alternative Album
Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album
The Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album is an award presented to recording artists for quality albums in the alternative rock genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards...

 and a nomination for Album of the Year
Grammy Award for Album of the Year
The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys. It has been awarded since 1959 and though it was originally presented to the artist alone, the award is now presented to the artist, the producer, the engineer and/or mixer and the mastering engineer...

 in early 2001. Yet it won both praise and criticism in independent music circles for appropriating underground
Underground music
Underground music comprises a range of different musical genres that operate outside of mainstream culture. Such music can typically share common values, such as the valuing of sincerity and intimacy; an emphasis on freedom of creative expression; an appreciation of artistic creativity...

 styles of music, while some mainstream British critics saw Kid A as a "commercial suicide note", labelling it "intentionally difficult" and longing for a return to the band's earlier style. Radiohead's fans were similarly divided; along with those who were appalled or mystified, there were many who saw the album as the band's best work. Yorke, however, denied that Radiohead had set out to eschew commercial expectations, saying, "I was really, really amazed at how badly [Kid A] was being viewed ... because the music's not that hard to grasp. We're not trying to be difficult ... We're actually trying to communicate but somewhere along the line, we just seemed to piss off a lot of people ... What we're doing isn't that radical."

Amnesiac
Amnesiac
Amnesiac was generally well-received by critics. It was also ranked as one of the best albums of the year by several publications. The Village Voice Pazz and Jop poll ranked it number 6 on their top 10 albums of the year. Alternative Press declared it the #1 album of the year...

, released in June 2001, comprised additional tracks from the Kid A recording sessions. Radiohead's musical style on these songs was similar to that of Kid A in their fusion of electronic music and jazz influences, though more reliant on the use of guitars. The record was a critical and commercial success worldwide, it topped the UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

 and reached number two in the US, being nominated for a Grammy Award and the Mercury Music Prize. After Amnesiacs release, the band embarked on a world tour, visiting North America, Europe and Japan. Meanwhile, "Pyramid Song
Pyramid Song
"Pyramid Song" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead. It was the first single from their 2001 album Amnesiac and the first Radiohead single released in over three years, after none were taken from their previous album Kid A....

" and "Knives Out
Knives Out
"Knives Out" is a song by English rock band Radiohead. The composition features electric and acoustic guitars, complemented by singer Thom Yorke's vocals. It appears on Radiohead's 2001 album Amnesiac, recorded during the same sessions as the previous album Kid A...

", Radiohead's first issued singles since 1998, were modestly successful, and "I Might Be Wrong
I Might Be Wrong
I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings is a 2001 live album by English rock band Radiohead, consisting of live performances of eight songs recorded on a tour of Europe and North America, including seven songs from their albums Kid A and Amnesiac, and one never released on a studio album, "True Love...

", initially planned as a third single, expanded into Radiohead's thus far only live record. I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings, released in November 2001, featured performances of seven songs from Kid A and Amnesiac along with the acoustic, previously unreleased "True Love Waits".

Hail to the Thief and departure from EMI (2002–04)


During July and August 2002, Radiohead toured Portugal and Spain, playing a number of newly written songs. They then recorded the new material in two weeks in a Los Angeles studio with Nigel Godrich
Nigel Godrich
Nigel Godrich, , is a recording engineer, record producer and musician. He is best known for his work with the English rock band Radiohead and is sometimes referred to as the "sixth member" of the band...

, adding several tracks later in Oxford, where the band continued their work into the next year. Radiohead members described the recording process as relaxed, in contrast to the tense sessions for Kid A and Amnesiac. The band's sixth album, Hail to the Thief
Hail to the Thief
Hail to the Thief is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in June 2003 through Parlophone Records. After two Radiohead albums that featured heavily processed vocals, less guitar, and strong influence from experimental electronica and jazz, Hail to the Thief was seen...

, was released in June 2003. Mixing sounds from throughout their career, Hail to the Thief combined guitar-based rock with electronic influences and topical lyrics by Yorke. Although the album was critically praised, many critics felt that Radiohead were treading water creatively rather than continuing the "genre-redefining" trend that OK Computer had begun. Nevertheless, Hail to the Thief enjoyed commercial success, debuting at number one in the UK and number three on the Billboard chart and eventually being certified platinum in the UK and gold
RIAA certification
In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. Other countries have similar awards...

 in the US. The album's singles, "There There
There there
"There there." is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, featured on their album Hail to the Thief and released prior to the album as its first single. "There There" reached number four in the UK Singles Chart and number one in Canada...

", "Go to Sleep
Go to Sleep
"Go to Sleep" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the second single from their sixth album Hail to the Thief in 2003. The song has an initial time signature of 4/4, which alternates with 6/8 time throughout the duration of the song. The alternate title for the song as listed...

" and "2 + 2 = 5
2 + 2 = 5 (song)
"2 + 2 = 5" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the third and final single from their sixth album Hail to the Thief in 2003. The song reached number 15 on the United Kingdom singles chart.-Lyrics and background:...

", achieved a level of play on modern rock
Modern rock
Modern rock is a rock format commonly found on commercial radio; the format consists primarily of the alternative rock genre...

 radio. At the 2003 Grammy Awards, Radiohead were again nominated for Best Alternative Album
Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album
The Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album is an award presented to recording artists for quality albums in the alternative rock genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards...

, while producer Godrich and engineer Darrell Thorp received the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album
Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
The Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical has been awarded since 1959. The award had several minor name changes:*In 1959 the award was known as Best Engineered Record - Non-Classical...

.

Yorke denied that Hail to the Thiefs title was a comment on the controversial 2000 US presidential election
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

, explaining that he first heard the words in a BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 discussion of 19th century American politics. Yorke said his lyrics had been affected by news reports of war in 2001 to 2002 and "the feeling that we are entering an age of intolerance and fear where the power to express ourselves in a democracy and have our voices heard is being denied us" but said, "[Radiohead] didn't write a protest record, we didn't write a political record." After the release of Hail to the Thief, Radiohead embarked in May 2003 on a world tour, including a headlining performance at the Glastonbury Festival. The tour finished in May 2004 with a performance at the Coachella Festival. During their tour, the band released COM LAG
COM LAG (2plus2isfive)
Omitted is the seven-minute demo version of "There There", which appears on the first "2+2=5" single.- "I Will" :"I Will " is an alternative version of the album track "I Will" and was released on the second "2+2=5" CD single...

, an EP compiling most of their b-sides from the time. Following their tour, the band began writing and rehearsing in their Oxford studio but soon went on hiatus. Free of their label contract, Radiohead spent the remainder of 2004 resting with their families and working on solo projects.

In Rainbows and "pay what you want" (2005–08)



Radiohead began work on their seventh album in February 2005. In September 2005, the band recorded a piano-based song, "I Want None of This", for the War Child
War Child (charity)
War Child is a non-governmental organisation founded in the UK 1993, which focuses on providing assistance to children in areas of conflict and post-conflict. They use their film and entertainment background to raise money for aid agencies operating in former Yugoslavia...

 charity album Help: A Day in the Life. The album was sold online, with "I Want None of This" being the most downloaded track, although it was not released as a single. Radiohead had already begun recording their next album on their own and then with producer Mark Stent
Mark Stent
Mark 'Spike' Stent is a British record producer, and audio engineer who has worked with The KLF, Björk, Keane, Depeche Mode, Muse, Erasure, Hard-Fi, Massive Attack, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Marilyn Manson, Pet Shop Boys, Dave Matthews, No Doubt/Gwen Stefani, CSS, Beth Orton,...

. However, in late 2006, after touring Europe and North America and debuting 13 new songs there, the band resumed work with Nigel Godrich in London, Oxford and several rural locations in Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

, England. Work was finished in June 2007 and the recordings were mastered the following month.

Radiohead's seventh album, In Rainbows
In Rainbows
In Rainbows is the seventh studio album by the English rock band Radiohead. It was first released on 10 October 2007 as a digital download self-released, that customers could order for whatever price they saw fit, followed by a standard CD release in most countries during the last week of 2007. The...

, was released through the band's own website in October 2007 as a digital download
Music download
A music download is the transferral of music from an Internet-facing computer or website to a user's local computer. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyright material without permission or payment...

 for which customers could make whatever payment that they deemed appropriate (Pay what you want
Pay what you want
Pay what you want is a pricing system where buyers pay any desired amount for a given commodity, sometimes including zero. In some cases, a minimum price may be set, and/or a suggested price may be indicated as guidance for the buyer. The buyer can also select an amount higher than the standard...

), including paying nothing at all; the site only advised, "it's up to you". Following the band's sudden announcement 10 days beforehand, Radiohead's unusual strategy received much notice within the music industry and beyond. 1.2 million downloads were reportedly sold by the day of release, but the band's management did not release official sales figures, claiming that the Internet-only distribution was intended to boost later retail sales. In a 2011 appearance on The Colbert Report, Ed O'Brien said of the self-distribution strategy: "We sell less records, but we make more money." Colin Greenwood explained the Internet release as a way of avoiding the "regulated playlists" and "straightened formats" of radio and TV, ensuring fans around the world could all experience the music at the same time, and preventing leaks in advance of a physical release. A "discbox", including a second disc from the recording sessions, vinyl and CD editions of the album, and a hardcover book of artwork, was also sold and shipped in late 2007.

In Rainbows was physically released in the UK in late December 2007 on XL Recordings
XL Recordings
XL Recordings is a British independent record label owned by Richard Russell. It originated as a 1989 offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records.Though only releasing an average of six albums a year, XL Recordings has worked with The Prodigy, Radiohead, The White Stripes, Dizzee Rascal, M.I.A., Vampire...

 and in North America in January 2008 on TBD Records
TBD Records
TBD Records is an American record label co-founded by Coran Capshaw and Phil Costello, and is a sublabel of ATO Records, distributed by RED Distribution. The label was founded in August 2007 and quickly announced its first release, the band Underworld's first studio album in five years, Oblivion...

, charting at number one both in the UK and in the US. The record's success in the US marked Radiohead's highest chart success in that country since Kid A, while it was their fifth UK number one album. In Rainbows sold more than three million copies within one year of release. In Rainbows also received extremely positive reviews, among the best of Radiohead's career; critics praised the album for having a more accessible sound and personal style of lyrics than their past work. The album was nominated for the short list of the Mercury Music Prize, and went on to win the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album
Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album
The Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album is an award presented to recording artists for quality albums in the alternative rock genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards...

. Their production team won the Grammy for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, while Radiohead received their third nomination for Album of the Year
Grammy Award for Album of the Year
The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys. It has been awarded since 1959 and though it was originally presented to the artist alone, the award is now presented to the artist, the producer, the engineer and/or mixer and the mastering engineer...

. Along with three other nominations for the band, Godrich's production work and the "House of Cards" music video also received nominations.

Radiohead released a number of singles from In Rainbows in support of the album; "Jigsaw Falling into Place
Jigsaw Falling into Place
"Jigsaw Falling into Place" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead and is the penultimate track on their 2007 album In Rainbows. The song was released as the first single from In Rainbows on 14 January 2008, following the album's "standard" physical release on December 31, 2007.-Overview:The...

", the first, was released in the UK in January 2008. The second single, "Nude
Nude (song)
"Nude" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, appearing as the third track on their 2007 album In Rainbows. The song was released as the second single from In Rainbows on 31 March 2008. "Nude" was written in 1997, and the band began to perform it live soon after. However, a recording was not...

", debuted at number 37 in the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

, Radiohead's first song to make that chart since 1995's "High and Dry" and their first top 40 hit in the US since "Creep". Radiohead continued to put out tracks from In Rainbows as singles and videos; in July a digitally shot video for "House of Cards" was made available. "House of Cards", along with "Bodysnatchers
Bodysnatchers (song)
"Bodysnatchers" is a song by English rock band Radiohead and is the second track on their 2007 album In Rainbows. The song was released alongside "House of Cards" as a promotional single from In Rainbows in late June 2008...

", also received a single release on radio. In September the band announced a fourth single, "Reckoner
Reckoner
"Reckoner" is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, and is the seventh track on their 2007 album In Rainbows. The song was released as the third and final single from In Rainbows on 23 September 2008. It was released through the Radiohead Remix website in the form of "stems",...

", and a remix
Remix
A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. This term is also used for any alterations of media other than song ....

 competition similar to one organised for "Nude". A greatest hits
Greatest hits
A greatest hits album is a music compilation album of successful, previously released songs by a particular artist or band...

 album, titled Radiohead: The Best Of
Radiohead: The Best Of
-DVD:#"Creep" #"Anyone Can Play Guitar" #"Pop Is Dead" #"Stop Whispering" #"My Iron Lung"...

, was released by EMI in June 2008. The compilation was made without the input of the band and also did not contain any songs from In Rainbows, as the band had already left their label. Yorke expressed his disapproval on behalf of Radiohead: "We haven't really had any hits so what exactly is the purpose? ... It's a wasted opportunity in that if we'd been behind it, and we wanted to do it, then it might have been good." From mid-2008 to early 2009, Radiohead toured North America, Europe, Japan, Mexico and South America to promote In Rainbows. The band headlined the Reading and Leeds Festivals
Reading and Leeds Festivals
The Reading and Leeds Festivals are a pair of annual music festivals that take place in Reading and Leeds in England. The events take place simultaneously on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, sharing the same bill. The Reading Festival is held at Little John's Farm...

 in August 2009.

The King of Limbs and independent work (2009–present)


In May 2009, the band began new recording sessions with producer Nigel Godrich. In August of that year, Radiohead released two singles from these sessions on their website. First, "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)
Harry Patch (In Memory Of)
"Harry Patch " is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. The band wrote and recorded the song as a tribute to the British supercentenarian Harry Patch, the last surviving soldier to have fought in the trenches during World War I...

", was recorded in tribute to Harry Patch
Harry Patch
Henry John "Harry" Patch , known in his latter years as "the Last Fighting Tommy", was a British supercentenarian, briefly the oldest man in Europe, and the last surviving soldier to have fought in the trenches of the First World War...

, the last surviving British soldier to have fought in the First World War, who had recently died. The song was sold for £1, with proceeds donated to the British Legion. "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)" featured Thom Yorke singing lyrics based on Patch's own statements about his war experience, over a string orchestra backdrop arranged by Jonny Greenwood. Later that month, a new song "These Are My Twisted Words
These Are My Twisted Words
"These Are My Twisted Words" is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. It was officially released on 17 August 2009, as a free download from the band's website.-Release:On 12 August 2009, the song was leaked via BitTorrent...

", was made available as a free download. Jonny Greenwood explained that the song had been one of the first products of the band's recent studio sessions.

In a mid-2009 NME interview, Yorke suggested that Radiohead would turn their focus from full length albums to releasing EPs, including the possibility of an EP of orchestral music. In December that year, O'Brien stated on Radiohead's website that the band would begin work on their next album in January, "The vibe in the camp is fantastic at present, and we head off into the studio in January to continue on from the work we started last summer...10 years ago we were all collectively (that’s the band) in the land of Kid A... and although hugely proud of that record, it wasn’t a fun place to be...What's reassuring now, is that we are most definitely a different band, which should therefore mean that the music is different too and that is the aim of the game." In an interview with BBC 6 Music
BBC 6 Music
BBC 6 Music is one of the BBC's digital radio stations, was launched on 11 March 2002 and originally codenamed Network Y. It was the first national music radio station to be launched by the BBC in 32 years....

 in June 2010, Ed O'Brien made similar comments, that Radiohead were "in the heart of [recording] now". O'Brien also said the band hoped to be able to release the record by the end of the year. In September 2010, Colin Greenwood mentioned that they had just finished a new set of songs and "have begun to wonder about how to release them in a digital landscape that has changed again". Phil Selway added later that month that the band will "take stock" of the new material and said that it is all "up in the air".

In January 2010, while Radiohead members were in Los Angeles to record, the band played their only gig of the year as a benefit for Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

. Tickets were auctioned to the highest bidders, allowing the show at L.A.'s Henry Fonda Theater to raise over half a million US dollars for the NGO's work in Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, which earlier that month had been hit by a devastating earthquake
2010 Haiti earthquake
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks...

. A group of fans edited together digital video taken by attendees to make a multi-camera document of the concert, which they made available through YouTube and torrent
Torrent file
A torrent file stores metadata used for BitTorrent. It is defined in the BitTorrent specification.Simply, a torrent is data about a target file, though it contains no information about the content of the file. The only data that the torrent holds is information about the location of different...

s in December 2010, with the band's support and a "pay what you want" link to donate to Oxfam. In 2010, another collective of fans made a not-for-profit video of Radiohead's 2009 Prague concert and distributed it freely online, with soundboard audio provided by the band. Organizers of the Prague project said that, within five months of releasing the multi-format show online, it had been downloaded almost 100,000 times. Live in Praha
Live in Praha
Live in Praha is a live concert video from Radiohead's concert at Výstaviště Holešovice, Prague, Czech Republic on 23 August 2009.The video from this show was filmed by the audience and was then carefully put together by a group of fans...

 and Radiohead for Haiti
Radiohead for Haiti
Radiohead for Haiti is a live concert video from Radiohead's concert at the Henry Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, United States on 24 January 2010....

 were reviewed by mainstream media and were described as examples of the band's openness to fans and their positivity toward non-commercial forms of Internet distribution.

Radiohead's eighth album, The King of Limbs
The King of Limbs
The King of Limbs is the eighth studio album by English rock band Radiohead, produced by Nigel Godrich. It was self-released on 18 February 2011 as a download in MP3 and WAV formats, followed by physical CD and 12" vinyl releases on 28 March, a wider digital release via AWAL, and a special...

, was digitally released in February 2011 through the band's web site. The announcement of the album on Valentine's Day was followed by the Internet release four days later, along with a music video for the song "Lotus Flower". The King of Limbs was released in CD, vinyl and standard download formats in March, and in a "newspaper album", which included art, writings, and a CD as well as vinyl edition of the record, in May. In March, to coincide with the retail release of the album, the band also issued "The Universal Sigh", a different edition of the custom newspaper, featuring poetry, stories, essays, lyrics, and art, for which the band employed people to distribute it free in the centre of select cities throughout the world. After being sold exclusively through the band's website for nearly two months, The King of Limbs charted at number seven in the United Kingdom on its retail release in late March 2011, becoming the band's first album since The Bends not to debut at number one in the UK. In the United States it reached number three, on par with the band's last major label release, 2003's Hail to the Thief. In July 2011 The King of Limbs vinyl edition was reported to be the best-selling vinyl of the year so far by a large margin, and Radiohead were credited with helping an ongoing surge in vinyl sales.

Like Kid A, no singles were released from The King of Limbs; However, "Lotus Flower" charted in a number of countries due to digital sales or radio airplay, and manipulations of its music video
Music video
A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings...

, featuring Thom Yorke dancing to different songs, became a popular internet meme
Internet meme
The term Internet meme is used to describe a concept that spreads via the Internet. The term is a reference to the concept of memes, although the latter concept refers to a much broader category of cultural information.-Description:...

. On 16 April 2011, Radiohead released a single on vinyl, "Supercollider / The Butcher
Supercollider / The Butcher
"Supercollider"/"The Butcher" is a 2011 single by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. It was released on 12-inch vinyl in the UK, Europe and Japan on 16 April 2011 for Record Store Day. It was released on the same format in the United States and Canada on 14 June 2011."Supercollider" was...

", for Record Store Day. The band revealed that they worked on both songs during sessions for The King of Limbs, but decided they didn't fit on it. "Supercollider," at over seven minutes, is the longest studio-recorded song ever released by Radiohead in any form. Digital files of the songs were made available at no cost to anyone who had already purchased the album on the band's website, and the band uploaded audio of the songs to their YouTube channel. Radiohead also released a series of remixes from The King of Limbs on various 12" vinyls, with a CD collecting the remixes to be released in the Autumn. Remixers announced so far include Caribou, Jacques Greene, Lone and Four Tet
Four Tet
Kieran Hebden is a post-rock and electronic musician. Hebden first came to prominence as a member of the band Fridge before establishing himself as a solo artist under the moniker of Four Tet....

. The band also uploaded each remix as it was released to their YouTube channel and their website for free streaming.

The King of Limbs and TKOL RMX 1234567 were released on the band's own imprint label, Ticker Tape Ltd., owned by the band's label XL Recordings
XL Recordings
XL Recordings is a British independent record label owned by Richard Russell. It originated as a 1989 offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records.Though only releasing an average of six albums a year, XL Recordings has worked with The Prodigy, Radiohead, The White Stripes, Dizzee Rascal, M.I.A., Vampire...

.

On 21 June 2011, a video of the band performing a new song, "Staircase", was uploaded by the band to YouTube. On 24 June 2011, Radiohead played as a "secret" act at the Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or even Glasto, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.The...

, where they introduced another new song previously performed by Yorke, "The Daily Mail". The band made their first public performance of many songs from The King of Limbs at Glastonbury, for which they were joined by a guest member, Portishead touring drummer Clive Deamer. In July 2011, a number of television channels around the world debuted a taped live performance of the From the Basement
From the Basement
From the Basement is a podcast turned television programme created by music producer and engineer Nigel Godrich that features live performances from various musicians, without a host or audience.-Background:...

 series, featuring Radiohead and Deamer performing every song from The King of Limbs, as well as "The Daily Mail" and the previously released live performance of "Staircase".

Radiohead are planning to tour in 2012. The band have not finalized dates, but they are expected to play between February and November in Europe and North America, and they may work on new recordings before touring. After their festival debut at Glastonbury, Radiohead made their live debut with Deamer in late September 2011, when they played two dates in New York City. Radiohead were described as having reinvented their King of Limbs studio recordings live, emphasizing rhythm. They also made TV appearances, including a one-hour special episode of The Colbert Report. In a widely reported hoax, a message falsely attributed to the band's manager was sent to organizers of Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing series of demonstrations initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters which began September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City's Wall Street financial district...

, spreading rumours Radiohead would make an appearance, swelling crowds in the area and helping lend the protests more mainstream media attention in their second week. Band members did not play, but said they supported the protesters.

On November 7, 2011 Radiohead announced a ten date tour of the United States from February to March 2012. It will be their first U.S. tour in four years. Pre-sale's for all dates began at 7:00 AM EST on November 9, 2011, and every date's pre-sale allocation sold out within about an hour and a half. Radiohead commented on the tour stating that these dates are the "first part" of touring plans for 2012 and that there will be "more to follow"

Style and songwriting


Among Radiohead members' earliest influences were Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

 and Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

; post-punk
Post-punk
Post-punk is a rock music movement with its roots in the late 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock explosion of the mid-1970s. The genre retains its roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental...

 acts such as Joy Division
Joy Division
Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis , Bernard Sumner , Peter Hook and Stephen Morris .Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences...

 and Magazine
Magazine (band)
Magazine are an English post-punk group active from 1977 to 1981, then reformed in 2009. Their debut single, "Shot by Both Sides", is now acknowledged as a classic and their debut album, Real Life, is still widely admired as one of the greatest albums of all time...

; and significantly 1980s alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

 bands such as R.E.M.
R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

, Pixies, The Smiths
The Smiths
The Smiths were an English alternative rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr , the band also included Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce...

 and Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth is an American alternative rock band from New York City, formed in 1981. The current lineup consists of Thurston Moore , Kim Gordon , Lee Ranaldo , Steve Shelley , and Mark Ibold .In their early career, Sonic Youth was associated with the No Wave art and music scene in New York City...

. By the mid-1990s, Radiohead began to adopt some recording methods from hip hop
Hip hop
Hip hop is a form of musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American and Latino communities during the 1970s in New York City, specifically the Bronx. DJ Afrika Bambaataa outlined the four pillars of hip hop culture: MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing...

, inspired by the sampling work of DJ Shadow. They also became interested in using computers to generate sounds. Other influences on the group were Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz,...

 and Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone, Grand Officer OMRI, , is an Italian composer and conductor, who wrote music to more than 500 motion pictures and television series, in a career lasting over 50 years. His scores have been included in over 20 award-winning films as well as several symphonic and choral pieces...

, along with 1960s rock groups, such as The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 and The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962...

, and Phil Spector
Phil Spector
Phillip Harvey "Phil" Spector is an American record producer and songwriter, later known for his conviction in the murder of actress Lana Clarkson....

's "wall of sound" productions for girl groups. Jonny Greenwood also cited composer Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki , born November 23, 1933 in Dębica) is a Polish composer and conductor. His 1960 avant-garde Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima for string orchestra brought him to international attention, and this success was followed by acclaim for his choral St. Luke Passion. Both these...

 as an inspiration on the sound of OK Computer. The electronic music
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

 of Kid A and Amnesiac was inspired by Thom Yorke's admiration for glitch
Glitch (music)
Glitch is a term used to describe a genre of electronic music that emerged in the mid to late 1990s. The glitch aesthetic is characterized by a deliberate use of glitch based sonic artifacts that would normally be viewed as unwanted disturbances reducing the overall sound quality and are thus...

, ambient techno
Ambient music
Ambient music is a musical genre that focuses largely on the timbral characteristics of sounds, often organized or performed to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual" or "unobtrusive" quality.- History :...

 and IDM
Intelligent dance music
Intelligent dance music is a term that describes an electronic music genre that emerged in the early 1990s. The genre is influenced by a wide range of musical styles particularly electronic dance music such as Detroit Techno...

 as exemplified by Warp Records
Warp Records
Warp, commonly referred to as Warp Records, is a pioneering independent British record label, founded in Sheffield in 1989, notable for discovering some of the more enduring artists in electronic music....

 artists such as Autechre
Autechre
Autechre are an English electronic music duo consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both natives of Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Formed in 1987, they are one of the most prominent acts signed to Warp Records, a label known for its pioneering electronic music and through which all Autechre albums...

 and Aphex Twin
Aphex Twin
Richard David James , best known under the pseudonym Aphex Twin, is an Irish-born electronic musician and composer described as "the most inventive and influential figure in contemporary electronic music"...

, and the album also sampled from early computer music
Computer music
Computer music is a term that was originally used within academia to describe a field of study relating to the applications of computing technology in music composition; particularly that stemming from the Western art music tradition...

. The jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 of Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus Jr. was an American jazz musician, composer, bandleader, and civil rights activist.Mingus's compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop and drew heavily from black gospel music while sometimes drawing on elements of Third stream, free jazz, and classical music...

, Alice Coltrane
Alice Coltrane
Alice Coltrane, née McLeod was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, and composer.-Biography:...

, and Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz,...

, and 1970s Krautrock
Krautrock
Krautrock is a generic name for the experimental music scenes that appeared in Germany in the late 1960s and gained popularity throughout the 1970s, especially in Britain. The term is a result of the English-speaking world's reception of the music at the time and not a reference to any one...

 bands such as Can
Can (band)
Can was an experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany in 1968. Later labeled as one of the first "krautrock" groups, they transcended mainstream influences and incorporated strong minimalist and world music elements into their often psychedelic music.Can constructed their music largely...

 and Neu!
Neu!
Neu! was a German band formed by Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother after their split from Kraftwerk in the early 1970s...

, were other major influences during this period. Jonny Greenwood's interest in 20th century classical music
20th century classical music
20th century classical music was without a dominant style and highly diverse.-Introduction:At the turn of the century, music was characteristically late Romantic in style. Composers such as Gustav Mahler and Jean Sibelius were pushing the bounds of Post-Romantic Symphonic writing...

 also had a role, as the influence of both Penderecki and composer Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex ; harmonically and melodically it is based on modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from his early compositions and improvisations...

 was apparent; for several songs on Kid A and later albums, Greenwood has played the ondes Martenot
Ondes Martenot
The ondes Martenot , also known as the ondium Martenot, Martenot and ondes musicales, is an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. The original design was similar in sound to the theremin...

, an early electronic instrument popularised by Messiaen. While working on Hail to the Thief, Radiohead put renewed emphasis on guitar rock. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

 and particularly Neil Young
Neil Young
Neil Percival Young, OC, OM is a Canadian singer-songwriter who is widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation...

 were reported sources of inspiration to the band during this period. Since beginning to record In Rainbows, Radiohead members have mentioned a variety of rock, electronic, hip hop and experimental musicians as influences, including Björk
Björk
Björk Guðmundsdóttir , known as Björk , is an Icelandic singer-songwriter. Her eclectic musical style has achieved popular acknowledgement and popularity within many musical genres, such as rock, jazz, electronic dance music, classical and folk...

, Liars
Liars (band)
Liars is a three-piece band formed in 2000 consisting of Angus Andrew , Aaron Hemphill , and Julian Gross...

, Modeselektor
Modeselektor
Modeselektor is an electronic music band formed in Berlin, featuring Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary. The group draws heavily from IDM, glitch, Electro house and hip hop. In an interview the group said regarding their sound: "Happy metal, hard rap, country-ambient, Russian crunk. We don’t like...

 and Spank Rock
Spank Rock
Spank Rock is an American hip-hop group consisting of rapper Naeem Juwan and producer Alex Epton . Their style is generally described as a mix of underground alternative rap and electro and rock.- Biography :...

. Since leaving their major label, the band members have been interviewed less frequently, more often posting "office charts" of their favorite songs of the moment on their blog Dead Air Space. In 2011, Thom Yorke denied Radiohead had ever set out deliberately to change musical styles or to make "experimental music
Experimental music
Experimental music refers, in the English-language literature, to a compositional tradition which arose in the mid-20th century, applied particularly in North America to music composed in such a way that its outcome is unforeseeable. Its most famous and influential exponent was John Cage...

", saying band members are "constantly absorbing music" and a variety of musicians are always influencing their work.

Since their formation Radiohead have, lyrically and musically, been spearheaded by Yorke. However, although Yorke is responsible for writing nearly all the lyrics, songwriting is a collaborative effort, and it has been noted in interviews that all the band members have roles in the process. As a result, all the band's songs are officially credited to "Radiohead". The Kid A/Amnesiac sessions brought about a change in Radiohead's musical style, and an even more radical change in the band's working method. Since the band's shift from standard rock music instrumentation toward an emphasis on electronic sound, band members have had greater flexibility and now regularly switch instruments depending on the particular song requirements. On Kid A and Amnesiac, Yorke played keyboard and bass, while Jonny Greenwood often played ondes Martenot
Ondes Martenot
The ondes Martenot , also known as the ondium Martenot, Martenot and ondes musicales, is an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. The original design was similar in sound to the theremin...

 rather than guitar, bassist Colin Greenwood worked on sampling, and O'Brien and Selway branched out to drum machines and digital manipulations, also finding ways to incorporate their primary instruments, guitar and percussion, respectively, into the new sound. The relaxed 2003 recording sessions for Hail to the Thief led to a different dynamic in Radiohead, with Yorke admitting in interviews that "[his] power within the band was absolutely unbalanced and [he] would subvert everybody else's power at all costs. But ... it's actually a lot more healthy now, democracy wise, than it used to be."

Collaborators



The band maintains a close relationship with their producer Nigel Godrich
Nigel Godrich
Nigel Godrich, , is a recording engineer, record producer and musician. He is best known for his work with the English rock band Radiohead and is sometimes referred to as the "sixth member" of the band...

, as well as with graphic artist
Graphic design
Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form – undertaken in order to convey a specific message to a targeted audience...

 Stanley Donwood
Stanley Donwood
Stanley Donwood is the pen name of English artist Dan Rickwood. Donwood is known for his close association with the British rock group Radiohead, having created all their album and poster art...

. Godrich made his name with Radiohead, working with the band since The Bends, and as producer since OK Computer. He has, at times, been dubbed the "sixth member" of the band in an allusion to George Martin
George Martin
Sir George Henry Martin CBE is an English record producer, arranger, composer and musician. He is sometimes referred to as "the Fifth Beatle"— a title that he often describes as "nonsense," but the fact remains that he served as producer on all but one of The Beatles' original albums...

 being called the "Fifth Beatle
Fifth Beatle
The Fifth Beatle is an informal title that various commentators in the press and entertainment industry have applied to persons who were at one point a member of The Beatles, or who had a strong association with the "Fab Four" during the group's existence...

". Donwood, another longtime associate of the band, has produced all of Radiohead's album covers and visual artwork since 1994. Together with Yorke, Donwood won a Grammy
Grammy Award for Best Recording Package
The Grammy Award for Best Recording Package is one of a series of Grammy Awards presented for the visual look of an album. It is presented to the art director of the winning album, not to the performer, except if the performer is also the art director....

 in 2002 for a special edition of Amnesiac packaged as a library book. Other collaborators include Dilly Gent, and Peter Clements. Gent has been responsible for commissioning all Radiohead music videos since OK Computer, working with the band to find a director suitable for each project. The band's live technician, Peter Clements, or "Plank", has worked with the band since before The Bends, setting up their instruments for both studio recordings and live performances.

Band members


Current members
  • Colin Greenwood
    Colin Greenwood
    Colin Charles Greenwood , is an English musician and composer, best known as the bassist of the rock band Radiohead. Apart from bass, Colin plays keyboards, synthesizers and works on sampling on the electronic side of Radiohead...

     – bass, keyboards
  • Jonny Greenwood
    Jonny Greenwood
    Jonathan Richard Guy "Jonny" Greenwood is an English musician and composer, best known as a member of the English rock band Radiohead. Greenwood is a multi-instrumentalist, but serves mainly as lead guitarist and keyboard player. In addition to guitar and keyboard, he plays viola, harmonica,...

     – guitars, keyboards, Ondes Martenot, other instruments
  • Ed O'Brien
    Ed O'Brien
    Edward John O'Brien is an English musician, songwriter and guitarist for the rock band Radiohead. He is also responsible for harmony vocals during live concerts and on many tracks from the band's albums...

     – guitars, backing vocals
  • Phil Selway
    Phil Selway
    Philip James "Phil" "The Graf" Selway is an English musician and songwriter, best known as the drummer of English rock group Radiohead. He also drums and provides backing vocals, along with occasional guitar and lead vocals, for 7 Worlds Collide...

     – drums, percussion
  • Thom Yorke
    Thom Yorke
    Thomas "Thom" Edward Yorke is an English musician who is the lead vocalist and principal songwriter for Radiohead. He mainly plays guitar and piano, but he has also played drums and bass guitar...

     – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, piano


Additional live members
  • Clive Deamer – drums, percussion (2011)

Discography


  • Pablo Honey
    Pablo Honey
    Pablo Honey is the debut studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released in February 1993. The album was produced by Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie and was recorded at Chipping Norton Studio and Courtyard Studio, Oxfordshire from September to November 1992...

     (1993)
  • The Bends
    The Bends
    The Bends is the second studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released on 13 March 1995 by Parlophone. The Bends was produced by John Leckie at EMI's studios in London, and engineered by Nigel Godrich, who would go on to produce all future albums by the band...

     (1995)
  • OK Computer
    OK Computer
    OK Computer is the third studio album by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released on 16 June 1997 on Parlophone in the UK and 1 July 1997 by Capitol Records in the US. It marks a deliberate attempt by the band to move away from the introspective guitar-oriented sound of their previous...

     (1997)
  • Kid A
    Kid A
    Kid A is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in October 2000 by the Parlophone label. A commercial success worldwide, Kid A went platinum in its first week of release in the United Kingdom. Despite the lack of an official single or music video as publicity, Kid A...

     (2000)
  • Amnesiac
    Amnesiac
    Amnesiac was generally well-received by critics. It was also ranked as one of the best albums of the year by several publications. The Village Voice Pazz and Jop poll ranked it number 6 on their top 10 albums of the year. Alternative Press declared it the #1 album of the year...

     (2001)
  • Hail to the Thief
    Hail to the Thief
    Hail to the Thief is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in June 2003 through Parlophone Records. After two Radiohead albums that featured heavily processed vocals, less guitar, and strong influence from experimental electronica and jazz, Hail to the Thief was seen...

     (2003)
  • In Rainbows
    In Rainbows
    In Rainbows is the seventh studio album by the English rock band Radiohead. It was first released on 10 October 2007 as a digital download self-released, that customers could order for whatever price they saw fit, followed by a standard CD release in most countries during the last week of 2007. The...

     (2007)
  • The King of Limbs
    The King of Limbs
    The King of Limbs is the eighth studio album by English rock band Radiohead, produced by Nigel Godrich. It was self-released on 18 February 2011 as a download in MP3 and WAV formats, followed by physical CD and 12" vinyl releases on 28 March, a wider digital release via AWAL, and a special...

     (2011)

Sources


  • Randall, Mac. Exit Music: The Radiohead Story. 2000. ISBN 0-385-33393-5
  • Clarke, Martin. Radiohead: Hysterical and Useless. 2000. ISBN 0-85965-332-3


Further reading


  • Doheny, James. Radiohead: Back to Save the Universe. 2002. ISBN 0-8264-1663-2
  • Forbes, Brandon W. and Reisch, George A. (eds). Radiohead and Philosophy: Fitter Happier More Deductive
    Radiohead and Philosophy: Fitter Happier More Deductive
    Radiohead and Philosophy: Fitter Happier More Deductive is a book edited by Brandon W. Forbes and George A. Reisch, published as Volume 38 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series of the Open Court Publishing Company...

    . 2009. ISBN 0-8126-9664-6
  • Hale, Jonathan. Radiohead: From a Great Height. 1999. ISBN 1550223739
  • Johnstone, Nick. Radiohead: An Illustrated Biography. 1997. ISBN 0-7119-6581-1
  • Letts, Marianne Tatom. Radiohead and the Resistant Concept Album. 2010. ISBN 978-0-253-22272-5
  • Paytress, Mark. Radiohead: The Complete Guide to their Music. 2005. ISBN 1-84449-507-8
  • Tate, Joseph (ed). The Music and Art of Radiohead. 2005. ISBN 0-7546-3979-7.


External links