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RADIOHEAD

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Radiohead biography
With every new album, UK quintet Radiohead reaches ever further to expand their sound, shedding their initial classification as an alt.rock band to become one of the leaders in experimental, challenging modern music.

Radiohead's official introduction to the world was 1993's 'Pablo Honey', built of simple songs that were introspective and sometimes melancholic. Garnering massive success thanks to a huge hit single, Radiohead turned a cold shoulder to the mainstream and recorded 'The Bends', which, while still firmly in the modern-rock mold, didn't make concessions to the mainstream's expectations. Experimentation and arrangements began to blossom on this album, but only hinted at their next phase. 'OK Computer' was released in 1997 and took the world by storm, alienating some older fans while gaining a slew of new fans from all walks of musical life. This album turned the idea of the modern rock album on its head, utilizing a vast array of sounds, touching on everything from '70s progressive rock to the emerging techno/electronica movement, strengthened with a rather grandiose production job. It was an ambitious, adventurous work that will hold up decades from now. Despite spawning several hit singles, it was an immense chunk of diversity that showed Radiohead were going to be an unpredictable entity in the ensuing years.

To their credit, the band did not rest on their laurels as the mainstream's darling art rock band, pushing the envelope much further upon the release of 2000's 'Kid A'. An angular, sometimes difficult work, 'Kid A' was a perplexing shift in direction. It sometimes sounds like a band running riot in a musical equipment warehouse/museum, such is its wide array of tones and sonic dexterity. Songs become anti-songs, and you never know what's waiting around the corner. Capitalizing on this newfound freedom to go anywhere with their music, the band released 'Amnesiac' a year later, often looked at as the companion piece to 'Kid A'. 'Amnesiac' mirrored the approach of 'Kid A' while holding up strongly in its own right.

2003 brought the band's sixth studio album, 'Hail To The Thief', a 14-song monster that seemed to be the culmination of everything that came before it, with a firm eye toward a number of new realms. With a seemingly limitless arsenal of ideas and the electronic toys to make those ideas become reality, the future sound of Radiohead is an open field for them to play upon, to the delight of their diverse group of...
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OK ComputerOK Computer
Parlophone 2008
Vinyl$20.10
$18.11 (used)
In RainbowsIn Rainbows
TBD Records 2007
Audio CD$7.11
$3.99 (used)
Kid A (2-10Kid A (2-10" LPs) [Vinyl]
Limited Edition
Parlophone 2008
Vinyl$21.33
$21.90 (used)
The BendsThe Bends
Parlophone 1995
Audio CD$3.47
$0.01 (used)
Hail to the Thief [Vinyl]Hail to the Thief [Vinyl]
Limited Edition
Parlophone 2008
Vinyl$23.99
$19.99 (used)
The King of LimbsThe King of Limbs
TBD Records 2011
Audio CD$7.73
$3.98 (used)
Amnesiac (2-10Amnesiac (2-10" LPs) [Vinyl]
Limited Edition
Parlophone 2008
Vinyl$23.74
$25.00 (used)
Pablo HoneyPablo Honey
Import
Parlophone 1993
Audio CD$3.58
$0.01 (used)
My Iron LungMy Iron Lung
Parlophone 1998
Audio CD$4.29
$0.01 (used)
Best OfBest Of
Parlophone 2008
Audio CD$11.57
$13.78 (used)
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RADIOHEAD shows & tickets


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RADIOHEAD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RADIOHEAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.49 | 283 ratings
Pablo Honey
1993
3.80 | 447 ratings
The Bends
1995
4.03 | 794 ratings
OK Computer
1997
3.93 | 629 ratings
Kid A
2000
3.61 | 350 ratings
Amnesiac
2001
3.43 | 354 ratings
Hail To The Thief
2003
3.79 | 450 ratings
In Rainbows
2007
3.32 | 269 ratings
The King Of Limbs
2011

RADIOHEAD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 72 ratings
I Might Be Wrong
2001

RADIOHEAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.02 | 25 ratings
7 Television Commercials
1998
2.71 | 16 ratings
The Astoria London Live
2005
3.19 | 16 ratings
The Best Of
2008
4.09 | 15 ratings
The Kings Of Limbs - Live From The Basement
2012

RADIOHEAD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.15 | 20 ratings
Radiohead Box Set
2007
3.24 | 18 ratings
The Best Of
2008
2.50 | 8 ratings
TKOL RMX 1234567
2011

RADIOHEAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.43 | 9 ratings
Drill
1992
3.34 | 48 ratings
My Iron Lung
1994
2.51 | 16 ratings
Itch
1994
2.88 | 14 ratings
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
1996
3.95 | 20 ratings
Paranoid Android
1997
3.85 | 13 ratings
No Surprises / Running From Demons
1997
3.79 | 38 ratings
Airbag/How Am I Driving?
1998
2.28 | 18 ratings
Pyramid Song
2001
2.77 | 15 ratings
There There
2003
2.33 | 11 ratings
Go To Sleep
2003
2.38 | 24 ratings
Com Lag: 2plus2isfive
2004
3.78 | 9 ratings
Reckoner
2008
3.57 | 7 ratings
Bodysnatchers / House Of Cards
2008
3.80 | 10 ratings
Nude
2008
3.69 | 13 ratings
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
2008
2.11 | 16 ratings
Harry Patch (In Memory Of)
2009
2.79 | 23 ratings
These Are My Twisted Words
2009
3.30 | 21 ratings
Supercollider / The Butcher
2011
3.38 | 15 ratings
The Daily Mail / Staircase
2011
3.67 | 3 ratings
Spectre
2015

RADIOHEAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The King Of Limbs by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.32 | 269 ratings

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The King Of Limbs
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Full disclosure: I'm not much of a Radiohead fan. In fact, just about the only time I listen to the group is when I'm in the mood for In Rainbows, or if I'm writing reviews for this website. The sound on the band's key albums doesn't resonate with me. That being said, I think that King of Limbs is actually pretty great. It sloughs off some of the "rock" baggage in Radiohead's sound that never really worked for me in favor of ambient textures, bass grooves, and a more open-ended experience that is an easier listen and seems to fit the group well.

The first half of King of Limbs strongly incorporates elements of electronica into the the band's trademark sound of guitar textures and Thom Yorke droning. "Bloom" starts us off with drum, horn, and keyboard effect samples, creating a directionless ambiance that is sophisticated and dense. The next two tracks have scattershot drumming and gentle guitar riffing that continue this electronica experimentation. Yorke uses his voice as a instrument, which I think is great because I've never cared for his lyrics or phrasing as a singer; here, he sings long sustains and tones that drift into the overall tapestry of the songs.

The second half is the stronger side; things become more subtle. The songs slow down are densely layered and emotional. "Codex" features wonderful piano work played over a gentle electronic throb and haunting vocals. Probably the highlight of the album for me. "Seperator" is a great, dreamy and optimistic feeling close to the album.

This release will probably turn off fans of Radiohead's earlier and more critically acclaimed works, but King of Limbs is, ironically, more approachable because of its gentle mood and deviation from the band's noisier art-rock offerings.

An enjoyable, moody combination of tones and sounds to drift off to.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

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 Kid A by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.93 | 629 ratings

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Kid A
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I've always kind of dreaded reviewing Radiohead albums, mostly because I hear and acknowledge the artistry that the group puts into each of their releases, but it never really registers for me. Most people in my demographic enjoy Radiohead because their first encounter with the band was some sort of revelation that opened their ears to what artistic music could be. I was already deep into Yes, King Crimson, and other prog groups, so when I heard people say, "oh man you've GOT to listen to Radiohead! They're so inventive..." I immediately thought "screw you, I'm listening to a 20 minute song about transcendentalism and the flourishing of the human spirit." At any rate, its seems that one cannot be a fan of art rock without exposing oneself to Radiohead, so here we go.

I feel that Kid A is basically ambient/trance music with the occasional guitar noise and drums thrown in. Radiohead has composed a series of languid, synth-heavy songs that ebb and flow through rhythm and melancholy. The musicianship is one of subtlety and craftsmanship, creating generally moody emotions in abstract structures. There isn't a single chorus, hook, or melody that is likely to stick with the listener, but the general feeling while listening is generally quite pleasant, even if you can't really pick out what you like about it. The album feels very lazy and at times is even trance-inducing, but if you listen closer you'll actually hear quite a bit going on. I suppose for me I enjoy Kid A as sort of "avant garde light". It's crazy enough to be a weird and artistic experience, but not TOO weird and artistic as to be inaccessible. This is probably why Radiohead was so successful; they invented and created something that was just weird enough to still be popular.

As a rock album I think that Radiohead's performance on Kid A is underwhelming and forgettable. As a piece of experimental art, I think it's pretty good; however, it will definitely appeal to some much more than others, and probably for different reasons.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

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 The Bends by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.80 | 447 ratings

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The Bends
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by Progkid

5 stars Radiohead are one of my most favorite bands, but I do not consider them prog, actually its impossible to call or restrict them to any one genre(that's not how Thom works) so I won't judge this album by prog standards but rather by musical standards The Bends is one of the best second albums out there, its sad, melancholic and hauntingly beautiful, its a great step towards a legendary career after their debut Pablo Honey, Jonny greenwood's guitar roars in this album and Thom gives a great vocal performance as usual, this is the best album to start if you wanna get into Radiohead 1. Planet Telex- Great album opener, perfectly sets the mood for the album, totally in the spirit of 90's lyrically a bit sad and angst filled, a perfect performance by all band members. 8.5/10 2. The Bends- Another great guitar driven tracks, I don't know what to say the words are coming out all weird (pun intended) cause this is so amazing. Its about how Thom felt when suddenly a lot of people became his 'friends' after the success of the band, 8.5/10 3. High and Dry- Great acoustic guitar at the start of the album, Thom gives one of his best vocal performances ever, for me its about how someone leaves you all alone and you are left there all alone, but yet feeling sad not for yourself but for the person who left you and is alone too.....someone you love more than yourself, how the best thing you ever had goes away. 10/10 4. Fake Plastic Trees- The title suggests the meaning, when someone you love isn't real but fake, one of the most touching songs on the album, and Thom's falsetto is at the best during the end, it is also about how you desperately want to be with someone but can't because they hate you for no reasons 'If I could be who you wanted all the time' 10/10 5.Bones- a straight in your face rocker, I don't quite get the meaning but it is surely angst filled, not one of my favorites on the album yet good enough to be 7/10 6. Nice Dream- This is one of my favorites RH moments, beautiful guitars, drums, vocals, lyrics, just everything so perfect just like a nice dream, you know what I mean right? if you don't listen this song right now P.S great backing vocals and guitar in the end 7.Just- what do I say about this song? the lyrics say it all "you do it to yourself, you do and that what really hurts you do it to yourself, just you you and no one else"8.5/10 8. My iron lung- this song was released in the selftitled E.P but yet it remains one of the greatest song on this album, one of the best known rh songs, with lovely guitars and drums and tends to make a joke on creep 10/10 9.Bulletproof... I wish I was- quite sad, you know when someone hurts you so much that all you wish for is something which can ease the pain? when you cant take it anymore and wanna be bulletproof, its a tear jerker 10/10 10. Black Star- Hidden gem actually in the bends, quite underrated, to me it represents a period when you keep fighting with your lovedone which leads to break up and then after all this you can't forget them and tend to blame it on everything around, it eats you from inside, you can't sleep, you always see their face everywhere, its a lovely track 10/10 11. Sulk- quite a sarcastic song and funny for me( reminds me of someone sulking at their mistake) you know people like that, they'll hurt you and sulk sometimes thinking its their fault, but yet they are scared of saying sorry, anyway great track 8.5/10 12. Street Spirit- the most depressing song ever, even Thom used to cry singing it, because it shows helplessness, sadness and all other problems, their songs are like a dark tunnel but eventually there is light and the song is not always sad, but this one has got no positive thing whatsoever, quite moving and a great closing track from a great band's album

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 Kid A by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.93 | 629 ratings

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Kid A
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars At the end of the "OK Computer" tour, Radiohead was feeling very burned out. They all felt that they needed to take the band in another direction, but the direction they wanted to go was a matter of argument among the members. Of course, Yorke had the most say about where the band would go, but was willing to disband if everyone didn't reach an agreement where to take the band. Yorke had started listening to more electronic based bands and wanted to rely less on melody, and to use textures and treat his voice as an instrument and not necessarily the focal point with traditional melody after traditional melody playing one after another. He was really impressed with the range of emotions that were evident in different types of music, particularly electronic, and started to be influenced by Krautrock, 20th Century Classical Music and Jazz. He was also tired of the imitators that were out there, and after the success of "Ok Computer" thought it was time for the band to move on.

It is interesting that the success of the band just about brought on their demise. The members of the band had a hard time accepting that not every member would be playing on each track, and that caused a lot of arguments among the members. They tried splitting up the band so that at one time a few of them would work on song basics while the others fleshed out and finished the songs and then they would switch roles, that was everyone was involved with the music all of the time. After doing this for a while, using electronics to carry it out for the most part, the band all became convinced that this was the way to go, and "Kid A" started to come into being. In fact, there were so many songs completed, that they were going to release it as a double album, but then they decided to split it and save some of the songs for the next album "Amnesiac" which is what they did.

To me, this album is a masterpiece. Radiohead had progressed to another style of music, away from alternative based guitar rock to more of an experimental/electronic sound, and they nailed the sound on this album. This is quite a collection of emotive songs, with a lot of depth and texture, which is what Yorke was aiming for. The beautiful thing about the album is it doesn't sound like the band was stepping into unknown territory, the songs on this album are beautiful and full of emotion. Getting a lot of inspiration from Aphex Twin and a few others, Radiohead developed a new signature sound. They got away from the traditional pop format of verse-chorus formula to a more untraditional and unique way of songwriting. Yorke's vocals were sometimes processed and other times not. I feel his voice did become an instrument here, that he was able to develop different sounds to help add texture to the overall song instead of distracting from it.

There is quite a range of sounds here, including a brass section in "The National Anthem" that creates more and more dissonance as the song continues until chaos ensues. The instrumental "Treefingers" sounds like a synthesized song, but it is actually Greenwood's guitar processed by Yorke to sound ambient and electronic. "Everything in it's Right Place" and "How to Disappear Completely" processed Yorke's voice into a surprisingly beautiful texture, even taking a monotone recording of his voice and digitally altering it to create the melody. And "Idioteque" is such a unique song that uses short samples of two different electronic tracks from the 70s, that one of those creators of on of those samples (which was taken from a much longer work) actually wrote a book about "Idioteque" and the theory behind it.

This album is definitely progressive in every sense. Just because it doesn't sound like it's from the 70s doesn't mean that it is not progressive. Being progressive means not sticking with a formula, like sounding like something from the past, but it is building and developing sounds into new and exciting territories and not remaining stagnant. This is how we can consider Radiohead a progressive band. This is a masterpiece of an album and deserves all 5 stars.

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 OK Computer by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.03 | 794 ratings

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OK Computer
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by A_Flower

4 stars If you are considering looking into the second generation of prog rock (Marrilion, Porcupine Tree, etc.) then this is the place to start. Radiohead's third album, Ok Computer is often seen as the modern Dark Side of the Moon. And it is, in my opinion. It is good in creating an environment of music, transitions well, and blends multiple themes in one album still maintaining it's atmosphere.

The album starts with electric guitar and adds in drums. This is "Airbag" the song is about car accidents, which is talked about a lot in the album (ironic how I took drivers ed right when I first started listening to it.) Anyway, there is a good instermental section near 2 and a half minutes, and this song is a highlight for the album. It ends with a beep which takes us into the next track.

Paranoid Android starts acoustic with drumming. It then has some lyrics and progresses into Yorke singing "What's there" and a computer talking in the background about a Paranoid Android. The beginning of it is one of my favorite sections of the album. It changes a little, and suddenly, the electric guitar kicks in somewhere in 2 minutes. It then turns into a loud rock song for a minute, and completely changes. It gets slower then the intro, with many "Ahhs" as Yorke sings "Rain Down" There is also over lyrics after a little. After this, the electric guitar kicks in once again and the song ends with an even better solo. This track is what basically makes this album prog.

We then have "Subterainean Homesick Alien" a title as a play on Dylans "Subteraenian Homesick Blues." The guitar in this song is very alien-ish. The chorus is my favorite part though, singing "Uptight." This is another highlight track on the album.

The next track is quite depressing. "Exit Music (For a Film)." I have yet to see a film with this Exit Music. It starts mainly acoustic, but it won't be for long. A choir is hiding behind the corner and comes in at around 1:27. The song later get's an interesting background noise, sort of avant-grade. Then drums and meletron kick in around three minutes in. It's quite a dramatic song.

Next is one of Radiohead's hits. "Let Down." This song has double lyrics, and a repeating guitar melody. It is a bit hard to understand what Yorke is saying, but that somehow makes this song better. At around 2:30, there is a buildup. This is probably the coolest part. You'll need to listen to this multiple times before you love it.

The next track is one of the best songs on the album for sure. "Karma Police" starts with piano solo and then adds lyrics with drumming and guitar. The lyrics are about hoping someone will get bad Karma. "This is what you'll get." But it is at 2:33 when one of my favorite moments of music comes in. It changes and Yorke sings "For a minute there, I lost myself." It makes me almost faint. The song progresses onward from that. Amazing track.

Then there is one of "those" songs. "Fitter Happier." It is a computer saying some inspirational stuff while music in the background that sounds like it's from Minecraft or something like that.

The next song starts with backwards sound affects. "Electioneering" then adds guitar with the insterment that Bruce Dickenson has a fever for (cowbell). It is a very intense and is about an election.

Then the music gets darker in "Climbing Up the Walls." This song has a deep environment to it. The chorus melody is pretty cool though, especially the guitar and meletron. The song adds more as it goes along and gets scarier in a way. At the end, Yorke starts screaming at the top of his lungs, weird.

Then the mood completely changes in "No Suprises." This song is happier. But it had a glocenshpele. I love that insterment, but this is just kinda boring. I don't really like this one because it is too mellow and sort of ruins the album. Many people love it though, but I don't get it.

Now we have one of the better tracks on the album. "Lucky." Remember how I said how the album has a lot about driving and car accidents? Well this is another one about that. The song is about being lucky not to be in a crash. In the second time the verse comes, there is a choir. It adds intensity to the song and makes it deeper. Lucky is a great song for its feeling.

The album ends in a great way, calming things down. "The Tourist" is the final track. People don't like it because it is too mellow for such a heavy album. However, the melody repeats "Hey man, slow down. Idiot, slow down." With a choir, this part is pure beauty. This song is a perfect conclusion, and it's a good thing that it is, mellow, because, it let's you reflect on the album. One of the best songs for sure.

So, the debate on this is: Is it prog? Yes. In the way you would consider The Moody Blues prog. You can only due so by the whole album.

Ranking of songs: 1. Paranoid Android 2. Karma Police 3. The Tourist 4. Subteraenian Homesick Alien 5. Let Down 6. Airbag 7. Lucky 8. Exit Music (For a Film) 9. Electioneering 10. Climbing Up the Walls 11. No Suprises 12. Fitter Happier

Favorite quote from the album: "For a minute there, I lost myself." -From "Karma Police

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 Itch by RADIOHEAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
2.51 | 16 ratings

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Itch
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is a pretty decent representation of early Radiohead seen through rare versions, b-sides and live cuts compiled from different rare recordings from around the time of the recording of their first album "Pablo Honey". For those who like the early straightforward sounding rock of Radiohead and despair over the creative turn the band took, then this is a good addition to your library in that it offers rare material that was released previously, but now is very hard to find. It is a decent enough collection and the rawness of the sound actually grows on you after you get used to the sound of the earlier versions of the known tracks, plus you get music you haven't heard if you don't have the singles.

"Stop Whispering" is on the Pablo Honey album, but this version is the "US version" which is a remix which features strings and the tempo is slowed down from the original. It is a pretty good version and an interesting variation that is good for fans to argue over which they like the best. "Thinking About You" is a very different version from the album in that this one is more punk oriented and much faster than the familiar version, though it is in reality, the original version on this EP. I actually like this version and after getting used to it, you might think the album version is too slow and lifeless. "Faithless the Wonder Boy" is a great B-side from the "Anyone Can Play Guitar" single and would have been a worthy enough addition to the album. "Banana Co." is also an early version and this version was a B-side to "Pop is Dead". It is much different from the version that appeared on the "Street Spirit" single that came out 2 years after this. It is an acoustic version recorded at a radio station. Decent enough version. The next 3 songs "Killer Cars", "Vegetable" and "You" are all live versions of those songs which were previously available on a very rare 12" single of the song "Creep" in a slightly different order, but these are all great live performances full of spirit and great versions of these tracks. The last track is a very nice acoustic version of "Creep" also recorded live at a radio station. This track would be available on the "My Iron Lung" EP a few years later and was used to help sell that single.

These are all decent versions and the grittiness and rawness and utter noisy excitement from early Radiohead shows are showcased in the 3 live cuts. It is a nice window to their early years and if you can't get a hold of these tracks on other EPs or singles, then this is a good collection to have. For early Radiohead fans and alternative rock fans alike, but there is nothing progressive on this EP, just great rock.

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 I Might Be Wrong by RADIOHEAD album cover Live, 2001
3.52 | 72 ratings

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I Might Be Wrong
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What makes a great live album even if it's an E.P.? One that can stand on it's own as an album. One that has enough differences from the studio recording that it is interesting, but still recognizable in some aspect. And one that captures the excitement of the crowd without it overshadowing the performance so that it gives you the desire to go see them live yourself. Does this album accomplish this? I really believe that it does in every way.

The versions of the songs, for the most part, are different enough to make this album worth it's price and worth it's purchase. The tracks are interesting in that you can hear how they treat their songs in a live setting, and some of them get quite a different treatment. The E.P. is great enough to listen to on it's own and has it's own qualities over the studio versions of the songs in that it is satisfying enough on it's own and has enough elements to make it even superior to the studio versions in some aspects, but it doesn't take away from the original recordings of the songs at the same time. There are also times like in "Idioteque" where you hear the crown singing along to the lyrics and how they get excited through the build up and release of the song. Sometimes, the audience almost disappears under the music, but you can always hear their appreciation of the show and their excitement between the songs. I know it makes me want to see one of their live shows.

One thing I have admired about Radiohead, especially on the Kid A and Amnisiac albums is their impressive way of building tension and release in their music. Since 7 of the 8 songs on this E.P. are from these two album and are recorded in different venues through 2001, you get a nice dosage of the tension and release of the songs, and the crowds are definitely appreciative and it show. The last track on this collection is an acoustic version of a previously unreleased song called "True Love Waits" which is quite lovely enough, but I don't consider it the highlight of the album. There are better tracks like the beautifully performed "Like Spinning Plates", the amazing tension of both "Idioteque" and the extended "Everything in it's Right Place", the latter having some very great effects.

Oveall, this is not a masterpiece because of a few inconsistencies in the recordings, but for a short live album, it is excellent and should be considered one of the band's best albums. Because of the passion of the songs and the uniqueness throughout most of the album, it is definitely deserving of 4 stars.

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 The Bends by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.80 | 447 ratings

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The Bends
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars In preparing this review I listened to The Bends several times. For some people, this would be a blissful experience; for me, it sort of felt like a chore. I have a lot of respect for Radiohead's elevation of artistic rock music in the popular arena; I hear the creative textures, emotional singing, and melancholic beauty... and just have a hard time caring.

Ultimately, the nicest thing I can say about The Bends is that I wouldn't mind if it were playing in the background, but I'd never seek it out. At its low points, this album sounds like noisy bathos, at it's best, it's average sounding art rock. I understand that this is subjective, because what's average to me is not average to the "normal" listener, but then again I don't think the majority of people reading this review are "normal" listeners, either. There isn't enough depth here beyond the numerous guitar effects for me to enjoy, and more than enough mopey yelling and toe-tapping alt-pop.

The Bends just doesn't do it for me; maybe if I were 16 years old again with my back to the wall with early '90's junk alternative, but not now. That being said, I do enjoy some of the quite songs, like "High and Dry", "Fake Plastic Trees", and "Nice Dream".

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

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 Hail To The Thief by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.43 | 354 ratings

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Hail To The Thief
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Radiohead reviews are always all over the board. You have those who love them and those that hate them and those that are somewhere in between, which I suppose is true for most bands, but if just seems so evenly distributed with listeners when it comes to Radiohead. They are a band that I love to listen to and that I appreciate, but it usually takes me time to get used to some of their albums where others just seem to attract me right off the bat. But, eventually I come to appreciate their innovativeness, their experimentation in different sounds and the genius of their music.

"Hail to the Thief" was one of the ones that took me a little more time to appreciate. Even though I don't consider it their absolute best, it is better than some and it is quite good. When the album was made, the band had decided not to spend so much time in making the songs so "perfect" as they had on the last 2 albums, which were "Kid A" and "Amnesiac" both of which were quite experimental and mostly electronic. This songs were done more spontaneously. In fact, Yorke said that they got to where they were producing and recording a song per day.

This album also sees a return to a more guitar based sound while still maintaining a lot of electronic elements. The songs here are much more varied, some concentrating on the use of electronics and others are more organic using traditional rock instruments. In my opinion, what you get here is a good variety of both styles with quality songs. The music is much more focused and accessible than it was on the previous two albums. Even with it's accessibility, it still has it's share of challenges, and it is a far cry from being traditional pop. There are the more rock oriented songs like "There There", "Punchup at a Wedding", and "Sit Down, Stand Up". And there are the more electronic based songs which are more experimental like the amazingly emotional "We Suck Young Blood", "The Gloaming", "Myxomatosis" and so on. Yet, amongst these tracks there are elements of both styles, and the songs tend to give us the best of both worlds.

I don't think it is necessary to go into a lot of detail about the album beyond this because it has been reviewed a lot on this site and you can read so many different opinions about it here and make your own decisions. There always seems to be a war about whether this band is progressive or not, but I can easily hear the progressive elements because the sound is definitely non- traditional and I can consider it progressive even if the songs are not epics, they don't always have to be, do they? Radiohead always keep their songs around 4-5 minutes or less, but there is always a lot of ingenuity packed into those songs. Even though this is not a masterpiece, it is still an excellent album and I can easily give it 4 stars without hesitation.

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 The Daily Mail / Staircase by RADIOHEAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.38 | 15 ratings

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The Daily Mail / Staircase
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Here are two songs that Radiohead was working on during "The King of Limbs" studio sessions but they were both in the demo stage when the album was finished. I think they would have worked to strengthen that album if they would have held off releasing this album until these songs were finished. "The King of Limbs" was a short enough album so there was plenty of room for 2 more great songs like these. These tracks are only available on this single or on the live video "The King of Limbs: Live from the Basement". Too bad these tracks will not be considered part of the regular repertoire put out by Radiohead because they are both very good songs. "The Daily Mail" starts out as a simple and beautiful voice/piano but builds up as it goes on and even adds in a brass section. It is more of a driving, mid-tempo piece that you wish was even longer. "Staircase" is more of an up tempo song with the full band playing throughout. It is also a nice traditional style track. There really isn't any experimentation involved and they are not heavy electronic tracks like most of the tracks on "The King of Limbs" which might be why it was decided to leave them off. I think it would have added to the album myself especially if the other single (Supercollider) were added also. These tracks would have rounded the album out nicely. As it is, these songs are bound to be forgotten because of they are not so readily available. Since there are only 2 songs here, the entire listening experience only leaves you wanting more. As individual songs, they are at least 4 star songs, but as a collective listening experience, I can only rate this at 3 stars because it just isn't long enough.

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