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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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In Rainbows [Vinyl]In Rainbows [Vinyl]
TBD Records 2007
Vinyl$11.55
$23.49 (used)
OK ComputerOK Computer
Limited Edition
Parlophone 2008
Vinyl$18.25
$20.00 (used)
Kid A (2-10Kid A (2-10" LPs) [Vinyl]
Limited Edition
Parlophone 2008
Vinyl$18.19
$18.00 (used)
The Bends [Vinyl]The Bends [Vinyl]
Limited Edition
Parlophone 2008
Vinyl$15.81
$14.49 (used)
Amnesiac (2-10Amnesiac (2-10" LPs) [Vinyl]
Limited Edition
Parlophone 2008
Vinyl$17.79
$13.99 (used)
Hail to the Thief [Vinyl]Hail to the Thief [Vinyl]
Limited Edition
Parlophone 2008
Vinyl$20.87
$17.00 (used)
The King of LimbsThe King of Limbs
TBD Records 2011
Audio CD$5.00
$2.92 (used)
Pablo HoneyPablo Honey
Import
Parlophone 1993
Audio CD$2.98
$0.01 (used)
Best OfBest Of
Parlophone 2008
Audio CD$7.49
$7.47 (used)
Com Lag: 2+2=5Com Lag: 2+2=5
Parlophone 2007
Audio CD$8.06
$2.70 (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 | 271 ratings
Pablo Honey
1993
3.79 | 429 ratings
The Bends
1995
4.02 | 759 ratings
OK Computer
1997
3.93 | 592 ratings
Kid A
2000
3.61 | 336 ratings
Amnesiac
2001
3.43 | 341 ratings
Hail To The Thief
2003
3.79 | 433 ratings
In Rainbows
2007
3.33 | 252 ratings
The King Of Limbs
2011

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

3.53 | 71 ratings
I Might Be Wrong
2001

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

4.02 | 25 ratings
7 Television Commercials
1998
2.68 | 16 ratings
The Astoria London Live
2005
3.14 | 16 ratings
The Best Of
2008
4.03 | 13 ratings
The Kings Of Limbs - Live From The Basement
2012

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

3.31 | 26 ratings
Radiohead Box Set
2007
3.22 | 17 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 | 47 ratings
My Iron Lung
1994
2.52 | 16 ratings
Itch
1994
2.88 | 14 ratings
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
1996
3.92 | 13 ratings
No Surprises / Running From Demons
1997
3.95 | 20 ratings
Paranoid Android
1997
3.79 | 37 ratings
Airbag/How Am I Driving?
1998
2.28 | 18 ratings
Pyramid Song
2001
2.77 | 15 ratings
There There
2003
2.31 | 10 ratings
Go To Sleep
2003
2.38 | 22 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
2.79 | 23 ratings
These Are My Twisted Words
2009
2.11 | 16 ratings
Harry Patch (In Memory Of)
2009
3.45 | 20 ratings
Supercollider / The Butcher
2011
3.38 | 13 ratings
The Daily Mail / Staircase
2011

RADIOHEAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 OK Computer by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.02 | 759 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 indterment 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

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 Itch by RADIOHEAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
2.52 | 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
3.53 | 71 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
3.79 | 429 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 | 341 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 | 13 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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 Com Lag: 2plus2isfive by RADIOHEAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2004
2.38 | 22 ratings

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Com Lag: 2plus2isfive
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This was originally released in Japan and Australia and then subsequently released in the UK and US a few months later. It mostly contains some interesting remixes, alternate versions and B-Sides recorded to support the singles from "Hail to the Chief" that were not available elsewhere before this. The live version of 2 + 2 = 5 is an amazing version and opens the EP with a lot of promise. Following this is a strange remix done by Christian Vogel of the song Myxomatosis. This is very electronic sounding and the vocals by Thom Yorke are made to sound very indifferent. Not bad actually, I find it interesting to hear how songs can be broken down and switched around to sound different, but this gives the song a more computerized feel, which I guess is about what you'd expect. The 3rd track is the Los Angeles version of "I Will". This is a very good version of the song that features the full band, where the album version was more stripped down. I think it was worth adding to this little collection of oddities, but it sounds strange coming in after the previous remix going from electronic music to traditional rock almost suddenly. Next up is a great song used as a B-side that would have been great on the album called "Paperbag Writer" and the next track is another great B-side called "I Am a Wicked Child".

Track 6 is another electronic track called "I am Citizen Insane" and it really doesn't do much for me. Next up is another remix this time of "Scatterbrain" done by Four Tet. Again we get an electronic vibe reminiscent of "Amnesia" but there are some interesting sound effects here. On the original Japanese version, there was some very annoying static noise that kept appearing on the track and these CDs were recalled, so if you have one, it's worth some money. You may have heard that static and thought it was part of the track, but it's a glitch. Track 8 is another great B-side returning back to the traditional rock sound and track 9 is a different version of the track "Fog" which was a B-side for "Knives Out" however this time it is done live and the track is stripped down to just Thom singing and playing piano. This is a beautiful version of this song. Last up is another spooky sounding electronic song called "Where Bluebirds Fly", another B-side. I don't think this has been remixed from the original b-side, but it sounds like something that could have been from "Amnesia".

The electronic tracks aren't too bad and are quite experimental, but don't seem to offer the depth and beauty of the organic tracks. The vocals on the electronic tracks also sound listless. This is not a bad EP, but other than the first track, it stays rather subdued throughout, which is not always a bad thing either. Anyway, even though I think it's a good EP, I believe the people that would be mostly interested in this are the collectors and the fans, thus I'm giving this one 2 stars. Interesting, but really nothing to get terribly excited about.

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 Pablo Honey by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.49 | 271 ratings

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Pablo Honey
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

2 stars After meeting in their high school years before they became the fab four of the 90s (Thom Yorke, Colin Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway) spent most of the 80s playing together under the moniker On A Friday and for a brief moment in 1990 as Shindig. They eventually changed their name to the much cooler RADIOHEAD when EMI signed them after hearing their demos. They released one EP called "Drill" and then quickly put out their first album PABLO HONEY. This album is one of those cases where you couldn't guess in a million years where the band would go from here. Yes, it's true there are subtle clues to their evolutionary path but this album mostly consists of grungy alternative pop songs that are often trying to be both but usually being neither.

Personally I really love the first two tracks "You" and the single "Creep" which was a flop upon first release but slowly "creeped" its way up the charts putting RADIOHEAD on the music map, however every indication from this debut album is that this was a one hit wonder destined to be forgotten as quickly as they had hit the scene. After all, this was the beginning of the alternative rock and grunge frenzy that shook up the status quo in the music industry and putting bands like Alice In Chains, Nirvana and Pearl Jam on the top of the musical mountain.

I find after the first two tracks that the songs are rather boring and I had to suffer my way through this to listen to the entire album just to review this. It's amazing how much they evolved from PABLO HONEY to "The Bends." The first two tracks are worth the price of admission as long as that price isn't too high but otherwise I can't find much else worth hearing here on a regularly basis. Luckily the band would evolve far beyond this mediocrity and offer the world a new kind of space rock. For this release, I say meh.

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 Kid A by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.93 | 592 ratings

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Kid A
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

4 stars To say I got off on the wrong foot with Radiohead is an understatement. When I discovered this web site back in 2006 I noticed that the band was considered to be in the progressive camp so I figured it was high time I gave them a listen. I'd heard of them, of course, but I'd never gone out of my way to lend an ear to their music because for all I knew they were a bunch of grunge-inspired punks trying to emulate Kurt Cobain like hundreds of others did in the 90s. Some of the prog reviewers I respected had good things to say about them, though, so I ordered the heralded "OK Computer" CD and popped it into the player. I couldn't stand it and still can't. Way too loose and un-cohesive. That experience put me off them for years until I unintentionally came into possession of their other offerings and I decided to give them another chance to impress me. I was delighted to find that both "Pablo Honey" and "The Bends" were not only listenable but quite enjoyable. What intrigued me most was the fact that Radiohead sounded different on every album, a rarity in today's music scene. But the best of their recordings I've come across so far is their fourth release, "Kid A." It's so unlike their other discs it could be another band's work altogether and I'm all about variety and risk taking in my prog preferences.

They open with the brilliant "Everything in its Right Place" that sports an unexpectedly mellow atmosphere that caught me off guard. The song feels like it's building up to some kind of explosive peak but it never climaxes and, in a strange way, I find that wickedly cool. "Kid A" is next and by now I realized that this album was turning out to be much more electronic oriented than what I'd heard coming from the group before. They were definitely burning some popular bridges this time around and exploring fresh avenues of expression. What Thom Yorke does with his voice on this cut is inventive and cutting edge. "The National Anthem" follows and it has a stronger bass and drum presence that raises the energy quotient substantially. It's very psychedelic in an early Pink Floyd motif but it's the horn melee that's the biggest and most pleasant surprise in the piece. Reminds me of what made King Crimson's underrated "Lizard" LP such a fun trip. A highlight track is "How to Disappear Completely." A lightly-strummed acoustic guitar and a wandering bass line set up the tune's melancholy mood but it's no downer. The band erects a beautiful aura around Thom's emotional vocal delivery without allowing the whole thing to become sappy. Kudos to Jonny Greenwood for his excellent orchestral score. It's delicious. I also savored the instrumental, "Treefingers." Its deep, encompassing soundscape is liquid and mesmerizing.

On "Optimistic" they really go off the reservation, especially in their approach to establishing the unusual rhythmic foundation and the subtle guitar tones they incorporate. Overall the compositional structure of the song is downright fascinating. "In Limbo" projects a stringy, fibrous texture that swirls around Yorke's unconventional melody. What I like most is how the tune dissolves into a thick soup of chaos in the end. To hell with finesse. "Idioteque" is the runt of the litter. All along I suspected they'd venture into Techno territory as they do here but I can't say I'm all that inspired with what their excursion yielded. For once they were too predictable. "Morning Bell" is a step up. Its proggier 5/4 time signature grabbed my attention immediately and I appreciate their taking a jazzier path at this juncture. Glad to hear they ain't skeered to bring foreign elements into the proceedings, too. They end on a very classy note with "Motion Picture Soundtrack." Pump organs are the nazz so I was drawn into this song's intro without hesitation. The track eventually evolves into a lush, purposely-overproduced extravaganza that I consider an extraordinarily courageous experiment that succeeded on every level. "Genchildren" is a short but not out of place aural epilogue that fits in perfectly.

I now understand why Radiohead is so revered in the music world. It's not often that one comes across a well-known group this bold and willing to depart from what their fans are anticipating they will produce next. I'd say they're not comfortable to stay in their comfort zone but, after hearing four of their CDs, I don't think they ever had one to begin with. "Kid A" debuted at the number one spot on both the US and UK album charts when it was released on October 2, 2000 and to date it has sold over four million units. It's nice to know that an entity so brave can be so widely accepted by the public. 4.1 stars.

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 Supercollider / The Butcher by RADIOHEAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.45 | 20 ratings

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Supercollider / The Butcher
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars These two songs were written and partially recorded at the same time as the King of Limbs album, however, Radiohead said that they couldn't get them to work with the rest of the album, so they were released as a single. I think they would have been a nice addition, even as additional tracks, but this is not the case. They work well as standalone songs also, but just listening to the two of them alone only makes you want to hear more, they are just not complete by themselves. But, whatever, at least we have them. They are both very electronic sounding, not as experimental as the electronic sound on the "Amnesiac" album. They are both more accessible, so if nothing else, they serve as a good taste, or an appetizer to one of their electronic based albums like "Kid A", "Amnesiac", "Hail to the Thief" or even "King of Limbs". Since it's so short, and there is nothing that stands out as innovative about them, I would have to rate this single as Good, but non-essential. 3 stars.

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