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Radiohead are a British band from the region of Oxford, England, comprising five musicians. Though sometimes classed as alternative rock, their style has been deeply influenced by music from a variety of genres. more...
Radiohead are admired for their multilayered songs and their evolution from album to album. They are often praised as one of the most creative and risk-taking bands of their era, and respected by fans for their musical and political independence, despite recording for a major label. However, some have derided their work for its bleakness and lack of instant accessibility.
Formed by school friends in 1986, Radiohead did not release their first single until 1993, but it was "Creep", a cathartic hit that rode the wave of grunge to become a worldwide sensation. While initially branded as a one-hit wonder in the States, Radiohead caught on at home in the UK with a second album The Bends, earning chart success (amid a sea of Britpop) and winning fans with their dense guitar atmospheres and Thom Yorke's expressive singing. The band's third album OK Computer propelled them to greater attention, receiving defeaning acclaim from music critics for its expansive sound and themes of modern alienation. It is widely seen as a landmark recording of the 1990s.
After relentless touring and a three year hiatus, Radiohead returned in 2000 with a fourth album, Kid A, which topped the charts, but stunned both the music industry and their fanbase with a very different sound: synthesized, claustrophobic, alternately lush and abrasive, with ever more cryptic lyrics and no obvious singles. This cemented the band's image as a musical enigma, gaining them plaudits for their courage and innovation. Radiohead also earned criticism for abandoning the conventions of rock music and mystified some fans with Kid A, although others now see it as Radiohead's best work. Kid A's follow-up, Amnesiac, contained songs recorded at the same time; it saw the band's sound coalesce into a genre-blurring hybrid of electronic music, avant garde jazz and art rock, while their most recent album Hail to the Thief (2003) marked a slight return of guitar-dominated songs, retaining the newer production style.