Radiohead are an English alternative rock band from Oxfordshire, England. The band is made up of five members, these consist of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano and electronics), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar and other instruments), Ed O’Brien (guitar and backing vocals), Colin Greenwood (bass guitar and synthesisers) and Phil Selway (drums and percussion). The band have been together since 1986, but released their first album Pablo Honey in 1993. Since 1993, Radiohead have since released another six successful studio albums and have also had 26 singles since 1992. The band have sold over 25 million albums as of 2007.
The members who now form Radiohead first met when attending Abingdon School an all boys public school in Oxfordshire. In 1986 they formed the band “On a Friday”, the name was referring to the band’s usual rehearsal day in the schools music department. Later in 1987 Yorke, O’Brien, Selway, and Colin Greenwood had left Abingdon to attend university, however the band still continued to rehearse during weekends and holidays. In 1991, when all the members except Jonny had completed their degrees, On a Friday regrouped and began to play live gigs around Oxford. The bands popularity continued to rise and the number of live performances were on the increase, record labels and producers became interested and in late 1991 the band had signed a six-album recording contract with EMI. On a Friday then changed the band name to Radiohead after being inspired by the title of a song on Talking Heads' True Stories album.
Their earliest influences include bands such as Queen, Joy Division, R.E.M, the Pixies, The Smiths and Sonic Youth. During the mid-1990’s Radiohead began to mention their interest in electronic music and were influenced by artists such as Massive Attack and DJ Shadow, Radiohead have claimed that both these artists influenced the band with their third album Ok Computer.
When the band were working on Hail to the Thief the band became particularly interested in guitar rock and were influenced by bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Since In Rainbows was released the band have mentioned a variety of rock, electronic, hip hop and experimental musicians as influences, some of these include Liars, Modeselektor, Spank Rock and M.I.A.
As of 2008 Radiohead have had 7 studio albums. Radiohead's popularity in the United Kingdom increased with the release of their second album, The Bends which was released in 1995. Radiohead's third album, OK Computer which was released two years later in 1997, propelled the band to greater fame worldwide. The release of Kid A in 2000 and Amnesiac in 2001 saw Radiohead reach the peak of their popularity and were by this point known widely throughout the world. Hail to the Thief (The Gloaming) which was released in 2003 was the bands final album for their record label EMI. Later in 2007 the band released their seventh album In Rainbows which was released independently online. Yorke has recently said in the NME that the band 'will release' another album, and claimed that they were working on it.
Dead Air Space
The band frequently update their blog, Dead Air Space, in order to keep in contact with fans. This was where In Rainbows was famously announced a mere 10 days before release in 2007. Other uses for the blog in recent times have included: announcements of live concerts; pictures from recording sessions or tours; comment (political or otherwise) on current affairs; 'RIPs' for people who have influenced the band in one way or another; scraps of lyrics or early formative ideas of new songs and interesting websites the band have found.