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Radiohead

1987-
Thom Yorke(vocals, guitar)
Ed O'Brien(guitar)
Jonny Greenwood(guitar)
Colin Greenwood(bass)
Phil Selway(drums)

Artistfacts for Radiohead

  • Their original name was On A Friday. They switched to Radiohead in 1989 because it was the name of a Talking Heads song.
  • They started playing together and writing songs in 1987. They waited until 1991 to sign a record deal and start recording because they wanted to finish college. Their first album came out in 1993.
  • Used the first "Active Buddy" computer program to promote their album Amnesiac. Called "Googly Minotaur," it was programed to chat with fans and answer questions about Radiohead. The program is an extension of the AOL Instant Messaging system.
  • Radiohead's first #1 album was Kid A, released in October 2000. A few months later, Amnesiac debuted at #2 and sold 25,000 copies more then its predecessor. The albums were recorded at the same sessions.
  • All the members of Radiohead were students at Abingdon School (near Oxford). They all still live nearby.
  • Johnny is Colin's younger brother. When he started playing with the rest of the band, he was only 13.
  • Their 1997 album OK Computer was made in a manor near Bath owned by actress Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman).
  • Yorke was born with a paralyzed left eye. It has been partially corrected through various operations. Continuing with the "eye" theme, Johnny is colorblind.
  • Yorke says he was inspired to become a rock star after seeing Queen guitarist Brian May on television.
  • Yorke has done duets with both R.E.M., Björk and PJ Harvey. (thanks, Tara - philadelphia, PA)
  • Their 2003 album Hail to the Thief has been hailed as their "return to rock" album. Though it debuted at #3 on the charts, it sold more copies on its debut than any of their previous albums. (thanks, Jeff - Kendall Park, NJ)
  • O'Brien is 6'5''. He was a barman for a time before joining the band.
  • Selway is nicknamed "Mad Dog" because of his good manners. It's kind of like when a fat guy is nicknamed "Slim."
  • Thom Yorke (Mojo, April 1995): "We're a mess. But it's a great mess, a glorious mess."
  • Yorke's left eye was affected by ptosis, meaning a drooping of the upper eyelid. He's had several surgical operations in an attempt to correct the condition.
  • When he performs, Jonny Greenwood wears a splint on his right arm. This helps protect his wrist and ease muscle fatigue. Plus, he likes the ritual of putting on the splint before shows, comparing it to a boxer taping up before a fight.
  • Jonny Greenwood has composed the scores for several films, including Bodysong (2003), There Will Be Blood (2007), Norwegian Wood (2010), We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011) and The Master (2012). (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France for above 6)
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Comments: 50

On the OK Computer tour, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke suffered exhaustion, he later recovered to end that 3rd album's tourKarl - Ingatestone, United Kingdom
Go listen to Miles Davis' A Tribute to Jack Johnson. Although his work was traditionally jazz, this album is straight up rock and roll. It also happens to be the greatest rock album ever. In terms of vision, atmosphere, skill, structure, and production, it blows away anything The Beatles or Radiohead ever made. Miles bragged that he could but together the greatest rock band if he ever wanted to. Well, he proved it on Tribute to Jack Johnson.Rich - Washington, Dc
Radiohead is a band that my sister listens to.Danny - Des Moines, Ia
Ok. I'm a great, great fan of radiohead. Though, there is no way you can compare their popularity with the Beatles. For the music... just listen to obla-di obla-da and to Morning bells to know what I mean by "totally different". really, I love them both, even if i rather radiohead because it suits more with the century i'm living in. Anyway just appreciate music and share love, comparing is always hard when it comes to art, you can find ressemblances, but you can't compare.
Love Music
Orphine - Paris, France
Radiohead is great! but not the bestRicardo - Mexico, Mexico
NO doubt.......... Many many groups were, are and will compare with The Beatles, why? because 1) They are the best 2) Nobody have reached their success 3) Beatles will be influence to a many many kind, forms, sounds of music... I have never heard comparing Beatles with anoher... a) The first concert for a World´s cause, who? George Harrison, the second? Live Aid, Macca closed, the third one? Live 8 Macca!!!! openning and closing.... The second most dead remembered John Lennon....... why? not for the music, just because they are a meaning for society, music, religion, ages..... WOOOW it will take many years from now until find a real Group that can be compared with, The Beatles. PERIOD!!! Sorry my wrotten english.Ricardo - Mexico, Mexico
Creep has to be the best Radiohead song. If you don't relate to Creep in some way you must be insane. The band perfectly captured the way you feel when your alienated in Creep.Chris - Derwood, Md
This is to Carolyn, Philadelphia, PA. The Beatles are a very good band, but they aren't the best every just cause ozzy said so. The best Rock n' Roll band ever is Led Zepplin, period.Chris - Derwood, Md
I just noticed I made a typing mistake I meant to say Paul's 1968 song Helter Skelter. But I also want to mention that even in The Beatles early days they wrote some great rock songs. John's You Can't Do That from A Hard Day's Night, John's I Feel Fine with first use of recorded feedback guitar, and Paul's screaming hard rock song(especially for 1965) Im Down, and Paul's great rock blues song She's A Woman from late 1964 with a great Paul blues rock vocal,prominent great bass,a piano and a chomping guitar etc.

Also there is an excellent site called The Evolution Of Rock Bass Playing McCartney Style by Denis Alstrand. In it Stanley Clarke,Will Lee,Sting and Billy Sheehan all talk about what a great melodic and influential bass player Paul has always been. The Rolling Stone Album Guide also calls Paul a remarkable bass player and calls John and Paul the two greatest song writers in the history of rock!
By the way,I was born in 1965 during the middle of The Beatles recording career and I have been a huge fan especially a huge highly impressed John and Paul fan since I was 9 years old I got my first Beatles book for my 11th birthday and I had every album by the age of 13.
Lucyinthesky - Pa
This is to Lexie and Thom,

The Beatles were mostly a true *ROCK* group (and the best ever as every major survey poll of over 1,000 people age 18 and up has shown most people agree with!) they were *never* a "boy band" and anyone who knows The Beatles history knows this is totally inaccurate and ridiculous! They started out playing 8 hours a night for 2 years wearing tight leather black pants and jackets,cursing,eating,smoking and hitting each other on stage and going to bed with so many groupies in the sleazy strip clubs of Hamburg Germany. Their cleaned up image was fake and created by their manager Brian Epstein who told them they had to go along in order to make it big. John Lennon resented and regretted this the most.

Read The Beatles new biography by rock journalist Bob Spitz,Shout By Phillip Norman, The Beatles Anthology etc to learn about their true origins. Also I always considered The Beach Boys to be a pop band not a rock band and The Beatles had a much harder electric sound than The Beach Boys who mostly wrote beach surfing music. I have never heard any Beach Boys songs played on my classic rock stations only on oldies stations,but my classic rock station plays a lot of Beatles songs and even has a 2 hour Sunday morning program,Breakfast With The Beatles hosted by 44 year old huge Beatles fan and expert DJ Andre Gardner.
Also John Lennon always said he really loves rock and roll and all of their idols were the early pioneers of rock, Buddy Holly,Little Richard, Elvis and Chuck Berry who John especially really loved. Most rock critics and music stores accurately classify The Beatles as a *rock* band not a "pop" band! They wrote so many great *rock* songs too many to list here. And many people have pointed out that Paul's 1986 Helter Skelter on The White Album and John's I Want You She's So Heavy from Abbey Road were the two first true heavy metal songs. Many music critics have called Sgt.Pepper an art rock album even though it's not as rocky as a lot of their other albums and also Abbey Road has been considered an art rock album. Even heavy metal frontman Ozzy Osbourne says in a 2001 Bender Online magazine interview that The Beatles Are The Greatest Band To Ever Walk The Earth! He's been a huge fan since he was a teenager and She Loves You was one of the first records he ever bought!
Lucyinthesky - Pa
I agree that you cannot compare the two really. Yes they are both British. But they come from completely separate genres. Radiohead is art rock, the Beatles, classic rock or the like. They are both fabulous for their own different reasons. I have heard Radiohead campared to Floyd... again not necissary. Why dont you just listen to the music and enjoy it in its own right!Sarah - Missoula, Mt
Crikey, alot of people have an opinion on this topic. well, no damage in adding my own then. there can be, and can never be any 'good-bad, better' etc comparison between the Beatles and Radiohead. The Beatles greatness lay inj their huge impact and fantastic songwriting. they had the entire world on their side, and in such a short space of time. it truly was beatlemania. If radiohead were to have this same effect they wouldnt be radiohead. radiohead is radiohead because they are musically complex beyond the limited undersdtanding of the fickle masses.we cant compare two bands on such opposite ends of the spectrum. they are both undeniably great bands, possibly the greatest, but their greatness lies in completely opposite arenas of musics universe. i would just like to say thank to ever musician that has ever lived and ever will live, music is the greatest gift a person can receive. God Bless.Kieran - Christchurch, New Zealand
Don't get me wrong, the Beatles were amazing, but there influence was overrated. If any comparison is to be made it should be with The Velvet Underground. Radiohead still winsRich - Philadelphia, Pa
Radiohead have a level of musical complexity that is unmatched by any band before (including the beatles). Musically speaking they are the best band ever, without a doubt.Michael - Toronto, Canada
Phil Selway-Radiohead Jonny Greenwood-radiohead and Javas Cocker-pulp are going to be the wierd sisters in Harry Potter in the Goblet of fire(looking forward to it)Tom - Harrogate, England
What's the point of arguing which band is better? Define 'better'... Album sales? #1 hits? Studio wizardry? Stage antics? A band makes music. You like it, or you don't. It's OK to like more than one band. That's probably why there are so many of them. It's OK to not like more than one band, too. It's OK to change your mind about a band at any time. It's OK to acknowledge a band's individual merits. It's OK to have a favorite band, even... but arguing over which band is better is like arguing whether chocolate tastes better than vanilla. It's purely subjective. Any band's appeal to the individual listener is what is most important, and while one may have preferences, they should not be defined in terms of 'better' or 'worse'. It's in the ear of the beholder. This concludes my sermon for today.
P.S. The Beatles are the best!!
Bill - Pittsburgh, Pa
A couple members of the band also did the music for Velvet Goldmine under the name the Venus in Furs.Bob - Nowhere, Md
another thing, ZIFI: I hardly meet people who REALLY REALLY REALLY love Radiohead the way people have loved the Beatles for 40 years. The thing is, the Beatles were an adorable "boy band" (the original) that managed to grow up and out of that classification. Radiohead's style has changed just about as much as that of the Beatles did, but although we love them, I dont think the world does. Radiohead wont be remembered in 40 years the way the Beatles are known now.Lexie - St. Louis, Mo
Hey, I myself wasnt comparing Coldplay, Kean, or Radiohead. The three bands are WAY different. I was just asking what other people thought about the media making such comparisions. When I read them myself I thought "wtf". The media is always crap anyway. Radiohead is very unique- good because of that. Although, Jonsi Birrgisson (or some icelandic name like that), the lead singer of Sigur Ros I think tries to sing a bit like Thom at times... but Radiohead came first.Lexie - St. Louis, Mo
i think that the beatles are great and in a different way radiohead are great (tho radiohead are my fav band) and that they will never make any thing as good as ok computer but caould make another album like the bends amnesiac or kid aTom - Harrogate, England
Radiohead are a tremendouse talent and are amongst the finest bands ever. They are ableto capture a mood that no other band in history is able to. Ok computer is arguably the finest album ever.Zaeem - Coventry, England
Radiohead vs. the beatles can be broken down basically to this:
Ok Computer, Kid A, Hail to the thief, The Bends, vs. Help!,Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, The Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album, Abbey Road.
Radiohead is great, one of the greates bands of the 20th century and THE greatest of the 21st (so far) but Lennon/McCartney is the Greatest composing team ever, and they rank 3rd all time only to Bach and Beethoven, Radiohead can't compete.
Christian - Richmond, Wi
Thom Yorke is a genious he is a modern day version of lennon and Mccartney equally as lyrical equally as gifted there is no doubt about it The beatles are a more succesfull band but also I am certain that radiohead are more of an influence to the music of the modern day and they will, like the beatles stand the test of time and go down as 1 of the greatest bands of all time I am sure of it.Zefi - Brighton, United States
who said that they were even near to the beatles? where the hell did you get that? are you joking? youre jokingMicah - Huntington Beach, Ca
The moment u create an epic materpiece album, who begin to mentioned in the same breath as THE BEATLES. I think it's pathetic, and most definitely warrants " career suicide" The fact is, the beatles had many epic album, in fact, they far too many to even mention. " Hard days night- Help- Rubber Soul- Revolver- Sgt-Pepper_ The White Album" Their song catalog is priceless and is worth 500 millions dollars. Not bad for 222 songs. 49 top 50 songs, 27 number 1 hits, 38 top 10 hits, 19 #1 albums. All that that in a span of 7 years. There's something magical about beatles music, something that continues to inspire and influence generations of the new artists. Yeah, I'll put radiohead up there with the great bands. I also think it's to soon to judge who's better, simply because The Beatles have stood the test of time, 4 decades of dominance illustrates just how much greater the beatles actually are.Shawn - Cornwall, Canada
I think I should toss in my own little comment on this 'Head vs. Beatles thang. I reckon Radiohead bottled out after OK Computer when they made Kid A - I mean, they should've kept on destroying those stadiums. I also think The Beatles are the true studio innovators of our time. They had limited technology and so on but they managed to create magnificent effects etc. Full credit to Sir George Martin, too. I think in years to come people will look back on Radiohead and followed their White Album (OK Computer) up with an Abbey Road.Tim - Kilkenny, Ireland
So, this site doesnt have a memo board for Kean, so I will just ask you guys. I myself am a HUGE fan of Radiohead and Coldplay, two bands which this new "britpop" band are frequently being compared to. What do you all think of that?Lexie - St. Louis, Mo
NO WAY! John Lennon. I rest my case. This is the guy who put his name in mores code in Strawberry fields... who cursed backwards in his records. You are wrong. Sorry.Lexie - St. Louis, Mo
Although The Beatles where exponentialy more influencial that Radiohead will ever be, as musicians Radiohead easily surpass them. No Beatles song has the musical complexity of any track off Kid A or Amnesiac.Gus - Miami, Fl
Indie music is an off shoot of the beatles, norwegian wood, and i wood consider changing lyrics for radionplay doing what other people say, "creep."John - Shelby, Nc
I will agree that Radiohead is THE best modern band. But comparisons to the Beatles are ridiculous. Radiohead does not compare to the Beatles on any level, vocals, music lyric. nothing. If you want more proof on the influnence count the number of times the Beatles are mentioned on this page and any other and how many times Radiohead is.John - Shelby, Nc
you can't compare radiohead with the beatles, there're to many differences (style, attitude, genre, ...) But you can compare radiohead with for ex. pink floydBen - Schelle, Belgium
I don't think it matters how influencial a band is. Radiohead might not make an impact on music but they are amazing musicains. Personally i think that they are better then the beatles and i don't really care if the beatles have been around for 40 years. Radiohead captures a mood that no other band can. Even if they don't get recognized they are (and always be) better then just about everyone else out there.Ian - New York, Ny
Dave from blackpool is absolutely right, its the truth, and his comment beats you all, THE END.Sam - Ny, Ny
I dunno why this Beatles vs. Radiohead thing is even going on. Think about it, Beatles made Pop Music, Radiohead make Rock music (big generalisation i know.) I'd say that as Musicians, Radiohead are the bigger Talent, the Beatles are the bigger success, maybe because they did buckle to doing what everyone else wanted (more or less) whereas Radiohead have that "I don't care what you think" attitude. That's the main difference between Pop and Rock/Indie IMHO.Thom - Bristol, England
Trying to compare Radiohead to the Beatles just doesn't make sense. Their goals, styles, and influence are just too different to compare in any meaningful way.

That said, I find Radiohead to be an incredibly thoughtful and artistic band. They are reminiscent of Pink Floyd in how they seem to be operating on a totally different level than most bands, with their own distinctive style, while still managing to produce original works. Definitely among my top 5 bands.
Robert - Birmingham, Al
Radiohead are without a doubt one of the greatest bands of all time, and the greatest band of modern times. In my opinion, no one can match them when it comes to sheer musical quality. To be able to make such innovative music in this day and age is quite an achievement. But what makes Radiohead my favourite band is not just their amazing music(although thats very important!), but is also their general attitude towards music. In this day and age of unabashed commercialism, Radiohead standout as being the only really successful and mainstream band with the attitude of an indie band, in the sense that they when it comes to their music, they don't give a damn about what other ppl say or think abt their music, they don't give a damn abt current trends, they only make music that they feel like making. How many bands can u say have such an attitude?Naveed - Dhaka, Other
I agree Don. Radiohead haven't been around long enough to be considered truly great.Tom - Trowbridge, England
Radiohead,are absolutely an extremely talented set of musicians and songwriters. For my musical taste their songs are too over-indulgent. Maybe a little over produced. My pick for this type of neo-pyhscadelia would be Porcupine Tree. The "Sky moves Sideways" is a phenominal work by them. Radiohead has been around since 1987, with their first release in 1991, The Beatles music has been with us for 40 yrs. Tell me in 50 yrs what kind of impact Radiohead will have on the musical landscape. Until then,there is no comparison to the Beatles in any way. Peace.Don - Pittsburgh, Pa
This is the only band I can truely say is the best. I mean they write the best music out there.Ian - New York, Ny
street spirit i can't describe how cool that song is and the bends is masterDale - Milton Keynes, England
I agree with most of you here that Radiohead are a truly inspirational band, with songs that actually mean something on an emotional level. OK Computer is a class act, as is The Bends. However, to say that they are better that the Beatles is laughable. The Beatles were the most influential band in the world, and without them Radiohead wouldn't be who they are now. No one comes close to the Beatles. It's as easy as that.Dave - Blackpool, England
radiohead is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. the bends and ok computer are both genius.Reed - Hagerstown, In
I agree George; in order to love and worship Radiohead, a certain level of maturity is required. If you want simple, no-brainer music then stick to R N'B or Punk-pop.Tom - Trowbridge, England
I was 11 or 12 when I first heard ok computer and I was instantly hooked and as ive grown up and matured (18 now) I've been able to enjoy and understand the album on different levels and in different ways, something that has never happened with any other piece of music i've ever listened to and yes they sh*t all over the beatles (who are still amazing) from a great hight. Radiohead arnt a band, their a religion you either worship or you don't.George - Cambridge, England
Shirley, don't tell me you're going on how many facts a band has on this website to show how good they are? Santana only have 1 song on this website and are they crap? No! Guns N' Roses only have 6 or 7 and are they crap? No! I rest my case.Tom - Trowbridge, England
i agree with shirley, radiohead is is a a spec compared to the beatlesKabrams - Dallas, Tx
Robert, you can't possibly mean that they outclass the Beatles; no one even comes close. Check out the artifacts and song list for the Beatles and compare it to Radiohead. No comparison, dude.Shirley - Ocean, Nj
Radiohead outclass everyone, including The Beatles. In a musical landscape of low rise buildings and temporary structures, Radiohead produce towering skyscrapers.

Thom Yorke is GOD.
Robert - Stoke On Trent, England
For all the Youth Rockers out there, Radiohead is honestly one of the best bands of our time and there's not anyone out quite like them, we honestly owe it to them to love them, they're f***ing amazing.Jenni - Bilbao, Spain