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Radiohead… the Anti Hanson. Brought to you by: Taylor Green, Carly Clark, Nick Gorzek, Felicia Hammerschmidt, and Jessica Herman Section 6 Group 1. The one hit wonder who stuck around and defined an era….

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radiohead the anti hanson

Radiohead…the Anti Hanson

Brought to you by: Taylor Green, Carly Clark, Nick Gorzek, Felicia Hammerschmidt, and Jessica Herman

Section 6 Group 1

the one hit wonder who stuck around and defined an era
The one hit wonder who stuck around and defined an era…
  • Radiohead, its five members and other actors, are a band that has drawn widely and deeply from musical and other works of the past, synthesizing them into something unique and modern yet not without precedent. Radiohead, comprising its music, ideologies, images, and myths, defined and redefined by itself, by its fans, and by the press, and has arguably been the strongest influence on the development of the modern alternative rock music scene. As Dave Matthews from the Dave Matthews Band put it, "listening to Radiohead makes me feel like I'm a Salieri to their Mozart. They're without a doubt the most important band of recent memory."
  • Quote taken from:
who are these guys anyways
Who are these guys anyways?
  • Radiohead began playing together during the late 1980’s.
  • The group consisted of Thom Yorke (lead vocals), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar), Ed O’brien (guitar and backup vocals), Colin Greenwood (bass guitar), and Phil Selway (drums).
  • The group also first went by the name of “On a Friday” but changed soon after due lyrics from a song by the talking heads.
  • The band took a small break from 1988-1991 so that the members could go to college in England.
  • When they re-grouped in 1991, they had much success in the Oxford club area and began drawing interest from record labels.
  • In 1992, one year after they had begun playing again, they made a deal with a UK label by the name of Parlophone.
  • The band went on tour in England that same year and began working on their debut album called “Pablo Honey”.
  • The album was finally released in 1993 and gained great success in the US and also England, however, most critics thought that the band was destined to be one hit wonders.
  • The band proved critics wrong though with the release of their next album two years later called “The bends”.
  • Critics began to pay more attention to the band as their musical styles began to evolve into a more mature form.
  • However, the band then went on tour the following year because they wanted to get back to having more fun and “stop trying so hard”.
  • The band went on tour in Australia and the Far East and had a great time with the live performances that they missed over the past year while in studies recording “the bends” album.
  • In 1997, the band released the album “OK Computer” which gained even more success than their previous one.
  • The bands unique style was gaining much interest and in the same year they won a Grammy for best alternative album.
  • After the release of “OK Computer” the band began to get burned out from the fame and almost split up. Thom Yorke admitted that after their most recent tour he began suffering from depression but he was able to deal with it and the band stayed together.
  • The band then released a new album that was very experimental and combined minimal guitar parts and focused more on their original lyrical styles found on their first album.
  • The album was released in 2000 under the name “Kid A” and gained much success through the internet and Napster.
and then
…And then…
  • The band then released the album “Amnesiac”. The success of the album was up in the air due to the early release of a stolen version of the album on the internet. The CD still managed to outsell its two previous ones and gained very high praise from music critics.
  • After this, the band went on a long tour that included traveling to countries like Australia and Japan, which they had not visited since their first tour in 1997.
  • The band then began to work on solo pieces over the next few years and branched away from the spotlight for awhile.
  • In 2005, Thom released information that the band was beginning to work in recording studios again.
  • Many of these new songs were performed only in live concerts.
  • The band then began to sell its most recent albums strictly on their internet website.
  • The last three albums that the band produced included “Hail to the Theif”, “I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings”, and also in rainbows.
  • Most recently, Thom has produced a single album called “The Eraser”. The album got mixed reviews and consisted of a very dark, electronic feel.

"The freakiest thing about all of this, is the idea that you would be one of those bands to somebody. That in itself is the reason to keep going. The rest is bullshit.” ----Thom Yorke

the breakdown of creep
The breakdown of “Creep”…
  • Meter:
    • Duple meter with a duple subdivision.
    • The snare drum emphasises the back beat (2 & 4).
  • Feel of the song:
    • The song is brought together extremely well. The texture of the song is soft during the sentimental lyrical verses, and then the texture changes to anger and frustration when the self-loathing chorus comes in.
  • Lyrics:
    • The lyrics for this song are pretty depressing, as the song title might suggest. It is effectively the voice of a depressed loner, with no self esteem. The person is in love with a girl who doesn’t seem to notice him at all. The verse lyrics typically talk about how special this girl is and how beautiful she is.
    • This is contrasted by the chorus lyrics where he unloads on himself, presenting his negative perception of himself to the outside world, and also that he feels out of place in the world.
    • The verse lyrics on their own could be construed as a nice, love song. However when paired with the chorus lyrics, it is seen they are more sinister than they first appeared, and are instead the dialogue from a depressed man.
and it s texture
…And it’s texture…
  • Texture and timbre:
    • The verses of the song are very light and easy listening. There is a bass gently playing, with the guitar playing a soft plucking melody.
    • Then as the chorus comes in, the guitar turns into heavy distortion, with the drums playing the ride cymbal instead of the hi-hat, and use of the crash cymbals often. All the instruments step up a gear during the chorus in terms of amplitude and also timbre.
    • After the chorus, the guitar distortion fades out to bring the song back to its original soft sounding feel.
    • The song alternates between these two different styles, which shows real contrast in the different parts of the track.

"We write pop songs, As time has gone on, we've gotten more into pushing our material as far as it can go. But there was no intention of it being 'art.' It's a reflection of all the disparate things we were listening to when we recorded it.” ---Thom Yorke

band of many styles
Band of many styles…
  • Early Albums:
    • Alternative rock
    • Guitar driven
    • Falsetto singing
  • Hail to The Thief
    • Guitar-based
    • Electronic influences
    • Topical lyrics
  • Later Albums:
    • Kid A
    • Minimalist
    • Textured
    • Diverse Instrumentation
  • Incorporated experimental, electronic, Krautrock, post-punk, and jazz influences.
  • Lyrics were inspired by important political events and other headlines.

"My style is so tightly tied in with our songs that I don't think you could even ask me to quit Radiohead and play guitar for another band. I don't think I could do it. It would probably reveal me to be the bluffer that I believe I am. That's how it feels. I wouldn't have the confidence to do anything but this.“ ---Jonny Greenwood

the greats who influenced the greats


‘80’s alternative rock


‘60’s rock (Beatles, Beach Boys)






Miles Davis


Jane's Addiction



David Bowie

Tim Buckley

Joy Division


Aphex Twin


Brian Eno

Talking Heads

R.E.M.----opened for them!


Pink Floyd



The Smiths


Elvis Costello


The greats who influenced the greats…
taking out the competition
Other Music of the Period:

Hits came from many different genres

Grunge/alternative rock

Hip-hop/ R&B


Top 12 Hits off of VH1’s “Top 100 Songs of the ‘90’s”

Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

U2 “One”

Backstreet Boys “I Want it That Way”

Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You”

Madonna “Vogue”

Sir Mix-A-Lot “Baby Got Back

Britney Spears “Baby One More Time”

TLC “Waterfalls”

R.E.M. “Losing My Religion”

Sinead O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U”

Pearl Jam “Jeremy”

Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know”

*** Radiohead’s hit “Creep” was ranked 31st on this list***

Taking out the competition…
social and political events that fueled their fire
Social and political events that fueled their fire…
  • The beginning of the Gulf War
  • Rwanda Genocide
  • In the early 90's from 1990 - 1995 many in the UK were effected by the boom in house prices coming to an end. This meant that house prices were dropping at a significantly high rate, and many homeowners were left with negative equity and in debt.
  • The Real World first aired on MTV starting the genre of “reality TV”
  • In 1991 the World Wide Web first became available to the public.
  • The fall of the Soviet Union on December 21st 1991
  • Apartheid in South Africa
    • Nelson Mandella voted into office in 1994
  • OJ Simpson trial in 1995
  • “Dolly” the sheep was recorded as the first ever cloned mammal on February 26th, 1997
  • The Y2K pandemonium!!!
passing over the torch
Radiohead influenced many groups in many different genres

British rock/pop




Rock music- especially alternative and indie styles

Cold Play

Dave Matthew’s Band

Evolution of Rock and Roll

Broad range of influences

Transformed traditional rock sounds

Incorporated electronic influences

New sound influenced many new bands

Passing over the torch…

"I think if you imagine Radiohead going through a jungle clearing a path, then we're the ones who are probably just criminally paving it. I always see Radiohead as the braver people." ---Chris Martin of Coldplay

if you want to be entertained go see hanson thom yorke
“If you want to be entertained….go see Hanson” ---Thom Yorke
  • Radiohead did not wear Catholic school uniforms like Britney; they didn’t have any sweet choreography like the Backstreet Boys; and no, they did not have long beautiful hair like Hanson. They, in almost every way, were the anti-90s group. They wrote and played songs from their heart, they played with real guitars, and they stood out while everyone else was busy blending in. Radiohead to this day continues to influence the world of music, and they don’t plan on stopping.
  • Wenner, Jann S. "Radiohead." Rolling Stone Magazine. 2009. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <>.
  • "About Radiohead." Green Plastic.Com. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <>.
  • VH1. "Top 100 Songs of the 1990s." 2007. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <>.
  • "1990s." The People's History. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <>.
  • "1990s." Wikipedia. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <>.
  • "1990-1999." American Cultural History. Lone Star College - Kingwood. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <>.