An English band formed in Oxfordshire in 1985, Radiohead has already sold more than 80 million records all over the world. Indeed, they have already gone a long way from being just a neighborhood band since they have released their debut single in 1992. Success has not been an easy achievement for the band. Radiohead has also experienced the typical rise and fall that other artists in the entertainment industry have also struggled with. Nevertheless, Radiohead’s career is not all bitter nor all sweet. The band has a balance of albums that rated well with critics and albums that did not sell well with the audience. Here are a rundown of the band’s albums that listeners will surely be delighted with:
The discussions and controversies that the band’s 2000 masterpiece has spurred in just a short while could not be compared to the popularity that the other albums have enjoyed. The King of Limbs assures the audience of a weird and accessible type of entertainment. Despite the album’s unorthodox approach to music, the music does not annoy or irritate. Regardless of your preference, you will surely find the songs in The King of Limbs easy to listen to. The King of Limbs has been the band’s gateway to being regarded as masters of musical dichotomy. The King of Limbs highlights a balance between the sinister and the beautiful, the tense and the meditative and the jazz and the ambient.
Released in 1995, The Bends is the second studio album of the Radiohead. This album featured five charting singles including “My Iron Lung” and “Fake Plastic Trees”. This album also marked the start of a new style in aesthetics and performance for the band. Greater use of keyboards and more abrasive guitar tracks have become the trademark of The Bends. “Street Spirit”, the album’s last single became their first successful entry to hit the top five UK billboard chart. The Bends has also achieved a more obvious and visible improvement from the previous one and highlighted more prominent electronic influences. The ballads in the album are also remarkable.
One of the band’s much anticipated album, Amnesiac was released in 2001. Nevertheless, the anticipation was justified as Amnesiac has been included in Rolling Stone’s updated version of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album features themes of memory and incarnation. Upon listening to the songs, you would definitely detect or notice the influence of ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology. The dominant genres in the album are electronic music, classical music, jazz and krautrock. The album’s singles are “Pyramid Song”, “I Might Be Wrong” and “Knives Out”. Amnesiac has also exhibited a trademark ghostly ambience that contemporary music has already been lacking with.
Most critics would describe this 2007 album as the strongest collection the band has ever had throughout the entire decade. Nobody could deny the huge success that this album has achieved. The band’s first album after the end of their contract with EMI, In Rainbows also puts an end to the longest gap between studio albums in the entire career of Radiohead. In Rainbows also highlights the band’s entry to new emotional territories that were not yet penetrated by their most recent album in 2003, Hail to the Thief. A wide variety of musical styles and instruments have also been showcased in this album. Most of the tracks also featured a more personal touch.
Hail to the Thief may not be Radiohead’s best offering but the album could still be described as triumphant. Although it has marked the end of the band’s record contract with Parlophone, three singles included in the album, namely, “There, There”, “Go to Sleep” and “2 + 2 = 5”, still managed to hit the charts. The spontaneous approach to music was dominantly influenced by the Beatles while George Orwell could be credited for inspiring the lyrics. The album also has a social-political perspective since the dominant themes are on powerlessness, frustration and anger.
Released in 2000, Kid A is Radiohead’s fourth studio album. Although the album served as an experimental ground for the band to deviate from their anthemic rock style, the album turned out to be a very big hit. In United Kingdom alone, Kid A scored platinum during the first release week. The album also successfully penetrated the US audience. The early Internet leak of the album proved to be an effective marketing asset. It is no longer a wonder that Kid A has been consistently ranking high in different charts including Pitchfork, The Times and Rolling Stone. The album has also been awarded with a Grammy for the Best Alternative Album.
This album released in 1997 definitely outsmarts the appeal and popularity of the other Radiohead albums. The deviation from the introspective sounds that have become the trademark of the previous album, The Bends, may also account for the success of OK Computer. This album featured a layered sound and a wide range of influences. The album’s three singles, namely “Paranoid Android”, “Karma Police” and “No Surprises” have been favorites in the airwaves. The underlying themes in the lyrics of the songs reveal views on consumerism and social disconnection. Looking at the number of copies sold worldwide and the number of recognitions awarded to the band for this album, it would definitely be safe to say that OK Computer has won the hearts of both the audience and the critics.