Formed in 1985, Radiohead is an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, consisting of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, piano, guitar, keyboards), Ed O’Brien (guitar, backing vocals), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Phil Selway (drums, percussion, backing vocals), and Colin Greenwood (bass). They have cooperated with producer Nigel Godrich and cover artist Stanley Donwood since 1994.
After signing to EMI in 1991, the band released their debut single “Creep” in 1992. The single became a worldwide hit after their debut album Pablo Honey was released in 1993. Their popularity and critical standing increased in the United Kingdom with their second album The Bends released in 1995. Their third album OK Computer released in 1997 propelled them to international fame. Famous for its complex production and themes of modern alienation, it is considered as a landmark record of the 1990s and one of the best albums in popular music. Radiohead’s next albums Kid A released in 2000 and Amnesiac released in 2001, recorded simultaneously, marked a dramatic change in style, incorporating influences from experimental electronic music, krautrock, 20th-century classical music, and jazz. In spite of initially dividing listeners, Kid A was then named the decade’s best album by the Times, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork.
The band’s sixth album Hail to the Thief was released two years later, mixed rock and electronic music with lyrics that are inspired by the War on Terror, and was their final album for EMI. The band’s subsequent releases have pioneered alternative release platforms like pay-what-you-want and BitTorrent.
In 2007, the band self-released their seventh album In Rainbows as a download version for which customers could set their own price, to critical and chart success. In 2011, their eighth album, The King of Limbs was developed using extensive looping and sampling. Five years later, their ninth album, A Moon Shaped Pool, prominently featured Jonny Greenwood’s orchestral arrangements.
Radiohead have sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Their products places highly in both critics’ lists and listener polls of the best music of the 1990s and 2000s. In 2005, Radiohead was ranked 73rd in Rolling Stone‘s list of The Greatest Artists of All Time and then in 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted Radiohead the second-best artist of the 2000s.