Radiohead are an English rock band from Oxfordshire. They have often been praised as among the most creative musical groups of their era, noted for their multilayered songs and often radical evolutions from album to album. They are also seen by some to have maintained a spirit of musical and political independence despite recording for EMI, a major label.
Formed by school friends in 1986, Radiohead did not release their first single until 1992. The cathartic "Creep", from their debut album Pablo Honey (1993), became a worldwide hit as grunge music dominated radio airwaves. Radiohead was initially branded as a one-hit wonder abroad, but caught on at home in the UK with their second album, The Bends (1995), earning fans with their dense guitar atmospheres and frontman Thom Yorke's expressive singing. The band's third album, OK Computer (1997), propelled them to greater attention. Popular both for its expansive sound and themes of modern alienation, it has been acclaimed by critics as a landmark record of the 1990s.
Radiohead's original influences were alternative rock and post-punk bands like The Smiths, Pixies, R.E.M., Talking Heads, Magazine and Joy Division. With their albums Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), the band reached their peak global popularity even as their music became less conventional, turning toward influences in electronic music, experimental jazz and avant garde classical, ranging from Autechre and Can to Charles Mingus and Olivier Messiaen.
Although the band's recent albums have polarised listeners and failed to spin off major radio hits, Radiohead continue to be seen as figureheads in the music industry,drawing adoring crowds to their live concerts, influencing artists in many genres and enjoying surprising commercial success for a band of "outsiders".
The band recently signed with publishing giant Warner/Chappell. They are currently working on their next studio album, tentatively scheduled for release in mid-2007.