So, Radiohead. Critics love them. Loyal, devoted, hardcore fan base claim the greatest band ever! A catalog of widely acclaimed releases.
But not exactly my thing, And yet, surprisingly, I have all their music. And….my “Best of Radiohead” playlist gets a lot of play. That’s because when Radiohead are good…they’re uniquely good, unlike any other band before or since. If you want to hear “Radiohead-like” music you have to listen to Radiohead (which is different than many bands that have a gaggle of sound-alikes).
So, take this for what it’s worth…a Radiohead career retrospective by a meh Radiohead fan. Honestly I’d never be here were it not for my wife who is a dedicated Thom York fan. She’s often grooving and singing along to what initially sounds to me like computer beeps with drowning cat accompinament. But I’m open-minded, I’ve given it a chance…and yeah, some really good stuff to be found among the weirdness.
As always, a couple house-keeping notes:
- The band has a long history and some of the images are hard to read; you can click any image for a full-scale version.
- I have my own rating system; it’s not complex but read the link if you’re interested in understanding more about it.
- “Point Rating” represents the rating on a 5-point scale
- “Rating” converts the “Point Rating” to a 100-point scale
- “Prog Arch” represents the average rating found on the Progressive Archives site
- “Total Points” represents how many points the band earned, based upon my rating system.
- “Potential Points” represents how many points were possible through my rating system (=minutes * 5)
So, Radiohead has been consistent, 8 studio releases over 20+ years. While the band has never taken a sabbatical or broken up they’re also not the most prolific group. You get about 20 minutes of music per year. My overall ratings are pretty low; I wouldn’t create a “history of” post for most bands with these scores. But because I really do like the Radiohead I like and because they’re a noteworthy band here we are.
There’s also an abundance of bonus music, a complete absence of official live releases and two official live DVDs (and one bootleg…which we’ll get to). In total, barely six hours of studio music, four hours of video and four hours of bonus material.