.

Radiohead: Making the Summer's Coolest Music

The British quintet share the secrets behind their debut album 'Pablo Honey'

Radiohead pose for a portrait in 1993 in New York City.
Bob Berg/Getty
July 8, 1993

Among the basic survival skills a band needs to make it in Britain is the ability to incite and entice the music press. While Radiohead has ably attracted English media attention, the Oxford quintet hasn't been entirely on top of its public-image game, acquiring an unwanted reputation for ruthless ambition.

"If you say you want to be desperately successful, people don't like that," says singer Thom Yorke. "Everyone in Britain's obsessed with credibility, trying to look like you're not selling records when you are." Fortunately for Radiohead, it is. The group's debut album, Pablo Honey, has done very nicely, thank you.

Songs like "Anyone Can Play Guitar" and the post-Pablo manifesto "Pop Is Dead" reveal these young pop rebels' awareness of their métier, contemplating the stardom treadmill while waiting to get on it. But it's the gathering storm clouds of "Creep" ("I wish I was special, you're so fucking special, but I'm a creep") that imply Radiohead's potential for anthemlike tension.

The recipe for Pablo Honey, says Yorke, was writing strong melodies "and then hitting self-destruct buttons on all the pedals and making as much noise as we could." Looking ahead, bassist Colin Greenwood says, "I think that within Radiohead's school of guitar noise, there's a midtempo acoustic-ballads band struggling to get out. If we record enough albums and we're secure enough, perhaps we'll do a Neil Young Harvest album."

This is from the July 8th, 1993 issue of Rolling Stone.


To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com