The 1990s was a period of highly acclaimed bands and artists including Nirvana to PJ Harvey to Lauryn Hill. And among those acts is Radiohead, one of the decade’s most influential bands, who continues to break ground even to this day.
Formed in 1985, Radiohead released their EP, Drill in 1992, followed by their debut album, Pablo Honey in 1993. They were initially dismissed by critics as either too dark or a watered down version of Nirvana, while gaining little attention it their native England. But worldwide, the band became a smash, especially in America, where the song "Creep" became the group's first top forty hit.
Next up was 1995’s The Bends, which despite peaking as high as number 88 on the charts, became Radiohead’s first acclaimed album, with notable tracks including “High and Dry” and “Fake Plastic Trees.” Both Pablo Honey and The Bends went on to platinum status. Prominence for Radiohead wouldn’t really come into 1997, when they released OK Computer, which is regarded as one of the greatest albums of the 1990s, as well as Radiohead’s biggest selling album.
Radiohead continued experimenting with their sound throughout the 2000s, beginning with the album Kid A, which became the band’s first number one album. It was soon followed by two more top five albums, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief. In 2007, Radiohead released in Rainbows through their website, and asked fans to “pay what they want.” The move was revolutionary move by many critics, especially in the age of the music downloading, and dwindling CD sales. In 2011, they released another top ten album, The King of Limbs.
With over thirty million albums sold worldwide, Radiohead have placed high in many polls, including those in Rolling Stone, who considered guitarists John Greenwood and Ed O’Brien as two of the greatest guitarists of all time, front man Thom Yorke as one of the greatest vocalists. The magazine also placed five of their albums on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, more than their peers including Nirvana, PJ Harvey and Pearl Jam.