Saturday, June 24, 2017

Everything in its right place

There have been acres and acres of articles written about Radiohead's OK Computer on the occasion of its twentieth birthday (a few examples of which are here). But what about the thoughts of the band themselves, as well as others who were part of their inner circle at the time (producer Nigel Godrich, artist Stanley Donwood, filmmaker Grant Gee, REM's Michael Stipe)? A series of recent interviews for Rolling Stone generated so much material that the magazine has published an oral history alongside the main article, and it's a fascinating read of how they manoeuvred themselves into a position of relative freedom in which they could create their magnum opus, how it was recorded and how it affected them (and Thom Yorke in particular).

Also worth a read is Jeremy Gordon's piece for Pitchfork tracing the way that Radiohead's development has paralleled that of the internet. The band were early adopters and have always used it as a way of creating mystique, generating speculation and communicating directly with fans (bypassing the mainstream music press) - so it's little wonder that their online fanbase is particularly zealous and that they have spawned countless fan sites.

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