Ed O'Brien: guitar, vocals
recorder, piano, organ, synthesizer
The five members of
Radiohead first met at a private boys school in Abingdon,
Oxfordshire. Thom Yorke formed what would become
Radiohead with school friends Ed O'Brien, Colin Greenwood.
The addition of Colin's
brother Jonny Greenwood completed the line-up.
On A Friday played their
debut gig at the now defunct Jericho Tavern in Oxford.
With a musical canon resembling a youthful Talking Heads,
they added two saxophone-playing sisters to fill out the
However, the band were then
put on hold.
At Exeter University, Yorke
played guitar in a techno band, Flickernoise, while
Selway drummed for various theatrical productions while
studying at Liverpool Polytechnic.
The band regrouped in
Oxford in the summer of 1991, deciding to dispense with
the brass section and concentrate squarely on the band,
now entitled Radiohead (after a Talking Heads song).
Their first commercial
broadcast followed with 'Prove Yourself' on BBC Radio 1.
'Creep' then became
the alternative rock song in the UK during 1993, its self-loathing
lyric ('I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo, I don't belong here')
stretched over driven guitars. Ignored when it was first
released in September 1992, its re-release sparked
enormous interest. Taking
the band into the UK Top 10, it also announced a Top 30
debut album, Pablo Honey.
Unlike other celebrated UK
indie hopefuls such as Suede, Radiohead also translated
well to international tastes, from the US to Egypt.
Two years of promotional
activity followed, before the release of The Bends in
March 1995. With the pressure on following the
plaudits, the recording
process was not easy.
The Bends did not
disappoint, with a vibrant mood range
prosaic yet affecting lyrics. Notable tracks included 'High
And Dry' and 'Fake Plastic Trees'.
By the end of 1995 The
Bends had been universally acclaimed, enough to win them
a Brit awards nomination as the best band of the year.
Two years later, the band
unveiled its follow-up, OK Computer, which received the
most spectacular reviews of any rock album in recent
memory, and won the band a Grammy award in 1998 for Best
Alternative Rock Performance.