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Old 09-22-2010, 11:35 PM   #31
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On top of that, even though I do not think that this was part of Laz's original post, I would argue that both Kid A and Amensiac are far, far more adventurous and daring than AB and Zooropa.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:47 PM   #32
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with bands like Coldplay, The Killers, Snow Patrol, Bloc Party, etc in terms of seeing u2 as a "path".
I wouldn't argue with you there
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:06 AM   #33
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On top of that, even though I do not think that this was part of Laz's original post, I would argue that both Kid A and Amensiac are far, far more adventurous and daring than AB and Zooropa.

Obviously, but Shuttlecock had much more to lose by their experimentation.

Also, Cockengers is even less accessible than Kid A or Amnesiac. And came out 5 years before either Radiohead album. Coincidentally, Kid A ends with a song called "Motion Picture Soundtrack". Weird, huh?
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:11 AM   #34
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but to say that Radiohead followed up OKC with Kid A and Amnesiac because of AB/Zooropa/Passengers really gives them no credit.
Well, AB is musically influenced by witnessing a post-Berlin Wall Europe in flux and the mixture of depression and excitement that comes out of that. The lyrics are more personal but with Cockropa that confusion/discombobulation is right in your face with the content of the songs themselves, while also looking at how people are living with technology. And then comes Passengers which takes it an abstract step further. You're telling me that OK Computer's themes about pre-millennium society and technology aren't derived out of that same pool that Shuttlecock was previously exploring? Or that the chilly disconnect on Kid A and Amnesiac doesn't sound right out of the Eno/Cockengers playbook?

Come on.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:32 AM   #35
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Well, AB is musically influenced by witnessing a post-Berlin Wall Europe in flux and the mixture of depression and excitement that comes out of that. The lyrics are more personal but with Cockropa that confusion/discombobulation is right in your face with the content of the songs themselves, while also looking at how people are living with technology. And then comes Passengers which takes it an abstract step further. You're telling me that OK Computer's themes about pre-millennium society and technology aren't derived out of that same pool that Shuttlecock was previously exploring? Or that the chilly disconnect on Kid A and Amnesiac doesn't sound right out of the Eno/Cockengers playbook?

Come on.
i completely agree with all that. maybe i misunderstood this comment.
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For example I think its really "circumstantial" that Radiohead followed in the same direction with OKC then the Kid A+ Kid B (Amnesiac... which really had the same recipe that Zooropa did as a weaker twin to the former album).
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:26 AM   #36
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Obviously, but Shuttlecock had much more to lose by their experimentation.

Also, Cockengers is even less accessible than Kid A or Amnesiac. And came out 5 years before either Radiohead album. Coincidentally, Kid A ends with a song called "Motion Picture Soundtrack". Weird, huh?
What I'm taking issue with in this thread is not the idea that U2 may have influenced other bands, but the implication that they somehow "invented" the whole post-modern aesthetic in music. Thom, as I'm sure that you know, is an avid reader, and he has stated on several occasions that Kid A and Amnesiac were heavily influenced by certain intellectual figures rather than any particular band.

I think that the experimentation of 90s U2 is often overstated. AB and Zooropa have an electro-glaze and a few lyrics about technology, but they are still dealing overwhelmingly in the same themes that U2 has always explored: crises of love and faith. And as experimental as Passengers is, it is still following the Brian Eno template. The songs on Kid A and Amnesiac, however, are often ripping traditional song structure apart at the seams. Those albums have time signatures, chord progressions, and key changes that U2 has never explored. To be honest, I do not see any antecedent for songs like "Idioteque," "Pyramid Song," or any number of the other songs on those albums anywhere in U2's catalogue.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:40 AM   #37
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Thom, as I'm sure that you know, is an avid reader, and he has stated on several occasions that Kid A and Amnesiac were heavily influenced by certain intellectual figures rather than any particular band.
But you do realize that's being said just to add to their mystique. Radiohead has been careful not to mention other musicians and their influence since OK Computer. In fact they mentioned U2 as an influence in their change from Pablo to Bends, but then started backtracking well after OK Computer.

I don't think U2 played a direct influence on Kid A but they sure did on Bends and OK.

But just like U2 were inspired by a combination or more underground bands when they did AB, Radiohead were inspired by more underground bands at the time when they did Kid A.

U2 admitted to purposely listening to certain bands after the R&H era, NIN for example was specifically brought up in interviews which I think lead to the more industrial sound of Zoo Station. Radiohead won't admit it, but they were listening to a lot of Apex Twin for example...
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:59 AM   #38
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Also, Passengers is even less accessible than Kid A or Amnesiac.
I see 'less accessible' a lot when reading about Passengers, but I really think they mean 'not very good'.

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Old 09-23-2010, 12:21 PM   #39
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Thanks for discussing my comments further. As has been noticed I'm stating that U2 had the path carved first in terms of electronic meets rock but Radiohead took it farther and in another direction. They clearly were more interested in an IDM direction (more influenced by bands like Autechre and Aphex by the Kid A period). But to say that there wasn't some sort of u2 influence or "let's go farther with it" i think would be inaccurate. In many indie rock circles people see Radiohead as gods and U2 as some joke and I think they don't realize the link, the mutual recognition, or that u2 at least paved this road before radiohead took it in a more artistic (better?) direction in the 90's. That's revisionist.

I agree the smartest thing that Radiohead did is not mention their influences as often as bands like U2 and Coldplay often do. That really allows them to write songs that don't draw an immediate comparison to whoever they could mention in an interview. There's always the impression that U2 + Coldplay compose from their influences and that Radiohead don't which is a bit silly and hypocritical. In the end I'm glad Radiohead is not U2 and vice versa. They occupy different approaches to music.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:29 PM   #40
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I think it would make more sense to say U2 were influenced by Depeche Mode
Mmm-hmm.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:42 PM   #41
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Should I assume that was genuine or sarcastic?
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:56 PM   #42
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But you do realize that's being said just to add to their mystique. Radiohead has been careful not to mention other musicians and their influence since OK Computer. In fact they mentioned U2 as an influence in their change from Pablo to Bends, but then started backtracking well after OK Computer.
That’s a very difficult claim to substantiate. Radiohead seems to be fairly transparent about their influences; Thom frequently mentions artists that he has been enjoying – he even had the MTV commercial in which he discussed the influence of “Ashes to Ashes” – the band has covered influences like Neil Young, Bjork and The Smiths on webcasts, and Jonny even put out an album of hand-selected tracks that have influenced him. Thom is also able to discuss his intellectual influences in a highly intelligent manner, so I don’t see any reason to think that they would just be trying to conjure mystique in this case.

I’m not going to deny that they have influences, but I also do not think that they went into the studio for Kid A with a blueprint to make an album that sounds like Alphex Twin or any other arcane group.


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But just like U2 were inspired by a combination or more underground bands when they did AB, Radiohead were inspired by more underground bands at the time when they did Kid A.

I do, however, agree with this.
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:30 PM   #43
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One of the key things I see between U2 and Radiohead is their relationship with "Alternative Rock" and also in how these excursions in electronics really seem to be echoed in their genre. U2 clearly took this sound to a mainstream level and with Radiohead with Kid A that took that in an opposite direction. No videos, no radio friendly listens, influenced not by popular Electronica but by IDM. In essence it seems that the real distinction is that Kid A ushered in an emergence of Indie Rock or Electronic over what was Alternative Rock. While many thought of it as simply a name change from the 90's to the 00's its much more then that in terms of its distinct pushing away the mainstream. With the 2000's Radiohead as the biggest Alt-Rock band was playing by indie rock rules of purposely avoiding the mainstream. Sure Spin and Rolling Stone were still commenting on them but it was press like Pitchfork that became their champions that were really becoming THE next wave and the fact that Radiohead didn't have to play by the rules (dropping their label, giving away a pay what you want album, etc) meant they were much more relevant in the new decade.

On the flipside of that you have U2 that abandoned their experimenting with Electronica and went the pop return to a polished radio style severing their ties completely and with bands like Snow Patrol, Coldplay, The Killers etc following them but being really a minority now. Really Alternative Rock and Indie Rock at this point were seperate entities and even though Radiohead critically were huge and still quite popular they were solely in the Indie camp. Their followers specifically avoided the radio and mass exposure because the radio was a lost cause of compromise. In the end Nirvana could be seen as a failed experiment in taking music to the mainstream and many bands didnt want to make the same compromises or dead end or usher in a wave of "buzz bands". While Nirvana, Radiohead, and U2 brought Alternative Rock to the mainstream in the 90's it seems that Radiohead and Indie Rock and Electronic were intent on tearing that down in the 00's or at least finding entirely new directions that did not need mainstream press or media to survive.

example:
Bono: "You want to find out who's next. Y'know, what's coming down the pipe. And as a band we are.... we suffer from one thing. I will tell you, and it's loneliness, in the sense of whenever somebody comes around, and looks like they are gonna just take on the world, some of the greatest groups in the last few years... Oasis, they still could. Radiohead, they still can, and have in a certain sense. Coldplay... but then they kind of lose their taste for the mainstream. I don't understand that, or they just do something else. Death by misadventure, or death by lack of venture. .... I met The Killers, the other night. They look like they want it."
or
Bono: "Radiohead just looked at the pop machine and the machinations of pop and just said, we don't have it in us, we don't have the energy, to have our way with that. I don't hear [Radiohead's] Thom Yorke singing on the radio. I want to hear Radiohead, extraordinary band that they are, on MTV. "

ThOuGhTs?
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:55 PM   #44
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And as experimental as Passengers is, it is still following the Brian Eno template. The songs on Kid A and Amnesiac, however, are often ripping traditional song structure apart at the seams. Those albums have time signatures, chord progressions, and key changes that U2 has never explored. To be honest, I do not see any antecedent for songs like "Idioteque," "Pyramid Song," or any number of the other songs on those albums anywhere in U2's catalogue.
So what if it's "following the Brian Eno template"? It could still be an influence. And what does that even mean?

I'd like to know what's traditional about United Colors of Plutonium, Always Forever Now, One Minute Warning, Ito Okashi, Plot 180, etc. Even the Slug, which has a good amount of lyrics, is pretty far from verse-chorus-verse.

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But you do realize that's being said just to add to their mystique. Radiohead has been careful not to mention other musicians and their influence since OK Computer. In fact they mentioned U2 as an influence in their change from Pablo to Bends, but then started backtracking well after OK Computer.

I don't think U2 played a direct influence on Kid A but they sure did on Bends and OK.
Direct influence? Maybe not. But you don't choose your influences. Bottom line is that if they even heard Passengers, they're influenced by it. And I imagine that an abstract collaboration with Eno at the helm is not likely a release they ignored.

The tracks don't have to sound the same to think it likely that Radiohead listened to the album and thought, hmm, maybe we can stray even further from traditional rock than we did on OK Computer.
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:31 AM   #45
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So what if it's "following the Brian Eno template"? It could still be an influence. And what does that even mean?
What I mean is that Passengers sounds like Eno's Apollo album with a few vocals thrown on top of it and one attempt at a radio-friendly single.

If you're arguing that Radiohead was necessarily influenced by Passengers on the sole basis that they heard the album, then there is no way to counter that argument. But I'm just really uncomfortable with the whole implication of this thread that U2 was somehow the first rock band ever to dabble in electronics and ambient. If Kid A were in fact directly influenced by another artist, why does it have to be U2 / Passengers? Why might it not be Brian Eno after he left Roxy Music?
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