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Old 08-25-2003, 04:33 PM   #1
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radiohead compared to Pink Floyd

This is an interesting comparison...not totally off-base.


Radiohead owes a debt to Pink Floyd

August 25, 2003

BY JIM DEROGATIS Pop Music Critic - Chicago Sun Times

'We're really hippies at heart," Thom Yorke said on Saturday during the last song in the first of two encores before a massive crowd at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre.

In donning an acoustic guitar and setting up an ethereal performance of "Street Spirit" from "The Bends," the leader of today's reigning art-rock band seemed to confirm something I've long contended: Radiohead is the Pink Floyd of Generation Y.

Whenever I make this observation, I invariably hear from Radiohead fans who vehemently disagree. But Saturday's show convinced me that it's because they don't really know the Floyd's canon.

True, there were no flying pigs or other elaborate visual gimmicks at Alpine. The British quintet performed on a spartan stage devoid of all advertising (in keeping with its anti-corporate political stance) and adorned only with two moderately sized video screens and a simple light show--the better to keep the focus on the players.

For years before "The Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall," Pink Floyd did much the same. Witness the 1972 concert film "Live at Pompeii." As the members of Radiohead used a vast array of old analog equipment to create their futuristic outer-space symphonies and sinisterly themed mood music, I couldn't help but think of David Gilmour, Roger Waters and company playing the songs from "Meddle" amid the Roman ruins two decades earlier.

Like a great bebop group, Radiohead is better experienced live (where the members' virtuosity can be fully appreciated) than on record (where the impressive visceral kick of bassist Colin Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway is often sacrificed to electronic beats and burbles, and the listener is deprived of watching Jonny Greenwood's sonic ingenuity as he attacks his heavily effected guitar, modular Moog synthesizer, wireless handheld sampler and small orchestra's worth of other instruments).

Yorke's love-it-or-hate-it voice and melodramatic, operatic flourishes also are easier to accept in concert, where the twisted gnome underscores his sarcasm by mugging at the camera with arched eyebrows (as he did during a funny reading of "You and Whose Army?") or dancing wildly with a sort of spastic glee whenever he isn't tethered to a guitar or his black upright piano (an instrument that's been shamelessly appropriated by Coldplay's Chris Martin, though he employs it to much more conventional effect).

Radiohead faced a challenge in trying to top its last local performance at Grant Park's Hutchinson Field in 2001, and it didn't quite succeed. Chicago residents spent three times longer driving to and from East Troy, Wis., than they did watching Radiohead, which performed for a little under two hours. And while Alpine's crystalline sound and lush green setting were superior to the Tweeter Center's muddy mix and sterile facade, nothing could beat the sight of the group performing before the incredible backdrop of the Chicago skyline.

But as the band offered a satisfying sampling of material from its recent album "Hail to the Thief"--from the rollicking show opener "2+2=5" through "There There" ("A song about peace, love, whatever"), which closed the set proper--as well as a healthy dose of its older material (including "Paranoid Android," "Kid A" and "Karma Police"), it proved once again why it has earned a sizable mainstream following, as well as the enduring respect of the rock underground.

No other band today has the power to transport a crowd of more than 30,000 to foreboding alien landscapes and the shadowy places of their nightmares in quite the same way. In concert more than on album, Radiohead remains a trip that is well worth taking for any adventurous listener interested in exploring rock's hippie horizons.
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Old 08-25-2003, 04:48 PM   #2
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Interesting analysis. I was raised on Floyd, but don't listen to them too much anymore. On a side note, whenever I listen to Meddle, I conk out immediately, especially during Echoes. Note to self: bring Meddle with you for your next long plane ride....
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Old 08-25-2003, 06:43 PM   #3
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interesting

but I won't read too much into it

for me?

floyd
radiohead
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Old 08-25-2003, 07:21 PM   #4
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well for ME:

floyd:
radiohead:

comparing the 2 bands:
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Old 08-25-2003, 07:37 PM   #5
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I like them both.

I remember in the days after OK Computer, I repeatedly saw Radiohead's style of music categorized as 'Punk Floyd' on a variety of guitar websites. I personally dont really think that's a 100% accurate description, but I can see why some people would make the comparison.

I another note, I saw a cool VH1 special on Pink Floyd last night.
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Old 08-25-2003, 08:02 PM   #6
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"their songs are beautiful, their shows are perfect, is the Pink Floyd of the future" - Bono

I don't share that opinion, but whatever, I don't like any of those 2 bands
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Old 08-25-2003, 08:27 PM   #7
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I think Radiohead are the Radiohead of our time.
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Old 08-25-2003, 08:56 PM   #8
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I've heard many comparisons to Pink Floyd, but although I can see where they come from I think the similarities are too broad and focussing on them ignores the individual quirks of both bands.

I just love the way so many articles/reviews on Radiohead I read can't help making some sort of negative swipe at Coldplay. Yes, I'm sure Thom Yorke invented the piano.
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Old 08-25-2003, 10:48 PM   #9
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Tommy Lee or some member of Motley Crue said it best (it might have been Sebastian Bach of Skid Row though). Mind you, it's not an exact quote...

"Classic rock stations need to be more open. Like the band Radiohead with that album OK Computer. They're so great. They're like the Pink Floyd of today." (paraphrase)
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Old 08-25-2003, 11:16 PM   #10
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I think there are comparisons to be made, for example, the first time I heard "Exit Music" I thought of "Comfotably Numb"...there are musical reasons for it, but anyway....
I think Radiohead has a greater variety in moods, tempos, and textures than Pink Floyd.
just my opinion....respect always goes for "Dark Side Of The Moon"...one of the greatest....
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Old 08-25-2003, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by JOFO
I think Radiohead are the Radiohead of our time.

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Old 08-26-2003, 04:23 AM   #12
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pink floyd were the radioheads of 70s & 80s
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:13 AM   #13
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They're really not very similar. Not in any respects that matter, anyway. People just always draw the comparison because both bands are popular and known as being "weird" (and neither band is really that weird, but I guess they're pretty out there compared to Top 40 radio).
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Old 08-26-2003, 11:37 AM   #14
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I don't see that at all.
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Old 08-26-2003, 11:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by JOFO
I think Radiohead are the Radiohead of our time.

Couldn't have said it better if I tried.
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