Thom Yorke’s life-changing classic album
Thom Yorke is one of the most spirited musicians of the modern era. A real enigma, he and each of the other members of Radiohead can be awarded the individual title of genius. Difficult to define and in constant progression, Yorke is an artist composed of a colorful patchwork of influences. A fan of ’60s pop, dance music and outright rock and roll, Yorke is the walking embodiment of the undefined.
The Radiohead frontman is also brilliant in the way he’s never afraid to talk about his love for other artists, showing off the skills of a true muso. With a keen eye on the art of songwriting, while also having a penchant for the peripheries of music, it was this kind of questioning attitude that characterized Radiohead as the beast they are. Popular but experimental, in many ways, the band is a combination of brilliant juxtapositions.
Yorke is a multi-faceted artist and having made a foray into music, film and other mediums, Yorke is an expert in finding inspiration in the world around him. An artistic shapeshifter, he’s the type of musician we all aspire to be, versatile and cerebral.
While he has cited figures like REM, David Bowie, and Miles Davis as inspirations throughout his career, Yorke has also expressed his love for Boston’s alternate heroes Pixies very clearly. While the Pixies’ influence on Yorke and Radiohead isn’t immediately obvious, when you breathe and think about it, it does.
There are actually many comparisons that can be drawn between the two bands. The two came as and represented the intellectual side of the outpouring of macho guitar bands of the ’80s and’ 90s, and both undertook genius takes on the rock ‘n’ roll addiction for the most moments. visceral. Although the Pixies predated Radiohead and marked out an important part of the guitar music blueprint, they both suffered and succeeded in very similar ways. Granted, that’s more the case with Radiohead and their never-ending puzzle, ‘Creep’.
The Pixies are widely hailed as one of the most influential bands in the alternative rock scene in the early ’90s, and each of the band’s classics is revered as a legend in their own right. Considering Yorke’s age and position as a member of Generation X, it’s no surprise that Pixies’ second album, 1989’s Doolittle, left an indelible mark on him. He even went so far as to say that the album “changed my life”.
The album had such an impact that without it there would have been no No matter, Smashing Pumpkins or PJ Harvey. He established the calm-strong-silent dynamic that is now ubiquitous in rock and other genres. The Pixies’ use of light and dark massively influenced Radiohead’s first sound; there is no denying it. The first three records of the group, Pablo Honey, Curvatures and OK Computer, are all guitar records featuring the changing dynamics of the Pixies. ‘Creep’, ‘My Iron Lung’, ‘Just’ and ‘Paranoid Android’ are just four of this period that immediately comes to mind.
Then on the other hand, later Radiohead cuts, such as “Bodysnatchers,” for example, are a shining example of Pixies permeating Radiohead’s work. While Radiohead has apparently moved on from explicitly guitar-focused numbers, the Pixies’ influence still exists in their art, just on a much more subversive level.
So, now that we’ve alerted you to the parallels between the two iconic groups, why not revisit some of their work?
to listen Doolittle in full below.