Radiohead read on

Ok they are a rock band and with OK computer they won lots of critical fame. But with kidA and amnesiac they have created truely great albums. I think that they have recorded these albums in new and inventive ways and the sound quality or misuse of it is amazing. They have also pushed the musical boundries with the content and delivery of their music. I should also state that I am not such a big rock music fan but these albums are emotional inventive and intoxicating and force me to want to listen. What do you think?
The only band that has held my interest since the "golden age" of rock and roll-and the thing is, they keep on getting better!
They have a truly incredible ability to explore different musical genres, some of which they actually invented themselves! In the history of all rock music, Radiohead should go down as one of the all-time greats as far as creativity, insight, emotion, inventiveness, and risk-taking. I can only hope that history will agree with me.
If you could only own one of their cd's which one would you pick? I'd like to give them a try.
Not only are they amazing, the recording are top notch...
Truly one of the leading alternative bands of the new millenium !
I agree that they are pretty great and they keep changing and evolving...all good. As far as being truly inventive though...if you REALLY believe that, you need to buy more albums. Yes...they're inventive, but there's very little on Kid-A or Amnesia that has been done by others over the last 30 years. Brian Eno was one of the people doing similar stuff back in the 70s and there have been many others since. Radiohead is adding to that history and making it more popular, but there is a precedence for that sound.
I have been a fan of Radiohead since Pablo Honey came out . The song “Creep” brought me to them and have enjoyed their music from that time. I felt OK computer was their best work and just did not get into their later after the first listen. Even though I have all their CD’s it wasn’t until I saw them live at Mt. View Shoreline that I became true believer (I had great seats). They are extraordinary musicians and if anyone ever has the opportunity to see them. Just do it!! I went to the website and found out they will be releasing a DVD in 2002 with either live shots of the concert or a little of both MTV style videos and live concert footage. I prefer to see the live concert. The sound and visual performance of all in the band was truly an experience.

Also as mentioned their recordings are quite good.

Just my 2 cents.

Happy listening
Radiohead are a fine, fine band, their music both challenging and engaging at once. For Glen, I don't know how you could recommend just one album though, as soon as I had one (I bought Kid A to see what all of the fuss was about) I was on a quest for more. Now that I have the CD's, their one (that I'm aware of) DVD ("Meeting People Is Easy"), I have some vinyl on the way too. Cant wait!
The new (November) issue of Jazz Times has a feature article on the jazz influences in Radiohead's work.
I am of the opinion that "The Bends" is their greatest album. "OK Computer" would be what I would consider their second best album. I saw them live at Roseland in New York in support of "The Bends" album and they were alright. I saw a live clip of them recently while channel surfing and it seems that their live act has improved.

Their is a band out of Liverpool called "Gomez" that has two albums out that are must gets. "Bring It On" is their first release and "Liquid Skin" is the follow up album. Check them out.

Happy Listening
I'd have to say OK Computer is their best album, as well as the second-best album of the 1990's (Never Mind). I suppose we could start a whole new thread on that, huh? 10Best rock albums of the 1990's...
incredible band..i saw them live in Barrie , Ontario, Canada this past August ...yes Radiohead is innovative and pushing the envelope to a much larger size!!
Jimmyrod- I had the exact opposite experience. I got Pablo Honey for free because I was working in the business at the time. The commercial overplay of 'Creep' convinced me that the band was just about getting on the angst bandwagon, so I never really listened and ended up selling the disc.

I didn't really get back into them until Kid A came out- I just never picked up OK Computer despite the critical acclaim. Since then I've bought the rest of the discs (though not Pablo Honey again, despite the fact that I really like some songs).

Saw them this past summer and it was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Great crowd of fans (low bubba factor) and an amazing production.

If you want a rock album, get The Bends. For something more challenging, try OK Computer, Kid A, or Amnesiac.
I also got pablo honey for free and listened to it for a couple weeks and ended up giving it away. I live in San Francisco and when ok computer came out I heard it being played everywhere every record store, coffee shop, and clothing store that had a stereo system. I also read all the reviews about it but still never listened to it. When kid A was getting its inital reviews in prerelease press I started taking notice so the day after it came out I went out of my way to check it out. And yes I have heard people use this type of sound before but it is in the manner that they have given us something that is new and of the moment and at the same time walked away from their (rock star sound) to try something different that brought me into owning thier last three albums. Thanks for all the reponses....
First off I think sonically they do great work,it's mostly well recorded in hi-fi terms,it's obvious they take great care over how their records sound.
Artistically I'm not so sure,I think they are too caught up in the hype that followed OK Computer when they were heralded both as the future of rock and champions of a new form of "progressive rock".
As much as their last two records are partly great,they are also flawed,filled at times with willfully difficult pieces and badly executed experiments.
They are simply (as last years UK tour showed) Britain's greatest guitar band however they don't want to be that...
Band singer and leader Thom Yorke (to me ) is too caught up in how they are percieved,as a result the music has suffered.
I'm not denying their greatness merely wondering if they are reaching their potential.
The Bends is their greatest album in my opinion.

It's time to refresh this thread with the release of their new album "In Rainbows." Check out their business model: You go to the album's site, and you can pay as much as you see fit for the entire download of the album. Yes, that may be $0 if you feel that's all they deserve, but then again, if you feel they deserve $0 then why are you downloading the album? I think almost everyone will give a fair amount.

I think it's genius.

They are NOT a rock band. They are an INDIE band!. Bon Jovi is/are rock. I throw all my toys out of the pram when peeps talk of Radiohead as a rock band.ARGH.
The Beatles of our time. I think John would have loved the daring nature of each new release. Enuff said.
It's a breathtaking album. I much prefer it to Kid A at this point but many more listenings will tell.

"The Beatles of our time?" Well, that's a bit of hyperbole as there has never been another Beatles of any time.

However, no band has released better material over the past 12 years since "The Bends" in 1995.

IMO of course.
Muse is another more recent group that has produced a lot of good more artsy type rock in recent years and met with success along the lines of Radiohead.  Many regard Steven Wilson as the modern champion of progressive rock.  Gotta admire Radiohead's penchant to experiment and push boundaries though, much like The  Beatles did, even if the results are perhaps a bit more uneven or esoteric.

The White Stripes is the more recent group that I find also seldom fails me of late for just plain and simple good rock.   Their sound is more like a modern take on stripped down Led Zeppelin at their best.
The Beatles pretty much did not release something if they weren't sure about the quality.  If you listen to the non-released tracks on the Anthology series there are good tracks (and one or two bad ones) that aren't quite up to their standard.  One that comes to mind is George's "Not Guilty."  Then there's one or two that just aren't very good, such as "That Means A Lot."  Finally, they re-did some tracks after they were finished the first time.  The first version was better than most other groups of the time were capable of, but the second versions were a step up from the first (Ob-la-di and Norwegian Wood, for example).
I've heard quite a bit of Radiohead but need to acquire some on CD to give a really serious listen.  I'm very impressed with what I've seen and heard.  I think I missed the boat on these guys long ago.
I like Radiohead quite a bit but the one thing I don't like is that their whole catelog is compressed dynamic range wise and I don't mean just a little.  What's up with that?  
The usual in regards to how modern recordings are made in an attempt to please as many listeners as possible. Recording industry would have real problems if they did not keep up with the times and do that. FBOFW. Most Radiohead is an interesting listen beyond just dynamics.

Another group that I like a lot in recent years with a penchant for experimentation and delivering good results on their recordings is The Flaming Lips. These guys have been around forever and do not get the credit or recognition they deserve IMHO most likely because they can get really far out there at times and never seem deterred which I admire. They can make Pink Floyd in their early days seem downright mainstream.  Their album "Embryonic"  is perhaps my favorite.   It is to music of its time kinda what the Beatles White Album was back in its day.
Sorry to disagree, Mapman, but music is ALL about dynamics. You can throw all the rest of the stuff away. You know, frequency response, bass response, resolution, all of it. If you can tolerate elevator music more power to you.

Well dynamics are a big part of it.  Certainly not all.   If it does not sound good enough, well then either don't listen or figure out a way to make it better.
I have all of there albums except the numerous singles they've released. Lately I find myself listening to there latest release (now years old) much more than the others. I didn't like that album much at first listen, but now truly admire it & it is recorded well. I wouldn't say it's there best (IMO that would be OK Computer), but it is very good. As far as sonics, there 45rpm single release of "paranoid android" is spectacular.  I'll have to check out MUSE. The only reason I never had is one of my daughters weird friends had that sticker on the back of her car :-) 
OK, I didn’t want to do this. Here’s the Radiohead page from the Unofficial Dynamic Range Database. Keep in mind the number 14 represents the first number in the Good range for dynamic range. The colors obviously represent Bad, Transition, and Good Dynamic Range. There are three number for each listing - Average, Minimum and Maximum Dynamic Range. Now, you tell me, is that a messed up dynamic range chart or what? And let's hear it for Pablo Honey!

Happy New Year
I have them all on LP (UK vinyl as available.) Their releases on vinyl all sound fine and mostly uncompressed. Taken as a whole their work is the most creative arc in pop since the Beatles.  I miss the more structured song forms that peak with OK Computer, but the dissolve thereafter into abstraction is a big trip. 
If I understand the DR charts correctly, the number represents the difference between the loudest and softest sounds per release and also shows similar best and worst track DR.

It tells you nothing for example about transient dynamics and what one might be hearing otherwise with this approach. The people who make these recordings want you to hear certain things in the mix a certain way. And be able to hear it on the devices that most people have to work with. Its an art and not a pure science.

To date I have found not much correlation between my appreciation of a recording and the numbers in this DR DB, although it is useful to help find recordings that might excel in dynamic range that one might not otherwise.
So its a useful tool but not enough to determine what to listen to or not. At least for me. YMMV.

One last point is I recall the CD Death Magnetic by Metallica to be one of the worst DR ratings at the time a couple years back. Someone sent me the CD in the mail to give a listen. Thing is for an audiophile to listen to this CD the way intended, loudly, requires a VERY good system. Listening to this CD as intended without ear bleed or negatively affecting how most other more normal CDs sound is an extremely difficult audiophile challenge I would say. There is little leeway for any added distortion to be introduced. But I have found it to be a useful test CD for my system in that regard and there is a lot of good stuff on it (if one likes what Metallica does in general of course) and the sound of my setup is better than ever I would say overall for the effort .
Mapman, my guess is you'd really like the Japanese SHM pressing of Death Magnetic. ;-)

Death Magnetic releases

Metallica Death Magnetic (Mastered for iTunes) 2015 07 06 08 lossy Download

Metallica Death Magnetic (Guitar Hero III) i 2008 12 11 13 lossless Download

Metallica Death Magnetic (Moderus III.2 Remaster) i 2014. 08 08 09 lossless Download

Metallica Death Magnetic [24-bit/88,2 kHz studio master] i 2014 05 03 06 lossless Download

Metallica Death Magnetic 2008 03 02 04 lossless CD

Metallica Death Magnetic [MarckIII Version] i 2009 11 11 12 lossless Download

Metallica Death Magnetic (Japan SHM-CD mini-lp) 2010 03 02 04 lossless Unknown

Metallica Death Magnetic 2008 03 02 04 lossless CD

I’m pretty sure this is the one I have. Pretty bad but some in the DR DB now show as 0 0 0 (you can sort using the column headers to see the best and worst in the DB at the top of the list easily). The dozen or so worst overall are now 0 0 0 ie no measured dynamic range. Turn these up loud and your amp and speakers gets quite a steady workout with no relief it would seem. That is if they survive, as well as your ears. Rock on!

They are already loud as soon as you start playing them. That’s kind of the whole point. The level is set higher on the compressed CDs than it is on their uncompressed brethren so they play louder. You can’t get in too much trouble because the peaks are still a lot lower in dB than they would have been uncompressed. You actually need to turn the volume DOWN on some cases.
All true except actually you can get into trouble a lot faster because things are recorded louder to start and there are fewer valleys between the peaks which means when the loudest parts achieve the desired SPL when played the amp and speakers are working harder overall than they would be otherwise in that the average volume level in the recording is higher. Louder/higher volume levels overall mean more work for amp and speakers to do. So hifi setups that are not able to deal with high volume levels as well to start will feel more strain at a particular max SPL of volume. What was previously perhaps clipping, compression and distortion in just a few dynamic peaks is now more prevalent. That’s why I say it takes a bigger better hifi to play a loud CD well at a certain maximum SPL level than a less loud one. A lot of modern under powered hifis driving smaller inefficient speakers that are designed for extended bass out of a smaller package, as is very popular these days, will start to clip, compress and distort sooner making things even worse. Even more reason for many audiophiles to hate these kinds of recordings.
It’s actually not the recording that’s louder. The recording is not the issue. It’s the CD format that’s compressed and made louder. That’s why they call it the Loudness Wars. As I said you can make the level higher and still not risk blowing up someone’s boombox or Walkman since the peaks have been compressed, as well as valleys obviously. Everyone’s happy, teeny boppers can play their music loud, the record companies are making money and the only ones who are unhappy are people like me who can’t stand overly compressed music. As I also said, that means I won’t listen to some of Dylan’s greatest CDs,,like Modern Times or Stones like A Bigger Bang and Bridges to Babylon, or Radiohead. Except Pablo Honey. If I can get them on cassette I can manage to get by.  But that's a big IF.
Sure what goes into the cd release can be what's compressed versus original masters I'm sure in many cases.  

Some may have waveforms clipped as well at some stage.  Dr measurements alone do not tell you that but not uncommon at least in many modern pop releases I'm sure.
You guys almost make me want to dig out my old DBX 119 expansion/compression unit and put it into the system (assuming it still works).
New Radiohead album reported to be coming out this year!!
Tost I have a dbx 3BX sitting idle in my storage room. Its a lovely classic and fun piece. Maybe I’ll hook it back up again someday but have not felt the urge.   It's from my aforementioned obsessed with DR period.
Check out some UB40 for a group whose recordings score consistently high in DR.
UB40 does indeed have a catelog with great DR. Among the best in the biz. Shame about the music.

Radiohead for me is the modern equivalent of the band Can. We will be heralding these guys even more 30 years from now. Cutting edge. Brilliant.