Ongoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 836: Radiohead, A History Part 1

Is it just me or has there been an uptick in the number of one-hit wonders in the past couple of years? Think about all the hot artists who have had just one good album–or even just one good song–before they’re forgotten.

In the Olden Days, a group developed and evolved over a series of albums: three, four, five, six records, even. It was a slow process that took a lot of patience, dedication, and, more often than not, a plenty of fighting to keep things together. But it could pay off. Just look at U2, REM, Blur, Depeche Mode.

Not one of these bands was an instant out-of-the-park success. Each was allowed to build a career the old-fashioned way: slowly, carefully, methodically. Most importantly, they were allowed to make mistakes (and recover from them) along the way.

Another band that needs to be on this list is Radiohead.

They started slow. Really slow. They made a bunch of mistakes as they stumbled and experimented and ran into roadblocks. But because they’ve stuck together, never losing faith in their mission, and because they were allowed to develop into becoming exceptional musicians, Radiohead has become one of the most revered, influential, and most analyzed groups in the history of alt-rock. Along the way, they’ve also rewritten the rules of what a band is and isn’t supposed to do.

This is the story of how Radiohead got to where they are to today, part one.

Songs heard on this show:

Radiohead, Burn the Witch

On a Friday, Fragile Friend

Headless Chickens, High and Dry

On a Friday, Stop Whispering (demo)

On a Friday, Phillipa Chicken

Radiohead, Prove Yourself (demo)

Radiohead, Creep (radio edit)

Radiohead, Anyone Can Play Guitar

Radiohead, Fake Plastic Trees (Live in Toronto)

As usual, Eric Wilhite has created a playlist for us.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

If you ever miss a show, you can always get the podcast edition available through iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38573 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.