Pitchfork | Exciting things from the new Radiohead online archive

Pitchfork | Exciting things from the new Radiohead online archive

Radiohead are tidying up a bit. The band has established Radiohead Public Library, a free online compendium that puts rarities, visuals, and other artifacts all in one place.

Below, read some exciting things that can be found on band’s platform, selected by Pitchfork.

Drill EP

Radiohead’s first-ever commercially released EP shows the band still writhing through their pupal stages as a so-so Buzz Bin act. Most of the 1992 EP’s four tracks appeared, reworked and improved, on the band’s debut album, Pablo Honey, the following year; opener “Prove Yourself” got another polish, while “Thinking About You” was notched down from its alarmingly Green Day clip. The guys sound earnest, a little vapid, and above all, young. As with the juvenilia of many legendary bands, there is something magical about hearing this material and imagining the leap to their eventual masterpieces.

Meeting People Is Easy

This 1998 documentary—presented in its entirety in the archive—remains a cautionary tale, a snapshot of the seemingly endless barrage of attention that Radiohead faced in the wake of OK Computer. Questions from clueless journalists are spliced into candid clips of the band becoming increasingly haggard as their tour wears on, and Thom Yorke’s anxieties manifest in the frantic pace of the film’s edit. Revisiting Meeting People Is Easy in 2020, one scene stands out: the failed recording session for “Man of War,” which was resurrected for the band’s 2018 OKNotOK box set. It’s still fascinating to watch Radiohead struggle through tracking a song, but it’s especially satisfying now, knowing that they finally got it right.

Kid A Blips

Radiohead did not film music videos for 2000’s Kid A. Instead, they made a series of what were called “blips”—10-second, context-free animated nightmares that radiated mystery. When these clips—replete with toothy bears, Stanley Donwood artwork, and arch hints of surveillance—dispersed like locust clouds into the prehistoric era of televised promo spots, you were spooked into a glimpse of the future. Case in point: My coworker, who was still playing with Legos when Kid A came out, watched these and exclaimed, incredulous, “So they were just Instagram promo videos, but for the TV?” Correct.

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