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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Jun 19, 2017
Headline for OK Computer and Other Thoughts: 7 Reasons Why Radiohead is So Influential
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OK Computer and Other Thoughts: 7 Reasons Why Radiohead is So Influential

Radiohead, as a band, are good at tension. This not only applies to their music but also their place in musical culture. There is something about them we can't quite put our finger on.

1

Identity

Mar 21, 2017
Identity

Music is deeply tied to us in the personal and the social. Radiohead crosses those social borders and appeals to a number of social groups. People have found common ground through Paranoid Android and There There, and that alone is important enough to write about.

2

Subversion

Mar 21, 2017
Subversion

"Capitalism finds its enemies and makes them its best friends" - Johnson quoted in Seiler 1998:59

Brands and companies know the worth of identity and consumption through rock music. They latch on and adopt the same qualities these bands have that attract audiences. Somehow, Radiohead seems to slip through these grips. Of course, they are part of the money making machine, but there is still a part of them that continues to subvert the corporate side of the music industry.

3

In Rainbows-The pay-what-you-want Download

Mar 21, 2017
In Rainbows-The pay-what-you-want Download

Again, this was an explicit subversion and cool as hell. Radiohead released the album online with no price tag. You paid what you felt it was worth to you. It was a way to dodge the corporate and show audiences respect. While other bands were griping about people downloading music, Radiohead was ahead of the curve by offering their audience options and engaging with them.

4

The Karma Police Music Video

Mar 21, 2017
The Karma Police Music Video

Pitchfork just released an exploration of "Karma Police".

Radiohead offers as many layers in their music videos as they do in their songs.

5

In Conversation with Capitalism and Culture

Mar 21, 2017
In Conversation with Capitalism and Culture

1995's "The Bends" weaved the light and dark while it introduced lyrics that challenged capitalism. They played with the irony that they are part of the corporate world while they wrestle within that hierarchy. Here is where Radiohead laid down their first political footprint.

6

Radiohead is Extremely Popular-But They Don't Feel Like It- Why?

Mar 21, 2017
Radiohead is Extremely Popular-But They Don't Feel Like It- Why?

I don't have the answer to this.

Maybe it's because it's obvious? Or they've been around for so long? Do they transcend the categories of popular music?

7

Bye Bye Creep

Mar 21, 2017
Bye Bye Creep

"Creep" is easily one of Radiohead's most iconic songs. Despite this, the band and most of their fans hate it. For Thom Yorke, the song didn't reflect the band properly and he felt like it was steering their image and expectation of sound in the wrong direction. The band clearly cares about their work.