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179) Radiohead - Pablo Honey

A band with nine studio albums to their name and record sales in excess of twenty million Radiohead are one of the most successful band the UK has ever produced.


Instant success from the start, well not quite. Singles Creep, Anyone Can Play Guitar and Pop Is Dead all failed to make an impression.


On reviewing The Bends eighteen months ago I stated, “From Pablo to The Bends is like leaving your local pub team to sign for a Premier League club such is the advancement.”


For this review I have done the usual and listened three times, shock horror folks I was wrong, the most repeated words I write in these reviews.


It’s no Bends but is clearly a band finding their feet and opener You reminds me of Pearl Jam, the guitars are heavy and melodic, but it never quite catches fire.


Creep, do we need to say anything, the song that launched their career with Jonny Greenwood slashing away and a magical piano at the end that I have just noticed, seemingly they are not fond of it, it’s still great.


Stop Whispering is the first time I notice what a voice Thom Yorke has, with Yorke nearly screaming by the end and the band building the momentum and then we have a change of pace with Thinking About You mainly driven by an acoustic guitar.


Anyone Can Play Guitar is the sort of song they would never record now, but it has momentum and is catchy with a chorus, although they have evolved brilliantly, they can have the odd meandering moment, this is more direct.


Vegetable goes from quiet to loud like many grunge songs of the time but again it’s Yorke’s vocal and the guitar solo that lifts this song for me and any  band would be happy to deliver a song like Prove Yourself on their debut.


The album ends with Blow Out which opens in a Sunday stroll like manner before kicking off with the emphasis on crashing cymbals.


They clearly would go onto greater things and only an idiot would state that Pablo Honey is pub football standard, but we all know that……now.




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Apr 18

Loved it hear too; 7.5. Creep sets a phenomenal bar but Anyone Can Play Guitar gets close. Greenwood and Yorke are magnificent throughout but, although the album promises riches to come, no-one could predict quite how golden so don’t beat yourself up.


Jim Barr
Jim Barr
Apr 18

Loved it, bought it after seeing them at King Tuts. My claim to fame seeing a band in the early stages of their career!

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