Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Do the maths. If someone celebrated their 20th birthday this month, September 2012, they were born at the same time as Radiohead's first single Creep - with that distinctive lock'n'load guitar -- was released.
So even if it was a 30th birthday, it's unlikely Radiohead's first outing made any impression. Lotta water -- and increasingly demanding music from Oxford's finest -- has gone under the bridge since then.
But do some other maths: if you were 20 when it came out you would have been 30 when Amnesiac -- their third electronica-rock album after OK Computer and Kid A -- and maybe they weren't speaking to you in quite the same way.
The first five Radiohead albums are fascinating in how they were smart enough and talented enough to step away from the Britpop expectation of the disaffected Creep and their debut album Pablo Honey into expanding their parameters on the thrilling and interesting The Bends . . . then turn left into electronica.
Unlike U2 who cut a not disssimilar path after The Joshua Tree/Rattle and Hum period into Achtung Baby and Zooropa, Radiohead didn't revert to type. They held fast to the course of innovation and often demanding music (although the more recent In Rainbows seemed a successful marriage of pop-rock expectation and edgy electronica) and so theirs is a career always worth discovering, or rediscovering.
This collection of those first five albums -- no bonus tracks, just what arrived at the time -- should entice anyone not old enough to remember Creep or OK Computer because this set is at the entry-point price of just $20 through JB HiFi stores here.
And if you only tuned in and/or out, then here's your budget shelf-filler and homework assignment in one.
Given how much teritory these five albums cover and how important Radiohead were at the time, that makes this set our Bargain Buy.