Radiohead is one of the old players in the music industry. Since its founding in 1985, the band had been popular for its non-generic song structures (which is the shining characteristic of indie labels) despite being a major record. So, is Radiohead indie or not?
• The Band
This rock (or, if one prefers, indie rock) was founded in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England back in 1985. There are five loyal members of the group, which are Philip Selway (drums and percussion), Colin Greenwood (bass), Ed O’Brien (backing vocals and guitars), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, and other instruments), and Thom Yorke (vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar). Until the present time, this band is still active and often considered one of the biggest rock bands internationally.
• The Style
What makes Radiohead stay relevant is its ability to adapt to the current popular genres without losing their personal touches. At first, the band was mostly influenced by 80s alternative rock bands such as R.E.M and U2, post-punk acts such as Joy Division, and legends such as Queen and Elvis. However, they started to play with Electronic music in the 90s (inspired by DJ Shadow) and jazz from Charles Mingus and such. Since then, their music evolves towards Electronic, hip hop, and experimental genres.
• The Albums
As we mentioned before, Radiohead continued to evolve throughout the years. So, each album marks a new change with new inspirations. This band itself had produced nine albums, such as Pablo Honey in 1993, The Bends in 1995, OK Computer in 1997, Kid A in 2000, Amnesiac in 2001, Hail to the Thief in 2003, In Rainbows in 2007, The King of Limbs in 2011, A Moon Shaped Pool in 2016. This list doesn’t include their other works such as singles which are not included in the albums.
• So, Is It Indie?
After six years of career, Radiohead signed a contract with EMI in 1991. Since then, they debuted with the single Creep (1992) which then followed by their first album Pablo Honey (1993). With that album, their popularity rose up with EMI until they decided not to prolong their contract in 2004. So, since then, they are technically an indie label.
Indie labels gave artists more freedom to create music with creative endeavors. So, speaking from that sense, it’s not questionable for Radiohead to be considered as Indie by listeners since the very start. However, this band is only technically garnered the label in 2004, right after Hail to the Thief.