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This October, when Radiohead release their highly anticipated follow-up to 1997's guitar-driven OK Computer, music critics may very well bestow the Oxford quintet with "The Most Important Band in Rock" accolade that cursed U2, R.E.M. and the Clash. The East Coast editor of Launch magazine, Randall is undoubtedly one of the many journalists eager to exclaim "genius!" again, This October, when Radiohead release their highly anticipated follow-up to 1997's guitar-driven OK Computer, music critics may very well bestow the Oxford quintet with "The Most Important Band in Rock" accolade that cursed U2, R.E.M. and the Clash. The East Coast editor of Launch magazine, Randall is undoubtedly one of the many journalists eager to exclaim "genius!" again, but his biography of the Grammy winners is economical, restrained and unauthorized (band members "respectfully declined" Randall's requests to cooperate). After briefly reenacting the now mythic June 1997 concert at New York City's Irving Plaza, attended by rock's superstar aristocracy (Bono, Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, etc.), Randall smartly spends most of his narrative on the band's fascinating, decade-long conception in and around culturally barren Oxford, whose Radiohead landmarks he visited and lays out. Non- and neo-Anglophiles will especially appreciate Randall's definitions of British terms and background on the British music industry, music press and education system (all five musicians met at the all-male Abingdon School). As for the inevitable "record critique" chapters, Randall rarely throws in his two cents, preferring to sprinkle passages with the band's own pithy observations and recording-session anecdotes culled from magazine interviews. Exit music? Not quite, as Radiohead are pushing the boundaries of pop music (the new record is rumored to include Miles Davis and backwards singing). Because the book will be published right before the new album debuts, it will be nearly out of date by the time it hits bookstores. However, Randall's work will still serve as a reliable introduction to an ever-evolving band.


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This October, when Radiohead release their highly anticipated follow-up to 1997's guitar-driven OK Computer, music critics may very well bestow the Oxford quintet with "The Most Important Band in Rock" accolade that cursed U2, R.E.M. and the Clash. The East Coast editor of Launch magazine, Randall is undoubtedly one of the many journalists eager to exclaim "genius!" again, This October, when Radiohead release their highly anticipated follow-up to 1997's guitar-driven OK Computer, music critics may very well bestow the Oxford quintet with "The Most Important Band in Rock" accolade that cursed U2, R.E.M. and the Clash. The East Coast editor of Launch magazine, Randall is undoubtedly one of the many journalists eager to exclaim "genius!" again, but his biography of the Grammy winners is economical, restrained and unauthorized (band members "respectfully declined" Randall's requests to cooperate). After briefly reenacting the now mythic June 1997 concert at New York City's Irving Plaza, attended by rock's superstar aristocracy (Bono, Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, etc.), Randall smartly spends most of his narrative on the band's fascinating, decade-long conception in and around culturally barren Oxford, whose Radiohead landmarks he visited and lays out. Non- and neo-Anglophiles will especially appreciate Randall's definitions of British terms and background on the British music industry, music press and education system (all five musicians met at the all-male Abingdon School). As for the inevitable "record critique" chapters, Randall rarely throws in his two cents, preferring to sprinkle passages with the band's own pithy observations and recording-session anecdotes culled from magazine interviews. Exit music? Not quite, as Radiohead are pushing the boundaries of pop music (the new record is rumored to include Miles Davis and backwards singing). Because the book will be published right before the new album debuts, it will be nearly out of date by the time it hits bookstores. However, Randall's work will still serve as a reliable introduction to an ever-evolving band.

30 review for Exit Music: The Radiohead Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Owen

    If you're a Radiohead fan then you'll find lots of interesting tidbits here, but that's about the best you can say about the book. The author wasn't able to interview the band past a certain point but there's a distance from the subjects even in the early parts of the book. Mac clearly loves the band but to read long album reviews, detailed notes on non-album tracks and exhaustive documentation of how live shows went goes beyond what most readers want to consume. He feels more like a statisticia If you're a Radiohead fan then you'll find lots of interesting tidbits here, but that's about the best you can say about the book. The author wasn't able to interview the band past a certain point but there's a distance from the subjects even in the early parts of the book. Mac clearly loves the band but to read long album reviews, detailed notes on non-album tracks and exhaustive documentation of how live shows went goes beyond what most readers want to consume. He feels more like a statistician than a writer and we have to draw our own conclusions about the band based on occasional glimpses of the personalities involved. This book is very easy to put down, certainly a good choice to get you eyes drooping before bedtime. There must be better books on the band out there.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Excellent book about Radiohead. If you "get" Radiohead, you'll love this book. If you don't like Radiohead, which is the majority of people, don't waste your time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fellipe Moscardini

    A great biography on my favorite band of all time. I got the 2000's edition so it only covers until "Ok Computer" but Mac Randall did a good piece of journalistic work here. It helps settle the personalities of Radiohead members as no longer these music myths but as fragile and complicated human beings. It also helped me understand how hard it is to be part of this amazing band. Before reading this book I thought Radiohead was this very intelectual band who were very rightous in their every caus A great biography on my favorite band of all time. I got the 2000's edition so it only covers until "Ok Computer" but Mac Randall did a good piece of journalistic work here. It helps settle the personalities of Radiohead members as no longer these music myths but as fragile and complicated human beings. It also helped me understand how hard it is to be part of this amazing band. Before reading this book I thought Radiohead was this very intelectual band who were very rightous in their every cause and easily made these amazing albums, but after reading this book I thought "Wow...It sort of sucks to be Radiohead!". Great book (4/5 stars) PS: Thom Yorke is definitely my favorite artist on earth, but back in the 90's he must've been such a fucking complicated ill-tempered asshole! Hopefully he calmed down nowadays...

  4. 4 out of 5

    John M.

    A fairly comprehensive account of the first decade of British alternative act, Radiohead. It is mere coincidence that I stopped following Radiohead after 'OK Computer' which is where this book finishes. Still, I learned much about the early years of the band and much about the fragile, high-strung nature of frontman Thom Yorke. Mac Randall is obviously a seasoned music journalist. He discusses the songs in terms of their musical structure (beats, measures, tuning) that was a bit beyond me. Still, A fairly comprehensive account of the first decade of British alternative act, Radiohead. It is mere coincidence that I stopped following Radiohead after 'OK Computer' which is where this book finishes. Still, I learned much about the early years of the band and much about the fragile, high-strung nature of frontman Thom Yorke. Mac Randall is obviously a seasoned music journalist. He discusses the songs in terms of their musical structure (beats, measures, tuning) that was a bit beyond me. Still, it was an enjoyable reading experience. Now if only someone could write a similar book on Puressence!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    This book had a lot of interesting information about Radiohead's beginnings and career but it was inconsistent. Everything after the Kid A recording sessions seemed sparse and a little dry, which kinda makes sense since the book was first published in 2000 and has been updated several times since then. Also, Radiohead haven't granted him many interviews since OK Computer so Randall didn't have a whole lot to work with after that. The background info about the recording each album is interesting, This book had a lot of interesting information about Radiohead's beginnings and career but it was inconsistent. Everything after the Kid A recording sessions seemed sparse and a little dry, which kinda makes sense since the book was first published in 2000 and has been updated several times since then. Also, Radiohead haven't granted him many interviews since OK Computer so Randall didn't have a whole lot to work with after that. The background info about the recording each album is interesting, but when Randall goes into 'review' mode it's kinda pointless. I don't really need him to tell song x is the best or worst part of the album.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    The documenting of Radiohead's early career was very well researched and offered great insight into their struggles in recording and dealing with the pressures of fame. As the book moved beyond the OK Computer days, however, it seems less space was devoted to behind-the-scenes research and analysis, and more to simply listing the events that occurred around albums, including tours and publicity. For this reason the second half of the book suffers. Additionally, the author's track-by-track looks The documenting of Radiohead's early career was very well researched and offered great insight into their struggles in recording and dealing with the pressures of fame. As the book moved beyond the OK Computer days, however, it seems less space was devoted to behind-the-scenes research and analysis, and more to simply listing the events that occurred around albums, including tours and publicity. For this reason the second half of the book suffers. Additionally, the author's track-by-track looks at each album teeter on the edge of becoming a review. It is however great to hear the background to each song and stories behind recording.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    In order to like this book as much as I did, it really helps to like Radiohead as much as I do. If that is the case, then this book is full of useful information into the formation and process which has produced the best band today. This book only covers up through the release and tour of OK Computer, so through 1998 or so. The later edition added chapters on the other albums released after OK Computer, but those chapters sucked.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meish

    A really interesting and well-written look inside the band and their music. The author analyzes every song on every album from the beginning through The King of Limbs, which makes me want to reread parts while listening to Radiohead music, just so I can get even more out of it. Recommended for any avid Radiohead fans.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Margret Dorothea

    Starts off well, interesting and fairly well written, but then it seems the author sort of lost interest. I could really feel when there were bits the author had added on in this revised edition; the latter half feels very halfhearted. Still, some interesting facts and stories about Radiohead, which is pretty much what I was after.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bandini

    Chi legge questo tipo di biografia è per forza un fan. Tale mi considero, e il giudizio non può che tenere conto. Chi ha vissuto l'evoluzione di questa fantastica band ha condiviso in questo libro la descrizione delle personalità dei suoi componenti e ci si è ritrovato. Grandi Radiohead!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I really liked this book because it gave a lot of back-information of the band growing up and being interested and talented from the start and applying that into such a lasting, talented band (bias, of course). Some good pictures but a lot of information.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Juliezs

    Written like several over-long music magazine articles. Was interesting though to get a chronology of how the band came together in high school and managed to stay together as they got more and more popular.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Descent unauthorized early biography.Not entirely bad, considering it was written only from the perspective of Radiohead circa 2000, but slightly condescending at certain points. Best parts were the behind the scenes of the making of the first three albums.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jay Cruz

    It's a good overview of the band's beginnings. You get an inside look of their "Britpop" period and their first 3 albums, Pablo Honey, The Bends, and OK Computer. (A least this edition. There's a 2004 updated edition)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bart Heeren

    Great biography, but Randall is way to opinionated for a biography. I don't care of he likes or dislikes certainly tracks, but shoehorning half hearted reviews into a factual text is extremely elitist.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Joseph

    I kept accidentally stealing this from Daniella because I couldn't put it down. By far the best book I've seen on this band, not nearly as dry or obsessed with every useless fact like some other books.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A good overview of the early years of Radiohead, but some quite awful music reviews mar this book. Convenient for those that may be interested in finding out about the band from one source.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Imogen

    It's a really good book, and it revealed a lot of stuff about Radiohead I don't know, I highly reccomend it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    Very fascinating book about radiohead at the peak of their rise to stardom. I love every radiohead album, but OK Computer is by far my favorite. Great to read the making of it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    flipperella

    Se si vuole andare oltre l'aspetto prettamente musicale per comprendere appieno il fenomeno Radiohead, bisogna necessariamente leggere questa biografia.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark Roche

    Decent biography yet the author loses interest after OK Computer and doesn't seem to be all that fond of their output after 1997.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matt Nystrom

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Moore

  24. 5 out of 5

    Schuyler

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ken Lange

  26. 4 out of 5

    Filippo Pasqui

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julia Van, yo!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Delisle

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Allison

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