Thom Yorke is lead singer, lyricist and guitarist of British rockers
Radiohead, who are currently working on their follow-up to 1997's highly
acclaimed OK Computer.
Angst-ridden vocalist Yorke played this year's Tibetan Freedom Concert
in Amsterdam without the rest of the band.
Thomas Edward Yorke was born 31 years ago today in Wellingborough, Great
Britain, and was raised in Scotland until he was 8, when his
family moved to Oxford, England.
Yorke began playing in Oxford rock bands at age 10. After boarding school,
Yorke formed the group On a Friday with former classmates Ed O'Brien
(guitar), Colin Greenwood (bass), Phil Selway (drums) and Greenwood's brother
On a Friday changed its name to Radiohead after a song from Talking Heads'
True Stories. The band's early live shows and a demo tape got them
signed to Parlophone Records in 1991.
The following year, Radiohead received critical acclaim for its debut EP,
Drill. But it was the band's first LP, Pablo Honey (1993),
that caught on with UK and U.S. record buyers. "Creep" became a global
hit and put the group on the map. Radiohead's music was angst-ridden,
like much of the popular rock of the time, but it was heavily influenced
by the grandiose sound of classic rock.
Though The Bends (1995) received favorable reviews and sold well
in the UK, it was largely ignored in the U.S. It included cuts such as
"Bullet Proof ... I Wish I Was" (RealAudio
excerpt), "Fake Plastic Trees" and "Just," the latter accompanied
by a video which became popular on MTV. Radiohead then toured with R.E.M.
In 1997 Radiohead issued OK Computer, a Grammy Award-winning LP
that received critical raves and was considered by many to be as complex
and significant a rock recording as Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the
The sound collage-filled OK Computer garnered radio airplay with
such cuts as "Paranoid Android," "Karma Police" and "Airbag." Also in
1997, Yorke recorded the song "Rabbit in Your Headlights" with turntablist
DJ Shadow, which appeared on the Unkle album Psyence Fiction (1998). The next year the band played the Tibetan Freedom Concert in
Earlier this year, Radiohead released "Meeting People Is Easy," a
documentary about the group's 199798 world tour.
Radiohead's next LP, currently unscheduled, may include such new titles
as "Optimistic," "Neil Young *9," "Lost at Sea/In Limbo" and "Follow Me
Around." Nigel Godrich, the producer of OK Computer, is working
with the band again.
Other birthdays: Colin Cooper (Climax Blues Band), 60; Martin Murray
(Honeycombs), 58; Tony Silvester (Main Ingredient), 58; Kevin Godley
(10cc), 54; Robert Webber (Sugarloaf), 54; David Hope (Kansas), 50;
David Taylor (Edison Lighthouse), 49; John Mellencamp, 48; Tico Torres
(Bon Jovi), 46; Ann Curless (Exposé), 34; and Leeroy Thornhill