Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-1-4422-7929-2 • Hardback • April 2019 • $42.00 • (£32.00)
978-1-4422-7930-8 • eBook • April 2019 • $39.50 • (£30.00)
Phil Rose has taught at a number of Canadian universities and is the president and chair of the Silvan Tomkins Institute. He has published in many academic journals on a variety of topics, and among his books are Roger Waters and Pink Floyd: The Concept Albums (2015), Radiohead and the Global Movement for Change: Pragmatism Not Idealism (2016), and Confronting Technopoly: Charting a Course Towards Human Survival (2017).
Chapter 1 - Becoming Radiohead (1985-1993)
Chapter 2 - Towards Technological Apocalypse (1994-1995)
Chapter 3 - A Sergeant Pepper for the 'Net' Generation (1996-1998)
Chapter 4 - OK Computer (1996-1998)
Chapter 5 - Media Fallout (1998-1999)
Chapter 6 - Kosovo and the First Human Clone (2000-2001)
Chapter 7 - Creeping Totalitarianism (2002-2003)
Chapter 8 - Goodbye EMI, Hello Pay What You Want (2004-2008)
Chapter 9 - Post-Apocalypse? (2009-2012)
Chapter 10 - Forging Forward (2013-2016)
Chapter 11 - Looking Backwards (2017-2018)
When English rock band Radiohead returned to the studio in 1996 for their third album, lead singer and dominant songwriter Thom Yorke was writing music to deal with his claustrophobic feelings from endless touring. The result was OK Computer, which perfectly summed up pre-millennium jitters in 12 prescient songs about technology and alienation. Over the next two decades, Radiohead continued to use their music and platform as public figures to comment on political, social justice, and environmental issues. Rose (Radiohead and the Global Movement for Change; Roger Waters and Pink Floyd) presents a comprehensive analysis of the band’s message by dissecting the individual songs and artwork from all of their albums to date, revealing a group of musicians who both feared their global influence and embraced it. VERDICT Radiohead fans and those interested in media studies will find revelations in Rose’s engrossing insights.
— Library Journal
Rose (Confronting Technopoly, 2017), a professor of media studies, considers Radiohead not just an influential English electronic rock outfit but “an important resource for assisting us in the social and psychic navigation of our new technological age.” Such lofty regard is typical throughout this mostly academic appreciation of the 34-year-old band helmed by enigmatic frontman Thom Yorke and composer Jonny Greenwood. The author traces Radiohead’s long, multifaceted history in the studio and out, charting their early success with the hit single “Creep” and dissecting the seminal 1997 album OK Computer, while contrasting the making of later albums like Kid A, Hail to the Thief, and In Rainbows with the band’s political and social activism. . . . it’s an ambitious but compact treatise, exploring how Radiohead’s esoteric and highly regarded oeuvre aligns with and interrogates the challenges of modernity.
Rose dives deeply into the group’s musical output, highlighting lyrical themes of mass surveillance, climate change, automation, and the military-industrial complex. Rose briefly chronicles the band’s birth and early days, when the members . . . met at Abingdon School in Oxford, England, in 1985 before launching into an account of their first album, Pablo Honey (1993), up through critically acclaimed records including OK Computer (1997) and Kid A (2000) and beyond. Rose offers close readings of each song on every album, illustrating the ways in which Radiohead was inspired by literary themes or political events.
— Publishers Weekly
Phil Rose brilliantly walks us through the vibrant vision of Radiohead. As Rose writes, it’s time to wake up to our new world, and the easiest way to do this is to realize that for years, Radiohead has been writing the owner’s manual.
— Brian Cogan, author of The Encyclopedia of Punk
This book is a masterfully written, creative investigation of Radiohead’s interrogation of alienation, mass surveillance, information overload and other conditions that inform so much of what it means to live in the modern world.
— Rob Bowman, York University
An all-encompassing book for Radiohead fans as well as for anyone who is interested in popular music and wants to know what all the fuss is about. Rose elegantly and eloquently illuminates what Radiohead’s music, and Thom Yorke’s lyrics, offer to us as (in the words of Kenneth Burke) a counter-statement against the life of these times in which we live.
— Thom Gencarelli, Manhattan College