By Ramy Zabarah, Staff Writer

To everyone who’s sung the song “Creep” on Rock Band and called themselves a Radiohead fan, I ask you this: Where did it all begin?

For over 18 years, the English alternative rock band has been writing, recording and performing music, gaining worldwide recognition for their unique style and experimental sound.

But where did it all begin? The band’s debut album, Pablo Honey, was released in February 1993, after they signed a six album record deal with the British record label EMI.

Despite what some may think, Radiohead didn’t always have the great diverse talent that they have today. Pablo Honey was a career landmark, but it failed to show signs of hope for the band at the time of its release.

At the time of its original release, Pablo Honey couldn’t bring the band fame and fortune, or even proper venues to perform in. In fact, their first album tour was comprised of British colleges and small clubs.

It wasn’t until the album gained recognition in the U.S. that the band started to build a name for themselves.

Their debut single “Creep” had all the catchy qualities that the average listener was looking for, plunging the band to popularity through plenty radio time, a music video that became very popular on MTV and a North American tour.

Pablo Honey can easily be characterized by noisy, treble-heavy guitar riffs and meaningless, unnecessarily depressing lyrics, but it spoke to the youth at the time.

In 1993, music was full of teen angst, heavy guitar riffs, and rowdy crowds in small clubs. The big bands at the time were Nirvana and Pearl Jam who were yelling angry, meaningless lyrics into a microphone over crashing cymbals, and distorted guitar riffs were popular.

Although Pablo Honey wasn’t great, it was pertinent to the success of the their following albums, including their most recent one, In Rainbows, which shied away from the experimental and electronic sound they had been working with in recent albums like Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief, but went back to the basics that they began with.

Obviously, Pablo Honey by itself didn’t make Radiohead the band they are today. The record is only as significant as the work that followed.
The band’s second album, The Bends, really showed the world that Radiohead wasn’t just another angry bunch of kids.

The Bends took the distorted guitar tone from Pablo Honey and perfected it by making the riffs more elaborate, and by adding guitar parts to make the sound more atmospheric.

It wasn’t the worst album of the ’90s, but Pablo Honey was definitely Radiohead’s worst. Despite the grunge-like sound that contributed to influencing future albums and other acts at the time, as well as the recognition of lead singer Thom Yorke’s distinct falsetto, it was a failure.

If it wasn’t for “Creep,” their career might have ended there. Fortunately for us, it didn’t.