Radiohead - Thom Yorke - floods of emotion at times overwhelming. (photo: Steve Keros)

Radiohead – In Concert From Lausanne – 1994 – Past Daily Backstage Pass

Radiohead – Thom Yorke – floods of emotion at times overwhelming. (photo: Steve Keros)

Radiohead – Live At Balelec, Lausanne Switzerland – May 20, 1994 – RSR-Espace 2 –

Radiohead in concert this weekend. Recorded at Balelec in Lausanne Switzerland, recorded May 20, 1994 and broadcast by Classic21-FM in Belgium.

I haven’t run any Radiohead in a few years – no good reason other than the spirit of rotation and always on the quest to find new music. Tonight it’s Radiohead relatively early on, shortly after their debut album, Pablo Honey was released.

Radiohead began work on their second album in 1994 with the veteran Abbey Road Studios producer John Leckie. Tensions were high, with mounting expectations to match the success of “Creep”. Recording felt unnatural in the studio, with the band having over-rehearsed the material. Seeking a change of scenery, they toured the Far East, Australasia and Mexico and found greater confidence performing their new music live. However, troubled by his new fame, Yorke became disillusioned with being “at the sharp end of the sexy, sassy, MTV eye-candy lifestyle” he felt he was helping to sell to the world. The My Iron Lung EP and single, released in 1994, was Radiohead’s reaction, marking a transition towards the greater depth they aimed for on their second album. It was Radiohead’s first collaboration with their future producer Nigel Godrich, then working under Leckie as an audio engineer, and the artist Stanley Donwood, both of whom have worked with Radiohead on all their projects since. Though sales My Iron Lung were low, it boosted Radiohead’s credibility in alternative circles, creating commercial opportunity for their next album.

Radiohead abandoned plans to tour in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In November, they released Kid A Mnesia, an anniversary reissue compiling Kid A, Amnesiac and previously unreleased material from the sessions. It was promoted with download singles and videos for the previously unreleased tracks “If You Say the Word” and “Follow Me Around”. Plans for an art installation based on the albums were cancelled due to logistical problems and the pandemic; instead, Radiohead created a free digital experience, Kid A Mnesia Exhibition, for PlayStation 5, macOS and Windows.

In a livestream event held by Glastonbury Festival in May 2021, Yorke and Jonny Greenwood debuted a new band, the Smile, a collaboration with Godrich and the drummer Tom Skinner. Greenwood said the project was a way for him and Yorke to work together during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The Guardian critic Alexis Petridis described the Smile as a “more skeletal and knottier version of Radiohead”, with unusual time signatures, complex riffs and “hard-driving” motorik psychedelia. In May 2022, the Smile released their debut album, A Light for Attracting Attention, to acclaim.The Pitchfork critic Ryan Dombal wrote that it was “instantly, unmistakably the best album yet by a Radiohead side project”. The Smile began an international tour that month. Selway released his third solo album, Strange Dance, in February 2023. He said it was “healthy” for the Radiohead members to explore different projects and that all the projects came under the Radiohead “umbrella”.

Dive back into 1994 for the next almost-hour and enjoy.

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