Radiohead tune out the buzz

                      Praise and famous fans fail to affect the band's
                      own standards of excellence
                             By JANE STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun Wednesday, April 8, 1998

                        You'd be hard pressed to find a more critically lauded music
                      group right now than British pop rockers Radiohead.

                      The quintet, who play Maple Leaf Gardens on Sunday night for a
                      show that sold out in an hour and a half, were recently named
                      band of the year by both SPIN and Rolling Stone. They can
                      include Madonna, Marilyn Manson, Courtney Love and Michael
                      Stipe among their famous fans.

                      Most of the heat surrounding Radiohead stems from their most
                      recent album, OK Computer, a sprawling, melancholy collection
                      that has spawned four singles. It crossed over into the
                      mainstream in a big way when it was nominated for album of the
                      year at the Grammys.

                      "I think people got very excited about (Radiohead's 1995 album)
                      The Bends and were anticipating this one," lead
                      guitarist-keyboardist Jonny Greenwood is saying down the line
                      from L.A. recently.

                      "And because this one isn't worse than The Bends and they kind
                      of thought they were as good as each other, that explains the
                      excitement. It had raised hopes and it's not been a disaster."

                      Despite losing out to Bob Dylan's Time Out Of Mind in the best
                      album category, OK Computer still managed to pick up a
                      Grammy for best alternative performance. Radiohead's third
                      album has also sold four million copies worldwide (including
                      200,000 in Canada) and made every top 10 list of 1997 (mine
                      included). British music magazine Q went so far as to name it
                      "the best album ever recorded."

                      "They had the same poll a year earlier and Pet Sounds won. It
                      was No. 5 this year, so I mean it's all a bit irrelevant really," says
                      Greenwood about the Q poll. "For instance, Revolver, which
                      amazingly came in at No. 2, is -- in all sorts of ways -- far more
                      the better album. It's like it doesn't really mean as much to me as
                      some Pixies records I got when I was at college. People have just
                      gone berserk, haven't they?"

                      In fact, Greenwood sounds so tentative about Radiohead's
                      overwhelmingly great press over the past year that you start to
                      wonder if the accolades have made any impact at all.

                      "I don't think it's that good an album, really," he continues. "There
                      are good songs on it but there are songs that just sound like dead
                      ends, that sound like it's the last time we can do like that. I don't
                      think we've finished yet."

                      Greenwood is also unimpressed by the number of stars trying to
                      get into Radiohead's live shows.

                      "We're in Hollywood and we've just had the phone call -- 'Can
                      these people come to the show tonight?' A list of actors, basically.
                      It's a bit odd, and I don't think actors know anything more about
                      music that anyone else. It only happens here. Everything is so
                      unreal in this city anyway. It will be good to get north of the
                      border again."

                      As for the followup to OK Computer, Greenwood says the band
                      keeps changing their mind about the sound.

                      In the meantime, Radiohead, who are scheduled to play the
                      Tibetan Freedom Concert in Washington, D.C., June 13-14, have
                      two projects coming up. First, there's the seven-song EP
                      Airbag-How Am I Driving?, which is due in stores Tuesday,
                      followed this summer by a documentary (working title: Meeting
                      People Is Easy) by British filmmaker Grant Gee. The band's initial
                      plan to make videos for each song on OK Computer "ran out of
                      time and money."

                      "He's filmed hundreds and hundreds of hours of stuff," says
                      Greenwood of Gee. "But it's good because, so far, there's no
                      commentary on it. There's no speaking really. There's not much
                      story behind it. You know the film 32 Short Films About Glenn
                      Gould? That was kind of a reference point."