Contact Us

This Day in Indie-Rock History: Radiohead Release Their Debut Album

Radiohead Pablo Honey

‘Pablo Honey’ is the Radiohead album fans wish didn’t exist. From the start, the band’s 1993 debut was doomed for dismissal. It was preceded the previous year by the group’s first single, ‘Creep,’ which, at the time, seemed like just another song in a series of mopey alt-rock tunes that surfaced after Nirvana’s 1991 complaint-rock classic ‘Nevermind.’ Sure, it had that great chunky guitar-slashing assault before the chorus, but other than that, ‘Creep’ didn’t sound all that special.

When ‘Pablo Honey’ followed in early 1993, not much quieted suspicions that Radiohead just got lucky with ‘Creep’ (a modern-rock radio hit that made it all the way to No. 2). The follow-up song, ‘Stop Whispering,’ barely cracked the Top 25, pretty much paving the way for Radiohead to join Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Jesus Jones in the footnoted annals of modern-rock history.

Then something strange happened: Radiohead returned in 1995 with ‘The Bends,’ a terrific album that revealed layers of sonic wonder and musical sophistication that were either unchecked or nonexistent when they made ‘Pablo Honey.’ The rest, as they say, is history. And Radiohead’s militant fans – and there are countless devoted and insufferable ones among them – will quickly tell you how awful ‘Pablo Honey’ is.

But it isn’t awful. It isn’t great either. The band rarely shows the depth they exhibit on ‘The Bends’ and subsequent albums, but a handful of cuts – particularly the aforementioned singles and ‘Anyone Can Play Guitar’ – plant the seeds of later, better works. ‘Pablo Honey’ reached No. 32 on the chart and eventually went platinum. And while it easily could have been forgotten, the record remains an important part of their legacy — the early, tentative steps of one of the 21st century’s most important bands.

Watch the Video for Radiohead’s ‘Creep’

Subscribe to on

Next: 10 Best Radiohead Songs

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Diffuser

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!