Radiohead made the shortlist of nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. These days, that's no small feat considering the Hall has been playing catch-up the past few years by mostly inducting artists who've been eligible for decades.
But Radiohead are far from a typical band. Simply put, they're the most exciting group to have surfaced over the past quarter-century, so it's really no surprise that they snagged a nomination their very first year out (and we expect them to seal the deal with an induction in April 2018).
There are plenty of reasons they deserve this, and almost all of it comes down to their excellent catalog of music. But if you still need convincing after soaking in classic records like OK Computer and Kid A, we've outlined 5 Reasons Radiohead Should Be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame below.
They Made Two Different Career-Defining Albums
Most bands are lucky to make one album that changes the musical landscape. Radiohead made two in three short years. First came 1997's OK Computer, a forward-looking record about fear, paranoia and dealing with change set to a meditative soundtrack that unwound like a deep science-fiction movie. Then they reinvented themselves on 2000's Kid A, an electronic-driven masterpiece that set an indie-rock template for the new millennium.
They're a Great Headphones Band
Not since Pink Floyd's heyday has a band fully absorbed itself in headphones culture. The textures bouncing around Kid A and its follow-up, Amnesiac, acquire so much more depth when listened to without any outside distractions. This also invites repeated listens, because new details emerge every time you hear the albums. Start with the two classic turn-of-the-century records, but each of them reveals just how much work was put into the music.
Every Single One of Their Albums Is Great
Okay, their 1993 debut, Pablo Honey, is debatable, but it includes a couple of really good songs, including the one that got it all started, "Creep." But from their second album, The Bends, through 2016's A Moon Shaped Pool, there isn't a dud in there. OK Computer and Kid A may be the undisputed masterpieces, but Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows are all excellent too, and rank among the best albums of the 21st century.
Their Records Improve With Age
The Bends (1995) has turned into a quiet masterpiece over the years. Amnesiac stands on its own and is no longer just a scaled-down Kid A companion. And The King of Limbs sounds more focused and layered than it did when it first came out in 2011. Meanwhile, OK Computer is a new generation's The Dark Side of the Moon: an influential and mind-widening album that keeps getting better, and more significant, with each passing year.
They Transcended Grunge to Become the Best Band of Their Generation
When Radiohead introduced themselves with "Creep" in 1993, they were lumped in with the burgeoning grunge scene at the time. Understandable, because the song took a then-fashionable self-deprecating tone and cranked up the guitars on the chorus. But by 1995's The Bends, they started a career-long transition into something bigger, deeper and better than that. Over the course of nine albums, they've grown into the most exciting, most reliable and best band of the past 25 years.