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|3. How Do You?|
|4. Stop Whispering|
|5. Thinking About You|
|6. Anyone Can Play Guitar|
|9. Prove Yourself|
|10. I Can't|
|12. Blow Out|
It's that old story: unknown British band gets an American hit single, gets huge off the back of that one song, and the success ends up destroying them. Fortunately, Oxford quintet Radiohead were the exception that proves the rule. Radiohead's albatross was "Creep"--a titanic anthem to paranoia, self-hatred and self-obsession, utterly huge in every way. Pablo Honey, though, is much more than filler. "Anyone Can Play Guitar" is certainly as good as "Creep"; swathed in walls of feedback, it races blindly into a apocalyptic chorus, frontman Thom Yorke singing "As the world turns and as London burns, I'll be standing on the beach with my guitar." Certainly, indie-rock seldom got better than this, and elsewhere "Vegetable" and "Prove Yourself" pulled similar pyrotechnical tricks. Pablo Honey was later superseded by first The Bends, and later OK Computer, but it's certainly much more than a curious debut. --Louis Pattison
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Top Customer Reviews
First off, you can definitely tell it was made during the late grunge era, since most of the songs are loud and self indulgent. However, the way that Radiohead performs these songs makes them a whole lot better. After this album and before The Bends, Radiohead was known as the Creep Band, but Creep isn't the only good song on here. In fact, all of the songs on here are pretty darn good if you don't start into comparisons with their other albums. My personal favorites are "Stop Whispering" and "Thinking About You" because they're the most emotional songs. But the rest of them are also really good, especially "You", "Anyone Can Play Guitar", "Vegetable", and "Blow Out". The only song I don't really like is "Ripcord" but it's still okay.Read more ›
Alas, Radiohead's debut has not aged well at all in any way. Momentary flashes of the group's later brilliance pop up occasionally (most notably in the horrendously-overplayed (yet still high quality) "Creep" and the wonderful "Anyone Can Play Guitar"), but for the most part, it's a group trying to find its voice and failing miserably, as most of this album will be forgotten as soon as you're done listening to it.
Some would say that this album was ahead of its time when it came out. No it wasn't. Radiohead sounded like every other post-grunge outfit on the radio at that time. It can't really be "ahead of its time" if its sound can be classified by the time period it was released in.
Some would also say that you shouldn't come down so harshly on this album for being such an early release by the band, and this may be true. However, just going by the differences between Pablo Honey and The Bends (their second album), the jump in quality between the two is staggering. Even the difference in quality between Pablo Honey and the My Iron Lung EP (released the year after Pablo Honey) is pretty noticeable.
Overall, what we're left with are the very sketchy beginnings of one of the greatest bands in rock and roll. Some of you Radiohead fans might be tempted to buy it just to make your collection complete. Don't. You'll probably only listen to this album once and put it away on a shelf somewhere. Your money would be much better spent elsewhere. Also, those of you thinking about buying Pablo Honey as an intro to the group should think again. The Bends makes a much better introduction to the group's sound.
Way back when, a group called 'On a Friday' became a regular fixture on the local Oxfordshire band-scene before changing name and releasing Drill EP in 1992. We (some friends and I) met them at the Cambridge Junction that year and did a fanzine interview. Small venue, small audience, but there was a growing rumour in certain scenes that this one song, Creep, had serious potential. People also talked in excited tones about Lurgee, apparently the band's favourite track, and Stop Whispering, which later propelled them into the Japanese market.
The truth is that this is a record firmly rooted in the indie scene of the late 80's/early 90's, when the kids were still dorks and wore band t-shirts and converse all-stars before they were cool. we all had stupid hair and jumped up and down, stinging our eyes with our sweaty curtain-like hairdos (see the music video for the Charlatans The Only One I Know), and all because our new hero was Kurt Cobain, rest his soul. The punky energy that Radiohead had was a great live experience, but it wasn't until a year or more later, when they returned with the My Iron Lung EP that we started to notice that there was more to it, a mellow side to the rabid intensity of songs like Pop is Dead. Seeing the band once more a few months later at the end of the tour for The Bends it was like seeing the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis. The audience was twice the size and the jumping up and down had morphed almost into a group sway. Nothing of the genius of a Fake Plastic Trees, will be found in Pablo Honey.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I didn't expect to get this until after Christmas, but it arrived a week or so before. It was exactly as shown.Published on Dec 31 2013 by Collene
This early radiohead album has what it contains to be a great album a 5-star: Bold,melodic, variability it's also great to hear Radiohead in its early days.Published on Oct. 15 2013 by marketminutdave
You might recognize Radiohead as being one of music's most acclaimed groups, and while that is very true, it all had to start somewhere. Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2012 by SamusAranOwns
Extreme high quality and fast shipment. This is a brand new item and was factory sealed. Nothing negative to say. Highly recommended!!!Published on Nov. 10 2011 by Alain Martinet
I admit that the OK computer album is unbelievable... but this CD is very good as well. A bit more rock than the other one!Published on July 21 2008 by Martine
Pablo Honey is hollow. Radiohead's Creep is one of the worst songs to be released in the last 10 years. The writing on this album is horrible. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2006 by Jason Hutton
I hate this band. Everytime I hear something good about one of their albums and I go out and buy it I am let down. I bought this and it sucked! Read morePublished on June 25 2004 by Morton
You know your album is sub-par when your strongest single is on the disc twice. But despite the fact that this cd is only so-so, I still love listening to it. Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by Amazon Customer
Any of you true radiohead fans find this album unbearable, cliche of rock that you've been hearing for the past 5 years or so (which is why we love radiohead so much; they are so... Read morePublished on May 18 2004 by Scott