Thom Yorke
English musician
Thom Yorke
Thomas "Thom" Edward Yorke is an English musician, artist and philanthropist, who is the lead vocalist, principal songwriter, guitarist and pianist of the rock band Radiohead. He mainly plays guitar and piano, but has also played drums and bass guitar (notably during the Kid A and Amnesiac sessions). In July 2006, he released his debut solo album, The Eraser, to critical acclaim. Thom Yorke is also the lead singer of Atoms for Peace.
Biography
Thom Yorke's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Thom Yorke from around the web
7 Things to Know From the First 2 Days of Fashion Week
NYTimes - 10 days
Thom Yorke provided the beats at Rag & Bone's party, Raf Simons paid homage to Americana and everyone somehow made it through the snow.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
10 Reasons Why We Keep Going Back To Outside Lands
Huffington Post - 6 months
Roughly 200,000 music fans flocked to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park last weekend for the 9th annual Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, headlined by LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead and Lionel Richie. Festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo may get more attention, but there’s a lot to love about Outside Lands: the diverse slate of musicians, the unbelievable food options, the magical forest-like setting. Here are some of the reasons why we keep going back year after year:  Incredible headliners like LCD Soundsystem and Radiohead Two of indie rock’s biggest icons headlined this year’s festival, both coming off multi-year hiatuses ― LCD Soundsystem split in 2011 before reuniting earlier this year, and Radiohead’s last live show before this tour was in 2012. Both bands made triumphant returns with their headlining sets. LCD’s Friday set was a nonstop dance party, kicking off with “Us v. Them” and winding through fan-favorites before closing out with the anthemic “All My Friends ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Bigger than a breakup: Beyoncé and Radiohead conflate the personal and the political
LATimes - 10 months
Last year Thom Yorke of Radiohead announced that he and his romantic partner, Rachel Owen, had separated after more than two decades together. So at first it seems pretty clear why this band finally put “True Love Waits,” a song it’s been playing since the mid-1990s, on one of its studio albums. ...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Throwback Thursday: When Thom Yorke Played Guest DJ
NPR - 10 months
For Throwback Thursday, we revisit a 2008 conversation between Bob Boilen and Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Thom talks about In Rainbows, how he discovers new music and some of his favorite artists.
Article Link:
NPR article
Radiohead releases video for 'Burn the Witch'; single out Wednesday
LATimes - 10 months
If Beyoncé is pop music's surprise-release avatar of empowerment, Radiohead is its messenger of realism and dread as seen and heard in the band's new video and accompanying single, "Burn the Witch." "Stay in the shadows, cheer the gallows," Thom Yorke says at the outset of a song colored throughout...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Radiohead appears to be slowly fading from the internet
Yahoo News - 10 months
Something strange is happening with Radiohead. You could probably write that sentence at almost any time and it would be true, but, as Pitchfork points out, today the band has started erasing everything from their website, Facebook, and Twitter. No tweets, no cover images, no profile pictures, an empty Facebook page. Thom Yorke has also deleted all of his tweets.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
On the Culture Front: Music From the Underground, Part Three
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Album art by Austin Hinderliter Nashville-bred musician Billy Crain is the consummate sideman who can effortlessly pick up a guitar and jump into many styles. He's shared the stage with the Rolling Stones and Allman Brothers band but also the Dixie Chicks, for whom he co-wrote "Let 'Er Rip." His bio speaks more to his humanitarian efforts and the children he's fostered, so "Family Matters," his new solo album, feels less like a generic platitude than a creed that he lives by. He plays all the instruments, which include plenty of guitars and more than a couple rollicking piano solos. The latter made me think of the Band and the way Rick Danko poured his soul into each and every black and white key on his Hammond organ. The album kicks off with a festively melodic riff on "Dark Horse" reminiscent of the Pogues and ends with an epic chord progression on "1928" that made me think of Billy Joel's "Movin' Out." In between there are bits of country twang, straight-ahead rock phrasing and ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Watch a New ‘Spectre’ Opening Featuring Radiohead
Wall Street Journal - about 1 year
Thom Yorke shared a new tune that wasn't used for the recent James Bond film.
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
Listen to Radiohead's Moody, Unused Theme Song for Spectre - People Magazine
Google News - about 1 year
People Magazine Listen to Radiohead's Moody, Unused Theme Song for Spectre People Magazine If you've ever wondered what it would be like if Radiohead did a James Bond theme song, today is your lucky day. Thom Yorke gave fans a special Christmas treat on Friday when he revealed that the band had been asked to write a song for latest Bond film ... Spectre by Radiohead - SoundCloudSoundCloud Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) | TwitterTwitter Thom Yorke on Twitter: ".. As the year closes we thought you might like to ...Twitter T.co -Twitter all 243 news articles »
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Google News article
Radiohead's Rejected 'Spectre' Bond Theme Tune Rocks
Huffington Post - about 1 year
If you're a Radiohead fan, brace yourself for the greatest Christmas present ever. The band released the "Spectre" theme song on SoundCloud Friday morning. Lead singer Thom Yorke announced on Twitter that Radiohead did "write a tune" for the latest film in the James Bond series, but it didn't end up working out. It is Radiohead's first new song since "Spooks," recorded before "In Rainbows", which appeared on the Inherent Vice soundtrack in 2014, according to Rolling Stone. Sam Smith was ultimately chosen to record the movie's theme song, "Writing on the Wall," but you can still enjoy Radiohead's take on the Bond theme that almost was. Best enjoyed alongside a martini -- shaken, not stirred).  Last year we were asked to write a tune for Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were ........... — Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) December 25, 2015 ... It didn't work out ... but became something of our own which we love very much .... — Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) December 25 ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Radiohead's Rejected 'Spectre' Bond Theme Tune Rocks
Huffington Post - about 1 year
If you're a Radiohead fan, brace yourself for the greatest Christmas present ever. The band released the "Spectre" theme song on SoundCloud Friday morning. Lead singer Thom Yorke announced on Twitter that Radiohead did "write a tune" for the latest film in the James Bond series, but it didn't end up working out. It is Radiohead's first new song since "Spooks," recorded before "In Rainbows", which appeared on the Inherent Vice soundtrack in 2014, according to Rolling Stone. Sam Smith was ultimately chosen to record the movie's theme song, "Writing on the Wall," but you can still enjoy Radiohead's take on the Bond theme that almost was. Best enjoyed alongside a martini -- shaken, not stirred).  Last year we were asked to write a tune for Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were ........... — Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) December 25, 2015 ... It didn't work out ... but became something of our own which we love very much .... — Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) December 25, 2015 ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Radiohead's Rejected 'Spectre' Bond Theme Tune Rocks
Huffington Post - about 1 year
If you're a Radiohead fan, brace yourself for the greatest Christmas present ever. The band released the "Spectre" theme song on SoundCloud Friday morning. Lead singer Thom Yorke announced on Twitter that Radiohead did "write a tune" for the latest film in the James Bond series, but it didn't end up working out. It is Radiohead's first new song since "Spooks," recorded before "In Rainbows", which appeared on the Inherent Vice soundtrack in 2014, according to Rolling Stone. Sam Smith was ultimately chosen to record the movie's theme song, "Writing on the Wall," but you can still enjoy Radiohead's take on the Bond theme that almost was. Best enjoyed alongside a martini -- shaken, not stirred).  Last year we were asked to write a tune for Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were ........... — Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) December 25, 2015 ... It didn't work out ... but became something of our own which we love very much .... — Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) December 25, 2015 ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Thom Yorke
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    Age 47
    In June 2016, following the Orlando nightclub shooting, Yorke was one of almost 200 music industry figures to sign an open letter published in Billboard urging the United States Congress to impose stricter gun control.
    More Details Hide Details Yorke is vegetarian and practises yoga and meditation. His only sibling, younger brother Andy, was the singer of the band Unbelievable Truth from 1993 until 2000. For 23 years, Yorke was in a relationship with printmaker Rachel Owen, whom he met at the University of Exeter. Owen studied fine art printmaking at Exeter, painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence, and completed a PhD degree at the University of London, researching the illustrations in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. She and Yorke have a son Noah, born in 2001, and a daughter Agnes, born in 2004. In August 2015, the couple announced they had separated amicably "after 23 highly creative and happy years".
    His performance and others from the event were released on the Pathway to Paris live album in July 2016.
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    In 2016, Yorke contributed vocals to and appeared in the video for the track "Beautiful People" on Mark Pritchard's album Under the Sun.
    More Details Hide Details Yorke is the primary songwriter in Radiohead. A typical Radiohead song begins with a sketch from Yorke, which is then harmonically developed by Jonny Greenwood before the other band members develop their parts. Yorke is a multi-instrumentalist; his main instruments are guitar and piano, though he has performed using other instruments including synthesisers, Rhodes piano, bass guitar and drums. Explaining why he turned down a request to play piano on the track "Mr Bellamy" on Paul McCartney's album Memory Almost Full (2007), Yorke said: "The piano playing involved two hands doing things separately. I don’t have that skill available. I said to him, 'I strum piano, that's it.'"
  • 2015
    Age 46
    In December 2015, he performed during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris at a benefit concert in aid of 350.org, an environmental organisation raising awareness about climate change.
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    Yorke was one of several celebrities who endorsed the parliamentary candidacy of the Green party's Caroline Lucas at the United Kingdom 2015 general election.
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    Despite Yorke's political concerns, in a November 2015 interview with the activist and writer George Monbiot, he said: "In the 60s, you could write songs that were like calls to arms, and it would work.
    More Details Hide Details It’s much harder to do that now... If I was going to write a protest song about climate change in 2015, it would be shit. It’s not like one song or one piece of art or one book is going to change someone’s mind." Yorke told The Guardian that Michael Stipe of R.E.M. is his favourite lyricist, saying "I loved the way he would take an emotion and then take a step back from it and in doing so make it so much more powerful." The chorus lyric of "How to Disappear Completely" from Kid A was inspired by Stipe, who advised Yorke to relieve tour stress by repeating to himself: "I'm not here, this isn't happening." Yorke credited Neil Young as another major lyrical influence. Yorke has been critical of the music industry and has pioneered alternative release platforms. Following Radiohead's 1993 Pablo Honey tour of America, he became disenchanted with being "right at the sharp end of the sexy, sassy, MTV eye-candy lifestyle" he felt he was helping sell. The 1998 documentary Meeting People Is Easy portrays Yorke's disaffection with the music industry and press during Radiohead's OK Computer tour. After Radiohead's fourth album, Kid A (2000), was leaked via the peer-to-peer filesharing software Napster weeks before release, Yorke told Time he felt Napster "encourages enthusiasm for music in a way that the music industry has long forgotten to do.
    Yorke has worked extensively with electronic instruments such as synthesisers, drum machines, and sequencers, and techniques including programming, sampling and looping. Nonetheless, in 2015 he said: "Really I just enjoy writing words sitting at a piano.
    More Details Hide Details I tend to lose interest in the drum machine." Unlike Greenwood, Yorke has never learned how to read sheet music, feeling "you can't express the rhythms properly like that. It's a very ineffective way of doing it, so I've never really bothered picking it up." As a teenager, Yorke's favourite artists included Queen, Joy Division, R.E.M., Siouxsie and the Banshees and Bob Dylan. He wrote that Mark Mulcahy of Miracle Legion had affected him "a great deal" at this time: "It was the voice of someone who was only truly happy when he was singing... it changed the way I thought about songs and singing." He has cited the Pixies, Björk and PJ Harvey as artists who "changed his life", and in 2006 he told Pitchfork that Radiohead had "ripped off R.E.M. blind for years". He cited Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante as an influence on his guitar playing for In Rainbows. In 2013, Yorke named the electronic artist Aphex Twin as his biggest influence, saying: "He burns a heavy shadow... Aphex opened up another world that didn't involve my fucking electric guitar... I hated all the music that was around Radiohead at the time, it was completely fucking meaningless. I hated the Britpop thing and what was happening in America, but Aphex was totally beautiful, and he's kind of my age too."
    In July 2015, he joined Portishead on stage at the Latitude Festival to perform their 2007 song "The Rip".
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    Yorke composed music for a 2015 production of Harold Pinter's 1971 play Old Times by the Roundabout Theater Company in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details The play's director described the music as "primeval, unusual... the sort of neurosis within Yorke's music certainly has elucidated elements of the compulsive repetition of the play." Yorke has worked with producer Nigel Godrich and artist Stanley Donwood on every Radiohead album since The Bends, as well as his solo work and work with Atoms for Peace. Describing his collaborative process with Godrich, Yorke said: "Eraser song 'Black Swan', back in the day, was a six-minute load of crap. Except for this one juicy bit, and Godrich goes past and goes, 'That bit. Fuck the rest.' Usually it's something like that." Yorke wrote of meeting Donwood at university: "He had a better hat and suit on than me. That pissed me off. So I figured I'd either end up really not liking this person at all, or working with him for the rest of my life." Donwood said his first impression of Yorke was that he was "mouthy. Pissed off. Someone I could work with." Yorke is credited for artwork alongside Donwood under the monikers "The White Chocolate Farm", "Tchock", "Dr. Tchock" or similar abbreviations.
    In 2015, Yorke contributed a soundtrack, Subterranea, to an installation of Radiohead artwork, The Panic Office, in Sydney, Australia.
    More Details Hide Details The soundtrack is composed of field recordings made in the English countryside, and plays in the installation on speakers at different heights playing different frequency ranges. The Australian radio station Triple J described the soundtrack as "closest in tone and style to the more ambient moments of Tomorrow's Modern Boxes", with some digitally spoken sections similar to "Fitter Happier" from Radiohead's OK Computer. There are no plans to release the music.
    In 2015, he performed with Godrich at the Latitude Festival in the UK and the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan.
    More Details Hide Details For the soundtrack of the 1998 film Velvet Goldmine, Yorke covered Roxy Music songs with the band Venus in Furs. In 2012, he contributed music to a Rag & Bone fashion show. In 2013, Yorke and other artists contributed music to The UK Gold, a documentary about tax avoidance in the UK. The soundtrack was released free in February 2015 through the online audio platform SoundCloud.
  • 2014
    Age 45
    On 26 December 2014, Yorke released the album on the online music platform Bandcamp along with a new single, "Youwouldn'tlikemewhenI'mangry".
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    In September 2014, Yorke released his second solo album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, via BitTorrent.
    More Details Hide Details It became the most torrented album of 2014 (excluding piracy), with over a million downloads in its first six days.
  • 2010
    Age 41
    In 2010, he performed a surprise set at Glastonbury Festival with Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, performing Eraser and Radiohead songs.
    More Details Hide Details In February 2013, Atoms for Peace released an album, Amok. It was followed by a tour of Europe, the US and Japan. Answering a fan question on Reddit, Yorke wrote that determining whether new songs were for Radiohead or Atoms for Peace was "a grey area. Getting greyer. Obviously depends on who is being sampled."
  • 2009
    Age 40
    On 21 September 2009, he released a double-A-side single, "Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses" / "The Hollow Earth".
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    In July 2009, Yorke performed solo at the Latitude Festival in England.
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    In 2009, Yorke formed a new band, Atoms for Peace, to perform songs from The Eraser.
    More Details Hide Details Alongside Yorke on vocals, guitar and keyboards, the band comprises bassist Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, drummer Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M., percussionist Mauro Refosco of Forro in the Dark and Godrich on keyboards and guitar. Yorke said: "God love 'em but I've been playing with the same band since I was 16, and to do this was quite a trip... It felt like we'd knocked a hole in a wall, and we should just fucking go through it." The band played eight North American shows in 2010.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2006
    Age 37
    Yorke's 2006 solo single "Harrowdown Hill" was written about David Kelly, a whistleblower who allegedly committed suicide after telling a reporter that the British government had falsely identified weapons of mass destructions in Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details In a 2008 television performance of "House of Cards", Yorke dedicated the chorus lyric, "denial, denial", to Bush for rejecting the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases.
    It was nominated for the 2006 Mercury Prize and the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
    More Details Hide Details An album of remixes by various artists, The Eraser Rmxs, was released in 2009.
    Yorke released his debut solo album The Eraser in 2006 on the independent label XL Recordings.
    More Details Hide Details Composed of mainly electronic music recorded during Radiohead's 2004 hiatus, the album was produced by Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and features artwork by Donwood. Yorke said: "I've been in the band since we left school and never dared do anything on my own... It was like, 'Man, I've got to find out what it feels like,' you know?" He emphasised that Radiohead were not splitting up and that the album was made "with their blessing". The Eraser reached number 3 in the UK in its first week, number 2 in the United States, Canada and Australia, and number 9 in Ireland.
    In 2006, Yorke released his debut solo album, The Eraser, comprising mainly electronic music.
    More Details Hide Details In 2009, to perform The Eraser live, he formed Atoms for Peace with musicians including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich; in 2013, the band released their first album, Amok. In 2014, Yorke released his second solo album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes. He has collaborated with artists including DJ Shadow, Björk, Flying Lotus and PJ Harvey, and has composed soundtracks for documentaries and theatre. With artist Stanley Donwood, he creates artwork for Radiohead's albums. Yorke has been critical of the music industry, particularly of major labels and streaming services such as Spotify, which he believes cannot support new music. With Radiohead and his solo work he has pioneered alternative music release platforms such as pay-what-you-want and BitTorrent. He is an activist on behalf of human rights, environmental, and anti-war causes, and his lyrics sometimes address political themes.
  • 2003
    Age 34
    In 2003, Radiohead released their sixth album, Hail to the Thief, a blend of rock and electronic music; Yorke wrote many of its lyrics in response to the War on Terror and the resurgence of right-wing politics in the west after the turn of the millennium.
    More Details Hide Details It was the final album recorded under Radiohead's contract with EMI. In 2007, Radiohead independently released their seventh album, In Rainbows, as a pay-what-you-want download, the first for a major act; the release made headlines worldwide and sparked debate about the implications for the music industry. In 2011, Radiohead self-released their eighth album, The King of Limbs, which Yorke described as "an expression of physical movements and wildness". The album was promoted with a music video for the track "Lotus Flower" featuring Yorke's erratic dancing, which became an internet meme. Radiohead released their ninth album, A Moon Shaped Pool, on 8 May 2016.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1991
    Age 22
    In 1991, when Yorke was 22, On a Friday signed to Parlophone and changed their name to Radiohead. According to Yorke, around this time he "hit the self-destruct button pretty quickly"; he cut his hair and drank heavily, often becoming too drunk to perform. Radiohead gained notice with their debut single "Creep", which appeared on the band's 1993 debut album Pablo Honey; the song rose to number two on the US modern rock chart, entered the lower reaches of the top 40 pop chart, and reached number seven in the UK Singles Chart when EMI rereleased it in the UK in September.
    More Details Hide Details Yorke said that the success inflated his ego; he tried to project himself as a rock star, which included bleaching his hair and wearing extensions. He said: "When I got back to Oxford I was unbearable... as soon as you get any success you disappear up your own arse." By the time of the release of Radiohead's second album, The Bends (1995), Radiohead had attracted a large fanbase and began to receive critical acclaim. After the album's release, the American rock band R.E.M., a major influence on Radiohead, picked them as their support act for their European tour. Yorke befriended R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who gave him advice about how to deal with fame. During the production of the band's third album, OK Computer (1997), all five members of Radiohead had differing opinions and equal production roles, with Yorke having "the loudest voice", according to O'Brien. OK Computer achieved critical acclaim and strong sales, establishing Radiohead as one of the leading alternative rock acts of the 1990s, but Yorke was ambivalent about their success. Following the OK Computer tour, he suffered a mental breakdown, and said: "Every time I picked up a guitar I just got the horrors. I would start writing a song, stop after 16 bars, hide it away in a drawer, look at it again, tear it up, destroy it."
  • TEENAGE
  • 1988
    Age 19
    In late 1988, Yorke left Oxford to study at the University of Exeter, which put On a Friday on hiatus aside from holiday break rehearsals.
    More Details Hide Details Yorke said he had wanted to apply to St John's to read English at the University of Oxford "because that's what everybody did. But I was told I couldn't even apply – I was too thick. Oxford University would have eaten me up and spat me out. It's too rigorous." At Exeter, he worked as a DJ, performed experimental music with a classical ensemble, and played with the band Headless Chickens, performing songs including future Radiohead material. He also met artist Stanley Donwood, with whom he collaborates to produce artwork for Radiohead releases, and printmaker Rachel Owen, with whom he was in a relationship for over two decades. On A Friday resumed activity in 1991 as most of the members were finishing their degrees. Ronan Munro, editor of the local music magazine Curfew (now Nightshift), gave the band their first interview while they were sharing a house in Oxford. He recalled: "Thom wasn't like anyone I'd interviewed before. He was so focused. He was like 'This is going to happen… failure is not an option.' I really took that away from it. He wasn't some ranting diva or a megalomaniac, but he was so focused on what he wanted to do."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1968
    Born
    Yorke was born on 7 October 1968, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.
    More Details Hide Details He was born with a paralysed left eye, and underwent five eye operations by the age of six; according to Yorke, the last surgery was "botched", giving him a drooping eyelid. Yorke's family moved frequently. His father, a nuclear physicist and later a chemical equipment salesman, was hired by a firm in Scotland shortly after his son's birth; the family lived there until Yorke was seven, and he moved from school to school. The family settled in Oxfordshire in 1978. Yorke received his first guitar when he was seven; his earliest musical inspiration was guitarist Brian May of Queen. At 10, he made his own guitar, inspired by May's Red Special. By 11, he had joined his first band and written his first song. In Oxford he attended the boys' public school Abingdon, where he met Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway, and brothers Colin and Jonny Greenwood; they formed a band named On a Friday, named for the only day they were allowed to rehearse. Yorke said: "School was bearable for me because the music department was separate from the rest of the school. It had pianos in tiny booths, and I used to spend a lot of time hanging around there after school." After leaving school, Yorke took a gap year, during which he held several jobs and was involved in a car accident that influenced the lyrics of later Radiohead songs, including the Bends B-side "Killer Cars" (1995) and "Airbag" from OK Computer (1997).
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