Radiohead's debut album launched them into the public eye, particularly with the unexpected success in the US of the single Creep. Ironically, Radio 1 initially found the song too depressing for air play and pulled it from rotation after only a couple of airings. The American release of Pablo Honey contains a clean version of Creep as a bonus track, in which the phrase "you're so fucking special" is replaced with "you're so very special" for radio edit, which seems so trivial now.
While Creep was responsible for Radiohead capturing the world's attention, it also earned them the unwarrented label of complaint rockers and one-hit wonders who were capitalizing on the loser/slacker chic ushered in by grunge. The band, Thom in particular, were so heartily sick of the song and the expectations that they play it at every concert, that they did not play it live from 1998 till 2001.
Pablo Honey is heavily guitar-driven and pop-rock oriented, and considerably removed from the band's current sound and emphasis on experimentation. You can, however, still hear the beginnings of some of their signature sounds, in particular Thom's impassioned vocals, often in falsetto.
To me, the sign of a good film is when I turn to my companions while the closing credits are rolling and say "I want to see that again". Brothers of the Head not only drew that reaction from all of us last weekend, but we decided that rather than returning it to the video store, we would keep it for another week and watch it again tonight. That's how guuuud it is.It is without question one of the most unconventional and provocative films I have seen in a long time. Brothers of the Head is a faux documentary (not to be confused with a mockumentary, because this is not a satire). The premise of the film is that it is the making of a documentary film about the making of an art film, which was based upon a book about the story of conjoined twins who briefly became rock stars. Confused yet? It's actually not as confusing as it sounds.
In Brothers of the Head, conjoined twins Tom and Barry Howe are taken from their isolated childhood home in mid 70s Britain and groomed by a music promoter to be a rock and roll act, guaranteed to draw crowds simply on the basis of their freak appeal. The fact that they become accomplished musicians with credible talent, musicians who are brightly burning flames in the proto-punk movement, only lends pathos to the story of their destruction. (I'm not giving away any spoilers; their fate is evident very early on in the film).To me the truly astounding part, aside from the highly unusual structure of this film, is the real musical talent displayed. Harry and Luke Treadaway, who portray the twins, actually perform the music live. (The soundboom man for the film apparently dressed in period clothes during filming so as not to distract from the performances.) The music is highly authentic sounding and very raw pre-punk. I am going to buy this soundtrack, no question.
Here's the trailer for Brothers of the Head: