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Monday, March 12, 2012

Exit Music: The Radiohead Story (Backbeat), by Mac Randall

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The final chapter on rock history might yet be written, but meanwhile, it looks as if Radiohead could be the music's last superstar band. In his linear, blow-by-blow account, American music writer Mac Randall traces the band's emotional energy to its comfortably middle-class origins in Oxford. Although they attended “public” (i.e. private) schools, they didn't go to the city's famed university and somehow assumed the stance of alienated outsiders. With the Pixies providing a template, Radiohead's eclectic if usually noisy sound evolved ambitiously with the goals of progressing from album to album and avoiding easy labels. Randall's updated edition brings the story through the band's latest album, The King of Limbs.