Before we get too giddy about Radiohead's 1995 renewal, let's return that ugly scenario: why did Radiohead ever allow the ill-mixed 'Stop Whispering' to live? One fatal error and their chance to mine a long life from a strong album did a flaming Hindenburg.
Our interview victims: Thom York, resident pugnacious blond vocalist and Jackie 0. look-a-like/guitar genius Jonny Greenwood. Drummer Phil Selway is back in Britain while bassist Colin Greenwood and guitarist Ed Brien are doing the soundcheck for this duo's acoustic showcase: these two wish Ed and Colin would also perform.
The single's destruction caused Thom pain. "It hurt." There's a brief use until he adds, "It hurt me anyway." Jon quickly points-out, "I was for releasing 'Blow Out."'
Thom isn't sparing any venom. "It was bloody stupid."
In a charitable moment Jonny begins a solid explanation. "Capitol came and said radio will play this..."
An appallingly arch American accent emerges from Thom's mouth to kill Jonny's attempt. "'Radio will play this. It will be great.' It wasn't."
The duo freely admits this occurred since they hadn't learned the ability to scream NO. 'Creep's' rapid success thrust Radiohead into a brutal marketing nightmare with dizzying consequences to the band's confidence. Thom explains, "We hadn't realized that the only way to create music is for the five of us to be sitting in a room creating music, rather then going, 'what should we be doing now, sir? OK, suck Satan's cock.'We hadn't learned yet, and now we have," he declares. "So things have changed. We were just bloody stupid."
Jonny again takes the more regained tack. "I was upset, but they had been right about all those other things. You have to rely and trust them to extent. So I think it's really foolish for bands to take the 'we hate our record company' line. It doesn't make much sense. You just have to be intelligent about it."
An epic sigh gusts from Thom's small frame, followed by a testy, "Yeah, but the problem was we didn't have the distance from it to work out what the hell was going on, to work out that the song didn't sound any good, that the mix was shocking and we spent too much money on the video. Its the usual follow-up syndrome. We just wanted to move on, really. It was just like 'oh fuck. 'We had done so many versions of 'Stop Whispering' that you wouldn't believe it. Now Radiohead have this rule: you never ever record a song more than once. Never, unless it's live. One of the vital aspects of Radiohead is spontaneity, and that only happens once. And if we don't give it the opportunity to happen, then that's it. It's because we're been through it so extremely, with 'Stop Whispering' and the over-analysis of the first album, it's great, because we know there's certain perimeters you have to set to create. And we have set them, and it's brilliant."