Updated edition is more on fan’s mash note to band than genuine critical assessment.
By John B. Moore
Radiohead is a phenomenally creative band, having been on a
constant path of reinvention from their second album on. Record execs, critics
and even fans be damned, the band members are always going to write music that
challenges them. It’s surprising then that one of the most fascinating musical
acts to come out of the last three decades would make for such a dull music
Exit Music: The
Radiohead Story (Backbeat) was first released in 2000, not even 10 years
after the band first came into our collective conscious with the hard-to-ignore
“Creep,” complete with one of the most recognizable gun cocking guitar riffs in
music history. Mac Randall’s book certainly needed revising for 2012, as the
band has had four full albums since its first printing; managed to prompt rumors of break-ups; and pulled off the most
talked about music pricing experiment of all time. But even with all this new
fodder, Exit Music still comes off
like one obsessive fan’s love note to his favorite band.
The unauthorized book is well-written and -researched,
relying mainly on previous interviews, but there is just very little new
information or insight revealed about what is cast her as possibly the most boring
band ever to come out of England. (Randall details a mid-‘90s tour with Belly
that ended with the two bands throwing a book party to celebrate. Seriously!)
For Radiohead completists and obsessives, feel free to pick up the revised
edition. For everyone else? Did you read Neil Strauss’ bio on Motley Crue?