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Radiohead and blues music

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I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this but where is the blues in Radiohead's music. I mean they have their pixies inspired stuff, their alternative rock, electronica inspire music, and even jazz. Where's the blues. Recently i have been listening to alot of blues inspired stuff like The Animals, The Doors, Cream, even Freddie King, BB King, and Robert Johnson and I'm loving it. I guess i just wanted to know if there is anyone else out there that would like to see some bluesy shit out of Radiohead, I mean they've made everything else work.

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most rock music is pretty strongly influenced by the blues. so in a pretty general sense there's definitely some radiohead songs with blues-inspired progressions or leads. but it's a relatively limited set of tones theoretically speaking so there is nothing wrong with leaving behind the blues-rock paradigm. they don't need to do a blues number to be interesting.

also it's a matter of style, i don't know how well thom could pull off something real soulful in a blues kind of way.

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well I Am A Wicked Child is pretty bluesy, but I can't see Thom pulling off something like Red House.

 

 

Wicked Child is pretty bluesy isn't it? I always thought the bluesiest thing Thom has ever done was that acoustic cover of On The Beach by Neil Young. He's basically king Midas, anything he touches turns right to gold (or in this case... blue).

 

And he can't do all of the impressive soulful vocal runs that someone like Jeff Buckley perfected, but he can make his voice either very pretty or very gritty... and that suits the music just fine.

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Yeah obviously all rock comes from blues but Radiohead don't seem to wear it on their sleeves as much as some bands. The most bluesy thing I can think of is the acoustic riff in paranoid android when it goes 'kicking and screaming gucci little piggy'.

 

Also as far as I can tell most of Jonny's lead guitar doesn't rely heavily on the minor pentatonic or other bluesy scales, I might be wrong.

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that whole style of radiohead song kinda borders on it - fma i mean, plus go to sleep, wicked child, and now stuff like lotus flower and mouse dog bird (kinda more bluegrass but whatever).

 

also it occurred to me that the guitar part for 15 step is pretty bluesy.

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The most bluesy thing I can think of is the acoustic riff in paranoid android when it goes 'kicking and screaming gucci little piggy'.

 

i don't know shit about blues, but i'm willing to learn, is this statement true?

 

that's the riff i play EVERY TIME i pick up my guitar.

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uh yeah kinda, minor pentatonic with some blue notes.

 

blues is just a style of which color notes you use and when. also there's the chord progression everyone has played, 12 bar blues, which radiohead hasn't done and hopefully won't ever feel the need to do.

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uh yeah kinda, minor pentatonic with some blue notes.

 

blues is just a style of which color notes you use and when. also there's the chord progression everyone has played, 12 bar blues, which radiohead hasn't done and hopefully won't ever feel the need to do.

 

.

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Yeah obviously all rock comes from blues but Radiohead don't seem to wear it on their sleeves as much as some bands. The most bluesy thing I can think of is the acoustic riff in paranoid android when it goes 'kicking and screaming gucci little piggy'.

 

Also as far as I can tell most of Jonny's lead guitar doesn't rely heavily on the minor pentatonic or other bluesy scales, I might be wrong.

 

 

ha nice pun.

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they've done some jazz stuff and that's better. compared to the rest of jazz and placed within its historical jazz context, blues is boring.

 

I could agree that blues can get a little redundant after a while but I can not agree that blues is boring. I mean you can't tell me you haven't gone through a Hendrix phase or a Clapton phase everyon does. Sure jazz is far more complex than blues but its blues' edginess that makes it so great.

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I love some blues music and would love to hear Radiohead's take on blues - especially since Thom has been so sensual and earthy lately with Atoms for Peace. Blues is all about feeling, Radiohead certainly is famous for thinking. Feeling and thinking blues would be interesting.

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I could agree that blues can get a little redundant after a while but I can not agree that blues is boring. I mean you can't tell me you haven't gone through a Hendrix phase or a Clapton phase everyon does. Sure jazz is far more complex than blues but its blues' edginess that makes it so great.

I gotta agree a little bit with this, but disagree on labeling Hendrix as definitively blues. hendrix crossed over into rock. I think there's some grey room here, because I'd call a lot of clapton blues (and some of hendrix would be). bb king typifies blues. led zepplin I could call blues, but they blended very standard blues riffs into rock. there's this sort of amorphous evolution of straight up blues guitar music into rock. I have no idea what I'm typing anymore.

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I've felt for a long time that of all the alternative rock bands I listen to, Radiohead retains the remnants of the blues the most. I base this somewhat invalidly because of 2 reasons, in this order: 1. I find myself moving/dancing to many, perhaps most, Radiohead songs the same way I do to R&B and Hip Hop; 2. I think that some elements of Radiohead songs when pulled out would fit in well with the black music I listen to. Below are a few songs that may me feel this way:

 

Optimistic (that beat sounds like something Timbaland would make)

Nude

All I Need (really R&B/hip hop sounding)

The National Anthem

Reckoner

Karma Police

House Of Cards

Pyramid Song (the piano in the beginning sounds like it was meant to sound like a drum with parts of the original drumming taken out; and it's really off-beat like some good hip hop producers would do; I couldn't follow that piano beat until it became hip hop to me in my head, and then it didn't sound weird and off-beat to me: it sounded right.)

 

Really most songs. I feel like in their formulas for songs, the influence of blues is a priority. I can't validate it. I just feel it, you know?

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I've felt for a long time that of all the alternative rock bands I listen to, Radiohead retains the remnants of the blues the most. I base this somewhat invalidly because of 2 reasons, in this order: 1. I find myself moving/dancing to many, perhaps most, Radiohead songs the same way I do to R&B and Hip Hop; 2. I think that some elements of Radiohead songs when pulled out would fit in well with the black music I listen to. Below are a few songs that may me feel this way:

 

Optimistic (that beat sounds like something Timbaland would make)

Nude

All I Need (really R&B/hip hop sounding)

The National Anthem

Reckoner

Karma Police

House Of Cards

Pyramid Song (the piano in the beginning sounds like it was meant to sound like a drum with parts of the original drumming taken out; and it's really off-beat like some good hip hop producers would do; I couldn't follow that piano beat until it became hip hop to me in my head, and then it didn't sound weird and off-beat to me: it sounded right.)

 

Really most songs. I feel like in their formulas for songs, the influence of blues is a priority. I can't validate it. I just feel it, you know?

 

[you could either read all my half-assed bullshit or skip to the wikipedia page on blues]

 

yeah, let's get some things clear. blues isn't hip-hop or r&b. it's a much older genre. start with jazz, which indeed comes from the african american culture, as early as plantation slaves doing field shouts/call and responses, and spirituals and whatnot (I'm not making this up, I took a jazz history class, and clearly can't articulate it very well) and let's say it really starts to take form with Dixie jazz, evolves some more, and then goes off to cover the swing era, bebop, and takes another slight and tragic morph into jazz fusion.

 

blues is one of the side-genres emerging from jazz, or a similar genre emerging at the same time as jazz, quite early on. blues starts very unrecognizably in the early 1900's, by about 1912 the first blues progression piece is published, by the 20's we get some famous blues singers.

 

in this true origin of blues, we see a number of things that distinguish blues from simply r&b or hip-hop: the use of the minor pentatonic, "blues notes" such as the diminished 5th, bending of notes like the minor 3rd to major 3rd, and a heavy focus on guitar, especially early blues guitarists who'd travel around and more or less came up with this system of chord progressions (what is called and was already mentioned in the thread, '12 bar blues' as well as '8 bar blues' and like, ragtime and stuff) and it caught on y'know, what can you say.

 

so from there, we get a number of white musicians ripping off blues, like, I guess you could say Elvis ripped off a lot of blues. And then you come to the heart of the matter when it gets to a band like Radiohead, and that's going back to the 70's roughly and looking at bands like Led Zepplin, who were taking blues guitar riffs, and using them in the modern rock set-up: bass, drums, guitar, vocals, fast, aggressive, the result of white people picking up/ripping off black music over decades. From Led Zepplin (and apparently it's easy to look up the exact earlier blues guitarists that Jimmy Page ripped off, scandalously note-for-note in some cases) we can try to muddle and debate our way through the question of 'what is modern rock without blues?' and you can try to answer that in a number of ways: looking at sub-genres of rock like prog-rock, hardcore, post-core, pop rock, etc., and trying to find rock music that isn't obviously played around the minor pentatonic/blues notes.

 

today, if you want to hear the most obvious difference between blues and rock, listen to BB King and then listen to Fugazi. Or something. I don't know.

 

 

edit - an interesting song from Radiohead on the subject would be Life In a Glass House. While it's not from blues, it is from the new orleans funeral-dirge jazz standard. which is interesting.

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saying radiohead should play a form that's like 80+ years old is pretty, i dunno, missing the point? it's another issue from saying radiohead should have more blues influence in their music which is pretty much what's happening anyway with thom's melodies at least. it'd just be kinda tacky if they threw a 12 bar blues in there for the novelty of it, cos otherwise it's kinda not relevant anymore unless you're in a coffee shop jazz ensemble.

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ah well first, I'm not saying they should play blues. they should do whatever they're going to do, because they've been pretty good at that.

 

the history lesson was just an attempt to help jamus and anyone else who unclear on what blues is. blues definitely isn't hip hop or r&b. and a complete understanding of blues in rock needs some grounding in what zepplin did, which was exactly what the thread starter was on about.

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