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Radiohead Puts Coldplay To Shame At The Grammys


I'll preface what I'm about to say here with the following confession: Coldplay makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out with a spork. Okay, so at the time of its release I vaguely fancied "Yellow" (I was young and impressionable and doing A LOT of drugs), and I will admit to at one time being mildly taken with the video for "The Scientist" (in the same way that under the right emotional circumstances one might find oneself mildly taken with, say, the images in an Anne Geddes calendar). But beyond those two qualified concessions I have no love for Coldplay, and generally fall in line with those who view the band as being, at best, "Radiohead Lite." And to my mind, even that sort of diminishing juxtaposition may be doing Radiohead a disservice.

The comparison isn't a new or original one, of course -- Coldplay has long been dogged by accusations of lifting liberally from Radiohead's catalog, and the band's influence on Coldplay's music is something singer Chris Martin has publicly acknowledged in fanboyish tones on more than one occasion, despite Thom Yorke's withering dismissal of Coldplay as "lifestyle music." In 2005, Martin effused, "We're like an eager dog just yapping around their heels, and they're trying to kick us away. It's like unrequited love. I'm in love with a lot of things. Some of those things love me back. And some of them don't -- and one of them is Radiohead." And as recently as June of last year Martin was quoted in a Rolling Stone interview as saying, “Sometimes I feel like [Radiohead] cleared a path with a machete, and we came afterward and put up a strip mall. I would still give my left ball to write anything as good as OK Computer."

Umm, Chris? In order for someone with your caliber of talent to write something as good as OK Computer we're going to need BOTH balls, kay?

And so though, yes, I know awards shows are more often than not popularity contests -- the outcomes rarely aligned with anything like true artistic merit, the winners often undeserving and the deserving often losers -- I must admit that I still got a bit of a smug charge out of watching Radiohead's performance during Sunday's Grammy Awards. Because while Radiohead was pitted against Coldplay in the "Album Of The Year" category (which neither would win -- Radiohead ended up netting the Alt Ghetto Award, aka Alternative Music Album, while Coldplay inexplicably snagged Best Rock Album (I'm sorry, COLDPLAY is more "rock" than Radiohead?! In what alternate space-time dimension?) and Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for their song "Viva La Vida"), the master effectively wiped the floor with the student and brought down the house with this kick-ass rendition of "15 Step," backed by University of Southern California's Trojans marching band. Insult to injury: Radiohead's performance was introduced by Chris Martin's wife Gwyneth Paltrow, who gushed about them onstage to a degree that bordered on Verbal Blowjob territory (ouch!). Is CRANKING IT UP timez nao:

Radiohead - 15 Step (Grammys 2009)

Radiohead. Accept no lame-ass inferior Adult Contemporary-type substitutes, yo.

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Radiohead whatever. The USC Trojans Marching Band ROCKS. HARD.


Okay, so I am not a Radhiohead fan. BUT! I can DEFINITELY climb aboard the Coldplay Sucks wagon. Oh, and Chris Martin is Captain Suck. Don't let me go off about his horrendous wife, bahhhh!

Snarky Amber

Dude. DUDE. That was awesome.

Also --> "Umm, Chris? In order for someone with your caliber of talent to write something as good as OK Computer we're going to need BOTH balls, kay?"

OMG, if I had balls, I would have just laughed them both off.


The Radiohead performance was amazing. They were the best.


I second that confession. I simply do not get the hype.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

Well, yeah, Radiohead kicks the shit out of Coldplay.

Coldplay holds my current nomination for most overrated band of this decade. Nay, millenium.


The Radiohead performance was AMAZING and just about the ONLY redeeming part of all the awful Grammy-drivel this year. Wino saved it for me last year. Actually, I did really like seeing Al Green perform as well but Radiohead schooled everyone. Coldplay makes me stabby, not because they are terrible musicians but mainly because chris martin's stupid face offends me and he and his anonymous sgt. peppercorns continually come off as a troupe of pompous asses undeserved of their rampant fame. coldplay boycott? anyone?


I was waiting for this post. I LOVE Radiohead too. The spot on the Grammy's just sealed it even more. Can you see the producers saying that they had to do a song with someone else. I bet they chose UCLA Marching Band rather than have to sing with some country or pop star...


There are three types of people in the world. 1. Those who actually like Radiohead (and like to be the coolest kids in the room by making fun of other bands for not being as cool as Radiohead), 2. People who want to curry favor with Radiohead fans by pretending to like Radiohead 3. People who couldn't care less about Radiohead but are nevertheless perpetually annoyed by Radiohead fans reminding us how cool Radiohead is.

Do I need to tell you which group I'm in?


LOVE Radiohead.
HATED "Yellow". Liked "Clocks". Hated all Coldplay since.


I got goosebumps all over again watching the clip. Awesome.


I didn't watch the Grammys- so thanks, Sweetney, for posting that! What a performance- and UCLA's marching band kicked some SERIOUS ass, and were obviously having lots of fun, too.

And as for me, I love Radiohead but don't hate Coldplay. Oh well! It takes all kinds here on mamapop! Although, of course, Sweetney's quote about needing BOTH balls = seriously awesome :)


Those marching band kids just became the coolest kids in school!


I don't like Coldplay either, but it's tough to credit your complaint about them being derivative of Radiohead, when here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGDtYrIo9nQ) is Radiohead, being derivative. *harumph*


Radiohead blow coldpansies out of the water.


I love Radiohead so much I've paid through the nose for special imports of their music and I liked Coldpay enough to "borrow" their music until this whole plagarism thing. My musical tastes are pretty diverse though and I don't "hate" a lot of music. (Except for the Counting Crows, god do I hate the Counting Crows.)


I am a marching band geek, parent of a band geek so I have to say rock on marching bands.
Go Radiohead, love, love, love.

Mr Lady

You know, I never once noticed any correlation between Coldplay and Radiohead, but yeah, I can see it. OH MY GOD you are so right. But yeah, that's like comparing Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Try all you want, have the "broader appeal", you're just not the same thing and no where near as good.

I'm going to obsess about this all day, you know. Thanks. Thanks for that. :)


So I had something happen at work yesterday that reminded me of this post, and thought I would share. The IM conversation below tells the story.

Holmes: okay, so this is gonna sound kinda racist.
Brandon: do it
Holmes: but I just got in a "discussion" with a guy about how much coldplay sucks
it was a black guy telling me, a white guy, that "they're okay."
and me telling him that no, they're not
that seems backwards.
Brandon: you should suggest that he listen to more hip hop
Holmes: i told him i'd bring him some radiohead.
that seems like a decent coldplay cure
Brandon: when you told him you would bring him some radiohead, what was his reaction?
Holmes: he said okay
Brandon: did you get the sense he had heard of them?
Holmes: he's never heard them
heard OF them
he saw them on the grammys
with that marching band
Brandon: GRAMMYS?!!
don't even bother
some people are beyond saving
Holmes: i feel it's my duty in this case
Brandon: you're a good man
Holmes: he's introduced me to some good hiphop
he just needs some help with his white people music
Brandon: i think i understand now
he's more of a hip hop fan?
Holmes: yes
Brandon: with a passing familiarity of white folk tunes?
Holmes: you got it
Brandon: then yes, it is your duty to help him out
Holmes: but he just asked me if i like coldlpay
and i said no
and he said, "they're allright"
Brandon: kind of like when you told him vanilla ice was not too bad and then he busted out some cool kids and you were like DDAAAAAAAAMMNNN!!
Holmes: exactly
in fact
this is the guy that intro'd me to the cool kids
so your analogy's not far off at all
Brandon: well hell, get that man some damn radiohead already
Holmes: i intend to.
Brandon: what are you doing still at work?!
Holmes: i think he'll hold until tomorrow
Brandon: if he goes to a coldplay concert between now and then, may that forever be on your conscience


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Radiohead!!!!!!! I HATE, HATE, HATE Coldplay!!!!!!!!


Coldplay is equal to getting a rectal check by a sadist prison guard ,I just want to hit something when their whinyasses start boohooing.I cannot stand Skanky McFishsticks(AKA uptight Gwyneth I am so much better than you Paltrow) and want to tell Coldplay to man up and stop being such wankers.I do LOVE Thom York from the bottom of his feet all the way to his wonky eye though.Radiohead have always kicked ass IMHO.

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