2. “Fucking Buy Sparklehorse Records”

The music room at Colin’s house

...and that’s just for a start. Unlike too many of us Radiohead fans who listen to nothing but, Colin enjoys loads of different kinds of music. “When we’re on tour, we can be spotted scouring the dusty record racks of local second-hand music shops.” From soul to hip hop to German electronica to thirties jazz to the post-punk bands that inspired Colin to pick up an instrument as a teenager, Colin has a vast music collection, the worst of which apparently is purged on occasion by his wife (“...lots of Britpop CDs, unsurprisingly so... and dodgy electronic records I really shouldn’t have bought but they looked pretty...”), lest it take over the house. All the better to make room for new cds and vinyl.

The NAD 533 turntable: buy two.
“...I’m into a lot of things anyway and I listen to lots of different kinds of music. I mean, I got record decks [Nad 533] for my birthday! I’m 32 years old with two stacks and now I can do the village discos around south Oxfordshire!”
The Irish Times, September 2001

Here is a partial list of bands, albums, and musicians that Colin has name-checked during interviews over the years:

  • AC/DC — High Voltage

  • Alien Sex Fiend

  • American Music Club
    American Music Club: “They were one of my fave bands, whom I discovered via their ace album, Everclear in 1990. All their other albums preceeding this one are utterly fab, and you should check them out if you haven’t already.

  • Anti Pop Consortium

  • Arcade Fire
    Arcade Fire

  • Christoph de Babalon

  • Beta Band: “It’s just a refreshing, different-sounding thing, really. That they happen to be on the same label as us is cool, too. We’re just really happy that they’d like to come and play and some concerts with us. I really liked those first three EPs, I mean that was a favorite thing that they ever did.

  • The Bigger The God

  • Bjork

  • Art Blakey
    Art Blakey: “Yeah, Art Blakey’s just insane. If you can get an Art Blakey album and put it on, and you can hear, every four seconds there’ll be a break that will have informed a whole vein of contemporary hip-hop. He’s just insane with his drum breaks and old-school hip-hop drum beats within the concept of a drum kit and percussion.

  • Boards of Canada

  • Booker T. & the M.G.’s

  • David Bowie

  • Prince Buster

  • Can

  • Caribou — Melody Day (Four Tet remix)

  • Nick Cave
    Nick Cave: “I want to get Let Love In again, because that’s such a great record, a very great record.

  • Chicago Transit Authority

  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

  • Clinic

  • Alice Coltrane — Journey In Satchidananda: “We used Alice Coltrane as coming-on music, as a sort of good vibe blessing of the last concerts we did.

  • Elvis Costello

  • The Daisies

  • Dambuilders
    The Dambuilders: [from Alternative Press, 08.95] Joan Wasser, the Dambuilders member with the long streak of blonde in her ebony hair, is enjoying her Thai dinner not more than five feet from Radiohead’s restaurant table, and Colin Greenwood is beside himself. Mustering his courage, he walks over to her table, has a moment or two of conversation, and comes back to his own food. “I love the Dambuilders,” he says.

  • Miles Davis

  • dEUS
    dEUS — Pocket Revolution

  • Destiny’s Child

  • Dirty Three

  • D.J. Shadow

  • Dominatrix — The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight: “it's like.....apparently it's like an electro classic track and it's....there's this Fabric live thirty-three compilation that's just come out and it's been curated by Spank Rock from Baltimore who did a great record called Yo Yo, I think, about two years ago. Anyway, they've got this like mix CD out and it's on that CD, and I loved it and I managed to find it on YouTube, and there's this great video of these women like dressed in like sort of fishnets and like bondage gear from like the eighties, you know, and sort of prowling around a garage, you know, it's brilliant

  • Elbow

  • The Fall

  • Four Tet

  • Fleetwood Mac — Dragonfly; Tusk: “it just sounds like it could have been recorded like by Four Tet, it's got that sort of dry....the way that the drums and everything sounds really dry and sparse and driving, it just sounds really sort of fresh and modern to me still.

  • Serge Gainsbourg — Histoire de Melody Nelson: “It’s a story — I mean, it’s very poetic. It’s at times filthy, and romantic and perverse and desolate — of his infatuation with a woman, who’s — how old is she? ‘14 winters and 15 summers’, or something like that... it’s an incredible record.

  • Gang of Four

  • Marvin Gaye

  • The Go-Betweens — 16 Lovers’ Lane

  • Talulah Gosh

  • Al Green
    Al Green

  • Grizzly Bear

  • Herbert
    Herbert: “The second track [called It’s Only No] on his new album Bodily Functions is great. A top pop moment with nice samples. I think he’s better than Bernd Friedman, because of the stuff he’s doing, like applying electronic frequency treatments to jazz harmonics, especially in live performances.

  • Kristin Hersh
    Kristin Hersh — Sunny Border Blue

  • Hope Of The States

  • Japan

  • The Jennifers

  • Joy Division
    Joy Division: [a favorite for karaoke!]

  • Kid 606

  • Kid Koala
    Kid Koala: [from ateaseweb news, shortly before the birth of their first child] Colin Greenwood and his wife Molly were at the Kid Koala gig at the Oxford Zodiac, 11th december. Kid Koala thanked Radiohead for taking him on tour in the US, to which Colin took a bow... then he dedicated a song “to my friends Colin and Molly who are expecting a baby.

  • Killing Joke

  • Kraftwerk

  • Laika

  • Lali Puna
    Lali Puna: [from Q 12.01] So who is the best act in the world today? Colin: “Lali Puna. They’re from Munich. Sublime songwriting. Buy their new album today!

  • James Lavino

  • Liars

  • Lime Spiders: “(burps) Excuse me, sorry I’ve just had a Lime Spider. When I was a kid they were one of my favourite bands and I just finally found out what it is, it’s a fruit float, soda drink with an ice cream dollop on the top... fantastic.

  • Low

  • Humphrey Lyttelton
    Humphrey Lyttelton: “I’ve just been rehearsing for this TV special on Saturday and playing along with one of the new songs which we have Humphrey Lyttleton and his jazz band playing, and we’ll be playing along with them. So it’s exciting to play with a group of musicians where the band member is like eighty years old and was signed to Parlophone in like ’39, you know what I mean? That’s pretty fucking cool.

  • Magazine

  • Magnetic Fields

  • Massive Attack: “Eddie and I concocted this ridiculous idea when we were wasted one night in Auckland last fortnight. We had gone to see where Crowded House had recorded their Together Alone and we thought it would be really cool to go somewhere like that with Massive Attack and spend a couple of weeks just cutting some stuff, that would be really good.

  • Curtis Mayfield
    Curtis Mayfield: “Curtis’s bass player [Henry Thomson], yeah, who is God, fine man.”

  • Brad Mehldau

  • Charles Mingus

  • Modeselektor

  • Ennio Morricone

  • New Order

  • No Age

  • One Little Plane — Until: “This is a lovely summer's record, one for sunny week end mornings and all the times in between. It was made by Kathryn, and produced by Kieran Hebden, who has toured with us before as "Fourtet". I left my copy in Oxford, bugger, but I'm getting another one in Manchester. You can get it from the 30th of June, from Amazon and Boomkat and other fine music outlets.
    Here is the link to Kathryn's site, with all the touring info.”

  • Outkast
    Outkast: “With Outkast, we really like their music and we enjoy their wide musical ambition and sweep and the fact that people who we respect should like us as well — as part of another world and culture — is really exciting, you know?

  • Pale Saints

  • Gram Parsons & The Grevious Angels with Emmylou Harris — Live 1973

  • Piega

  • (early) Pink Floyd

  • Pixies

  • Portishead

  • the Propellerheads

  • Pulp
    Pulp — “‘Seductive Barry’ from [This is Hardcore] — that Chris Thomas, he’s a bit good, isn’t he?

  • Queens Of The Stone Age — Regular John

  • Otis Redding

  • Peter Rehberg
    Peter Rehberg — Get Out: “It’s my favourite thing of last year, it’s incredible, really epic, really melancholic. For me the sound is very emotional, the context of post-World War II, anti-American classical-music-educated German culture. That music is so powerful. I know he’s half-English but from Vienna, you can’t help but listen to that and place it in a cultural context.

  • R.E.M

  • Ride

  • Roots Manuva

  • Lee Scratch Perry
    Lee Scratch Perry — Arkology 3-CD box set

  • Scud Mountain Boys

  • Sigur Ros

  • The Smiths

  • Spiritualized

  • Sparklehorse
    Sparklehorse: “We love them. Radiohead love Sparklehorse. We’ve dragged them from America to come on tour with us because we love them so much. We want to manage them. Make their t-shirts — ‘Radiohead Say Buy Sparklehorse Records’. Oooooh, no — You have to say the word ‘fuck’ in t-shirts now, don’t you? ‘Radiohead Say Fucking Buy Sparklehorse Records.’

  • Supergrass
    Supergrass: "dope on plastic"

  • Talking Heads

  • Teenage Fanclub

  • Throwing Muses

  • Tricky
    Tricky: “Well Tricky has asked us to do some work with him in New York; I don’t think we’ll be able to do anything with that, but it is very flattering for him to invite us.

  • the Triffids

  • Tweet

  • U2: “Playing the Tibetan Freedom Festival in June in New York was good. I got to see U2 play for the first time. Proper rock stars. They were fantastic.

  • Underworld

  • Tom Waits

  • Junior Walker and the All Stars — How Sweet It Is

  • Scott Walker
    Scott Walker

  • Weather Report

  • Pharrell Williams

  • Bill Withers: “I don’t listen to much modern composition. I’m really more of a soulboy. Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield, those are the people who informed me in playing the bass. That combination of rhythm and melody.

  • Zero 7

Let Colin himself spin some tunes for you: here's a snippet of his test DJ set in preparation for the Thumbs Down Webcast broadcast on Radiohead.tv, November 2007.