Is it Safe to Call Radiohead This Generation’s Pink Floyd?


Should people be calling Radiohead this generation’s Pink Floyd? Depending on which camp you fall into, you’re either vastly in support of doing exactly that or the very mention of it makes your blood boil. There are plenty of similarities between the two bands, no one is arguing that fcat. However, does that mean that one band should be referred to as the second coming of their predecessor? As previously mentioned, the argument can go both ways. Keep reading to find out more.

The Similarities Don’t Lie

One of the reasons that so many people have started referring to Radiohead as this generation’s Pink Floyd is because there are so many similarities between the two groups. Sure, both groups are British, but it goes a lot deeper than that. Most fans agree that the debate largely comes down to the similarities in the way that both bands create their music. Of course, there are plenty of similarities to be had here. During their day, Pink Floyd had a tendency to push the boundaries, using their music to comment on the things that were going on in the world around them. They didn’t quite reach Bob Dylan’s level when it came to speaking out about the issues that were happening, but they came close. Radiohead does the same thing, but for an entirely different generation who faces different problems. In addition to these similarities, both bands have a tendency to create music that is the epitome of what some might call audio artwork. In other words, they don’t pander to the whims of the mainstream public, nor do they care what the record label executives think.

They are a lot more interested in creating the music that they want to create as opposed to doing something just because it will get them more fans. As far as the individuals of Radiohead are concerned, the fans will come as long as they are creating something that they are truly passionate about. Pink Floyd felt much the same way at the height of their popularity. Both bands tend to feel that one of the most dangerous things that any musician can do is to start creating things simply to gain popularity, as it takes away the creative aspect of making music in the first place. Musicians have fallen into this pit before. Typically, nothing good comes of it. However, there aren’t really that many musicians who stand up and take a stand against this sort of thing, insisting on creating only the music that they want to create. Pink Floyd did it and now, Radiohead does it. Apparently, both groups were right concerning their feeling that the fans will come as long as they create something they are passionate about. Their refusal to go more mainstream doesn’t seem to have affected their popularity one bit in either case.

The Rebuttal

Of course, you might fall into the other camp where you feel like this entire discussion is absolute rubbish. If you do, you probably feel like there are virtually no similarities between these two bands except for the fact that they both come from across the pond. Furthermore, you’re probably irritated by the very idea that this subject keeps coming up. Some people are of the opinion that Pink Floyd and Radiohead have about as much in common as Joe Biden and a bunch of Southerners. If that’s how you feel, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion. However, the similarities that were discussed in the paragraph above cannot be denied. Does that mean that Radiohead is the next edition of Pink Floyd? It might, but it certainly doesn’t have to. The thing is, people are constantly trying to reinvent nostalgia. If you don’t think that’s true, all you have to do is look at Hollywood. The main thing that they do these days is remake movies that were made years ago, especially if they were really popular. There aren’t really that many new ideas out there at the moment. The same is true in the music industry. People are constantly trying to create a cover of an old song and make it their own. By the same token, people want to compare themselves to bands that were popular in the music scene decades ago. It’s all about holding on to that little bit of nostalgia while simultaneously being compared to the heroes of the particular industry that one is geared to. Unfortunately, that sometimes causes people to try and replace one icon with another.

Can The Two Bands Co-Exist?

There are people out there who get irate at the very idea that Radiohead is even mentioned in the same breath as Pink Floyd. In fact, some people have almost single-handedly blamed Radiohead for the death of the rock and roll era as people know it. That might be a bit harsh, but it’s not that much worse than trying to say that both they and Pink Floyd are essentially the same band existing in two different time periods. Perhaps the thing that people need to do is just allow these two bands to co-exist. It’s possible to like the rock music created by both bands, just as it’s possible to dislike it. Anything less is basically like trying to fit these bands into a neat, tidy little box where everything is in perfect order. That isn’t the way the world works. In fact, people might find that things work a lot better when they don’t try to classify bands (or individuals for that matter) in order to compare them to someone else. It’s much more refreshing to see the work of each band for what it truly is. Allow their work to represent the things that touch you on a personal level when you listen to it. Isn’t that what music is all about? If you happen to see similarities in both of these bands, that’s fine. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to try to make one more or less important than the other. Instead, both bands should be recognized for their contributions. A healthy debate about the music created by each group is always welcome, but perhaps that is where the line should be drawn.

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