May 5th, 1992, would mark the first time the world would be introduced to Radiohead as they released their debut EP, Drill, which would kickstart a career like no other as the innovators boldly staked their claim from the off.
The record was Radiohead’s first commercial release on former EMI subsidiary, Parlophone, and made its way to number 101 in the UK charts with the original manufacturing run being limited to just 3,000 CDs. The EP is a much-loved favourite by Radiohead super fans which has been given a second lease of life earlier this year when it was finally uploaded to streaming services which switched people back on to its magnificence.
The band had signed a staggering six-album deal with EMI at the end of 1991 which showed the belief that the label had in the Oxfordshire group—all of which all came from a chance meeting between Colin Greenwood and A&R representative Keith Wozencroft at Our Price, the record shop Greenwood was working for at the time. The only condition for the record deal was that they change their name from ‘On A Friday’ so the band landed on Radiohead which was a nod to a Talking Heads song.
Following the belief that the record label had shown by providing the band such a lucrative contract, it’s safe they were disappointed with the commercial performance of the initial release. Radiohead, however, would go on to prove that EMI had made the right decision by signing them and they were no flop.
All of the tracks on the Drill are demo versions which were recorded whilst the band were still known as ‘On A Friday’ at the Courtyard Studio in Oxon, England, produced and engineered by Chris Hufford and mixed by Timm Baldwin. Despite the EP performing poorly commercially, it is a piece of beauty which made the label decide to tie the band down to such a massive deal for the years to come.
The four-track EP featured ‘Prove Yourself’, ‘Thinking About You’, and ‘You’ which were all rerecorded for the band’s debut album Pablo Honey in 1993, the band’s seminal debut record.
Listen to the EP and toast it’s 28th Birthday, below.