Radioheads and Ok Computers: Stanley Donwood's New Book, "There Will Be No Quiet" Tells an Often Untold Story
Music and art go hand and hand, but there is something so singular about one artist working with one band throughout both's careers. When we think of Radiohead, the artwork that makes up their albums always comes to mind: abstractions, phrases, paintings and moods are established before you even listen to the songs themselves. Stanley Donwood has been entrenched with the British band for nearly 30 years, creating the artwork along with frontman Thom Yorke for some of the most pivotal releases in popular music.
Donwood's newest book, There Will Be No Quiet, shows the breadth of his contributions to the band, but also the evolving nature of both the music and his own personal artistic practice. Collage and found imagery may define 1997's OK Computer, and wax melting splatter for 2006's In Rainbows, but the bodies of works that went into what we see in the album packaging is really the bulk of this collection. The book highlights Donwood's research and thinking as he preps art in the studio while an album is made, truly making his art a collaborative effort. Thom Yorke, who adds the introduction to the book, notes of the process, "How we work? From the music, mostly, but concepts fly around, and sometimes these fall in line in some weird way, but often things move downriver just finding their way. It can be a color. A technique. A sound in the music. Some wax. Some paint in a pool. Fate." That these artists all found each other and enhance their creative output as been an untold story of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame band, but the artwork is still out in front for all to immerse themselves in. —Evan Pricco
The 368-page book is available via Abrams books.