Famous bands from Oxford

Famous bands from Oxford

Oxford has a fantastic underground music scene that has produced some truly amazing bands over the last thirty years. The likes of Radiohead, Supergrass and Foals all hail from Oxford and have combined sold many millions of records worldwide, packing out world tours and living rock n' roll lifestyles others could only dream of. Here at Singing Lessons Oxford, we are passionate about inspiring our singing students to aim for the stars and hopefully these stories of musicians that have made millions from their music will inspire you too.

Radiohead, were formed way back in 1985 by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Philip Selway who met at Abingdon School in Oxford. Named On A Friday, after the day they practised the band went on hold while Thom Yorke went to the University of Exeter - after Yorke's graduation they changed the name to Radiohead and recorded their first album, Pablo Honey, in 1993. Despite the album poor initial sales, with the now infamous track Creep even being blacklisted by Radio One for being "too depressing", the album began to gain international recognition. This critical acclaim was confirmed two years later with the release ofThe Bends in 1995, and OK Computer in 1997 - Radiohead had secured their place as one of the foremost post-Nirvana alternative grunge bands. Nonetheless, Yorke did not react favourably to the band's fame, his famously cold and often rude persona is testified to by many celebrities that have been on the wrong side of one of his comments. Despite this Q Magazine named Thom Yorke as the 6th most powerful figure in music in 2002, with the Rolling Stones ranking Radiohead #73 in their 2005 "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".

Supergrass was formed in the early 90s by brothers Gaz and Rob Combes, along with Mick Quinn and Danny Goffery, playing multiple early gigs in and around Oxford. Often playing at the Jericho Tavern the band built up a cult following going on to release their first album in 1995 I Should Coco going straight to number one and selling over 1,000,000 albums worldwide. The album spawned hit single Alright reaching number 2 in the singles chart and making Supergrass internationally famous. In it for the Money was Supergrass' follow up album released two years later, again well received by music critics and the public the album was a number UK number two and again sold over 1 million units. With two further top ten albums, Supergrass remains one of the most successful British bands of the last 10 years - impressive as they are a true rock band that slowly worked they way up starting in the local Oxford scene.

Foals, are an up and coming local Oxford band that rose to fame in 2007 with their debut album release Antidotes. Reaching number 3 in the UK album charts and spawning the singles Cassius and Balloons. After embarking on a successful world tour playing in front of thousands of fans the boys settled down to record their second album Total Life Forever which was released in summer 2009 with huge commercial success. Nominated for a Mercury Prize the album was again a top ten UK album, with their third album being released in 2013 we are expecting big things from the Oxford newsboys.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, perhaps England's most prolific modern music composer for theatre, attended Oxford University to study history at Magdalen College in the mid-60s. Although he only stayed for a term before leaving to attend the Royal College of Music in 1965 Oxford made a dramatic impact on Lloyd Webber shaping his music development and career. Having written the music for some of the most famous musicals of the last 100 years, including The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Andrew Lloyd Webber has been most famous recently for his role on television searching for singers for his productions. Having personally amassed a fortune of over £700,000,000 Lloyd Webber's ability to write and produce music is second to none.

Photography: Christian Bertrand

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