The Bends is the second studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released on 13 March 1995 by Parlophone. Most tracks were produced by John Leckie, with extra production by Radiohead, Nigel Godrich and Jim Warren. It was the first Radiohead album with cover art by Stanley Donwood, who, with singer Thom Yorke, has produced all of Radiohead's artwork since.
Radiohead began work on The Bends at RAK Studios, London, in February 1994. Tensions were high, with pressure from the label to match sales of their debut hit single "Creep", and the group initially struggled to make progress. After an international tour in May and June, recording resumed at Abbey Road in London and the Manor in Oxfordshire. Radiohead moved away from the grunge style of their debut album Pablo Honey (1993), incorporating cryptic lyrics, greater use of keyboards, more abrasive guitar tracks and more restrained arrangements.
The Bends produced six charting singles: "My Iron Lung" (released as an EP in 1994), the double A-side "Planet Telex / High and Dry", "Fake Plastic Trees", "Just", Radiohead's first top-five UK single "Street Spirit (Fade Out)", and "The Bends". Though it reached number four on the UK Albums Chart, it failed to build on the success of "Creep" outside the UK, peaking on the United States pop chart at number 88. It has since been certified platinum in the UK and the US.
The Bends was released on 13 March 1995 in the UK by Parlophone Records. It spent 16 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number four. It was eventually certified triple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.
In the US, the album was released on 4 April by the band's North American distributor, Capitol Records, "who almost refused to release the album, since it was lacking any obvious hit singles", according to the journalist Tim Footman. The American lead single "Fake Plastic Trees" peaked at number 11 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks and number 65 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. The album itself debuted at the bottom of the Billboard 200 in the week of 13 May, before peaking at number 147 in the week of 24 June, and dropping off the chart after nine weeks. "The Bends" was released as a single in Ireland, reaching number 26 on the Irish Singles Chart in August 1996.
Radiohead - The Bends
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