RadioheadAs Radiohead get ready to embark on a world tour this summer with stops at all the major festivals, the British rock group’s former label EMI is issuing a greatest hits compilation. So what better time to fill in some of the blanks on the band that is no stranger to astounding its fans?

Radiohead Pablo Honey1) There are two versions of Radiohead’s 1993 debut album, Pablo Honey. There is the original version that includes all the lyrics from the group’s breakthrough hit “Creep” in their full filthy glory: “I wish I was special/ You’re so f------ special.” And then there are just as many copies out there that include a radio-friendly edit of the song with the objectionable word replaced with the more innocuous “very.”

2) The title Pablo Honey was lifted from pre-caller ID era New York crank calling duo the Jerky Boys. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood was particularly a fan of a skit in which the victim of the call was called “Pablo Honey” so he brought the phrase to rest of the band and it stuck.

Radiohead Airbag3) Radiohead’s Airbag EP included singer Thom Yorke’s phone number on its cover. Fans that called the number 142-614-8550 were greeted with a personal message from the singer that said?wait for it!?“Hello?” They could also leave messages for the band, which will no doubt end up in one of their more avant garde songs.

4) The band originally went by the totally emo-ish name On A Friday. Formed while the musicians were attending a boys-only public school in Oxfordshire, the wonky name and ska roots didn't stop them from building a considerable following and even landing a deal with EMI. The label, however, insisted that they change it, so they opted instead for Radiohead, after a song title on Talking Heads’ True Stories.

Alanis Morissette5) Inspired by the Beatles, Miles Davis, and DJ Shadow, Radiohead’s 1997 third album, OK Computer, revolutionized the sound of British guitar rock. But the band perfected the songs while serving as the opening act on Alanis Morissette’s 1996 tour before retiring to Jane Seymour's 15th-century mansion to record it. 

6) Radiohead nearly broke up after touring OK Computer. After the grueling world tour documented in the film Meeting People Is Easy, Yorke says he suffered a bout of severe depression. “New Year’s Eve [1998] was one of the lowest points of my life,” he told Q Magazine. “I felt like I was going f------ crazy. Every time I picked up a guitar I just got the horrors. I would start writing a song, stop after 16 bars, hide it away in a drawer, look at it again, tear it up, destroy it.”

Aphex Twin7) The dizzying electronic rhythms on Kid A and Amnesiac were largely inspired by Yorke's fondness for Warp Records and its maverick techno artists like Boards of Canada, Squarepusher, and Aphex Twin, in particular. “One of my absolute favourite pieces of music ever is ‘Freeman Hardy and Willis Acid’,” he says. “It’s an Aphex Twin instrumental which has this frantic hi-hat thing going all the way through it and then at some point everything switches tonally and it all goes out of phase and then carries on. And the first time I heard it, it was like someone had just reached over and switched a switch in my head and I never, ever saw anything the same again. I was completely straight?I was just driving along the road, driving home, whatever?and I had to stop the car.”

8) Yorke has more conventional influences, as well, such as the Pixies, the Smiths, Jeff Buckley, John Lennon, and Joy Division. But it’s R.E.M., from whom he claims he cribbed the song “Street Spirit,” that holds a special place in his heart: “I’ve ripped them off left, right, and center for years and years and years and years.”

Radiohead In Rainbows9) Most Radiohead fans opted not to pay anything last year for the group's independently released pay-what-you-want seventh album, In Rainbows. Only 38 percent of the group’s 1.2-million fans who visited the website set up by the band contributed money to the group when it was made available for download between October 1 and October 29. And those that did pay only coughed up an average of $6 for the album.

10) That’s okay, though, because Radiohead is not very good at math. At least judging by the song “2+2=5.”