As their latest tour comes to an end, Radiohead seem to be evolving once again into their third incarnation. A quick recap:
Radiohead 1.0: Pablo Honey to OK Computer. They wrote songs. You could tell which instruments were making which sounds. Over the course of three albums they went from almost becoming a one-hit wonder to being regarded the best band in the world.
Radiohead 2.0: Kid A to Hail To The Thief. Powerful enough to break away from the constraints and expectations of the music industry, they made electronic music, they avoided releasing singles or producing videos (for a while at least). They sounded like nothing and everything. This was their millenial prog period. The void created by the continuing demand for more albums like The Bends and OK Computer was filled by the likes of Coldplay, Keane and Muse.
Radiohead 3.0: Present day. They are without a contract (although Elbow's Guy Garvey seems eager to get them onto his label). Thom's making solo stuff. Music is reaching the outside world, but there's no clear direction forward for offical release. They don't want their stuff sold on iTunes because it undermines the structure of their albums … what happens next?