Edward John "Ed" O'Brien (born 15 April 1968) is an English musician, songwriter, and guitarist for the rock band Radiohead. He is also responsible for harmony vocals during live concerts and on many tracks from the band's albums (occasionally with drummer Phil Selway). In addition, he has played guitar and provided backing vocals for the 7 Worlds Collide project.
O'Brien uses a large collection of effects pedals to help create Radiohead's distinct sound. Even on tracks that do not feature any guitar work, his pedals are put to use for other purposes such as altering Thom Yorke's keyboard playing (he and co-guitarist Jonny Greenwood sample Yorke's piano and vocals, respectively, with the Korg Kaoss Pad on live performances of "Everything in Its Right Place"). As well as being a self-taught guitarist, he is an accomplished drummer; though his only drum contributions for Radiohead to date have been tom drums on live performances of Hail to the Thief track "There There", a task he shares with Greenwood (though the part they play is put together on a synthesiser on the studio version). and additional drumming on the b-side “Pearly*”.
Notable songwriting contributions to Radiohead include the opening riff on the songs "Go to Sleep" and "No Surprises", the bass riff on "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi", and the riff that makes up the closing song on The Bends, "Street Spirit (Fade Out)". He has also written the instrumental "Meeting in the Aisle", "Lull", and the instrumentation of "Big Boots"...
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