Radiohead release stolen recordings

Really enjoying the second disc of this! The first had far too many renditions of I Promise and Electioneering (both of which I just don’t care for). But this one’s got lots of little bluesy one-offs, some weird field recordings, and an early version of Motion Picture Soundtrack that’s pretty good.

It’s funny, I often see people saying that Radiohead introduced them to electronic music, and for me it was the exact opposite. Before hearing them, I had been listening to mostly electronic music, and after being blown away by Kid A and listening to Radiohead’s other stuff they got me to accept that rock music wasn’t all boring. They just blend different things together so well that they can be equally appealing to people with widely differing tastes, and that’s pretty cool.


It’s okay to not like Radiohead.

I think they’re very skilled musicians and write innovative music, but what I could never get past is my feeling that the emotional core of the music is weepy navel-gazing not exactly born out of adversity.

The Gen X Beatles is definitely The Pixies. You even have a situation similar to Lennon (the natural charismatic songwriter, Kim Deal) and McCartney (the more deliberate craftsman, Frank Black) starting their own bands afterward. You compare Frank Black and you have tightly wound songs that make their point and leave, no bullshit (get in, get out), and then Kim Deal you have songs which are looser, less controlled, more broad, and sloppy even.

Nirvana I consider to be in same songwriting tradition obviously, but dissimilar in terms of band dynamics, rawness, and cultural abrasiveness. More themselves live than in the studio too, which is unlike the Beatles.

Radiohead is more like post-Barrett Pink Floyd. Sardonic but lacking the affable humor of the other three acts. They and their fans even more take them way too seriously, as mentioned by Starthief above. Although Radiohead’s songs tend to develop better, whereas Pink Floyd is like enough already. Both bands are not from working class backgrounds.

I think Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack work is easier for me to like on an emotional level, but also more stylistically derivative. There will be Blood is like Penderecki and Phantom Thread like simplified Debussy. The Master and Inherent Vice are really good playful ensemble stuff, less high concept.

Compare with Messiaen though, or for film his student Takemitsu, and there is no question to whom you are listening. I always think of Salonen saying “You always know it’s him, and this is of course the sign of a master.”

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@jasonw22 Contradictory paragraphs.

if someone’s “yum” is to worship someone who speaks to them through music (or ethical thought) why “yuck” that belief by saying it sucks to do that?

Personally I agree with Joni Mitchell who says (paraphrase) that the ideal is to connect with the artists music on a personal level.

i’m pretty baffled by some of the criticisms above. i would be surprised if nearly any of these points (no sense of humor, derivative, long winded, cult of personality, not born out of adversity/not working class??,) would ever be made about a band that has a less commercially successful run.

at the risk of stating the obvious, no one can “be the beatles” of any subsequent generation. the beatles were a mass market commodity in the dawn of consumer culture. they benefitted enormously from that, from there being like 3 tv channels, from the entrenched, visceral racism in the culture, and like a million other things. they also happened to be pretty good songwriters. this was a perfect storm that will never ever happen again unless consumer culture is re-invented in 1000 years when frog people become sentient.

the comparison with the beatles is mostly one of career trajectory. they made an enormous amount of money as a nirvana soundalike band with creep, and then on their subsequent album, completely abandoned that sound and came out with a beautiful, original (*within the confines of alt rock) record that was critically and commercially extremely successful. and then a few years later, abandoned all of that and made an electronic album that was equally well received. that’s pretty much the whole beatles comparison.

at the risk of being dismissed as a radiohead fan, prior to these sessions leaking i can’t even remember the last time i listened to one of their tunes, plus i am funny so i must not be like them.


I love how they subverted that extortion attempt into something great for the fans and great for the planet (and rendering the hackers’ “loot” completely worthless in the process).

I can’t think of any specific examples now, but I seem to recall similar situations where something malicious was turned around on its head by clever thinking. I don’t know if it’s becoming more common because people are getting wiser as to how to respond to extortion attempts on the internet or something, but I love it :smiley:


The Beatles comparison isn’t far off for me. I rarely listen to both. But when I do, I can’t get rid of them for a while… And ultimately get annoyed by how much I like their music.

Thank you thread for bringing back In Rainbows…


Looks like the extortion attempt was just a rumor, that the band themselves may have taken as truth. It all gets explained in the track list posted above, but the leaker did not actually try to extort anyone.

Still very cool that they released this all though, and that the proceeds are being donated.


Because I’m drawing a distinction between enjoyment/appreciation and worship. I believe the former is one’s prerogative, while the latter is personally and socially harmful.


Everybody calm down and stop fighting.


Same here. I had been progressing listening to more and more electronic music towards the end of high school after discovering NIN and industrial/EBM artists such as Front Line Assembly and Skinny Puppy and moving to Aphex Twin, Autechre, Download, Future Sound of London, etc. Kid A really hit me because it was a fusion of the electronic music I was really into with the pop/rock songwriting of my youth. My interest in them has waned after In Rainbows which I think is there second best after Kid A, but I will still at least listen to each new album once.

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One cool thing that happened as a result of Radiohead producing the music that they have is sweet jazz renditions of their tunes.


It also was the opposite for me. I didn’t think much about music until I heard Aphex Twin when I was maybe 14. That threw me into a journey into the world of weird abrasive electronic music. I was introduced to Radiohead by a friend, and that made me realize that acoustic instruments can blend amazingly well with electronic instruments. It really pushed me to go learn a physical instrument. A Moon Shaped Pool is the album that confirmed my love for cello.

I get that there’s a cult-like following to Radiohead and Thom — myself and friends for which I have much esteem are guilty of that to some extent. I feel this has to do in part with technicality of their music, but most importantly the feelings they address. They often deal with exclusion, rejection, inadequacy, and alienation. The people I know who connect most deeply with their songs (myself included) are people who at some point in their life felt they didn’t belong, like they couldn’t relate their view of the world with the people surrounding them. Their music is in a way a confirmation that you aren’t alone in this situation — it’s a cathartic way to anchor your sense of self to something.

A lot of attachement can come from that. The combination of very strong emotional attachment and technical prowess can fuel a very fierce defence of the band’s «superiority». In my opinion this is toxic behaviour. I personally love their music and am deeply attached to it, but would never claim they (or any artist) are creating some form of «higher art». Form and technicality are things that can be discussed on more or less objective grounds, but anything else goes into the slippery land of subjectivity — at which point it’s a personal matter.


I think there are very different associations based on when/where you were born. Over the years, colleagues 10-15 years younger (is this Gen-Y?) have told me personally that Radiohead was their entry point into electronic music. I mean, that’s cool. I don’t want to take away from those experiences. I just had very different ones.

For me, my encounter with Radiohead was much earlier. It was based on “Creep”, which of course was played 50 times a day and represented more than any other song, the death of commercial radio.

But it really wasn’t that song so much – it was the fact that other types of music – mainly the kinds of stuff on 4AD – were no longer played on commercial stations (and remember, no youtube, nowhere else to go to discover music…)

At least around the time of Nirvana and surrounding bands there was a peaceful coexistence. No one band or style came to dominate. But by the time of “Creep” there was suddenly a disappearance of so much interesting music from the commercial realm. And so that’s what I remember.

Furthermore – it didn’t help around the same time to experience the death of rave culture – in the form of crass commercialization and betrayal of many of the founding principles – in which I had been invested for several years prior. the pirate radio (e.g. MARS-FM) associated with this either died or changed format then finally just died. Again – not that Radiohead were in any way responsible, it just happened around the same time. Kind of a double blow.

So – Radiohead’s “Creep”, I remember as the soundtrack to the closing down of possibilities, to the disappearance of more experimental (and yes, electronic) music on whatever channels were available. I think that’s fair – Radiohead weren’t the “cause” of this event (the end of an era), but the soundtrack to it. Totally unfair to them and their later albums, but what can you do.

For others, later Radiohead seems to symbolize the exact opposite – the opening of possibilities, the entry point into a new world of electronic and experimental music.

Both perspectives are correct, but incommensurable… it just shows that where/when we were born, what else was going on at the time, etc. can lead to so radically different (and in this case, opposite) interpretations. I think perhaps that’s the more interesting thing that’s being revealed here.


I adore Radiohead.

I’m glad the hacker forced this release.

Kid A got me into electronic.

Videotape is my favourite song.

I don’t care who does or doesn’t like them. I don’t care who thinks what about them. I just know I like them, and enjoyed listening to four hours of this today.


Trying to shift away from the likers and dislikers (I like them a lot, and I’d have things to say about why and what it implicates but it feels like a neverending debate or a post for another time and I don’t have the strength to tackle this right now plus I’m not convinced anyone would care.)

So AMBITIOUSLY trying to shift the debate away from this : Doesn’t the simple fact that this thread was (unsuprisingly to say the least) derailed that way points us to an interesting shift in popular culture because, and that’s MY TOPIC as it’s open season for derailing topics.

“Is Radiohead the last international polarizing superstar band ?”

Those “oh I love them” “hehe kiddo you’re such an idiot I knew all the music they did 10 years before they produced it” “yeah but you didn’t know it like that, plus I like whatever I want” “Oh don’t take it so badly I don’t even listen to their music anyway and Yorke’s voice just creeps me the fuck out”… that we’ve been seeing online for now litterally SINCE THE INTERNET WAS INVENTED, used to kind of be random shit, Pixies vs Nirvana, Beatles vs Stones, and even without the versus fighting (who’s up for a videogame of that? I am) “Pink Floyd are the best !” “yeah but they’re shit though” “Queen is amazing !” “Yeah if you like pompous over the top music”, and I’ve seen all of those night in night out talking to even random people who don’t listen to music that much, and I realized that this debate kind of stops at Radiohead, a band that released his first album in fucking 1993.

So something must have exploded since them, and I will add, we must be goddamn frustrated it did because apparently, instead of just stopping doing this (but there are reasons we do it, I have opininons about this, I’m just to lazy to talk about it so I’m just pointing you to the question instead), we KEPT GOING AT IT WITH RADIOHEAD FOR 20 YEARS.

If you know of a western popular band that people argue about, using it as a vessel to obviously talk about something completely different than the actual content of their music, and that everyone in the room has a definitive opinion about, and that’s not out of the last century, I’d love to know about it so I could consider it and add that to my thought process.


Shakin’ Stevens. Everyone has an opinion of Shakin’ Stevens.


So I googled Shakin’ Stevens so I could have an informed opinion on Shakin’ Stevens (we’re always one google search away to have an informed opinion on anything RIGHT?), but he’s born in 1948 so I disqualify your participation to my newborn derailed topic.


I honesty think you’re the only person to Google him in a while. I have no idea who he is but he was mentioned on the Creation Records documentary.


The reason people compare them with the Beatles is that they are studio innovators, each album a little different from the one before. I think the comparison is valid, but I consider the Pixies to be much more like the Beatles in terms of the dynamics of the band itself.

Actually I said Greenwood was derivative in his soundtrack work, which is probably intentional btw. Radiohead is not derivative, at least not from OK Computer on.

Yeah I respect them as artists, but still think they lack an easy sense of humor and whine too much, sorry, even after Creep. This is not an original criticism, people have said this since the 90s.

When bands are that successful people have their views on them, there is nothing wrong with that. I know people who can’t stand Pearl Jam or Pavement, for totally valid reasons. Why should it be any different for Radiohead?

I was alluding to the Beatles in contrast to Pink Floyd or The Rolling Stones as famously working class, but they were very cultured about music in a way that was more typical in record-buying England back then, and consciously thought about the “song” tradition, especially Mahler.

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Perhaps that’s just indicative of the dumbing down of popular music, people get less attached to shallow acts.