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Kid A

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Kid A
Mountains and their reflections against a sea
Studio album by
Released2 October 2000 (2000-10-02)
Recorded4 January 1999 – 18 April 2000[1]
Studio
  • Guillaume Tell, Paris
  • Medley, Copenhagen
  • Radiohead studio, Oxfordshire
Genre
Length49:56
Label
Producer
Radiohead chronology
Airbag / How Am I Driving?
(1998)
Kid A
(2000)
Amnesiac
(2001)

Kid A is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released on 2 October 2000 by Parlophone. It was recorded with their producer, Nigel Godrich, in Paris, Copenhagen, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.

After the stress of promoting Radiohead's 1997 album OK Computer, the songwriter, Thom Yorke, wanted to depart from rock music. Drawing influence from electronic music, ambient music, krautrock, jazz and 20th-century classical music, Radiohead used instruments such as modular synthesisers, the ondes Martenot, brass and strings. They processed guitar sounds, incorporated samples and loops, and manipulated their recordings with software. Yorke wrote impersonal and abstract lyrics, cutting up phrases and assembling them at random.

In a departure from industry practice, Radiohead released no singles or music videos and conducted few interviews and photoshoots. Instead, they released short animated "blips", and became one of the first major acts to use the internet for promotion. Bootlegs of early performances were shared on filesharing services, and Kid A was leaked before release. In 2000, Radiohead toured Europe in a custom-built tent without corporate logos.

Kid A debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart and became Radiohead's first number-one album on the Billboard 200 in the US, where it sold more than 207,000 copies in its first week. Its departure from Radiohead's earlier sound divided listeners, and some dismissed it as pretentious, deliberately obscure, or derivative. However, it later attracted acclaim; at the end of the decade, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and the Times ranked Kid A the greatest album of the 2000s, and in 2020 Rolling Stone ranked it number 20 on its updated list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Like OK Computer, it won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. It has been certified platinum in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the US and the UK.

A second album of material from the sessions, Amnesiac, was released eight months later. Kid A Mnesia, an anniversary reissue compiling Kid A, Amnesiac and previously unreleased material, was released in 2021.

Discover more about Kid A related topics

Electronic music

Electronic music

Electronic music is a genre of music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments, or circuitry-based music technology in its creation. It includes both music made using electronic and electromechanical means. Pure electronic instruments depended entirely on circuitry-based sound generation, for instance using devices such as an electronic oscillator, theremin, or synthesizer. Electromechanical instruments can have mechanical parts such as strings, hammers, and electric elements including magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Such electromechanical devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, electric piano and the electric guitar.

Ambient music

Ambient music

Ambient music is a genre of music that emphasizes tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm. It may lack net composition, beat, or structured melody. It uses textural layers of sound that can reward both passive and active listening and encourage a sense of calm or contemplation. The genre is said to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual", or "unobtrusive" quality. Nature soundscapes may be included, and the sounds of acoustic instruments such as the piano, strings and flute may be emulated through a synthesizer.

Jazz

Jazz

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognized as a major form of musical expression in traditional and popular music. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, complex chords, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in European harmony and African rhythmic rituals.

20th-century classical music

20th-century classical music

20th-century classical music describes art music that was written nominally from 1901 to 2000, inclusive. Musical style diverged during the 20th century as it never had previously, so this century was without a dominant style. Modernism, impressionism, and post-romanticism can all be traced to the decades before the turn of the 20th century, but can be included because they evolved beyond the musical boundaries of the 19th-century styles that were part of the earlier common practice period. Neoclassicism and expressionism came mostly after 1900. Minimalism started much later in the century and can be seen as a change from the modern to postmodern era, although some date postmodernism from as early as about 1930. Aleatory, atonality, serialism, musique concrète, electronic music, and concept music were all developed during the century. Jazz and ethnic folk music became important influences on many composers during this century.

Cut-up technique

Cut-up technique

The cut-up technique is an aleatory literary technique in which a written text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. The concept can be traced to the Dadaists of the 1920s, but it was developed and popularized in the 1950s and early 1960s, especially by writer William S. Burroughs. It has since been used in a wide variety of contexts.

Blipvert

Blipvert

A blipvert is a very brief television advertisement, lasting one second. The word is a portmanteau of blip, a brief sound, and advertisement.

Bootleg recording

Bootleg recording

A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance not officially released by the artist or under other legal authority. Making and distributing such recordings is known as bootlegging. Recordings may be copied and traded among fans without financial exchange, but some bootleggers have sold recordings for profit, sometimes by adding professional-quality sound engineering and packaging to the raw material. Bootlegs usually consist of unreleased studio recordings, live performances or interviews without the quality control of official releases.

File sharing

File sharing

File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digital media, such as computer programs, multimedia, documents or electronic books. Common methods of storage, transmission and dispersion include removable media, centralized servers on computer networks, Internet-based hyperlinked documents, and the use of distributed peer-to-peer networking.

Billboard 200

Billboard 200

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine and is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 list in May 1967, and acquired its current name in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–1972), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–1984), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–1985) and Billboard Top Pop Albums (1985–1992).

Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album

Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album

The Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album is an award presented to recording artists for quality albums in the alternative genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position". In 2023, it was joined by a companion category, Best Alternative Music Performance.

Grammy Award for Album of the Year

Grammy Award for Album of the Year

The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales, chart position, or critical reception." Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys, and it is one of the general field awards alongside Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year, presented annually since the 1st Annual Grammy Awards in 1959. Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Taylor Swift have each won this award three times, more than any other artists.

Amnesiac (album)

Amnesiac (album)

Amnesiac is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released on 30 May 2001 by EMI subsidiaries Parlophone and Capitol Records. It was recorded with the producer Nigel Godrich in the same sessions as Radiohead's previous album Kid A (2000); Radiohead split the work in two as they felt it was too dense for a double album. As with Kid A, Amnesiac incorporates influences from electronic music, 20th-century classical music, jazz and krautrock. The final track, "Life in a Glasshouse", is a collaboration with the jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton and his band.

Background

Following the critical and commercial success of their 1997 album OK Computer, the members of Radiohead suffered burnout.[2] The songwriter, Thom Yorke, became ill, describing himself as "a complete fucking mess ... completely unhinged".[2] He was troubled by new acts he felt were imitating Radiohead[3] and became hostile to the music media.[2][4] He told The Observer: "I always used to use music as a way of moving on and dealing with things, and I sort of felt like that the thing that helped me deal with things had been sold to the highest bidder and I was simply doing its bidding. And I couldn't handle that."[5]

Yorke suffered from writer's block and could not finish writing songs on guitar.[6] He became disillusioned with the "mythology" of rock music, feeling the genre had "run its course".[5] He began to listen almost exclusively to the electronic music of artists signed to the record label Warp, such as Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin and Autechre. Yorke said: "It was refreshing because the music was all structures and had no human voices in it. But I felt just as emotional about it as I'd ever felt about guitar music."[2] He liked the idea of his voice being used as an instrument rather than having a leading role, and wanted to focus on sounds and textures instead of traditional songwriting.[3]

Yorke bought a house in Cornwall and spent his time walking the cliffs and drawing, restricting his musical activity to playing the grand piano he had recently bought.[7] "Everything in Its Right Place" was the first song he wrote.[7] He described himself as a "shit piano player", with little knowledge of electronic instruments: "I remember this Tom Waits quote from years ago, that what keeps him going as a songwriter is his complete ignorance of the instruments he's using. So everything's a novelty. That's one of the reasons I wanted to get into computers and synths, because I didn't understand how the fuck they worked. I had no idea what ADSR meant."[8]

The guitarist Ed O'Brien had hoped Radiohead's fourth album would comprise short, melodic guitar songs, but Yorke said: "There was no chance of the album sounding like that. I'd completely had it with melody. I just wanted rhythm. All melodies to me were pure embarrassment."[6] The bassist, Colin Greenwood, said: "We felt we had to change everything. There were other guitar bands out there trying to do similar things. We had to move on."[9]

Discover more about Background related topics

OK Computer

OK Computer

OK Computer is the third studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in Japan on 21 May 1997 and in the UK on 16 June 1997. Radiohead self-produced the album with Nigel Godrich, an arrangement they have used for their subsequent albums. Radiohead recorded most of OK Computer in their rehearsal space in Oxfordshire and the historic mansion of St Catherine's Court in Bath in 1996 and early 1997. The band distanced themselves from the guitar-centred, lyrically introspective style of their previous album, The Bends. OK Computer's abstract lyrics, densely layered sound and eclectic influences laid the groundwork for Radiohead's later, more experimental work.

Occupational burnout

Occupational burnout

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), occupational burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic work-related stress, with symptoms characterized by "feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and reduced professional efficacy". While burnout may influence health and can be a reason for people contacting health services, it is not itself classified by the WHO as a medical condition or mental disorder. WHO additionally states that "Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life."

Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke

Thomas Edward Yorke is an English musician and the main vocalist and songwriter of the rock band Radiohead. A multi-instrumentalist, he mainly plays guitar and keyboards and is noted for his falsetto. He has been described by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest and most influential singers of his generation.

The Observer

The Observer

The Observer is a British newspaper published on Sundays. It is a sister paper to The Guardian and The Guardian Weekly, whose parent company Guardian Media Group Limited acquired it in 1993. First published in 1791, it is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.

Electronic music

Electronic music

Electronic music is a genre of music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments, or circuitry-based music technology in its creation. It includes both music made using electronic and electromechanical means. Pure electronic instruments depended entirely on circuitry-based sound generation, for instance using devices such as an electronic oscillator, theremin, or synthesizer. Electromechanical instruments can have mechanical parts such as strings, hammers, and electric elements including magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Such electromechanical devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, electric piano and the electric guitar.

Boards of Canada

Boards of Canada

Boards of Canada are a Scottish electronic music duo consisting of brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin, formed initially as a group in 1986 before becoming a duo in the 1990s. Signing first to Skam followed by Warp Records in the 1990s, the duo subsequently received recognition following the release of their debut album Music Has the Right to Children on Warp in 1998. They followed with the critically acclaimed albums Geogaddi (2002), The Campfire Headphase (2005) and Tomorrow's Harvest (2013), but have remained reclusive and continue to rarely appear live.

Aphex Twin

Aphex Twin

Richard David James, best known as Aphex Twin, is an Irish-born British musician, composer and DJ. He is known for his idiosyncratic work in electronic styles such as techno, ambient, and jungle. Journalists from publications including Mixmag, The New York Times, NME, Fact, Clash and The Guardian have called James one of the most influential or important artists in contemporary electronic music.

Autechre

Autechre

Autechre is an English electronic music duo consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both from Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Formed in 1987, they are among the best known and influential acts signed to UK electronic label Warp Records, through which all of Autechre's full-length albums have been released beginning with their 1993 debut Incunabula. They gained initial recognition when they were featured on Warp's 1992 compilation Artificial Intelligence.

Everything in Its Right Place

Everything in Its Right Place

"Everything in Its Right Place" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released on their fourth album, Kid A (2000). It features synthesiser, manipulated vocals, and lyrics inspired by the stress singer Thom Yorke experienced while promoting Radiohead's album OK Computer (1997).

Tom Waits

Tom Waits

Thomas Alan Waits is an American musician, composer, songwriter, and actor. His lyrics often focus on the underbelly of society and are delivered in his trademark deep, gravelly voice. He worked primarily in jazz during the 1970s, but his music since the 1980s has reflected greater influence from blues, rock, vaudeville, and experimental genres.

Ed O'Brien

Ed O'Brien

Edward John O'Brien is an English guitarist, songwriter and member of the rock band Radiohead. He releases solo music under the name EOB.

Colin Greenwood

Colin Greenwood

Colin Charles Greenwood is an English musician and the bassist for the rock band Radiohead. Along with bass guitar, Greenwood plays upright bass and electronic instruments.

Recording

Greenwood performing on an ondes Martenot in 2010
Greenwood performing on an ondes Martenot in 2010

Radiohead were building their own studio in Oxfordshire, which Yorke wanted to use as the German band Can had used their studio in Cologne, recording everything they played and then editing it down.[6] However, the studio would not be complete until late 1999, so the band began work in Guillaime Tell Studios, Paris, in January 1999.[6][10]

Radiohead worked with the OK Computer producer Nigel Godrich and no deadline. Yorke, who had the greatest control, was still facing writer's block.[6] His new songs were incomplete, and some consisted of little more than sounds or rhythms; few had clear verses or choruses.[6] Yorke's lack of lyrics created problems, as these had provided points of reference and inspiration for his bandmates in the past.[11]

The group struggled with Yorke's new direction. According to Godrich, Yorke did not communicate much,[12] and according to Yorke, Godrich "didn't understand why, if we had such a strength in one thing, we would want to do something else".[13] The lead guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, feared "awful art-rock nonsense just for its own sake".[6] His brother Colin did not enjoy Yorke's Warp influences, finding them "really cold".[11] The other band members were unsure of how to contribute, and considered leaving.[11] O'Brien said: "It's scary – everyone feels insecure. I'm a guitarist and suddenly it's like, well, there are no guitars on this track, or no drums."[6]

Radiohead experimented with electronic instruments including modular synthesisers and the ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument similar to a theremin, and used software such as Pro Tools and Cubase to edit and manipulate their recordings.[6] They found it difficult to use electronic instruments collaboratively; according to Yorke, "We had to develop ways of going off into corners and build things on whatever sequencer, synthesiser or piece of machinery we would bring to the equation and then integrate that into the way we would normally work."[14] O'Brien began using sustain units, which allow guitar notes to be sustained infinitely, combined with looping and delay effects to create synthesiser-like sounds.[15]

In March, Radiohead moved to Medley Studios in Copenhagen for two weeks,[6] which were unproductive.[12] The sessions produced about 50 reels of tape, each containing 15 minutes of music, with nothing finished.[6] In April, Radiohead resumed recording in a mansion in Batsford Park, Gloucestershire.[6] The lack of deadline and the number of incomplete ideas made it hard to focus,[6] and the group held tense meetings.[12] They agreed to disband if they could not agree on an album worth releasing.[6]

In July, O'Brien began keeping an online diary of Radiohead's progress.[16] Radiohead moved to their new studio in Oxfordshire in September.[6] In November, Radiohead held a live webcast from their studio, featuring a performance of new music and a DJ set.[17] By 2000, six songs were complete.[6] In January, at Godrich's suggestion, Radiohead split into two groups: one would generate a sound or sequence without acoustic instruments such as guitars or drums, and the other would develop it. Though the experiment produced no finished songs, it helped convince O'Brien of the potential of electronic instruments.[6]

On 19 April 2000, Yorke wrote on Radiohead's website that they had finished recording.[18] Having completed over 20 songs,[19] Radiohead considered releasing a double album, but felt the material was too dense.[20] Instead, they saved half the songs for their next album, Amnesiac, released the following year. Yorke said Radiohead split the work into two albums because "they cancel each other out as overall finished things. They come from two different places."[21] He observed that deciding the track list was not just a matter of choosing the best songs, as "you can put all the best songs in the world on a record and they'll ruin each other".[22] He cited the later Beatles albums as examples of effective sequencing: "How in the hell can you have three different versions of 'Revolution' on the same record and get away with it? I thought about that sort of thing."[22] Agreeing on the track list created arguments, and O'Brien said the band came close to breaking up: "That felt like it could go either way, it could break ... But we came in the next day and it was resolved."[23] The album was mastered by Chris Blair in Abbey Road Studios, London.[24]

Tracks

Radiohead recorded the strings for "How to Disappear Completely" in Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire.
Radiohead recorded the strings for "How to Disappear Completely" in Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire.

Radiohead worked on the first track, "Everything in Its Right Place", in a conventional band arrangement in Copenhagen and Paris, but without results.[25] In Gloucestershire,[25] Yorke and Godrich transferred the song to a Prophet-5 synthesiser,[26] and Yorke's vocals were processed in Pro Tools using a scrubbing tool.[27] O'Brien and the drummer, Philip Selway, said the track helped them accept that not every song needed every band member to play on it. O'Brien recalled: "To be genuinely sort of delighted that you'd been working for six months on this record and something great has come out of it, and you haven't contributed to it, is a really liberating feeling."[25] Jonny Greenwood described it as a turning point for the album: "We knew it had to be the first song, and everything just followed after it."[28]

Yorke wrote an early version of "The National Anthem" when the band was still in school.[29] In 1997, Radiohead recorded drums and bass for the song, intending to develop it as a B-side for OK Computer, but decided to keep it for their next album.[30] For Kid A, Greenwood added ondes Martenot and sounds sampled from radio stations,[29] and Yorke's vocals were processed with a ring modulator.[31] In November 1999,[31] Radiohead recorded a brass section inspired by the "organised chaos" of Town Hall Concert by the jazz musician Charles Mingus, instructing the musicians to sound like a "traffic jam".[32]

The strings on "How to Disappear Completely" were performed by the Orchestra of St John's and recorded in Dorchester Abbey, a 12th-century church about five miles from Radiohead's Oxfordshire studio.[33][34] Radiohead chose the orchestra as they had performed pieces by Penderecki and Messiaen.[32] Jonny Greenwood, the only Radiohead member trained in music theory, composed the string arrangement by multitracking his ondes Martenot.[29] According to Godrich, when the orchestra members saw Greenwood's score "they all just sort of burst into giggles, because they couldn't do what he'd written, because it was impossible – or impossible for them, anyway".[35] The orchestra leader, John Lubbock, encouraged them to experiment and work with Greenwood's ideas.[36] Concerts director Alison Atkinson said the session was "more experimental" than the orchestra's usual bookings.[33]

Radiohead sampled this portion of "Mild und Leise", a 1973 computer music composition by Paul Lansky, for "Idioteque".

"Idioteque" samples two computer music pieces, Paul Lansky's "Mild und Leise" and Arthur Kreiger's "Short Piece". Both samples were taken from Electronic Music Winners, a 1976 experimental music LP which Jonny Greenwood stumbled upon while the band was working on Kid A.[3] The track was built from a drum machine pattern Greenwood created with a modular synthesiser and a sample from "Mild und Leise".[29][37] He gave the 50-minute recording to Yorke, who took a short section of it and used it to write the song.[37] Yorke also referred to electronic dance music when talking about "Idioteque", and said that the song was "an attempt to capture that exploding beat sound where you're at the club and the PA's so loud, you know it's doing damage".[3]

"Motion Picture Soundtrack" was written before Radiohead's debut single "Creep",[38] and a version of it was recorded on piano during the OK Computer sessions.[39] Yorke recorded it on a pedal organ, influenced by the songwriter Tom Waits; the other band members added sampled harp and double bass, attempting to emulate the soundtracks of 1950s Disney films.[29][40] Radiohead also worked on several songs that were not completed until recording sessions for future albums, including "Nude",[41] "Burn the Witch"[42] and "True Love Waits".[43]

Discover more about Recording related topics

Ondes Martenot

Ondes Martenot

The ondes Martenot or ondes musicales is an early electronic musical instrument. It is played with a keyboard or by moving a ring along a wire, creating "wavering" sounds similar to a theremin. A player of the ondes Martenot is called an ondist.

Can (band)

Can (band)

Can was a German experimental rock band formed in Cologne in 1968 by Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt (keyboards), Michael Karoli (guitar), and Jaki Liebezeit (drums). The group used several vocalists, most prominently the American Malcolm Mooney (1968–70) and the Japanese Damo Suzuki (1970–73). They have been widely hailed as pioneers of the German krautrock scene.

Nigel Godrich

Nigel Godrich

Nigel Timothy Godrich is an English record producer, recording engineer and musician. He is known for his work with the English rock band Radiohead, having produced all their studio albums since OK Computer (1997). He has also produced several projects by the Radiohead singer, Thom Yorke. He is a member of Atoms for Peace and Ultraísta.

Jonny Greenwood

Jonny Greenwood

Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood is an English musician and composer. He is the lead guitarist and keyboardist of the alternative rock band Radiohead, and has written numerous film scores.

Modular synthesizer

Modular synthesizer

Modular synthesizers are synthesizers composed of separate modules for different functions. The modules can be connected together by the user to create a patch. The outputs from the modules may include audio signals, analog control voltages, or digital signals for logic or timing conditions. Typical modules are voltage-controlled oscillators, voltage-controlled filters, voltage-controlled amplifiers and envelope generators.

Pro Tools

Pro Tools

Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation (DAW) developed and released by Avid Technology for Microsoft Windows and macOS. It is used for music creation and production, sound for picture and, more generally, sound recording, editing, and mastering processes.

Loop (music)

Loop (music)

In music, a loop is a repeating section of sound material. Short sections can be repeated to create ostinato patterns. Longer sections can also be repeated: for example, a player might loop what they play on an entire verse of a song in order to then play along with it, accompanying themselves.

Delay (audio effect)

Delay (audio effect)

Delay is an audio signal processing technique that records an input signal to a storage medium and then plays it back after a period of time. When the delayed playback is mixed with the live audio, it creates an echo-like effect, whereby the original audio is heard followed by the delayed audio. The delayed signal may be played back multiple times, or fed back into the recording, to create the sound of a repeating, decaying echo.

Double album

Double album

A double album is an audio album that spans two units of the primary medium in which it is sold, typically either records or compact disc. A double album is usually, though not always, released as such because the recording is longer than the capacity of the medium. Recording artists often think of double albums as being a single piece artistically; however, there are exceptions such as John Lennon's Some Time in New York City and OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below . Since the advent of the compact disc, albums are sometimes released with a bonus disc featuring additional material as a supplement to the main album, with live tracks, studio out-takes, cut songs, or older unreleased material. One innovation was the inclusion of a DVD of related material with a compact disc, such as video related to the album or DVD-Audio versions of the same recordings. Some such discs were also released on a two-sided format called DualDisc.

Amnesiac (album)

Amnesiac (album)

Amnesiac is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released on 30 May 2001 by EMI subsidiaries Parlophone and Capitol Records. It was recorded with the producer Nigel Godrich in the same sessions as Radiohead's previous album Kid A (2000); Radiohead split the work in two as they felt it was too dense for a double album. As with Kid A, Amnesiac incorporates influences from electronic music, 20th-century classical music, jazz and krautrock. The final track, "Life in a Glasshouse", is a collaboration with the jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton and his band.

Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London, England. It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, which owned it until Universal Music Group (UMG) took control of part of it in 2013. It is ultimately owned by UMG subsidiary Virgin Records Limited.

Dorchester Abbey

Dorchester Abbey

The Abbey Church of St Peter and St Paul, more usually called Dorchester Abbey, is a Church of England parish church in Dorchester on Thames, Oxfordshire, about 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Oxford. It was formerly a Norman abbey church and was built on the site of a Saxon cathedral.

Music

Style and influences

Kid A incorporates influences from electronic artists on Warp Records[6] such as 1990s IDM artists Autechre and Aphex Twin;[2] 1970s Krautrock bands such as Can;[6] the jazz of Charles Mingus,[32] Alice Coltrane and Miles Davis;[3] and abstract hip hop from the Mo'Wax label, including Blackalicious and DJ Krush.[44] Yorke cited Remain in Light (1980) by Talking Heads as a "massive reference point".[45] Björk was another major influence,[46][31] particularly her 1997 album Homogenic,[47] as was the Beta Band.[48] Radiohead attended an Underworld concert which helped renew their enthusiasm in a difficult moment.[49]

The string orchestration for "How to Disappear Completely" was influenced by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.[2] Jonny Greenwood's use of the ondes Martenot on this and several other Kid A songs was inspired by Olivier Messiaen, who popularised the instrument and was one of Greenwood's teenage heroes.[50] Greenwood described his interest in mixing old and new music technology,[50] and during the recording sessions Yorke read Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the Head, which chronicles the Beatles' recordings with George Martin during the 1960s.[3] The band also sought to combine electronic manipulations with jam sessions in the studio, stating their model was the German group Can.[6]

Kid A has been described as a work of electronica,[51][52][53] experimental rock,[54] post-rock,[55][56] alternative rock,[57] post-prog,[58] ambient,[59] electronic rock,[60] art rock,[61] and art pop.[62] Though guitar is less prominent than on previous Radiohead albums, guitars were still used on most tracks.[3] "Treefingers", an ambient instrumental, was created by digitally processing O'Brien's guitar loops.[40] Many of Yorke's vocals were manipulated with effects; for example, his vocals on the title track were simply spoken, then vocoded with the ondes Martenot to create the melody.[3]

Lyrics

Yorke's lyrics on Kid A are less personal than on earlier albums, and instead incorporate abstract and surreal themes.[63] He cut up phrases and assembled them at random, combining cliches and banal observations; for example, "Morning Bell" features repeated contrasting lines such as "Where'd you park the car?" and "Cut the kids in half".[64] He cited David Byrne's approach on Remain in Light as an influence: "When they made that record, they had no real songs, just wrote it all as they went along. Byrne turned up with pages and pages, and just picked stuff up and threw bits in all the time. And that's exactly how I approached Kid A."[3] Radiohead used Yorke's lyrics "like pieces in a collage ... [creating] an artwork out of a lot of different little things".[6] The lyrics are not included in the liner notes, as Radiohead felt they could not be considered independently of the music,[65] and Yorke did not want listeners to focus on them.[3]

Yorke wrote "Everything in Its Right Place" about the depression he experienced on the OK Computer tour, feeling he could not speak.[66] The refrain of "How to Disappear Completely" was inspired by R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who advised Yorke to relieve tour stress by repeating to himself: "I'm not here, this isn't happening".[67] The refrain of "Optimistic" ("try the best you can / the best you can is good enough") was an assurance by Yorke's partner, Rachel Owen, when Yorke was frustrated with the band's progress.[6] The title Kid A came from a filename on one of Yorke's sequencers.[68] Yorke said he liked its "non-meaning", saying: "If you call [an album] something specific, it drives the record in a certain way."[5]

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Intelligent dance music

Intelligent dance music

Intelligent dance music is a style of electronic music originating in the early 1990s, defined by idiosyncratic experimentation rather than specific genre constraints. It emerged from the culture and sound palette of electronic and rave music styles such as ambient techno, acid house, Detroit techno and breakbeat; it has been regarded as better suited to home listening than dancing. Prominent artists associated with it include Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher, Venetian Snares, Boards of Canada, Telefon Tel Aviv, μ-Ziq, the Black Dog, the Future Sound of London, and Luke Vibert.

Autechre

Autechre

Autechre is an English electronic music duo consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both from Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Formed in 1987, they are among the best known and influential acts signed to UK electronic label Warp Records, through which all of Autechre's full-length albums have been released beginning with their 1993 debut Incunabula. They gained initial recognition when they were featured on Warp's 1992 compilation Artificial Intelligence.

Aphex Twin

Aphex Twin

Richard David James, best known as Aphex Twin, is an Irish-born British musician, composer and DJ. He is known for his idiosyncratic work in electronic styles such as techno, ambient, and jungle. Journalists from publications including Mixmag, The New York Times, NME, Fact, Clash and The Guardian have called James one of the most influential or important artists in contemporary electronic music.

Krautrock

Krautrock

Krautrock is a broad genre of experimental rock that developed in West Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It originated among artists who blended elements of psychedelic rock, avant-garde composition, and electronic music, among other eclectic sources. Common elements included hypnotic rhythms, extended improvisation, musique concrète techniques, and early synthesizers, while the music generally moved away from the rhythm & blues roots and song structure found in traditional Anglo-American rock music. Prominent groups associated with the krautrock label included Neu!, Can, Faust, Tangerine Dream, Earthstar, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh, Amon Düül II and Harmonia.

Can (band)

Can (band)

Can was a German experimental rock band formed in Cologne in 1968 by Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt (keyboards), Michael Karoli (guitar), and Jaki Liebezeit (drums). The group used several vocalists, most prominently the American Malcolm Mooney (1968–70) and the Japanese Damo Suzuki (1970–73). They have been widely hailed as pioneers of the German krautrock scene.

Jazz

Jazz

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognized as a major form of musical expression in traditional and popular music. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, complex chords, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in European harmony and African rhythmic rituals.

Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus Jr. was an American jazz upright bassist, pianist, composer, bandleader, and author. A major proponent of collective improvisation, he is considered to be one of the greatest jazz musicians and composers in history, with a career spanning three decades and collaborations with other jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Herbie Hancock. Mingus' work ranged from advanced bebop and avant-garde jazz with small and midsize ensembles – pioneering the post-bop style on seminal recordings like Pithecanthropus Erectus (1956) and Mingus Ah Um (1959) – to progressive big band experiments such as The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (1963).

Alice Coltrane

Alice Coltrane

Alice Coltrane, also known by her adopted Sanskrit name Turiyasangitananda, was an American jazz musician and composer, and in her later years a swamini. An accomplished pianist and one of the few harpists in the history of jazz, she recorded many albums as a bandleader, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s for Impulse! and other record labels. She was married to jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane, with whom she performed in 1966–1967. One of the foremost proponents of spiritual jazz, her eclectic music proved widely influential both within and outside the world of jazz.

Blackalicious

Blackalicious

Blackalicious was an American hip-hop duo from Sacramento, California, made up of rapper Gift of Gab and DJ/producer Chief Xcel. They are noted for Gift of Gab's often tongue-twisting, multisyllabic, complex rhymes and Chief Xcel's soulful production. The duo released four full-length albums: Nia in 1999, Blazing Arrow in 2002, The Craft in 2005, and Imani Vol. 1 in 2015. Gift of Gab died in June 2021.

DJ Krush

DJ Krush

Hideaki Ishi , better known by his stage name DJ Krush, is a record producer and DJ. He is known for his atmospheric instrumental production which incorporates sound elements from nature and extensive use of jazz and soul samples.

Björk

Björk

Björk Guðmundsdóttir is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, and actress. Noted for her distinct three-octave vocal range and eccentric persona, she has developed an eclectic musical style over her four-decade career that has drawn on electronic, pop, experimental, trip hop, classical, and avant-garde music.

Homogenic

Homogenic

Homogenic is the third studio album by Icelandic recording artist Björk. It was released on 20 September 1997 by One Little Indian Records. Produced by Björk, Mark Bell, Guy Sigsworth, Howie B, and Markus Dravs, the album marked a stylistic change, focusing on similar-sounding music combining electronic beats and string instruments with songs in tribute to her native country Iceland.

Artwork

The Kid A artwork and packaging was created by Yorke with Stanley Donwood, who has worked with Radiohead since their 1994 EP My Iron Lung.[69] Donwood painted on large canvases with knives and sticks, then photographed the paintings and manipulated them with Photoshop.[70] While working on the artwork, Yorke and Donwood became "obsessed" with the Worldwatch Institute website, which was full of "scary statistics about ice caps melting, and weather patterns changing"; this inspired them to use an image of a mountain range as the cover art.[71] Donwood said he saw the mountains as "some sort of cataclysmic power".[72]

Donwood was inspired by a photograph taken during the Kosovo War depicting a square metre of snow full of the "detritus of war", such as military equipment and cigarette stains. He said: "I was upset by it in a way war had never upset me before. It felt like it was happening in my street."[70] The red swimming pool on the album spine and disc was inspired by the 1988 graphic novel Brought to Light by Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz, in which the number of people killed by state terrorism is measured in swimming pools filled with blood. Donwood said this image "haunted" him during the recording of the album, calling it "a symbol of looming danger and shattered expectations".[73] Yorke and Donwood cited a Paris exhibition of paintings by David Hockney as another influence.[74]

Yorke and Donwood made many versions of the album cover, with different pictures and different titles in different typefaces. Unable to pick one, they taped them to cupboards of the studio kitchen and went to bed. According to Donwood, the choice the next day "was obvious".[75] In October 2021, Yorke and Donwood curated an exhibition of Kid A artwork at Christie's headquarters in London.[76]

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Stanley Donwood

Stanley Donwood

Dan Rickwood, known professionally as Stanley Donwood, is an English artist and writer. Since 1994, he has created all the artwork for the rock band Radiohead with their singer Thom Yorke, plus Yorke's other projects. He has published three collections of short stories.

My Iron Lung

My Iron Lung

My Iron Lung is the third EP and fifth single by the English rock band Radiohead, released on 26 September 1994 by Parlophone Records in the UK and by Capitol Records in the US. It was produced by Radiohead, John Leckie and Nigel Godrich. The EP consists of several non-album tracks in addition to "My Iron Lung", which would appear on the band's second album, The Bends, released in 1995.

Worldwatch Institute

Worldwatch Institute

The Worldwatch Institute was a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C., founded by Lester R. Brown. Worldwatch was named as one of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts.

Brought to Light

Brought to Light

Brought to Light: Thirty Years of Drug Smuggling, Arms Deals, and Covert Action is an anthology of two political graphic novels, published originally by Eclipse Comics in 1988.

Alan Moore

Alan Moore

Alan Moore is an English author known primarily for his work in comic books including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The Ballad of Halo Jones, Swamp Thing, Batman: The Killing Joke, and From Hell. He is widely recognised among his peers and critics as one of the best comic book writers in the English language. Moore has occasionally used such pseudonyms as Curt Vile, Jill de Ray, Brilburn Logue, and Translucia Baboon; also, reprints of some of his work have been credited to The Original Writer when Moore requested that his name be removed.

Bill Sienkiewicz

Bill Sienkiewicz

Boleslav William Felix Robert Sienkiewicz is an American artist known for his work in comic books—particularly for Marvel Comics' New Mutants, Moon Knight, and Elektra: Assassin. Sienkiewicz's work in the 1980s was considered revolutionary in mainstream US comics due to his highly stylized art that verged on abstraction and made use of oil painting, photorealism, collage, mimeograph, and other forms generally uncommon in comic books.

State terrorism

State terrorism

State terrorism refers to acts of terrorism which a state conducts against another state or against its own citizens.

David Hockney

David Hockney

David Hockney is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer, and photographer. As an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.

Christie's

Christie's

Christie's is a British auction house founded in 1766 by James Christie. Its main premises are on King Street, St James's in London, at Rockefeller Center in New York City and at Alexandra House in Hong Kong. It is owned by Groupe Artémis, the holding company of François-Henri Pinault. Sales in 2015 totalled £4.8 billion. In 2017, the Salvator Mundi was sold for $400 million at Christie's in New York, at the time the highest price ever paid for a single painting at an auction.

Promotion

Kid A's promotional campaign introduced the "Modified Bear" logo, used for later Radiohead marketing and merchandise.[77][a]
Kid A's promotional campaign introduced the "Modified Bear" logo, used for later Radiohead marketing and merchandise.[77][a]

Radiohead minimised their involvement in promotion for Kid A,[81] conducting few interviews or photoshoots.[82] Though "Optimistic" and promotional copies of other tracks received radio play, Radiohead released no singles from the album. Yorke said this was to avoid the stress of publicity, which he had struggled with on OK Computer, rather than for artistic reasons.[81]

No advance copies of Kid A were circulated,[83] but it was played under controlled conditions for critics and fans.[84] Radiohead were careful to present it as a cohesive work rather than a series of separate tracks. Rather than give EMI executives their own copies, they had them listen to the album in its entirety on a bus from Hollywood to Malibu.[85] Rob Gordon, the vice president of marketing at Capitol Records, the American subsidiary of Radiohead's label EMI, praised the album but said promoting it would be a "business challenge".[86] Promotional copies of Kid A came with stickers prohibiting broadcast before September 19. At midnight, it was played in its entirety by the London radio station Xfm.[87] MTV2,[88] KROQ, and WXRK also played the album in its entirety.[2]

Rather than agree to a standard magazine photoshoot for Q, Radiohead supplied digitally altered portraits, with their skin smoothed, their irises recoloured, and Yorke's drooping eyelid removed. The Q editor Andrew Harrison described the images as "aggressively weird to the point of taking the piss ... All five of Radiohead had been given the aspect of gawking aliens."[89] Yorke said: "I'd like to see them try to put these pictures on a poster."[89] Q projected the images onto the Houses of Parliament, placed them on posters and billboards in the London Underground and on the Old Street Roundabout, and had them printed on key rings, mugs and mouse mats, to "turn Radiohead back into a product".[89]

Instead of releasing traditional music videos for Kid A, Radiohead commissioned dozens of 10-second videos featuring Donwood artwork they called "blips", which were aired on music channels and distributed online.[90] Pitchfork described them as "context-free animated nightmares that radiated mystery", with "arch hints of surveillance".[91] Five of the videos were serviced as exclusives to MTV, and "helped play into the arty mystique that endeared Radiohead to its core audience", according to Billboard.[92] Much of the promotional material featured pointy-toothed bear characters created by Donwood. The bears originated in stories Donwood made for his young children about teddy bears who came to life and ate the "grown-ups" who had abandoned them.[75]

Internet

Everything in the industry at that point was like, "The internet isn't important. It's not selling records" – everything for them had to translate to a sale. I knew the internet was [generating sales], but I couldn't prove it because every record had MTV and radio with it. [After Kid A was a success], nobody in the industry could believe it because there was no radio and there was no traditional music video. I knew at that point: this is the story of the internet. The internet has done this.

– Capitol executive Robin Sloan Bechtel, 2015[85]

Though Radiohead had experimented with internet promotion for OK Computer in 1997, by 2000 online music promotion was not widespread,[93] with record labels still reliant on MTV and radio.[85] Donwood wrote that EMI was not interested in the Radiohead website, and left him and the band to update it with "discursive and random content".[75]

To promote Kid A, Capitol created the "iBlip", a Java applet that could be embedded in fan sites. It allowed users to stream the album, and included artwork, photos and links to order Kid A on Amazon.[86][85] It was used by more than 1000 sites, and the album was streamed more than 400,000 times.[85] Capitol also streamed Kid A through Amazon, MTV.com and heavy.com, and ran a campaign with the peer-to-peer filesharing service Aimster, allowing users to swap iBlips and Radiohead-branded Aimster skins.[86]

Three weeks before release, Kid A was leaked online and shared on the peer-to-peer service Napster. Asked whether he believed Napster had damaged sales, Capitol president Ray Lott likened the situation to unfounded concern about home taping in the 1980s and said: "I'm trying to sell as many Radiohead albums as possible. If I worried about what Napster would do, I wouldn't sell as many albums."[86] Yorke said Napster "encourages enthusiasm for music in a way that the music industry has long forgotten to do".[94]

Tour

Radiohead rearranged the Kid A songs to perform them live. O'Brien said, "You couldn't do Kid A live and be true to the record. You would have to do it like an art installation ... When we played live, we put the human element back into it."[95] Selway said they "found some new life" in the songs when they came to perform them.[95]

In mid-2000, months before Kid A was released, Radiohead toured the Mediterranean, performing Kid A and Amnesiac songs for the first time.[96] Fans shared concert bootlegs online. Colin Greenwood said: "We played in Barcelona and the next day the entire performance was up on Napster. Three weeks later when we got to play in Israel the audience knew the words to all the new songs and it was wonderful."[97] Later that year, Radiohead toured Europe in a custom-built tent without corporate logos, playing mostly new songs.[98] The tour included a homecoming show in South Park, Oxford, with supporting performances by Humphrey Lyttelton (who performed on Amnesiac), Beck and Sigur Rós.[99] According to the journalist Alex Ross, the show may have been the largest public gathering in Oxford history.[100]

Radiohead also performed three concerts in North American theatres, their first in nearly three years. The small venues sold out rapidly, attracting celebrities, and fans camped overnight.[4] In October, Radiohead performed on the American TV show Saturday Night Live; the performance shocked viewers expecting rock songs, with Jonny Greenwood playing electronic instruments, the house brass band improvising over "The National Anthem", and Yorke dancing erratically to "Idioteque".[101] Rolling Stone described the Kid A tour as "a revelation, exposing rock and roll humanity" in the songs.[95] In November 2001, Radiohead released I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings, comprising performances from the Kid A and Amnesiac tours.[101]

Discover more about Promotion related topics

Promotional recording

Promotional recording

A promotional recording, or promo, or plug copy, is an audio or video recording distributed free, usually in order to promote a recording that is or soon will be commercially available. Promos are normally sent directly to broadcasters, such as music radio and television stations, and to tastemakers, such as DJs, music journalists, and critics, in advance of the release of commercial editions, in the hope that airplay, reviews, and other forms of exposure will result and stimulate the public's interest in the commercial release.

Capitol Records

Capitol Records

Capitol Records, LLC is an American record label distributed by Universal Music Group through its Capitol Music Group imprint. It was founded as the first West Coast-based record label of note in the United States in 1942 by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Glenn E. Wallichs. Capitol was acquired by British music conglomerate EMI as its North American subsidiary in 1955. EMI was acquired by Universal Music Group in 2012, and was merged with the company a year later, making Capitol and the Capitol Music Group both distributed by UMG. The label's circular headquarters building is a recognized landmark of Hollywood, California. Both the label itself and its famous building are sometimes referred to as "The House That Nat Built." This refers to one of Capitol's most famous artists, Nat King Cole. Capitol is also well known as the U.S. record label of the Beatles, especially during the years of Beatlemania in America from 1964 to 1967.

MTV2

MTV2

MTV2 is an American pay television channel owned by the Paramount Media Networks division of Paramount Global.

KROQ-FM

KROQ-FM

KROQ-FM is a commercial radio station licensed to Pasadena, California, serving Greater Los Angeles. Owned by Audacy, Inc., it broadcasts an alternative rock format known as "The World Famous KROQ".

Ptosis (eyelid)

Ptosis (eyelid)

Ptosis, also known as blepharoptosis, is a drooping or falling of the upper eyelid. The drooping may worsen after being awake longer when the individual's muscles are tired. This condition is sometimes called "lazy eye," but that term normally refers to the condition amblyopia. If severe enough and left untreated, the drooping eyelid can cause other conditions, such as amblyopia or astigmatism. This is why it is especially important for this disorder to be treated in children at a young age before it can interfere with vision development.

London Underground

London Underground

The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving Greater London and some parts of the adjacent counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire in England.

Old Street Roundabout

Old Street Roundabout

Old Street Roundabout is a road junction in Central London, England. Historically a square roundabout, it is now a three-way junction. It is among access points of the Inner Ring Road for the adjoining St Luke's south part of Islington and the City of London beyond, west and south, respectively. It is roughly on the western limit of Shoreditch in the London Borough of Hackney which straddles both sides of the Ring Road, a road which after taking up a little of the eastern part of Old Street then veers south-east, taking Great Eastern Street, at Apex Junction.

Blipvert

Blipvert

A blipvert is a very brief television advertisement, lasting one second. The word is a portmanteau of blip, a brief sound, and advertisement.

Billboard (magazine)

Billboard (magazine)

Billboard is an American music and entertainment magazine published weekly by Penske Media Corporation. The magazine provides music charts, news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style related to the music industry. Its music charts include the Hot 100, the 200, and the Global 200, tracking the most popular albums and songs in different genres of music. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

MTV

MTV

MTV is an American cable channel that launched on August 1, 1981. Based in New York City, it serves as the flagship property of the MTV Entertainment Group, part of Paramount Media Networks, a division of Paramount Global.

Java applet

Java applet

Java applets were small applications written in the Java programming language, or another programming language that compiles to Java bytecode, and delivered to users in the form of Java bytecode. The user launched the Java applet from a web page, and the applet was then executed within a Java virtual machine (JVM) in a process separate from the web browser itself. A Java applet could appear in a frame of the web page, a new application window, Sun's AppletViewer, or a stand-alone tool for testing applets.

Peer-to-peer

Peer-to-peer

Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or workloads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the network. They are said to form a peer-to-peer network of nodes.

Sales

Kid A reached number one on Amazon's sales chart, with more than 10,000 pre-orders.[86] It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart,[82] selling 55,000 copies in its first day – the biggest first-day sales of the year and more than every other album in the top ten combined.[82] Kid A also debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200,[102] selling more than 207,000 copies in its first week.[103] It was Radiohead's first US top-20 album, and the first US number one in three years for any British act.[86][104] Kid A also debuted at number one in Canada, where it sold more than 44,000 copies in its first week,[103] and in France, Ireland and New Zealand. European sales slowed on 2 October 2000, the day of release, when EMI recalled 150,000 faulty CDs.[82] By June 2001, Kid A had sold 310,000 copies in the UK, less than a third of OK Computer sales.[105] It is certified platinum in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Japan and the US.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Contemporary reviews
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic80/100[106]
Review scores
SourceRating
Chicago Sun-Times[107]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[108]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[109]
The Guardian[110]
Melody Maker[111]
NME7/10[112]
Pitchfork10/10[113]
Q[114]
Rolling Stone[62]
Spin9/10[115]
The Village VoiceA−[116]

Kid A was widely anticipated;[117][33] Spin described it as the most anticipated rock record since Nirvana's In Utero.[118] According to Andrew Harrison, the editor of Q, journalists expected it to provide more of the "rousing, cathartic, lots-of-guitar, Saturday-night-at-Glastonbury big future rock moments" of OK Computer.[89] Months before its release, Pat Blashill of Melody Maker wrote: "If there's one band that promises to return rock to us, it's Radiohead."[33]

After Kid A had been played for critics, many bemoaned the lack of guitar, obscured vocals, and unconventional song structures,[2] and some called the album "a commercial suicide note".[5] The Guardian wrote of the "muted electronic hums, pulses and tones", predicting that it would confuse listeners.[2] In Mojo, Jim Irvin wrote that "upon first listen, Kid A is just awful ... Too often it sounds like the fragments that they began the writing process with – a loop, a riff, a mumbled line of text, have been set in concrete and had other, lesser ideas piled on top."[119] The Guardian critic Adam Sweeting wrote that "even listeners raised on krautrock or Ornette Coleman will find Kid A a mystifying experience", and that it pandered to "the worst cliches" about Radiohead's "relentless miserabilism".[110]

Several critics felt Kid A was pretentious or deliberately obscure. The Irish Times bemoaned the lack of conventional song structures and panned the album as "deliberately abstruse, wilfully esoteric and wantonly unfathomable ... The only thing challenging about Kid A is the very real challenge to your attention span."[117] In the New Yorker, the novelist Nick Hornby wrote that it was "morbid proof that this sort of self-indulgence results in a weird kind of anonymity rather than something distinctive and original".[120] The Melody Maker critic Mark Beaumont called it "tubby, ostentatious, self-congratulatory, look-ma-I-can-suck-my-own-cock whiny old rubbish ... About 60 songs were started that no one had a bloody clue how to finish."[111] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian described it as "self-consciously awkward and bloody-minded, the noise made by a band trying so hard to make a 'difficult' album that they felt it beneath them to write any songs".[105] Rolling Stone published a piece by Michael Krugman and Jason Cohen mocking Kid A as humourless, derivative and lacking in songs. They wrote: "Because it was decided that Radiohead were Important and Significant last time around, no one can accept the album as the crackpot art project it so obviously is."[121]

Some critics felt the electronic elements were unoriginal. In the New York Times, Howard Hampton dismissed Radiohead as a "rock composite" and wrote that Kid A "recycles Pink Floyd's dark-side-of-the-moon solipsism to Me-Decade perfection".[122] Beaumont said Radiohead were "simply ploughing furrows dug by DJ Shadow and Brian Eno before them";[111] the Irish Times felt the ambient elements were inferior to Eno's 1978 album Music For Airports and its "scary" elements inferior to Scott Walker's 1995 album Tilt.[117] Select wrote: "What do they want for sounding like the Aphex Twin circa 1993, a medal?"[123] Rob Sheffield wrote that the "mastery of Warp-style electronic effects" appeared "clumsy and dated".[123] In an NME editorial, James Oldham wrote that the electronic influences were "mired in compromise", with Radiohead still operating as a rock band, and concluded: "Time will judge it. But right now, Kid A has the ring of a lengthy, over-analysed mistake."[124] Rob Mitchell, the co-founder of Warp, felt Kid A represented "an honest interpretation of [Warp] influences" and was not gratuitously electronic. He predicted it might one day be seen in the same way as David Bowie's 1977 album Low, which alienated some Bowie fans but was later acclaimed.[125]

AllMusic gave Kid A a favourable review, but wrote that it "never is as visionary or stunning as OK Computer, nor does it really repay the intensive time it demands in order for it to sink in".[101] The NME review was also positive, but described some songs as "meandering" and "anticlimactic", and concluded: "For all its feats of brinkmanship, the patently magnificent construct called Kid A betrays a band playing one-handed just to prove they can, scared to commit itself emotionally."[4] In Rolling Stone, David Fricke called Kid A "a work of deliberately inky, often irritating obsession ... But this is pop, a music of ornery, glistening guile and honest ache, and it will feel good under your skin once you let it get there."[62]

Spin said Kid A was "not the act of career suicide or feat of self-indulgence it will be castigated as", and predicted that fans would recognise it as Radiohead's "best and bravest" album.[115] Billboard described it as "an ocean of unparalleled musical depth" and "the first truly groundbreaking album of the 21st century".[126] Robert Christgau wrote that Kid A was "an imaginative, imitative variation on a pop staple: sadness made pretty".[116] The Village Voice called it "oblique oblique oblique ... Also incredibly beautiful."[37] Brent DiCrescenzo of Pitchfork gave Kid A a perfect score, calling it "cacophonous yet tranquil, experimental yet familiar, foreign yet womb-like, spacious yet visceral, textured yet vaporous, awakening yet dreamlike". He concluded that Radiohead "must be the greatest band alive, if not the best since you know who".[113] The piece was one of the first Kid A reviews posted online; shared widely by Radiohead fans, it helped popularise Pitchfork and became notorious for its "obtuse" writing.[127]

At Metacritic, which aggregates ratings from critics, Kid A has a score of 80 based on 24 reviews, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[106] It was named one of the best albums of 2000 by publications including the Los Angeles Times, Spin, Melody Maker, Mojo, NME, Pitchfork, Q, the Times, Uncut and the Wire.[128] At the 2001 Grammy Awards, Kid A was nominated for Album of the Year and won for Best Alternative Album.[129][130]

Discover more about Critical reception related topics

Metacritic

Metacritic

Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of films, television shows, music albums, video games, and formerly books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged. Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, and Julie Doyle Roberts in 1999, and is owned by Fandom, Inc. as of 2023.

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times is a daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Since 2022, it is the flagship paper of Chicago Public Media, and has the second largest circulation among Chicago newspapers, after the Chicago Tribune. The modern paper grew out of the 1948 merger of the Chicago Sun and the Chicago Daily Times. Journalists at the paper have received eight Pulitzer prizes, mostly in the 1970s; one recipient was film critic Roger Ebert (1975), who worked at the paper from 1967 until his death in 2013. Long owned by the Marshall Field family, since the 1980s ownership of the paper has changed hands numerous times, including twice in the late 2010s.

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly is an American digital-only entertainment magazine based in New York City, published by Dotdash Meredith, that covers film, television, music, Broadway theatre, books, and popular culture. The magazine debuted on February 16, 1990, in New York City.

Melody Maker

Melody Maker

Melody Maker was a British weekly music magazine, one of the world's earliest music weeklies; according to its publisher, IPC Media, the earliest. It was founded in 1926, largely as a magazine for dance band musicians, by Leicester-born composer, publisher Lawrence Wright; the first editor was Edgar Jackson. In January 2001, it was merged into "long-standing rival" New Musical Express.

NME

NME

New Musical Express (NME) is a British music, film, gaming, and culture website and brand. Founded as a newspaper in 1952, with the publication being referred to as a 'rock inkie', the NME would become a magazine that ended up as a free publication, before becoming an online brand which includes its website and radio stations.

Pitchfork (website)

Pitchfork (website)

Pitchfork is an American online music publication that was launched in 1995 by writer Ryan Schreiber as an independent music blog.

Q (magazine)

Q (magazine)

Q was a popular music magazine published monthly in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1986 by broadcast journalists Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, who were presenters of the BBC television music series The Old Grey Whistle Test. Q's final issue was published in July 2020.

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on music, politics, and popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its coverage of rock music and political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine broadened and shifted its focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. It has since returned to its traditional mix of content, including music, entertainment, and politics.

Nirvana (band)

Nirvana (band)

Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, the band went through a succession of drummers, most notably Chad Channing, and then recruited Dave Grohl in 1990. Nirvana's success popularized alternative rock, and they were often referenced as the figurehead band of Generation X. Their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock culture.

Glastonbury

Glastonbury

Glastonbury is a town and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated at a dry point on the low-lying Somerset Levels, 23 miles (37 km) south of Bristol. The town, which is in the Mendip district, had a population of 8,932 in the 2011 census. Glastonbury is less than 1 mile (2 km) across the River Brue from Street, which is now larger than Glastonbury.

Mojo (magazine)

Mojo (magazine)

Mojo is a popular music magazine published monthly in the United Kingdom, initially by Emap, and since January 2008 by Bauer. Following the success of the magazine Q, publishers Emap were looking for a title that would cater for the burgeoning interest in classic rock music. The magazine was designed to appeal to the 30 to 45-plus age group, or the baby boomer generation. Mojo was first published on 15 October 1993. In keeping with its classic rock aesthetic, the first issue had Bob Dylan and John Lennon as its first cover stars. Noted for its in-depth coverage of both popular and cult acts, it acted as the inspiration for Blender and Uncut. Many noted music critics have written for it, including Charles Shaar Murray, Greil Marcus, Nick Kent, Jon Savage and Sylvie Simmons. The launch editor of Mojo was Paul Du Noyer and his successors have included Mat Snow, Paul Trynka and Pat Gilbert.

Jim Irvin

Jim Irvin

Jim Irvin is an English singer, songwriter, music journalist and podcast host.

Legacy

Professional ratings
Retrospective reviews
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[51]
The A.V. ClubA[131]
Pitchfork10/10[132]
Q[133]
Record Collector[134]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[135]

In the years following its release, Kid A attracted acclaim. In 2005, Pitchfork wrote that it had "challenged and confounded" Radiohead's audience, and subsequently "transformed into an intellectual symbol of sorts ... Owning it became 'getting it'; getting it became 'anointing it'."[136] In 2015, Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone likened Radiohead's change in style to Bob Dylan's controversial move to rock music, writing that critics now hesitated to say they had disliked it at the time.[123] He described Kid A as the "defining moment in the Radiohead legend".[123] A year later, Billboard argued that Kid A was the first album since Bowie's Low to have moved "rock and electronic music forward in such a mature fashion".[137] In an article for Kid A's 20th anniversary, the Quietus suggested that the negative reviews had been motivated by rockism, the tendency among music critics to venerate rock music over other genres.[138]

In a 2011 Guardian article about his critical Melody Maker review, Beaumont wrote that though his opinion had not changed, "Kid A's status as a cultural cornerstone has proved me, if not wrong, then very much in the minority ... People whose opinions I trust claim it to be their favourite album ever."[139] In 2014, Brice Ezell of PopMatters wrote that Kid A is "more fun to think and write about than it is to actually listen to" and a "far less compelling representation of the band's talents than The Bends and OK Computer".[140] In 2016, Dorian Lysnkey wrote in The Guardian: "At times, Kid A is dull enough to make you fervently wish that they'd merged the highlights with the best bits of the similarly spotty Amnesiac ... Yorke had given up on coherent lyrics so one can only guess at what he was worrying about."[141]

Radiohead denied that they had set out to create "difficult" music. Jonny Greenwood argued that the tracks were short and melodic, and suggested that "people basically want their hands held through 12 'Mull Of Kintyre's".[3] Yorke said: "We're actually trying to communicate but, somewhere along the line, we just seemed to piss off a lot of people ... What we're doing isn't that radical."[11] He recalled that the band had been "white as a sheet" before early performances on the Kid A tour, thinking they had been "absolutely trashed". At the same time, the reaction motivated them: "There was a sense of a fight to convince people, which was actually really exciting."[142] He regretted having released no singles, feeling it meant much of the early judgement of the album came from critics.[81]

Grantland credited Kid A for pioneering the use of internet to stream and promote music, writing: "For many music fans of a certain age and persuasion, Kid A was the first album experienced primarily via the internet – it's where you went to hear it, read the reviews, and argue about whether it was a masterpiece ... Listen early, form an opinion quickly, state it publicly, and move on to the next big record by the official release date. In that way, Kid A invented modern music culture as we know it."[85] In his 2005 book Killing Yourself to Live, critic Chuck Klosterman interpreted Kid A as a prediction of the September 11 attacks.[139]

Speaking at Radiohead's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2019, David Byrne of Talking Heads, one of Radiohead's formative influences, said: "What was really weird and very encouraging was that [Kid A] was popular. It was a hit! It proved to me that the artistic risk paid off and music fans sometimes are not stupid."[143] In 2020, Billboard wrote that the success of Kid A, despite its "challenging" content, established Radiohead as "heavy hitters in the business for the long run".[92]

Accolades

In 2020, Rolling Stone ranked Kid A number 20 on its updated "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list, describing it as "a new, uniquely fearless kind of rock record for a new, increasingly fearful century ... [It] remains one of the more stunning sonic makeovers in music history."[144] In previous versions of the list, Kid A ranked at number 67 (2012)[145] and number 428 (2003).[146] In 2005, Stylus[147] and Pitchfork named Kid A the best album of the previous five years, with Pitchfork calling it "the perfect record for its time: ominous, surreal, and impossibly millennial".[136]

In 2006, Time named Kid A one of the 100 best albums, calling it "the opposite of easy listening, and the weirdest album to ever sell a million copies, but ... also a testament to just how complicated pop music can be".[148] At the end of the decade, Rolling Stone,[149] Pitchfork[150] and the Times[151] ranked Kid A the greatest album of the 2000s. The Guardian ranked it second best, calling it "a jittery premonition of the troubled, disconnected, overloaded decade to come. The sound of today, in other words, a decade early."[152] In 2021, Pitchfork readers voted Kid A the greatest album of the previous 25 years.[153] In 2011, Rolling Stone named "Everything in Its Right Place" the 24th-best song of the 2000s, describing it as "oddness at its most hummable".[154] "Idioteque" was named one of the best songs of the decade by Pitchfork[155] and Rolling Stone,[156] and Rolling Stone ranked it #33 on its 2018 list of the "greatest songs of the century so far".[157]

Accolades for Kid A
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Consequence of Sound US Top 100 Albums Ever[158] 2010 73
Fact UK The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s[159] 2010 7
The Guardian UK Albums of the decade[152] 2009 2
The 100 Best Albums of the 21st Century[160] 2019 16
Hot Press Ireland The 100 Best Albums Ever[161] 2006 47
Mojo UK The 100 Greatest Albums of Our Lifetime 1993–2006[162] 2006 7
NME UK The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever[163] 2006 65
The Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade[164] 2009 14
Paste US The 50 Best Albums Of The Decade[165] 2010 4
Pitchfork US Top 200 Albums of the 2000s[166] 2009 1
Platendraaier The Netherlands Top 30 Albums of the 2000s[167] 2015 7
PopMatters UK/US The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s[168] 2014 1
Porcys Poland The Best Albums of 2000-2009[169] 2010 2
Rolling Stone US The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time[170] 2020 20
The 100 Best Albums of the Decade[149] 2009 1
The 40 Greatest Stoner Albums[171] 2013 6
Spin US Top 100 Albums of the Last 20 Years[172] 2005 48
Stylus US The 50 Best Albums of 2000–2004[173] 2005 1
Time US The All-Time 100 Albums[174] 2006 *
The Times UK The 100 Best Pop Albums of the Noughties[151] 2009 1
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die US 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die[175] 2010 *
Musikexpress Germany The 50 Best Albums of the New Millennium[176] 2015 3
La Vanguardia Spain The Best Albums of the Decade[177] 2010 1
The A.V. Club US The Best Music of the Decade[178] 2009 3

(*) designates unordered list

Reissues

After a period of being out of print on vinyl, EMI reissued a double LP of Kid A on 19 August 2008 along with OK Computer, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief as part of the "From the Capitol Vaults" series.[179] On 25 August 2009, EMI reissued Kid A in a two-CD "Collector's Edition" and a "Special Collector's Edition" containing an additional DVD. Both versions feature live tracks, taken mostly from television performances. Radiohead, who left EMI in 2007,[180] had no input into the reissue and the music was not remastered.[181] The "Collector's Editions" were discontinued after Radiohead's back catalogue was transferred to XL Recordings in 2016.[182] In May 2016, XL reissued Kid A on vinyl, along with the rest of Radiohead's back catalogue.[183]

An early demo of "The National Anthem" was included in the special edition of the 2017 OK Computer reissue OKNOTOK 1997 2017.[184] In February 2020, Radiohead released an extended version of "Treefingers", previously released on the soundtrack for the 2000 film Memento, to digital platforms.[185]

On November 5, 2021, Radiohead released Kid A Mnesia, an anniversary reissue compiling Kid A and Amnesiac. It includes a third album, Kid Amnesiae, comprising previously unreleased material from the sessions.[186] Radiohead promoted the reissue with singles for the previously unreleased tracks "If You Say the Word" and "Follow Me Around".[187] Kid A Mnesia Exhibition, an interactive experience with music and artwork from the albums, was released on November 18 for PlayStation 5, macOS and Windows.[188]

Discover more about Legacy related topics

AllMusic

AllMusic

AllMusic is an American online music database. It catalogs more than three million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musicians and bands. Initiated in 1991, the database was first made available on the Internet in 1994. AllMusic is owned by RhythmOne.

Pitchfork (website)

Pitchfork (website)

Pitchfork is an American online music publication that was launched in 1995 by writer Ryan Schreiber as an independent music blog.

Q (magazine)

Q (magazine)

Q was a popular music magazine published monthly in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1986 by broadcast journalists Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, who were presenters of the BBC television music series The Old Grey Whistle Test. Q's final issue was published in July 2020.

Record Collector

Record Collector

Record Collector is a British monthly music magazine. It was founded in 1980 and distributes worldwide.

Rob Sheffield

Rob Sheffield

Robert James Sheffield is an American music journalist and author.

Electric Dylan controversy

Electric Dylan controversy

By 1965, Bob Dylan was the leading songwriter of the American folk music revival. The response to his albums The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and The Times They Are a-Changin' led the media to label him the "spokesman of a generation".

Billboard (magazine)

Billboard (magazine)

Billboard is an American music and entertainment magazine published weekly by Penske Media Corporation. The magazine provides music charts, news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style related to the music industry. Its music charts include the Hot 100, the 200, and the Global 200, tracking the most popular albums and songs in different genres of music. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

PopMatters

PopMatters

PopMatters is an international online magazine of cultural criticism that covers aspects of popular culture. PopMatters publishes reviews, interviews, and essays on cultural products and expressions in areas such as music, television, films, books, video games, comics, sports, theater, visual arts, travel, and the Internet.

OK Computer

OK Computer

OK Computer is the third studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in Japan on 21 May 1997 and in the UK on 16 June 1997. Radiohead self-produced the album with Nigel Godrich, an arrangement they have used for their subsequent albums. Radiohead recorded most of OK Computer in their rehearsal space in Oxfordshire and the historic mansion of St Catherine's Court in Bath in 1996 and early 1997. The band distanced themselves from the guitar-centred, lyrically introspective style of their previous album, The Bends. OK Computer's abstract lyrics, densely layered sound and eclectic influences laid the groundwork for Radiohead's later, more experimental work.

Mull of Kintyre (song)

Mull of Kintyre (song)

"Mull of Kintyre" is a song by the British-American rock band Wings written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine. The song was written in tribute to the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland and its headland, the Mull of Kintyre, where McCartney has owned High Park Farm since 1966.

Grantland

Grantland

Grantland was a sports and pop-culture blog owned and operated by ESPN. The blog was started in 2011 by veteran writer and sports journalist Bill Simmons, who remained as editor-in-chief until May 2015. Grantland was named after famed early-20th-century sportswriter Grantland Rice (1880–1954).

Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman

Charles John Klosterman is an American author and essayist whose work focuses on American popular culture. He has been a columnist for Esquire and ESPN.com and wrote "The Ethicist" column for The New York Times Magazine. Klosterman is the author of twelve books, including two novels and the essay collection Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto. He was awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor award for music criticism in 2002.

Track listing

All songs written by Radiohead, except "Idioteque", which samples "Mild und Leise" by Paul Lansky and "Short Piece" by Arthur Kreiger.

  1. "Everything in Its Right Place" – 4:11
  2. "Kid A" – 4:44
  3. "The National Anthem" – 5:51
  4. "How to Disappear Completely" – 5:56
  5. "Treefingers" – 3:42
  6. "Optimistic" – 5:15
  7. "In Limbo" – 3:31
  8. "Idioteque" – 5:09
  9. "Morning Bell" – 4:35
  10. "Motion Picture Soundtrack" – 7:01
    • Untitled hidden track – 0:52

Note: Track 10 ends at 3:20; includes an untitled hidden track from 4:17 until 5:09, followed by 1:51 of silence. On streaming services, the hidden track is listed as a separate track.

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Radiohead

Radiohead

Radiohead are an English rock band formed in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke ; brothers Jonny Greenwood and Colin Greenwood (bass); Ed O'Brien ; and Philip Selway. They have worked with the producer Nigel Godrich and the cover artist Stanley Donwood since 1994. Radiohead's experimental approach is credited with advancing the sound of alternative rock.

Idioteque

Idioteque

"Idioteque" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released on their fourth album, Kid A (2000). Radiohead developed it while experimenting with modular synthesisers and sampling.

Paul Lansky

Paul Lansky

Paul Lansky is an American composer.

Everything in Its Right Place

Everything in Its Right Place

"Everything in Its Right Place" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released on their fourth album, Kid A (2000). It features synthesiser, manipulated vocals, and lyrics inspired by the stress singer Thom Yorke experienced while promoting Radiohead's album OK Computer (1997).

The National Anthem (Radiohead song)

The National Anthem (Radiohead song)

"The National Anthem" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released on their fourth album, Kid A (2000). The song is moored to a repetitive bassline, and develops in a direction influenced by jazz.

How to Disappear Completely

How to Disappear Completely

"How to Disappear Completely" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead from their fourth studio album, Kid A (2000). It was produced by the band with their producer Nigel Godrich. It is titled after Doug Richmond's 1985 book How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found. It was released as a promotional single in the US, Poland and Belgium.

Personnel

Credits adapted from liner notes.

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Nigel Godrich

Nigel Godrich

Nigel Timothy Godrich is an English record producer, recording engineer and musician. He is known for his work with the English rock band Radiohead, having produced all their studio albums since OK Computer (1997). He has also produced several projects by the Radiohead singer, Thom Yorke. He is a member of Atoms for Peace and Ultraísta.

Stanley Donwood

Stanley Donwood

Dan Rickwood, known professionally as Stanley Donwood, is an English artist and writer. Since 1994, he has created all the artwork for the rock band Radiohead with their singer Thom Yorke, plus Yorke's other projects. He has published three collections of short stories.

Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke

Thomas Edward Yorke is an English musician and the main vocalist and songwriter of the rock band Radiohead. A multi-instrumentalist, he mainly plays guitar and keyboards and is noted for his falsetto. He has been described by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest and most influential singers of his generation.

Orchestra of St John's

Orchestra of St John's

The Orchestra of St John's is an orchestra in the United Kingdom, founded in 1967 by John Lubbock. Originally named after St John's, Smith Square in central London.

John Lubbock (conductor)

John Lubbock (conductor)

John Lubbock is an English music conductor and singer, and founder of the Orchestra of St John's Smith Square, now known as the Orchestra of St John's (OSJ), which he has brought to prominence including performances at The Proms as well as engaging in outreach and charity work.

Jonny Greenwood

Jonny Greenwood

Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood is an English musician and composer. He is the lead guitarist and keyboardist of the alternative rock band Radiohead, and has written numerous film scores.

Andy Hamilton (pop saxophonist)

Andy Hamilton (pop saxophonist)

Andrew Kevin Hamilton is a British tenor saxophonist who has played with Duran Duran, Wham!, Elton John, Pet Shop Boys, Tina Turner, George Michael, Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Ben E. King, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Brian May, Stereophonics and more.

Mark Lockheart

Mark Lockheart

Mark Lockheart is a British jazz tenor saxophonist who was a member of the Loose Tubes big band during the 1980s.

Stan Harrison

Stan Harrison

Stan Harrison is an American saxophonist who is also accomplished in playing other woodwind instruments, namely the horn, flute and clarinet. He has also written music for television. Harrison released his first solo album The Ties That Blind in 2000 on his own record label. In 2007 he released The Optimist, an album which was produced by G TOM MAC, on the EdgeArtists record label.

Zero 7

Zero 7

Zero 7 are an English musical duo consisting of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker. They began as studio engineers and in 1997 formed the group Zero 7. Their debut album, Simple Things, was released in 2001 in which their song "Destiny" stayed in the top 100 of the UK Single Charts. Subsequent albums include When It Falls, The Garden, and Yeah Ghost.

Charts

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ARIA Charts

ARIA Charts

The ARIA Charts are the main Australian music sales charts, issued weekly by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The charts are a record of the highest selling songs and albums in various genres in Australia. ARIA became the official Australian music chart in June 1988, succeeding the Kent Music Report, which had been Australia's national music sales charts since 1974.

Canadian Albums Chart

Canadian Albums Chart

The Canadian Albums Chart is the official album sales chart in Canada. It is compiled every Monday by U.S.-based music sales tracking company Nielsen SoundScan, and published every Tuesday by Billboard.

Billboard (magazine)

Billboard (magazine)

Billboard is an American music and entertainment magazine published weekly by Penske Media Corporation. The magazine provides music charts, news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style related to the music industry. Its music charts include the Hot 100, the 200, and the Global 200, tracking the most popular albums and songs in different genres of music. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

Hitlisten

Hitlisten

Hitlisten, also known as Tracklisten, is a Danish top 40 record chart that is updated every Wednesday at midnight on the website hitlisten.nu. The weekly Danish singles chart combines the 40 best-selling tracks from streaming and legal music downloads. The Danish albums chart combines downloads, streaming and also sales of CDs. There is a separate vinyl chart. The data is collected by Nielsen Music Control, who also compile the chart on behalf of IFPI.

Dutch Album Top 100

Dutch Album Top 100

The Dutch Album Top 100 or Album Top 100 is a weekly hit list of music albums, compiled by Dutch Charts. List shows the 100 best-selling music albums of the moment in the Netherlands. The list has passed through various name changes and has expanded from a Top 10 to a Top 100.

GfK Entertainment charts

GfK Entertainment charts

The GfK Entertainment charts are the official music charts in Germany and are gathered and published by GfK Entertainment, a subsidiary of GfK, on behalf of Bundesverband Musikindustrie. GfK Entertainment is the provider of weekly Top 100 single and album charts, as well as various other chart formats for genres like compilations, jazz, classical music, schlager, hip hop, dance, comedy, and music videos. Following a lawsuit in March 2014 by Media Control AG, Media Control® GfK International had to change its name.

Irish Recorded Music Association

Irish Recorded Music Association

The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) is a non-profit association set up in 1999 to promote certain interests of the music industry in Ireland. It is particularly active in addressing copyright issues, and it compiles the official music charts for Ireland.

Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana

Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana

The Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI) is an umbrella organization that keeps track of virtually all aspects of the music recording industry in Italy. It was established in 1992, when major corporate labels left the previously existing Associazione dei Fonografici Italiani (AFI). During the following years, most of the remaining Italian record labels left AFI to join the new organisation. As of 2011, FIMI represents 2,500 companies operating in the music business.

Official New Zealand Music Chart

Official New Zealand Music Chart

The Official New Zealand Music Chart is the weekly New Zealand top 40 singles and albums charts, issued weekly by Recorded Music NZ. The Music Chart also includes the top-20 New Zealand artist singles and albums and top 10 compilation albums. All charts are compiled from data of both physical and digital sales from music retailers in New Zealand.

Scottish Singles and Albums Charts

Scottish Singles and Albums Charts

The Scottish Albums Chart is a chart compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) which is based on how physical and digital sales towards the UK Albums Chart fare in Scotland. The official singles chart for Scotland, the Scottish Singles Chart, which was based on how physical and digital sales towards the UK Singles Chart were faring in Scotland, has not been published since 20 November 2020.

Official Charts Company

Official Charts Company

The Official Charts Company is a British inter-professional organisation that compiles various "official" record charts in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France.

Productores de Música de España

Productores de Música de España

Productores de Música de España is the national organisation responsible for the music charts of Spain. It is a trade association that represents more than 90% of the Spanish recorded music industry. It is the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) group for Spain. Promusicae is based in Madrid, Spain at Calle María de Molina, 39.

Certifications and sales

Sales certifications for Kid A
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[217] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[218] 2× Platinum 200,000double-dagger
Chile 25,000[219]
France (SNEP)[220] Platinum 200,000*
Italy (FIMI)[221]
sales since 2009
Gold 25,000double-dagger
Japan (RIAJ)[222] Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[223] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[224] Gold 25,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[226] Platinum 479,000[225]
United States (RIAA)[228] Platinum 1,480,000[227]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[229] Platinum 1,000,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

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List of music recording certifications

List of music recording certifications

Music recording certifications are typically awarded by the worldwide music industry based on the total units sold, streamed, or shipped to retailers. These awards and their requirements are defined by the various certifying bodies representing the music industry in various countries and territories worldwide. The standard certification awards given consist of Gold, Platinum, and sometimes Diamond awards, in ascending order; the UK also has a Silver certification, ranking below Gold. In most cases, a "Multi-Platinum" or "Multi-Diamond" award is given for multiples of the Platinum or Diamond requirements.

Australian Recording Industry Association

Australian Recording Industry Association

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) is a trade association representing the Australian recording industry which was established in the 1970s by six major record companies, EMI, Festival, CBS, RCA, WEA and Universal replacing the Association of Australian Record Manufacturers (AARM) which was formed in 1956. It oversees the collection, administration and distribution of music licences and royalties.

Music Canada

Music Canada

Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that was founded 9 April 1963 to represent the interests of companies that record, manufacture, produce, and distribute music in Canada. It also offers benefits to some of Canada's leading independent record labels and distributors.

Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique

Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique

The National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing is the inter-professional organisation that protects the interests of the French record industry. Originally known under the acronym SNICOP, the organisation was established in 1922 and has 48 member companies.

Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana

Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana

The Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI) is an umbrella organization that keeps track of virtually all aspects of the music recording industry in Italy. It was established in 1992, when major corporate labels left the previously existing Associazione dei Fonografici Italiani (AFI). During the following years, most of the remaining Italian record labels left AFI to join the new organisation. As of 2011, FIMI represents 2,500 companies operating in the music business.

Recording Industry Association of Japan

Recording Industry Association of Japan

The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) is an industry trade group composed of Japanese corporations involved in the music industry. It was founded in 1942 as the Japan Phonogram Record Cultural Association, and adopted its current name in 1969.

Recorded Music NZ

Recorded Music NZ

Recorded Music NZ is a non-profit trade association of record producers, distributors and recording artists who sell recorded music in New Zealand. Membership of Recorded Music NZ is open to any owner of recorded music rights operating in New Zealand, inclusive of major labels, independent labels and self-released artists. Recorded Music NZ has over 2000 rights-holders.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is the organisation that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. It is a non-profit members' organisation registered in Switzerland and founded in Italy in 1933 by Francesco Braga. It operates a secretariat based in London, with regional offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, Miami, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Nairobi.

British Phonographic Industry

British Phonographic Industry

British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is the British recorded music industry's Trade association. It runs the BRIT Awards, the Classic BRIT Awards, National Album Day, is home to the Mercury Prize, and co-owns the Official Charts Company with the Entertainment Retailers Association, and awards UK music sales through the BRIT Certified Awards.

Recording Industry Association of America

Recording Industry Association of America

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the music recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors that the RIAA says "create, manufacture, and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States". RIAA is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Source: "Kid A", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 29th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kid_A.

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Notes
  1. ^ The bear head logo is known as "Modified Bear",[77][78] "Despot Bear",[79] "Hunting Bear"[79] and "Blinky Bear".[79][80]
References
  1. ^ "Radiohead News at Follow Me Around". Follow Me Around. 2001. Archived from the original on 10 February 2001. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Zoric, Lauren (22 September 2000). "I think I'm meant to be dead ..." The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Reynolds, Simon (July 2001). "Walking on Thin Ice". The Wire. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  4. ^ a b c "Radiohead: Kid A". NME. 23 December 2000. Archived from the original on 4 March 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Smith, Andrew (1 October 2000). "Sound and fury". The Observer. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2007.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Cavanagh, David (October 2000). "I can see the monsters". Q: 96–104.
  7. ^ a b "Splitting atoms with Thom Yorke". Dazed. 12 February 2013. Archived from the original on 18 April 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  8. ^ Fricke, David (14 December 2000). "People of the Year: Thom Yorke of Radiohead". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 5 January 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  9. ^ Kot, Greg (2000). "Radiohead sends out new signals with 'Kid A'". Nigelgodrich.com. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2007.
  10. ^ Randall 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d Kent, Nick (1 June 2001). "Happy now?". Mojo.
  12. ^ a b c Marzorati, Gerald (1 October 2000). "The post-rock band". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 28 July 2008.
  13. ^ "The Friday interview: Thom Yorke". The Guardian. 22 September 2000. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  14. ^ Sterner, Daniel (July 2019). "Talk: Thom Yorke". Elektronauts. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Radiohead's Guitarist Created His Own Instrument and Helped Change the Band's Music". Esquire. 14 November 2017. Archived from the original on 15 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  16. ^ "The Best You Can Is Good Enough: Radiohead vs. The Corporate Machine . www.popmatters.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  17. ^ Vanhorn, Teri (12 November 1999). "Radiohead debut song during webcast". MTV News. Archived from the original on 12 November 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  18. ^ Nelson, Chris (20 April 2000). "Radiohead complete recording for OK Computer follow-up". MTV News. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  19. ^ O'Brien, Ed (22 July 1999 – 26 June 2000). "Ed's Diary". Archived from the original on 13 April 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2007.
  20. ^ Yago, Gideon (18 July 2001). "Played in Full". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
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