Kid A is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released on 2 October 2000 by Parlophone. After the stress of promoting Radiohead's acclaimed 1997 album OK Computer, songwriter Thom Yorke envisioned a radical change in direction. The band replaced their guitar rock sound with synthesisers, drum machines, the ondes Martenot, string orchestras and brass instruments, drawing influence from electronic music, krautrock, jazz, and 20th-century classical music. They recorded Kid A with OK Computer producer Nigel Godrich in Paris, Copenhagen, Gloucestershire and their hometown Oxford, England. The sessions produced over 20 tracks, and Radiohead split the work into two albums: Kid A, and Amnesiac, released the following year.
Radiohead released no singles or music videos to promote Kid A and conducted few interviews and photoshoots. Instead, they became one of the first major acts to use the internet as a promotional tool; the album was made available to stream and was promoted with short animated films featuring music and artwork. Bootlegs of early performances were shared on file-sharing services, and the album was leaked before release.
Kid A debuted at the top of the charts in Britain, where it went platinum in the first week, and it became Radiohead's first number-one album in the United States. Like OK Computer, it won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. Its departure from Radiohead's earlier sound divided fans and critics, and some dismissed it as pretentious or deliberately obscure. However, Kid A later attracted wider acclaim; at the turn of the decade, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and the Times ranked Kid A the greatest album of the 2000s. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked it number 67 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
|Studio album by|
|Released||2 October 2000|
|Recorded||January 1999 – April 2000|
|Radiohead studio album chronology|
Following the critical and commercial success of their 1997 album OK Computer, the members of Radiohead suffered burnout. Yorke became ill, describing himself as "a complete fucking mess ... completely unhinged". Drummer Philip Selway said Radiohead worried that the success had "turned us into a one-trick band". 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." Guitarist Ed O'Brien had hoped Radiohead's fourth album would comprise "snappy", melodic guitar songs, but Yorke stated: "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."
Troubled by new acts he felt were imitating Radiohead, Yorke believed his music had become part of a constant background noise he described as "fridge buzz", and became hostile to the music media. He told The Guardian: "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." He suffered from writer's block, and could not finish writing songs on guitar.
Yorke became disillusioned with the "mythology" of rock music, feeling the genre had "run its course". He had been a DJ and part of a techno band at Exeter University, and following OK Computer began to listen almost exclusively to the electronic music of Warp artists such as Aphex Twin and Autechre: "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." He liked the idea of his voice being used as an instrument rather than having a leading role, and intended to move Radiohead from traditional songwriting and instead focus on sounds and textures.
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. "Everything in Its Right Place" was the first song he wrote. 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."
Radiohead began work on Kid A in Paris in January 1999 with OK Computer producer Nigel Godrich and no deadline. Yorke, who had the greatest control in the band, was still facing writer's block. His new songs were incomplete, and some consisted of little more than sounds or drum machine rhythms; few had clear verses or choruses. The other members struggled with Yorke's change of direction; brothers Jonny and Colin Greenwood expressed fear that the album might become "gratuitous ... random digital experimentation" or "awful art-rock nonsense just for its own sake". According to Yorke, Godrich "didn't understand why, if we had such a strength in one thing, we would want to do something else. But at the same time he trusted me to have an idea of what I wanted."
The band had to accept that not every member would play on every song, which caused conflict. 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." Instead of working as a traditional rock band, they experimented with electronic instruments including modular synthesisers and the ondes Martenot, an early theremin-like electronic instrument. They used software such as Pro Tools and Cubase to edit and manipulate their recordings. At the suggestion of Michael Brook, creator of the Infinite Guitar, 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.
In March, Radiohead moved to Medley Studios in Copenhagen for two weeks. The sessions produced about 50 reels of tape each containing 15 minutes of music, with nothing finished. In April, Radiohead resumed recording in a Gloucestershire mansion. The lack of deadline and the number of incomplete ideas made it hard for the band to focus, and they agreed to disband if they could not agree on an album worth releasing.
In July, O'Brien began keeping an online diary of Radiohead's progress. In the same month, Radiohead moved to their new studio in their hometown Oxford. In November, Radiohead broadcast a webcast from their studio, featuring a DJ set and a performance of the new song "Knives Out". By the end of 1999, six songs were complete, including the title track. In January 2000, at Godrich's suggestion, Radiohead split into two groups: one would generate a sound or sequence and the other would develop it without acoustic instruments such as guitars or drums. Though the experiment produced no finished songs, it helped convince the band of the new direction.
Jonny Greenwood, the only Radiohead member trained in music theory, composed a string arrangement for "How to Disappear Completely" by multitracking his ondes Martenot. The strings for Kid A and Amnesiac 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. Radiohead chose the orchestra as they had performed pieces by Penderecki and Messiaen. According to Godrich, when the musicians 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". The orchestra leader John Lubbock encouraged the musicians to experiment and work with Greenwood's "naive" ideas. Concerts director Alison Atkinson said the session was "more experimental" than the orchestra's usual bookings, and that Greenwood instructed the players to swing in the style of jazz musicians.
"Everything in its Right Place", written on piano, was recorded on a Prophet 5 synthesiser. Greenwood manipulated Yorke's vocals using a Kaoss Pad, creating a "glitching, stuttering collage". Greenwood said the song was a turning point in the making of Kid A: "We knew it had to be the first song, and everything just followed after it."
"Idioteque" was built from a drum machine pattern Greenwood created with a modular synthesiser. Feeling it "needed chaos", he experimented with found sounds and sampling. He gave the unfinished 50-minute recording to Yorke, who took a short section of it and used it to write the song. Greenwood could not remember where the song's four-chord synthesiser phrase had come from, and assumed he had recorded it himself; he later realised he had sampled it from "Mild und Leise", a computer music piece by Paul Lansky released on the 1976 LP First Recordings – Electronic Music Winners. Lansky allowed Radiohead to use the sample after Greenwood wrote to him with a copy of the song.
Yorke had recorded a demo of "The National Anthem" when the band was still in school. In 1997, Radiohead recorded drums and bass for the song, intending to develop it for an OK Computer B-side, but decided to save it for their next album. Greenwood added ondes Martenot and sampled sounds from radio stations, and Yorke's vocals were processed with a ring modulator. In November 1999, Radiohead recorded a brass section inspired by the "organised chaos" of Town Hall Concert by the jazz musician Charles Mingus. Yorke and Greenwood directed the musicians to sound like a "traffic jam"; according to Yorke, he jumped up and down so much during his conducting that he broke his foot.
Yorke had recorded a version of "Motion Picture Soundtrack" on piano during the OK Computer sessions. For Kid A, he recorded it on a harmonium pedal organ, influenced by songwriter Tom Waits; Greenwood added samples of harps, attempting to recreate the atmosphere of 1950s Disney films. Radiohead also worked on several songs that were not completed until recording sessions for future albums, including "Nude", "Burn the Witch" and "True Love Waits".
On 19 April, Yorke wrote on Radiohead's website: "Yesterday we finished recording. I am free and happy and now I'm going for a walk in the park." Having completed over 20 songs, the band considered releasing them as a series of EPs or a double LP, but struggled to agree on a track listing. O'Brien felt the material was too dense for a double album and that listeners might skip tracks. Instead, Radiohead saved many 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, I think ... In some weird way I think Amnesiac gives another take on Kid A, a form of explanation." Kid A was mastered by Chris Blair in Abbey Road Studios, London.
Kid A incorporates influences from electronic artists on Warp Records, such as 1990s IDM artists Autechre and Aphex Twin; 1970s Krautrock bands such as Can; the jazz of Charles Mingus, Alice Coltrane and Miles Davis; and abstract hip hop from the Mo'Wax label, including Blackalicious and DJ Krush. Yorke cited Remain in Light (1980) by Talking Heads as a "massive reference point". Björk was another major influence, particularly her 1997 album Homogenic, as was the Beta Band. Radiohead attended an Underworld concert which helped renew their enthusiasm in a difficult moment.
The string orchestration for "How to Disappear Completely" was influenced by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. 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. "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. 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".
"Motion Picture Soundtrack" was written before Radiohead's debut single "Creep". Yorke recorded it on a pedal organ; the other band members added sampled harp and double bass, attempting to emulate the soundtracks of 1950s Disney films. Jonny Greenwood described his interest in mixing old and new music technology, 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. The band also sought to combine electronic manipulations with jam sessions in the studio, stating their model was the German group Can.
Kid A incorporates elements of electronica, experimental rock, post-rock, alternative rock, post-prog, ambient, and electronic rock. Though guitar is less prominent than on previous Radiohead albums, guitars were still used on most tracks. The instrumental "Treefingers" was created by digitally processing recordings of O'Brien's guitar to create an ambient sound. Many of Yorke's vocals are heavily modified by digital effects; for example, his vocals on the title track were simply spoken, then vocoded with the ondes Martenot to create the melody.
Yorke wrote many of Kid A's lyrics by cutting up words and phrases and assembling them at random, combining everyday cliches and banal observations ("Where'd you park the car?") with violent imagery ("Cut the kids in half"). He cited David Byrne's approach to lyrics on the 1980 Talking Heads album 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." Radiohead used Yorke's lyrics "like pieces in a collage ... [creating] an artwork out of a lot of different little things". The lyrics are not included in the liner notes, as Radiohead felt they could not be considered independently of the music, and Yorke said he did not want listeners to focus on them.
Yorke wrote "Everything in Its Right Place" about the depression he experienced on the OK Computer tour, feeling he could not speak. 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". 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.
The title Kid A came from the name of one of Radiohead's sequencers. Yorke said he liked its "non-meaning", saying: "If you call [an album] something specific, it drives the record in a certain way."
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. 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. Donwood said he saw the mountains as "landscapes of power ... some sort of cataclysmic power existing in landscape."
The cover was also 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. Donwood said: "I was upset by it in a way war had never upset me before. It felt like it was happening in my street." Donwood painted on large canvases with knives and sticks, then photographed the paintings and manipulated them with Photoshop.
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 50-gallon 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".
Anticipation for Kid A was high; Spin described it as the most highly anticipated rock record since Nirvana's In Utero. After the stress of promoting OK Computer, Radiohead minimised their involvement in the Kid A marketing, conducting few interviews or photoshoots. They released no singles, though "Optimistic" and promotional copies of other tracks received radio play. MTV2, KROQ, and WXRK played the album in its entirety. No advance copies of the album were circulated, but it was played under controlled conditions for critics and fans. Radiohead were careful to present the album as a cohesive work rather than a series of separate tracks; rather than give record label executives copies to consider individually, they had them listen to the album in its entirety on a bus from Hollywood to Malibu. According to the Observer, one critic called the album "a commercial suicide note". Rob Gordon, 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".
At the time, the use of the internet for music promotion was not widespread, and record labels were still reliant on MTV and radio. Capitol launched an innovative marketing campaign, broadcasting "blips", short films set to Kid A's music, on music channels and distributing them online. The "iBlip", a Java applet, could be embedded in fan sites and allowed users to preorder and stream the album; it was used by over 1000 sites and the album was streamed more than 400,000 times. The iBlip also included artwork, photos and links to pre-order the album on the online retailer Amazon. Capitol also streamed the album through Amazon, MTV.com and heavy.com, and for three days ran a promotional campaign with the peer-to-peer filesharing service Aimster, allowing users to swap iBlips and Radiohead-branded Aimster skins.
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." Yorke said Napster "encourages enthusiasm for music in a way that the music industry has long forgotten to do".
In early 2000, Radiohead toured the Mediterranean, performing Kid A and Amnesiac songs for the first time. By the time the album title was announced in mid-2000, fans were sharing 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."
In late 2000, Radiohead toured Europe in a custom-built tent without corporate logos, playing mostly new songs. They also performed three concerts in North American theatres, their first in nearly three years. The small venues sold out rapidly, attracting celebrities, and fans who camped overnight. In October, the band performed on the American comedy show Saturday Night Live; the performance shocked some 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". In November 2001, Radiohead released a live EP, I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings, comprising recordings from the Kid A and Amnesiac tours.
Kid A reached number one on Amazon's sales chart, with more than 10,000 pre-orders. In the UK, it sold 55,000 copies in its first day of release, the biggest first-day sales of the year and more than every other album in the top ten combined. It debuted at number one in the charts in the UK, US, France, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada. It was the first US number one in three years for any British act, and Radiohead's first US top 20 album. European sales slowed on 2 October 2000, the day of release, when 150,000 faulty CDs were recalled by EMI.
|The Austin Chronicle|||
|The Village Voice||A−|
Kid A was widely anticipated. Months before its release, Melody Maker wrote: "If there's one band that promises to return rock to us, it's Radiohead." However, the album surprised listeners who expected more of the rock music of Radiohead's earlier albums. After it had been played for critics, the Guardian wrote: "The first time you hear Kid A ... you'll probably scratch your head and think, huh? What are they on about? For starters, why are the guitars only on three songs? What's with all the muted electronic hums, pulses and tones? And why is Thom Yorke's voice completely indistinguishable for most of the time?" Some fans were disappointed that songs Radiohead had performed on the prerelease tour, such as "Pyramid Song" and "Knives Out", were not included; the songs were later released on Amnesiac.
Mojo 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." In the New Yorker, novelist Nick Hornby criticised the obscured vocals and lack of guitar and wrote: "The album is morbid proof that this sort of self-indulgence results in a weird kind of anonymity rather than something distinctive and original." Melody Maker critic Mark Beaumont called the album "tubby, ostentatious, self-congratulatory, look-ma-I-can-suck-my-own-cock whiny old rubbish ... Kid A is the result of studio sessions in Gloucestershire where about 60 songs were started that no one had a bloody clue how to finish".
Guardian critic Adam Sweeting wrote that "even listeners raised on krautrock or Ornette Coleman will find Kid A a mystifying experience ... It also fails to sweep away preconceptions about Radiohead, pandering to the worst cliches about their relentless miserabilism". Alexis Petridis, also 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". The Irish Times panned Kid A as a "confused, aimless mess ... Guitar riffs, melodies and choruses have been replaced by diffident string-crunching, desolate wailing and juddering, repeated phrases ... The only thing challenging about Kid A is the very real challenge to your attention span." 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".
Some critics felt the electronic elements were unoriginal. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone wrote that the "mastery of Warp-style electronic effects" was "clumsy and dated". Beaumont asked: "Are Radiohead trying to push the experimental rock envelope, unaware that they're simply ploughing furrows dug by DJ Shadow and Brian Eno before them?" Select wrote: "What do they want for sounding like the Aphex Twin circa 1993, a medal?”
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". The NME 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." 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."
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. Billboard described it as "an ocean of unparalleled musical depth" and "the first truly groundbreaking album of the 21st century". Robert Christgau wrote that Kid A is "an imaginative, imitative variation on a pop staple: sadness made pretty". The Village Voice called it "oblique oblique oblique ... Also incredibly beautiful." 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". 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.
At Metacritic, which aggregates ratings from critics, Kid A has a score of 80 based on 24 reviews, indicating "generally favourable reviews". It was named one of the best albums of 2000 by publications including the Los Angeles Times, Spin, Melody Maker, Mojo, the NME, Pitchfork, Q, the Times, Uncut, and the Wire. At the 2001 Grammy Awards, Kid A was nominated for Album of the Year and won the award for Best Alternative Album.
|The A.V. Club||A|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In the years following its release, Kid A attracted acclaim. In 2005, Pitchfork wrote that Kid A had "challenged and confounded" Radiohead's audience, and that it had "transformed into an intellectual symbol of sorts ... Owning it became 'getting it'; getting it became 'anointing it'." In 2015, Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone likened Radiohead's change to style to Bob Dylan's controversial move to rock music, writing: "There’s no controversy over Kid A any more ... Nobody admits now they hated Kid A at the time ... Nobody wants to be the clod who didn't get it." He described Kid A as the "defining moment in the Radiohead legend".
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." However, 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 "far less compelling representation of the band's talents than The Bends and OK Computer". 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."
Radiohead denied that they had set out to create "difficult" music. Jonny Greenwood said: "If that was true, we'd have done a much better job of it ... It's not that challenging – everything's still four minutes long, it's melodic." He suggested that "people basically want their hands held through 12 'Mull Of Kintyre's". 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." He said the band regretted releasing no singles, feeling it meant much of the early judgement of the album came from critics.
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." In his 2005 book Killing Yourself to Live, critic Chuck Klosterman interpreted Kid A as a prediction of the September 11 attacks.
In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Kid A number 428 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In its updated 2012 version of the list, Rolling Stone ranked Kid A number 67, the highest-ranking album released that decade, writing that "Kid A remains the most groundbreaking rock album of the '00s". Rolling Stone named "Everything in its Right Place" the 24th best song of the decade, describing it as "oddness at its most hummable".
In 2005, Stylus Magazine 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". 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". At the end of the decade, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and the Times 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."
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. In 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, had no input into the reissue and the music was not remastered. The "Collector's Editions" were discontinued after Radiohead's back catalogue was transferred to XL Recordings in 2016. In May 2016, XL reissued Kid A along with the rest of Radiohead's back catalogue on vinyl.
|Fact||UK||The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s||2010||7|
|The Guardian||UK||Albums of the decade||2009||2|
|Hot Press||Ireland||The 100 Best Albums Ever||2006||47|
|Mojo||UK||The 100 Greatest Albums of Our Lifetime 1993–2006||2006||7|
|NME||UK||The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever||2006||65|
|NME||UK||The Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade||2009||14|
|Pitchfork||US||Top 200 Albums of the 2000s||2009||1|
|Platendraaier||The Netherlands||Top 30 Albums of the 2000s||2015||7|
|Rolling Stone||US||The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time||2012||67|
|The 100 Best Albums of the Decade||2009||1|
|The 40 Greatest Stoner Albums||2013||6|
|Spin||US||Top 100 Albums of the Last 20 Years||2005||48|
|Stylus||US||The 50 Best Albums of 2000–2004||2005||1|
|Time||US||The All-Time 100 Albums||2006||*|
|The Times||UK||The 100 Best Pop Albums of the Noughties||2009||1|
|1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die||US||1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die||2010||*|
(*) designates unordered list
|1.||"Everything in Its Right Place"||4:11|
|3.||"The National Anthem"||5:51|
|4.||"How to Disappear Completely"||5:56|
|8.||"Idioteque" (Radiohead, Paul Lansky, Arthur Kreiger)||5:09|
|10.||"Motion Picture Soundtrack" (song ends at 3:17; includes an untitled hidden track from 4:17 until 5:12, followed by 1:44 of silence)||7:00|
Credits adapted from liner notes.
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||2|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||5|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||3|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||4|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||1|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||4|
|French Albums (SNEP)||1|
|Irish Albums (IRMA)||1|
|Italian Albums (FIMI)||3|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||1|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||3|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||8|
|UK Albums (OCC)||1|
|US Billboard 200||1|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|Norway (IFPI Norway)||Gold||25,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,480,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
I can't help but hear Björk influences on Kid A.
I think we've all been envious about the way Björk has been able to reinvent music. Also, I've been influenced by Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, and Autechre. They truly seem to be the pioneers of new sound at the moment. While the band format is still valid, the really exciting things going on in music now are created in people's bedrooms.
we all felt pretty sad that there wasnt any singles on the radio in a way for kid A in retropect. it meant the only judgement of our music was being made too much by critics opinions, which was ok and everything but there is nothing like the excitement of hearing on the radio. the reason that we didnt have any singles was nothing to do with artistic credibilty, thats just yah yah. it was just the stress of getting into that area at the time was too much, and perhaps too misrepresentitive ... so a lot of the decisions we made and what we chose to do was to avoid the normal giant cogs turning and crushing.
Amnesiac is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in June 2001 by Parlophone. Recorded with producer Nigel Godrich during the same sessions as Radiohead's previous album Kid A (2000), Amnesiac incorporates similar influences of electronic music, 20th-century classical music, jazz and krautrock. Only one track was recorded after Kid A: "Life in a Glasshouse", a collaboration with the Humphrey Lyttelton Band.
After having released no singles from Kid A, Radiohead released three from Amnesiac, accompanied by music videos: "Pyramid Song", "I Might Be Wrong" and "Knives Out". Amnesiac debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. By October 2008, it had sold over 900,000 copies worldwide.
Though it disappointed some hoping for a return to Radiohead's earlier rock sound, Amnesiac was named one of the best albums of 2001 by numerous publications. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize and several Grammy Awards, winning for Best Recording Package for the special edition. "Pyramid Song" was ranked one of the best tracks of the decade by Rolling Stone, the NME and Pitchfork. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked Amnesiac number 320 in their updated version of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.Dynamite Kid
Thomas Billington (5 December 1958 – 5 December 2018), best known by the ring name the Dynamite Kid, was a British professional wrestler. He competed in the World Wrestling Federation, Stampede Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling in the mid-to-late-1980s. With his cousin Davey Boy Smith, he is also known for having been one half of the tag team The British Bulldogs. He also had notable feuds with Tiger Mask in Japan and Bret Hart in Canada.
Billington is considered by many, including Bret Hart and Dave Meltzer, to have been one of wrestling's most influential in-ring performers, having increased the level of athleticism involved in the art, bringing together styles from Britain, Mexico, Canada and Japan.Billington has the distinction of being a competitor (along with Tiger Mask Satoru Sayama) in the very first 5 Star Rating awarded for a Match by Dave Meltzer, for their NJPW Sumo Hall Show 1983 match. This is thought of very highly in the industry.Everything in Its Right Place
"Everything in Its Right Place" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, the opening track 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 1997 album OK Computer.
Yorke wrote "Everything in Its Right Place" on piano. Radiohead worked on it in a conventional band arrangement before transferring it to synthesiser, and described it as a breakthrough in the album recording. Though it alienated some listeners expecting more of Radiohead's earlier rock music, "Everything in Its Right Place" was named one of the best songs of the decade by several publications.Hail to the Thief
Hail to the Thief is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead. It was released on 9 June 2003 by Parlophone in the UK and a day later by Capitol Records in the United States. It was the last album released under Radiohead's record contract with EMI.
After transitioning to a more electronic style on their albums Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), recorded through protracted studio experimentation, Radiohead sought to combine electronic and rock music. They recorded most of Hail to the Thief in two weeks in Los Angeles with longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, focusing on live takes rather than overdubs. Songwriter Thom Yorke wrote many of the lyrics in response to the War on Terror and the resurgence of right-wing politics in the west. The cover artwork, created by longtime Radiohead artist Stanley Donwood, is a roadmap of Hollywood with words taken from roadside advertising in Los Angeles and from Yorke's lyrics.
Despite a high-profile internet leak of unfinished material ten weeks before release, Hail to the Thief debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, and was certified platinum in the UK, US and Canada. It produced three charting singles: "There There", "Go to Sleep" and "2 + 2 = 5". The album received mostly positive reviews and was the fifth consecutive Radiohead album nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.Idioteque
"Idioteque" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released on their fourth album, Kid A (2000). Primarily electronic and dance-oriented in style, the song was hailed as a radical departure from the band's earlier guitar-driven music. Although (as with all other songs on the album) it was never released as a single, it has become one of the band's most popular songs, and played at nearly every concert since 2000. The song is listed at #8 on Pitchfork Media's top 500 songs of the 2000s, and ranked #56 on Rolling Stone's 100 Best Songs of the 2000s.In 2008, the song was featured on Radiohead: The Best Of.Jim Pollard
James Clifford Pollard (July 9, 1922 – January 22, 1993) was an American professional basketball player and coach. As a player in the NBA, Pollard was considered one of the best forwards in the 1950s and was known for his leaping ability, earning him the nickname "The Kangaroo Kid". A five-time NBA champion and four-time NBA All-Star, Pollard spent his entire eight-year professional career with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Pollard was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978. He has also been inducted into the Bay Area Hall of Fame, Stanford Hall of Fame, and Pac-12 Hall of Honor.List of awards and nominations received by Radiohead
Three of Radiohead's singles have appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 charts: "Creep", which peaked at number 34; "High and Dry", which peaked at number 78; and "Nude", which peaked at number 37.The band has received sixteen Brit Awards nominations, but have yet to win one. Radiohead has received the Best Alternative Music Album award three times at the Grammy Awards, for OK Computer in 1998, Kid A in 2001, and In Rainbows in 2009. At the MTV Video Music Awards, the band received the award for Best Art Direction for "There There" in 2003. Radiohead has also received the Best Act In The World Today award three times at the Q Awards, in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Overall, Radiohead has received 22 awards from 79 nominations.List of songs recorded by Radiohead
The English rock band Radiohead have recorded over 160 songs since their debut in 1992, most credited to the band as a whole. They have worked with producer Nigel Godrich since 1994. Several of their albums are consistently ranked among the greatest of all time.Radiohead's first album, Pablo Honey (1993), preceded by their breakthrough single "Creep", features a sound reminiscent of alternative rock bands such as the Pixies and Nirvana. The Bends (1995) marked a move toward "anthemic rock", with more cryptic lyrics about social and global topics, and elements of Britpop. OK Computer (1997), the first Radiohead album produced by Godrich, features more abstract lyrics that reflected themes of modern alienation, and subtle, complex and textured songs.Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), recorded in the same sessions, marked a drastic change in style, incorporating influences from electronic music, 20th-century classical music, krautrock and jazz. Radiohead's sixth album, Hail to the Thief (2003), combines electronic and rock music with lyrics written in response to the War on Terror. Radiohead self-released their seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), as a pay-what-you-want download. It incorporates alternative rock and art pop with more personal, "universal" lyrics. Outtakes from the album were released on In Rainbows Disk 2 (2007). In 2009, Radiohead released two non-album singles: "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)", a tribute to the last surviving World War I soldier Harry Patch, and "These Are My Twisted Words", a free download.Radiohead's eighth album, The King of Limbs (2011), emphasises the rhythm section with extensive samples and loops. The band released four non-album singles in 2011: "Supercollider" and "The Butcher", followed by "The Daily Mail" and "Staircase". After a hiatus, Radiohead recorded a title song for the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, but it was rejected. Their next album, A Moon Shaped Pool (2016), incorporates art rock and ambient music, with string and choral arrangements performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra. In 2017, Radiohead released a deluxe remaster of OK Computer, OKNOTOK 1997 2017, including B-sides and the previously unreleased songs "I Promise", "Man of War", and "Lift".Napster
Napster is a set of three music-focused online services. It was founded as a pioneering peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing Internet service that emphasized sharing digital audio files, typically audio songs, encoded in MP3 format. The company ran into legal difficulties over copyright infringement. It ceased operations and was eventually acquired by Roxio. In its second incarnation, Napster became an online music store until it was acquired by Rhapsody from Best Buy on December 1, 2011.
Later, more decentralized projects followed Napster's P2P file-sharing example, such as Gnutella, Freenet, BearShare and Soulseek. Some services, like LimeWire, Scour, Kazaa, Grokster, Madster, and eDonkey2000, were also brought down or changed due to copyright issues.Planet Telex
"Planet Telex" is a song written by Radiohead and is the opening track of their 1995 album The Bends. It was released as a double A-side single with "High and Dry", although receiving far less airplay. Originally known as "Planet Xerox", the title was changed to Telex because Xerox is a trademarked brand name.
"Planet Telex" was the only song written during The Bends' recording session instead of beforehand. It was recorded one night when the band returned to the studio after consuming a great amount of alcohol. Lead singer Thom Yorke did vocals lying down while intoxicated.It is one of the most frequently remixed songs in Radiohead's catalogue. Retrospective reviews have noted that its more atmospheric keyboard-dominated sound, compared to other tracks on The Bends, served as an indication of the band's future sound on albums such as OK Computer and Kid A.
The song is also used by British hip-hop duo Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip in their 2008 single "Letter from God to Man"
The opening part of this track was looped and played as background music for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) TV/radio show Q when it was hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. The music played while the host gave an opening monologue.Purple Rain (film)
Purple Rain is a 1984 American rock musical drama film directed by Albert Magnoli, written by Magnoli and William Blinn, and produced by Robert Cavallo, Joseph Ruffalo and Steven Fargnoli. The film stars Prince in his acting debut playing "The Kid", a quasi-biographical character. Purple Rain was developed to showcase Prince's talents, and the film contains several concert sequences.
The film grossed more than $68 million at the box office in the United States and over $80 million worldwide, thus making a large profit on its $7.2 million budget. The film won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score, the last to receive the award.Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town
Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town is an album by country music artist Emmylou Harris, released in 1978. The album reached number 3 on the Billboard charts, with three charting singles: "To Daddy" (written by Dolly Parton) at #3, "Two More Bottles of Wine" at #1 (the third #1 of Harris' career), and "Easy from Now On" (co-written by Carlene Carter, and the song from which the album's title comes) at #12. Also featured are "One Paper Kid", a duet with Willie Nelson, and "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight", which the Oak Ridge Boys would reach #1 with in 1980. The painting used for the album cover is by Susanna Clark.Radiohead
Radiohead are an English rock band formed in Abingdon-on-Thames in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), brothers Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments) and Colin Greenwood (bass), Ed O'Brien (guitar, backing vocals) and Philip Selway (drums, percussion). They have worked with producer Nigel Godrich and cover artist Stanley Donwood since 1994.
After signing to EMI in 1991, Radiohead released their debut single "Creep" in 1992. It became a worldwide hit after the release of their debut album, Pablo Honey (1993). Their popularity and critical standing rose in the United Kingdom with the release of their second album, The Bends (1995). Radiohead's third album, OK Computer (1997), brought them international fame; noted for its complex production and themes of modern alienation, it is often acclaimed as a landmark record of the 1990s and one of the best albums in popular music. The group's next albums Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), recorded simultaneously, marked a dramatic change in style, incorporating influences from experimental electronic music, 20th-century classical music, krautrock, and jazz. Kid A divided listeners but was named the best album of the decade by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and The Times.
Radiohead's sixth album, Hail to the Thief (2003), mixed rock and electronic music with lyrics inspired by the War on Terror, and was the band's final album for EMI. Their subsequent releases have pioneered alternative release platforms such as pay-what-you-want and BitTorrent; Radiohead self-released their seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), as a download for which customers could set their own price, to critical and chart success. Their eighth album, The King of Limbs (2011), an exploration of rhythm, was developed using extensive looping and sampling. A Moon Shaped Pool (2016) prominently featured Jonny Greenwood's orchestral arrangements.
Radiohead had sold more than 30 million albums worldwide by 2011. Their work places highly in both listener polls and critics' lists of the best music of the 1990s and 2000s. In 2005, they were ranked 73rd in Rolling Stone's list of "The Greatest Artists of All Time"; Jonny Greenwood and O'Brien were both included in Rolling Stone's list of greatest guitarists, and Yorke in their list of greatest singers. In 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted Radiohead the second-best artist of the 2000s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.The National Anthem (Radiohead song)
"The National Anthem" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead released on their fourth studio album, Kid A (2000). The song is moored to a repetitive bassline, and develops in a direction influenced by jazz. It received polarised reviews from critics.Thom Yorke
Thomas Edward Yorke (born 7 October 1968) is an English musician best known as the lead singer and main songwriter of the alternative rock band Radiohead. A multi-instrumentalist, he mainly plays the guitar and piano. He is known for falsetto; in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the 66th greatest singer of all time.
Yorke was born in Northamptonshire. His family lived in Scotland before settling in Oxfordshire, England, where he formed Radiohead with his schoolmates. After he graduated from the University of Exeter, Radiohead signed to Parlophone; their early hit "Creep" made Yorke a celebrity, and Radiohead have gone on to achieve critical acclaim and sales of over 30 million albums. Their fourth album, Kid A (2000), saw Yorke and the band move into electronic music, often manipulating his vocals.
In 2006, Yorke released his debut solo album, The Eraser, comprising mainly electronic music. In 2009, to perform The Eraser live, he formed a new band, Atoms for Peace, with musicians including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich; they released an album, Amok, in 2013. In 2014, Yorke released his second solo album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes. He has collaborated with artists including PJ Harvey, Björk, Flying Lotus, and Modeselektor, and has composed for film and theatre; his first feature film soundtrack, Suspiria, was released in October 2018. With artist Stanley Donwood, Yorke creates artwork for Radiohead albums.
Yorke has been critical of the music industry, particularly of major labels and streaming services such as Spotify. With Radiohead and his solo work he has pioneered alternative music release platforms such as pay-what-you-want and BitTorrent. He is an activist on behalf of human rights, animal rights, environmental and anti-war causes, and his lyrics often incorporate political themes.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. Subsequent albums include When It Falls, The Garden, and Yeah Ghost.
After studying sound engineering, Binns and Hardaker began their careers in the music industry in the 1990s at Mickie Most's RAK recording studio in London, engineering music for British groups like the Pet Shop Boys, Young Disciples, and Robert Plant. In 1997 they created a remix of the song "Climbing Up the Walls" by Radiohead (which was also the first time the name 'Zero 7' was used) and Binns received a credit for additional sampling on Kid A. The pair also remixed Terry Callier's "Love Theme From Spartacus" and songs by Lenny Kravitz, Sneaker Pimps and Lambchop.
|"Collector's Edition"/"Special Collector's Edition" Disc 2|
|1.||"Everything in Its Right Place" (BBC Radio 1 evening session, 15 November 2000)||6:04|
|2.||"How to Disappear Completely" (BBC Radio 1 evening session, 15 November 2000)||6:37|
|3.||"Idioteque" (BBC Radio 1 evening session, 15 November 2000)||4:12|
|4.||"The National Anthem" (BBC Radio 1 evening session, 15 November 2000)||4:44|
|5.||"Optimistic" (Lamacq Live in Concert: Victoria Park, Latchford, Warrington, Cheshire, England, 2 October 2000)||4:39|
|6.||"Morning Bell" (Live at Canal+ Studios, Paris, France, 28 April 2001)||4:26|
|7.||"The National Anthem" (Live at Canal+ Studios, Paris, France, 28 April 2001)||5:01|
|8.||"How to Disappear Completely" (Live at Canal+ Studios, Paris, France, 28 April 2001)||5:57|
|9.||"In Limbo" (Live at Canal+ Studios, Paris, France, 28 April 2001)||4:42|
|10.||"Idioteque" (Live at Canal+ Studios, Paris, France, 28 April 2001)||4:13|
|11.||"Everything in Its Right Place" (Live at Canal+ Studios, Paris, France, 28 April 2001)||6:43|
|12.||"Motion Picture Soundtrack" (Live at Canal+ Studios, Paris, France, 28 April 2001)||3:55|
|13.||"True Love Waits" (from I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings, 2001)||5:05|
|"Special Collector's Edition" DVD|
|1.||"The National Anthem" (Live on Later... with Jools Holland, 9 June 2001)|
|2.||"Morning Bell" (Live on Later ... with Jools Holland, 9 June 2001)|
|3.||"Idioteque" (Live on Later ... with Jools Holland, 9 June 2001)|
Pitchfork's Album of the Year