Thom Yorke Performs “Give up the Ghost”

by Jonathan on August 13, 2010

In case you haven’t heard, a long-haired Thom Yorke performed a solo set at the Big Chill this past weekend, and slipped the newish “Give up the Ghost” song in to the setlist. Up until now, it hasn’t been clear if this was going to be a Thom Yorke/Atoms for Peace song or a new Radiohead song. At the end of the song, Thom clears that up by saying “That’s a new Radiohead song.”  And there you go.

Below is a video of it for your viewing (and listening) pleasure:



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  • Makenzie

    Beautiful song. Makes me melt.

  • Pinelopation

    Oh, this song is so smooth and sweet… Imagine it being played by the whole band! I wonder what tricks Johnny is going to do to amaze us.
    Nice hair! It seems to me so strange that Thom’s hair is getting grey.

  • Clarence

    I dunno

    I liked the first performance better.
    Thats just me I guess

  • Stefano

    Before starting working on LP8, Ed stated that this new album might sound darker than In Rainbows ’cause the season they were stepping the studio was WINTER (LP7 was made mostly in summer), but listening to these new songs I can have a guess and say it has nothing to do with the weather, it depends on their mood, and for sure Thom Yorke is very happy these past months… there are exceptions as Open the Floodgates of course, but still this song was written years ago so it may not count as a “new” song

  • dan

    he looks awful

  • alice

    He looks AMAZING. His voice is a treasure.

  • deprator

    this is gonna be new house of cards <3

    can't wait

  • Diane

    agree , he is awesome!!!I really love his songs

  • shlomer


    :/ either coldplay has really copied radiohead, or this sounds a lot like coldplay.

  • Mark

    Ed did make the “dark” comment before they headed into the studio, but since the recording began he said the song on this album are about “light and movement.” He mentioned that Morning Bell was them doing the dark, Joy Division sort of thing, and right now they feel like they are on the opposite side of that. I don’t think dark is the direction they’re headed on this one.

  • Saeglopur

    This is one of Thom’s best songs of all the new ones we heard, so I’m really glad it’s for Radiohead.

    Also, is it just the light, or does Thom become grey already? o_O

  • subalien

    I am not quite sure that I really like it. It feels abit repetitive, and it doesn’t go anywhere. I hope the full band version will be more interesting. It also has a Mazzy Star/Hope Sandoval feel to it.

  • Monty

    At worst, this sounds like a shit Fleet Foxes outtake. At best, it’s this album’s House Of Cards.

    Jesus Thom, what happened?

  • Skttr

    Cool song. Should be nice to hear it with the whole band. Watched some other videos from this show and I must say The Gloaming is very good. Cool thing with a dropping kick drum instead of the ordinary bass. Reckoner is, as always, in its own league.

  • Dominic

    Ya at first I thought it was ok but like every Radiohead song for me, it takes a couple listens to appreciate and I can appreciate it a lot more now. I’m sure Radiohead will make something great out of this when its all recorded on LP8.

  • Skttr

    Oh yes, As always.

    I really really hope that The Present Tense will be on the album. By far the best song of the new ones.

  • Pacquiao

    Yikes. Thom is turning into David Spade.

  • Pacquiao

    Christ, he looked like Kid Rock at times.

    He needs to cut the hair short a la OK Computer era.

  • Mike

    Thom’s voice is very pretty in this, i didn’t like this song at first, thought it was boring, but this performance change that. I love the suttle chord change when he sing “give up the ghost”. Bueatiful song.

  • trenton

    I love thom…he never ceases to amaze me with talent

  • breseis

    From the moment I heard this song live @ The Santa Barbara Bowl back in April I knew it would become one of my favorites. I am incredibly happy to learn that it is a Radiohead song. Now when they go on tour for LP8, hopefully, I will be able to experience it live once again.
    Also, as mentioned in the previous comments I, too, adore The Present Tense. It would make my day if he announces after a live rendition that it is a Radiohead song. I would love for it to be included on the new album.

  • sdrastwujte

    I absolutely agree: The Present Tense is somehow even more beautiful than the other new songs. Anyway, does anyone here believe in an Atoms For Peace Album?

  • Stefano

    i think not only “The Present Tense” is one of the bests, but “Skirting on a Surface” and “Open the Floodgates” will be HIGHLIGHTS if they make it to LP8

  • peter

    it will be so pointless to include songs like the “the present tense” or “skirting on a surface” in the new LP8…songs that are completely medicore and cant bring the new album,even not barely,to break and pass the standard that “In Rainbows” has graded. it will be a crush on radiohead’s career, to release an album with this medicore standard. I want more, i want an album that will be better than In rainbows..better than Kid a..Better than albums like “Funeral” or “agaetis byrjun” or anything good from the past decade.

  • Stefano

    peter, you only heard the thom yorke solo versions of the songs, you can’t even be a BIT serious, can you? With in rainbows we had a better perspective of the songs before the came out ’cause they played them full band back in 2006, but if instead of that Thom had played them solo then everyone would have complained about it, like you do now… “down is the new up, open pick and arpeggi are so mediocre” ARE THEY? take a breath and relax, they won’t release a shitty LP i can assure you. it’s an awful way to start thinking on LP8 when you haven’t heard any song played full band!

  • Denise

    I miss Jonny so much !!
    He makes a difference.

  • Sammy

    anyone saying that The Present Tense is pointless must be DEAF! And dumb! That song, even acoustic, is perfect. And I HOPE Radiohead doesn’t make another OKC, or Kid A or In Rainbows. They always make something different, they will break our legs this time. I don’t want Radiohead doing a Arcade Fire and playing safe and sweet to get props. They aren’t like that. They are much better than that.

  • peter

    i hope this is true..sammy and stefano..idunno..i feel something in the new songs, something that symbolize a crisis in their creativity. I like radiohead so much, and i am worried. how can this songs be better than Kid a…funeral of arcade fire…agaetis byrjun of sigur ros..

    i want them to break the rules of music..start a new generation. How can they do something similar or close to that with this songs? In Rainbows has passes my standard but just barely, i can say now that i wanted something better in LP7..but i hasnt disappointed. In this days..im afraid i will.

    sorry about saying theyre mediocre..they arent, they are good, indeed, i just said that because i want something better, aspiring for something unusual. and last thing..sorry if my inglish is sometimes not very well, its not my main language

  • peter

    english*-god..embarrassing mistake -____-

  • Stefano

    you are pardoned! i’m from Argentina so it’s not my main language either…! i guess we all are waiting for something “better” and i’m sure radiohead knows this better than anyone, they always knew how to surprise us… i never listened these kind of songs in any radiohead album. I don’t think Thom is out of creative ideas, i guess he’s exploring new phases in his life (being a mature kid now :P) and putting it into these new songs and still have the SOUL he was always built of. It’s like he finally finished shaping that “happy vibe” from In Rainbows and mixed it with that physchedelic new sound they found with “these are my twisted words” (which completely surprised me when it came out)!

    the best thing from radiohead is that you expect the unexpected and never lets you down. 🙂

  • Stefano

    with “better” i meant “different”… (it’s difficult to find the exact words)

  • peter

    wow stefano..i am hearing right now “everything in its right place”..and..shit! how can they pass this?!!!

    is “everything” a one time song in radioheads career? [i mean..a song that really close to musical perfection]

    its just an example, paranoid android and idioteque are the same story-songs that shows what perfection is. Are we going to see radiohead do this again? soon..in the LP8? or ever?

  • Stefano

    first of all, i don’t think that such thing as “musical perfection” even exist, and if it does that goes straight to the line of classical music. maybe they are MAJORITY fan top standards, paranoid android is one of my fav songs too… but it’s all about tastes after all.

    by the other hand, i don’t know if i will love this band FOREVER, but i’m not afraid because of it. it’s like you can’t stand if your favourite band “fails” to your expectations. of course, it would be upsetting to everyone who comes to this kind of feeling, with radiohead, any other band or even any other thing, person or subject, like for example inside a relationship. the future is uncertain that’s obvious, but you still got to live it, so in few words my “advice” is just LET IT BE like paulma once said (and will say forever he) and trust these guys like you did the past years. ’cause like i said before: radiohead knows how to surprise us, they always did.. talking to the majority at least.

    and i wouldn’t compare specific songs for all my life. it’s like the ones who live thinking ’bout the past…. THINGS CHANGE, for good or for bad… Radiohead changed, in my opinion FOR GOOD. i.e: for me “in rainbows” is their BEST and most mature album of all (and i listen to this band for 12 years now), but that’s me, and that’s IN RAINBOWS, i won’t be expecting another in rainbows anymore, i just don’t want another in rainbows, ’cause that’s Coldplay’s field 😛

  • peter

    coldplays feild is recycling themselfs? if thats what you mean..i can say i agree with that =D

    by the way..i found out something very disappointing about “Karma Police” [one of the highlights of radioheads career in my opinion]. it actually a real rip off..indeed..listen to this song call “sexy sadie” of the beatles. how simillar! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSDFkjwMwes

  • Sammy

    Peter, Karma Police isn’t a rip off, it is based on ‘Sexy Sadie’, The Beatles was one of their inspirations, it is known fact.

    And about ‘expectations’ of the new album (LP8), I think it is best when we take out of our heads what WE want they to record, the style WE want them to follow, and just concentrate in waiting to see what THEY want to present to us. Excess of expectations usually leads to dissatisfaction, much more when talking about a band with so many classics like Radiohead. We need to free our minds or we won’t be able to fully accept what they will give us next. They are always a step ahead of everyone, OK Computer wasn’t universally loved by audiences when released and today is classic. Kid A was almost universally rejected and today is classic. Amnesiac still divide opinions. Radiohead is at their best when they feel free to do whatever they want and they are in that position right now, so expect the unexpected.

  • peter

    my mind is really free sammy, indeed… i dont expect anything from them, only to release an album that will be some how the greatest album that they can. thats all of my requests. i dont care how, when…i just want them to do what they do best..music, and something i feel complete with

    and about karma police..i dont feel that is really their song. its too much similar to sexy sadie..its not a radiohead song. not original enough

  • Stefano

    yes, that’s what i meant about coldplay…

    sexy sadie and karma police sound completely different to me… this wasn’t even “based” or anything… it just doesn’t sound similar… and comparing Radiohead with Beatles is like comparing Jesus to God… hahaha 😉

  • Sammy

    To say the truth, I only knew about the Sexy Sadie similarity after reading an interview with the band. I never thought the two songs sounded alike.

    I am curious about Ed’s words that LP8 is different than anything they did until now. Even if I have my mind totally open for new sounds sometimes I think Radiohead already covered everything they could musically so the prospect of something new makes the wait almost unbearable. :/

  • Stefano

    Perhaps the band said they based Karma Police on Sexy Sadie to give a humble impresion of their way of writing maybe? Or what they were really trying to say is that they were “influenced” with that song.. but there’s a big difference between “influence” and “copying” which is not their case here. The only similar thing I find is the arpeggiated piano in some particular parts of both songs.

  • Viktor

    When, oh when, oh when, will the new album be out!?

  • peter

    wow..dont you hear that the two songs structured almost in the same way? and some of the chords…

  • peter

    oh…and do you know the story of idioteque and paul lanskey? of you dont..try searching “idioteque” in wikipedia [you can google it first and get there from the searth]

    why couldnt they find the 4 chords themselfs without taking it from another song [its more like sounds…art of “lonely” sounds]?

    i really dont like when radiohead took the idia from other songs to create something else. they dont need this..theyre tallented..i would love them much more if they wouldnt do that! it pisses me off. i like when the idia belongs only to them

  • peter

    my mind is really free sammy, indeed… I always think about you, about your you know what that I like so very much, your big, enormous… mmmm.. i dont expect anything from it, only to release an huge load that will be some how the greatest cumshot that you can throw at me. thats all of my requests. i dont care how, when…i just want you to do what they you do best..throwing your hot cum inside me, and something i feel complete with

    and about karma police..i dont feel that is really their song. its too much similar to sexy sadie..its not a radiohead song. not original enough

  • peter

    yes…there are unmature people out there,and here either.. thats true. need to get used to it

  • Bronson

    Sometimes life is just so beautiful. I woke up and couldn’t sleep because my life is a living hell right now and…. this beautiful shooting star appears on Green plastic. It was just so touching and wonderful I sat here and cried.
    Thank you Thom, Radiohead and Green plastic for presenting it. It meant so much to me.

  • human

    how much does he look like kurt cobain right now??

  • ratatatat

    I miss Phil so much.

    His drums on this song would make such a difference.

    If only Phil would make a solo album or something. Hmmm!

  • peter

    ahh lol..stop pretending ratatatat XD..he has one already.

    and about phils drums…yea, it can make a difference..but be careful about that! it can also be negative

  • kelton

    Phil’s album is already available for streaming at NPR. It’s beautiful.

  • Esmo

    @Peter: Someone once said, to paraphrase, that the key to good art is concealing the bits you’ve copied. I think there’s some truth in that.

    And it’s worrying to see that Thom is starting to incline a little back to dem bad ol’ long platinum blonde days.

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