In Rainbows

Radiohead “A Genre” Info-graphic

by Jonathan on February 22, 2011

Radiohead info-graphic

Jamie Gurnell wrote in to tell us that he created an info-graphic about Radiohead’s music. On his site, he says:

Radiohead is a band that is the very definition of “unclassifiable” I developed this idea of bleeding genres into each other and plotting the corresponding songs on a graph. It was by no means a mathematical undertaking and took several hours of quite enjoyable listening and debate to achieve. What you come away with is the basic idea that Radiohead in itself is its own genre, refusing to fit anywhere but inside itself.

I am aware that this graph will come under scrutiny and be the brunt of harsh remarks, but in a way, that is what it is meant to do. It is meant to be discussed. It is an ongoing work in progress and until Radiohead stops making music it will never be finished.

If you have any suggestions, remarks or thoughts on improving or altering this design I am completely open to them.

After a few more revisions I plan on trying to get some of these made.
They will be approximately 30X30 Inch silk screens.

Many thanks to my friend Art Commisso for the help.

You can view a larger version here.
You can download an even larger version here.

You can view the info-graphic up close by checking out Jamie’s site or clicking the two links above.

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Radiohead manager explains album release strategy

by Jonathan on February 15, 2011

Radiohead co-manager Chris Hufford has outlined the reasons for Radiohead’s surprise move to release their forthcoming album online with only a few days notice, in an exclusive interview with Music Week.

Hufford, one of the founders of Courtyard Management, said that the move to make Radiohead’s eighth studio album The King Of Limbs available to download on Saturday February 19 via bespoke website thekingoflimbs.com, more than a month before a physical release via XL Recordings, is a “logical progression” from the release strategy behind previous album In Rainbows.

He explained that Courtyard and the band learned what aspects of the In Rainbows release worked and what aspects did not during the campaign. The decision was made not to take an ‘honesty box’ approach with The King Of Limbs, as they had with In Rainbows.

Following The King Of Limbs‘ release on CD, vinyl and download via XL on March 28, the album will be available in a multi-format deluxe set, described as a “newspaper album” via thekingoflimbs.com on May 9.

Hufford explains that the set, which includes two ten-inch records, a CD, artwork and a download, will be housed in a package designed as a newspaper.

From the £6 price tag of the MP3 release to the move to initially bypass traditional retail routes, Hufford said every decision made has been done with Radiohead’s fans in mind.

“Our allegiances are to the band. We manage Radiohead, we don’t manage retail or labels, we just manage the band and are just trying to do the best possible thing to allow another brilliant record to be embraced by the fanbase,” said Hufford.

For the full interview see Music Week magazine this Monday.

(from Music Week)

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OK Computer Named Best Album of the Past 25 Years

by Jonathan on December 22, 2010

OK Computer

Q Magazine readers recently voted Radiohead’s OK Computer as the best album of the past 25 years. No big surprise there, right? The band also took three other places in the top 30 – compiled to mark 25 years of the magazine – with The Bends at eight, Kid A at 18 and In Rainbows at 23. 13 years ago, Q Magazine had a similar poll where OK Computer was also named best album of all time. Now that is staying power.

Full list after the jump.

(thanks to Peter)

[click to continue…]

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The Lost Radiohead album

by Jonathan on December 17, 2010

Take some time today to read this article about how Radiohead’s OK Computer and In Rainbows were meant to complement each other. Now, this is just speculation but some interesting points have been raised. What do you think?

Ten years after OK Computer shocked the world, Radiohead released In Rainbows on October 10 (10/10). Though no one was expecting the album to be released until 2008, Radiohead announced In Rainbows just ten days in advance. In Rainbows, which consists of ten letters, has ten tracks, and would be downloadable from a rumored ten servers.

Radiohead preceded the release of In Rainbows with nine cryptic messages. They repeatedly emphasized X, the Roman Numeral for ten, in phrases such as “March Wa X”, and “Xendless Xurbia”. The tenth message was posted on October 10 with a photo of the band drinking tea.

There has been a lot of speculation over Radiohead’s emphasis of ten surrounding the release of In Rainbows. One theory suggests that Radiohead was typifying a binary code of ones and zeros,1010101010. This has come to be known as the Binary Theory, also called the TENspiracy by some.

Puddlegum first addressed the Binary Theory in Radiohead: 1010101010. Someone associated with Thom Yorke contacted Puddlegum, sharing Thom’s reaction to Puddlegum’s article:

“The meaning behind all of this is right in front of our faces, we’re just overlooking it. [Thom] has been expecting an article much like this one for a couple of years, as have I. But I’m willing to wager he’ll have fun waiting a few more. On the other hand, it seems to annoy him that no one ‘gets it’ yet, given the mountain of clues.”

Ten days after our original article, we have come to believe that OK Computer and In Rainbowswere meant to complement each other. During the writing and recording process of OK Computer, Radiohead used the working title of Zeros and Ones. If OK Computer is represented by 01, and In Rainbows is represented by 10, then we have 01 and 10. In binary code 01 and 10 complement each other.

Consider that In Rainbows was meant to complement OK Computer, musically, lyrically, and in structure. We found that the two albums can be knit together beautifully. By combining the tracks to form one playlist, 01 and 10, we have a remarkable listening experience. The transitions between the songs are astounding, and it appears that this was done purposefully.

The lyrics also seem to complement each other. There appears to be a concept flowing through the01 and 10 playlist. Ideas in one song is picked up by the next, such as “Pull me out of the aircrash,”and “When I’m at the pearly gates, this will be my videotape.”

To create the 01 and 10 playlist, begin with OK Computer’s track one, Airbag, and follow this with In Rainbow’s track one, 15 Step. Alternate the albums, track by track, until you reach Karma Police onOK Computer, making All I Need the tenth track on the 01 and 10 playlist. Follow Karma Police withFitter Happier from OK Computer, for tracks eleven and twelve. These two tracks act as a bridge between the first ten and the following ten tracks on the 01 and 10 playlist. Then continue to alternate the albums again, picking up with Faust Arp on In Rainbows, with Electioneering on OK Computeras the following track.

Radiohead – 01 and 10 playlist:
1. Airbag (OK Computer)
2. 15 Step (In Rainbows)
3. Paranoid Android (OK Computer)
4. Bodysnatchers (In Rainbows)
5. Subterranean Homesick Alien (OK Computer)
6. Nude (In Rainbows)
7. Exit Music (For A Film) (OK Computer)
8. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (In Rainbows)
9. Let Down (OK Computer)
10. All I Need (In Rainbows)
11. Karma Police (OK Computer)
12. Fitter Happier (OK Computer)
13. Faust Arp (In Rainbows)
14. Electioneering (OK Computer)
15. Reckoner (In Rainbows)
16. Climbing Up The Walls (OK Computer)
17. House Of Cards (In Rainbows)
18. No Surprises (OK Computer)
19. Jigsaw Falling Into Place (In Rainbows)
20. Lucky (OK Computer)
21. Videotape (In Rainbows)
22. The Tourist (OK Computer)

Cracked.com has more about this, as well as a conspiracy theory about Kid A.

(via Kottke)

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Colin Greenwood

Colin Greenwood

Colin recently wrote  an essay entitled “Set Yourself Free” where he describes the decision the band made in 2007 to release In Rainbows in the “pay what you think it’s worth” format. An interesting read indeed, and even more interesting because Colin reveals that Radiohead have finished recording some new songs:

Three years later, we have just finished another group of songs, and have begun to wonder about how to release them in a digital landscape that has changed again. It seems to have become harder to own music in the traditional way, on a physical object like a CD, and instead music appears the poor cousin of software, streamed or locked into a portable device like a phone or iPod. I buy hardly any CDs now and get my music from many different sources: Spotify, iTunes, blog playlists, podcasts, online streaming – reviewing this makes me realise that my appetite for music now is just as strong as when I was 13, and how dependent I am upon digital delivery. At the same time, I find a lot of the technology very frustrating and counter-intuitive. I spend a lot of time using music production software, but iTunes feels clunky. I wish it was as simple and elegant as Apple’s hardware. I understand that we have become our own broadcasters and distributors, but I miss the editorialisation of music, the curatorial influences of people like John Peel or a good record label. I liked being on a record label that had us on it, along with Blur, the Beastie Boys and the Beatles.

It’s exciting to be discussing new album news again. Keep in mind that Ed said a new album would be out this year.

Read the full essay here.

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Radiohead co-manager Brian Message was recently interviewed in the Irish Times. We couldn’t help but notice this little nugget of info. Good thing the band didn’t listen!

Prior to that decision Message says he and two of his partners had actually advised the band to split up. Two years after leaving EMI Radiohead were still no closer to recording an album. The songs were written but the band couldn’t achieve the sound they were looking for in the studio. Courtyard felt maybe it was time to call it a day. Surely professional managers shouldn’t encourage their most profitable act to split up?

“I’ve been lucky to work with some great artists and Radiohead are a once in a generation act,” says Message. “But you have to be honest if it’s not working. You have to have passion about what you do. I’m an accountant but I love music and I’m passionate about the artists I work with.”

Read the full interview…

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