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The Radiohead cycle


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Starting with The Bends, their albums seem to be going in a cycle.

 

The Bends- Sprawling album widely considered good, but a little uneven; interesting but not entirely new alt rock

OK Computer- Considered a masterpiece, rave reviews, smash hit

Kid A- Odd, avante-garde album that initially confused some people

Amnesiac- Consists of Kid A outtakes

 

Hail to the Thief- Sprawling album widely considered good, but a little uneven; interesting but not entirely new alt rock

In Rainbows- Considered a masterpiece, rave reviews, smash hit

The King of Limbs - Odd, avante-garde album that initially confused some people

And considering the number of songs not included on King of Limbs that have apparently already been recorded but just didn't fit on the LP... it looks like LP9 is going to consist of TKOL outtakes.

 

Just something I noticed, not sure if there's really anything in it.

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I just hate it when Amnesiac is referred to as ''Kid A outtakes'' or ''Kid A b-sides'', it's ridiculous! Not only is it arguably their greatest album(any thing from Bends to Limbs can easily be argued as their greatest imo), it couldn't be anymore different than Kid A for it to be called ''Kid A left overs''. The only thing that connects the two is that they were both conceived at the same time. The band obviously were influenced heavily by jazz and electronic music at the time BUT it was a massive creative rush and a flood of different ideas came out of it. Hence bringing all these ideas down to two main focal points, Kid A and Amnesiac. In Kid A, electronica is at the forefront and the jazz is in the subtext whereas in Amnesiac the jazz is at the forefront and the electronica is in the subtext. So two albums were born out of this massive brainstorm rather than one main album and one b-sides album.

 

 

Aside from that, ''The Radiohead Cycle'' is pretty cool, nice idea.

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Kid A and Amnesiac would have been a double album if Thom had his way (pretty sure). The record company didn't go for it. Still, i don't think that changes what Hail said, and it was well said.

 

Also, the OP, babydoctor said this a while ago and I thought, yeah, that's pretty accurate for the most part, and interesting. and you're making a great case for it, too.

 

but I do think the cycle will be broken with LP9

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Kid A and Amnesiac would have been a double album if Thom had his way (pretty sure). The record company didn't go for it. Still, i don't think that changes what Hail said, and it was well said.

 

 

Really? I always thought Thom/RH didn't do it that way for fear of appearing too 'proggie'.

 

ie: The sprawling double LP format being a perceived hallmark of 'self indulgent' prog bands.

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did you read that or are you guessing? because I think I read that.

 

I saw them express a dislike for prog rock a number of times in wiki articles.

 

Yeah, I have also read many an interview in which various band members put shit on the prog rock genre - though admittedly not in relation to Kid/Amnesiac's release.

 

If memory serves Jonny seemed the most 'anti', but this may have been an exaggerated overreaction to journos persistently making comparisons with Floyd and others of that ilk in the wake of OKC.

 

Oh yeah... Thom initially wanted to call HTTT 'The Gloaming' but was dissuaded by the others as it sounded "too prog rock". And when asked during the Meeting People Is Easy doco: "Was the new album [OK Computer] at all inspired by bands like Genesis or Jethro Tull?", one of the band members (possibly Colin) replied, "No, we all HATE progressive rock music."

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yeah but I can definitely see that that wouldn't be a big enough worry to scare them away from releasing all the music at once. I think a lot of bands get frustrated when they have the recordings done but they can't give them to their fans because the corporate suits make them wait.

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yeah but I can definitely see that that wouldn't be a big enough worry to scare them away from releasing all the music at once. I think a lot of bands get frustrated when they have the recordings done but they can't give them to their fans because the corporate suits make them wait.

 

Don't get me wrong, I totally get your point. And it could well be true that EMI baulked at releasing so much great material all at once, because obviously they'd expect to net more $$ from two single CDs than one double album.

 

Still, THAT would be an interesting question to pose to the band, as per this thread:

 

http://mortigitempo.com/really_bored/index.php?/topic/107832-question-radiohead/

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah, I have also read many an interview in which various band members put shit on the prog rock genre - though admittedly not in relation to Kid/Amnesiac's release.

 

If memory serves Jonny seemed the most 'anti', but this may have been an exaggerated overreaction to journos persistently making comparisons with Floyd and others of that ilk in the wake of OKC.

 

Oh yeah... Thom initially wanted to call HTTT 'The Gloaming' but was dissuaded by the others as it sounded "too prog rock". And when asked during the Meeting People Is Easy doco: "Was the new album [OK Computer] at all inspired by bands like Genesis or Jethro Tull?", one of the band members (possibly Colin) replied, "No, we all HATE progressive rock music."

 

httt was inspired by some weird childrens books and stories and stuff, and in reverse the gloaming just repeats the hairy bishop the whole time, so imo even though they didnt want to be outwardly prog rocking, they ended up making an album with all the characteristics of an overblown prog album.

 

i definitely remember reading that the label wanted to avoid a double album, yea the band might have come around on the idea for their own reasons, but it wasnt initially the bands decision or intention

 

 

 

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After HTTT Ed said they had just finished another three album "cycle." He said they didn't plan it that way, it just seemed to happen. That means he think about the albums like this...

 

Cycle 1: PH, The Bends, OKC

Cycle 2: Kid A, Amnesiac, HTTT

 

Would be interesting to know if he thinks they are now two albums into a third cycle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After HTTT Ed said they had just finished another three album "cycle." He said they didn't plan it that way, it just seemed to happen. That means he think about the albums like this...

 

Cycle 1: PH, The Bends, OKC

Cycle 2: Kid A, Amnesiac, HTTT

 

Would be interesting to know if he thinks they are now two albums into a third cycle.

 

They have to be.

 

It'd be a waste of good numerological symbology to let the auspicious "9" escape untouched.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm going to solve the mystery of the Kid A/Amnesiac double album theory for you guys. You're welcome. I got the information from that video interview of Thom & Ed from a few years ago, the one where Thom jokes about Radiohead having a new song that sounded like late 70s dance music (when asked what their new direction might be).

 

Radiohead, according to the interview, didn't release the material as a double album because:

 

1. They didn't want to seem indulgent or pretentious.

2. They still weren't quite sure how people were going to react the music, and lacked the confidence to put it all out at once.

3. They thought releasing all of the music at once would've lessened the impact of Kid A.

 

Seems to make sense...

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I'm going to solve the mystery of the Kid A/Amnesiac double album theory for you guys. You're welcome. I got the information from that video interview of Thom & Ed from a few years ago, the one where Thom jokes about Radiohead having a new song that sounded like late 70s dance music (when asked what their new direction might be).

 

Radiohead, according to the interview, didn't release the material as a double album because:

 

1. They didn't want to seem indulgent or pretentious.

2. They still weren't quite sure how people were going to react the music, and lacked the confidence to put it all out at once.

3. They thought releasing all of the music at once would've lessened the impact of Kid A.

 

Seems to make sense...

 

^ Yes, I'd also read they didn't want to release anything too long-winded and self-indulgent, like all those 70s prog-rock masters that punk nipped in the nuts.

 

I always thought Thom/RH didn't do it that way for fear of appearing too 'proggie'.

ie: The sprawling double LP format being a perceived hallmark of 'self indulgent' prog bands.

 

However, I never realised they lacked confidence in the material itself, despite it being a marked departure from their previous work, so that's very interesting!

 

Of course, Thom has often been self-critical of his own singing voice and the band as a whole are such perfectionists I guess it's not THAT much of a stretch to imagine he/they might've had some doubts about the material. I mean, look how long it took them just to work out the track order for OKC - wasn't it like two weeks or something ridiculous?

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However, I never realised they lacked confidence in the material itself, despite it being a marked departure from their previous work, so that's very interesting!

 

Of course, Thom has often been self-critical of his own singing voice and the band as a whole are such perfectionists I guess it's not THAT much of a stretch to imagine he/they might've had some doubts about the material. I mean, look how long it took them just to work out the track order for OKC - wasn't it like two weeks or something ridiculous?

 

Yeah. It had only been a few years since they'd gone from a guilty-pleasure wannabe-Nirvana to the next big alt. rock band, and they might have been scared of losing their fanbase and becoming a joke again. Perfectly understandable.

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