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Radiohead win Grammy for Best Alternative Album

Radiohead have lost the Album of the Year Award to Robert Plant & Alison Krauss at last night’s Grammy Awards. ‘In Rainbows’ was up for the award, but Plant & Krauss picked up the award for their ‘Raising Sand’.

It was the third time Radiohead had an album nominated in this category and have now lost for the third time. However, ‘In Rainbows’ was awarded with ‘Best Alternative Album‘ last night at the Los Angeles Staples Center, beating albums by Beck, Death Cab For Cutie, Gnarls and My Morning Jacket. And there was another award for Radiohead. Art directors Stanley Donwood, Mel Maxwell & Christiaan Munro received a Grammy for Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package for ‘In Rainbows’ discbox.

As announced earlier, Radiohead were set to perform at the Grammy Awards Ceremony. Announced by Gwyneth Paltrow, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood performed ’15 Step’ with USC Marching Band.

Radiohead’s ‘House of Cards’ was nominated for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals and Best Rock Song, but the song couldn’t compete with ‘Sex on Fire’ by Kings of Leon and ‘Girls In Their Summer Clothes’ by Bruce Springsteen. The award for Best Short Form Music Video went to Weezer’s ‘Pork and Beans’ and not to ‘House of Cards’.

More bad news, Nigel Godrich was nominated for Producer of the Year for his work on ‘In Rainbows’, but lost to Rick Rubin. Check the full list of nominees and winners of this year’s Grammy Awards.

110 Comments

  • yes!

  • Who’s the band fag now, eh?

  • lousy sound for a tv stream

  • The sound quality is better at Google Video:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5175317999285072447&hl=en

  • Radiohead doesn’t need a Grammy to prove that they’re the greatest band in the world!

  • I’m a big my morning jacket fan, but evil urges ain’t that good. I’m surprised it was nominated

  • Collaboration worked a pearler.

    Thom not easy to watch though. Slightly cringey.

    Amen.

  • That was better than I thought it would be. Kind of reminded me of The National Anthem…

  • it was a tremendous performance.

  • Fantastic! But I agree the sound was lousy. It’s broadcast on ITV2 in the UK tonight so hopefully the sound quality will be a lot better than on this youtube one

  • Only one grammy??????
    shit.
    this is unnfair.
    but i understand, i´m portuguese and here the radios never play the new song of radiohead, only the “creep”.
    But ok, they dont need grammys to do the best music in the world.
    cheers

  • Anyone else itching to see the USC Marching Band accompany Radiohead for There There?

  • Is that the longest Thom’s hair has been since Pablo Honey?
    Where were Colin, Ed and Phil?
    Was a really good performance.
    Please be at Glastonbury.

  • The sound on that video is totally distorted, but I found a better one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aVzh1LSG8Q

  • one day the world will realise the greatness of radiohead, but to be honest id like to keep them all to ourselves, its not like radiohead will EVER become a commercal band, they are worth so much more than that!!!
    love u guys keep up the good work

  • I think Thom might have done this because of the prospect of having such a massive percussion section. Think about it, how many times have Radiohead doubled up on percussion in recent years?
    Anyway, great performance. Shut up all the people who were hating, and now they’ll pretend that the were in favour all along, like the spineless, whining bastards they are

  • one day the world will realise the greatness of radiohead, but to be honest id like to keep them all to ourselves, its not like radiohead will EVER become a commercal band

    It doesn’t sound like you were around for OK Computer. I doubt it’s possible for a band to get more acclaim and hype from just about everyone including mainstream press and television.

  • Great Radiohead, I love how radiohead re-invent themself songs. Thanks Radiohead for all your beautiful performances.

    Now a days, Radiohead is the greatest band in the world.

  • Did anyone see Bono? They were awful. The boys were brilliant.

  • colin in audience
    ed and phil out with 7 world’s collide, i think

  • And about the sound everyone else there last night sounded terrible. Radiohead was the only ones that sounded like they enjoyed playing their music.

  • I just browsed the whole Grammy list. My God, am I glad I did not watch that show. Must have been horrible. The Radiohead performance absulutely fantastic though…

  • The one and only sellout at the Grammys!!!!! I am so sick of the coutry/rap, rap/rap, R&B/polka, bluegrass/jazz/metal, stupid ass fucking collaborations at the Grammys this past decade or so. So what does RH do? They pull in a fucking marching band as the percussion section on a phenomenal digitally created track. Fucking brilliant. If they had joined Lil Wayne on stage, I would have slit my fucking wrist. Neil Diamond, I would have allowed possibly. :) I would have expected nothing less from RH, and as always, they devlivered.

  • I meant NON SELLOUT!!!! shit.

  • The opposite of sellout! I must still be drunk. Sorry for the confusion. Radiohead….I want to go to there.

  • Really exciting to watch and quite a humble introduction from that bird what acts.

  • getting a grammy would tarnish radiohead. Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and Akira Kurosawa never won a Best Director Oscar too.

  • YES WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!!

  • They should’ve won album of the year.
    But that performance was absolutely
    incredible. Mind blowing- I’ve watched
    it four times today. And how ironic was
    it that Gweneth Paltrow presented the
    award? Ha

  • First of all the Grammy’s SUCKS. I used to call it the Grannies. Awards for mindless shit like Celine Dion and Coldplay. I have no idea why they nominated such a ‘fucked up’ band as radiohead. Just to have them on their show perhaps? Coz bono asked them to? Anyways, my wife kept thinking that they were going to win. I told her AINT GONNA HAPPEN! I thought Coldplay would win, but the grannies unsurprised me again by choosing that raising sand shit that i never even heard of before.
    then I smiled, thinking Holy shit, I couldnt imagine this any worst.
    Anyways, the only reason a couple million more people watched that show yesterday was to see Radiohead rock, and they did!!

  • Great performance,I watched the show just to see them,I knew that grammy`s people would not give them best album of the year because these people are so conservative and Radiohead is too avant garde for them. Anyway they don`t need a grammy…they are the best band ever period.

  • Who cares? Maybe Robert Plant deserved the Grammy… I’ve got plenty of MENTAL Grammy’s for Radiohead. Congratulations on the best alternative album…!

    15 Step was BRILLANT! The guitar didn’t sound too loud as it had to… but the idea was kept…

  • [...] No me voy a poner a describir los premios que ganaron/perdieron, aunque sí le puedo decir que obtuvieron el premio a “Mejor Álbum Alternativo” por In Rainbows, galardón que viniendo de los Grammy no tiene mucha significación que digamos, pero es un reconocimiento al fin y al cabo. Si desean leer la noticia en extenso, les dejo un link: Radiohead Win Grammy For Best Alternative Album. [...]

  • Yes, honestly I think Radiohead DO deserve the Album of the Year award.. kinda of acknowledgment for their hardwork and innovation. (i wished for at least). But once again the grammy was such a let down. ColdPlay inreturn got pretty much attention for a song that I cant even bear to listen past its first min! I mean for goodness sake. Viva La whatever was crap! their video was crap too!

    and yes, its such ironic they asked Gweneth Paltrow to present their performance. But she DID mention alot about RH.

    Sorry for being such a hater and we should keep Radiohead to ourselves :D

  • Yeah, great idea but can’t help thinking Thom looks like some George Michael type prancing around in front of his session big band.

    Still fucking rock, mind!

  • where’s the irony in gweneth p introducing radiohead? i don’t think it meets the definition of irony. it’s batty, it’s random, it doesn’t make any sense, but it’s not ironic. sorry.

  • I actually do agree with Nigel not winning for Best Producer. His production and mixing quality has really gone downhill since the days of OK Computer and Kid A. Amnesiac, Hail To The Thief and In Rainbows all sounded very rough and distorted. The tracks weren’t as sharp and well-crafted as they were during The Bends, OK, and Kid. That’s why I was actually happy when I heard they were looking around for another producer before they started work on what would become In Rainbows. Now.. I do understand that Nigel and the band work well together creatively and that they form what can sometimes be known as “a dynamic.” But I’m seriously starting to question if Nigel’s been losing his hearing or something because the tracks weren’t what they should have been on this last album, and maybe that’s why it also didn’t win Best Album?

  • Gwenyth Paltrow is a super huge fan of Radiohead which is why she introed them. That is also why she bangs Chris Martin….she knows that is the closest she will ever get to hooking up with any of the guys in RH. If you can’t get the real thing, get the closest imitator I guess. Still, she looked pretty hot.

  • @ :59 somebody is desperately trying to touch Johnny Greenwood

  • The performance was amazing. Definitely the best and most unique performance on the show.

    I still can’t believe who won the album of the year. You could tell by the crowd reaction that they were in disbelief as well. Barely any applauding. Radiohead really deserved to win it, but oh well!

  • Wicked, really got me adrenaline rushing (just like when I first heard the new album)!

    How to reinvent songs – as shown by radiohead :)

  • Hey, the Robert Plant and Alison Krauss album is pretty good actually. I’m not saying it’s better than In Rainbows, but there’s no reason to put it down.

  • Oh and where are all the people who were pissing and moaning about the marching band and throwing the word “sellouts” around? Eating crow, I suppose…

  • Ed, Phil and Colin were there as well. They showed a camera shot of them before Album of the Year was stolen away from them.

    Performance was fantastic but i was seriously angered by the lack of respect shown to them by the audience. No standing ovation yet the Jonas Brothers get one?

  • Kyle: In all fairness, the Jonas Brothers played with Stevie Wonder. So, that standing-o was mainly for him.

    Also, did anyone notice that when Morgan Freeman came on to introduce Kenny Chesney that the music playing when Freeman was introduced was “15 Step”? Perhaps a nod to Radiohead’s “Seven” parody?

  • 51st Grammys – 15 Step. Golden Ratio!!!

  • Wow…this turned out way better than I expected.

    I will never question their judgment again! =)

  • ah, who cares if they didn’t win album of the year?
    they still kicked all the other performer’s asses with their show.

  • Even though this should NOT turn into a pointless Coldplay vs Radiohead war…I do love the fact that Coldplay think they’re so cool having their drummer hitting some tymphony drums and a bell and then RH come on with a full fucking percussion and brass backing and kick their asses into oblivion! In one performance they destroyed Coldplay with their extremely overrated Viva La Vida (both single and album)

  • Thom Yorke will win Album of the Year when at 60 yrs old he sells out and records a shitty half-country album with Taylor Swift and Grammy voters crap their pants and choose it over a more deserving innovative masterpiece by a band from England.

  • Wow… I had my doubts but the performance turned out awesome. It left me with my mouth wide open. And… and… he looks so cool, that Thom… Love the new haircut, it makes his dance moves even more dramatic. And did you all see the band members were wearing the in rainbows tour shirts? Looked like Radiohead’s army… I have to start wearing my IR shirt again… and Thom looked amazingly hot.

  • I don’t think they want to be main stream and I’m glad it’s that way. I probably wouldn’t like them as much

  • don’t get it? No problem…its just like this. The “Record of the Year Award” only *sounds* like it should be bestowed upon those whose creation went in several different creatively motivated directions, while bringing a sense of honesty and realness to the work-and without making obvious choices using standard fare and settling for mind-numbing rehash when putting yourselves out on a musical and social limb. It doesn’t necessarilly need to have songs on it like Reckoner or, All I Need, and perhaps 4 Minute Warning might have been an old childrens book Thom plagurized from….eh? Surely winning “best ALT. Album” means something…just not everything. And it’s OK. The fans and critics know different. What does one xpext from the US anyway?

  • You all had some interesting comments. I really enjoyed RH performance; it was definently the most ceative one I’ve seen on tv in a long time. I agree that I would not enjoy RH so much if they were “mainstream.” I appreciate their uniqueness.

  • All I wanna know is why we had to sit through 2 seperate Justin Timberlake performances, and multiple Lil Wayne, JayZ, and Kanye performances, but didn’t get to see Radiohead receive their Best Alternative Rock award? WTF?????

  • Ed’s 9ft. Cock: i don’t agree with you about Nigel Godrich… i think he did a FABOLOUS work with In Rainbows, it’s obvious it won’t sound something like OK-C, first of all it’s Radiohead 10 years later, second i don’t think Nigel will stuck up in past copying the same production ”formula” he already did 10 years earlier, and third of all he made a Hell of a production, the songs are perfectly joined in a minimalistic concept (that’s why they cut off and changed some parts of the 2006 live versions). They had to make tough decisions with the songs, and Videotape is a great example and i think he was clever in taking out ”down is the new up” and the other songs in the bonus disk (though i would have kept ”Go Slowly”…) Nigel is a great producer, and still is and will have plenty of albums to prove it… that he wasn’t nominated doesn’ mean anything… it has meaning when YOU find something good of it. And radiohead didn’t win the best album maybe for other reasons, like someone said ”the grammy people are too conservative” and prefered to give it to a big rock star like Robert Plant because what he’s done.. and that’s even OK for me… you people still have to notice that they won THE BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR… that’s great!

  • oh… and you consider KID A a ”bad production”??!!!! COME ON!!!!!!

  • On the question of Nigel’s prowess:
    You gotta be kidding me.
    Radiohead’s music has been more distorted, especially on Amnesiac and Hail…
    Listen closely to Backdrifts. Or Packt Like Sardines. Do you think the buzzing is accidental??? Furthermore, Kid A and Amnesiac were recorded together, how could you contend that the quality of production is different? And In Rainbows sounds pristine. Again, where it’s distorted, it was meant to be distorted.
    Do us a favor, if you don’t know anything about a subject, don’t comment on it.

  • Can someone please explain why Colin, Ed, and Phil weren’t up there as well? I know they had the marching band to back, but it just seems stupid to not have the whole band!

  • great! smashing! super! best performance of the night and very cool marching band. They completely showed up the so called “greats” and that’s including THAT Beatle guy I wish the others had performed though!

  • Good good good

  • I truly don’t understand the choice that was made. =(

  • Yada–yada–yada…

    blah, blah, blah…

    *yawn*

  • i was sad i couldn’t play me drums

  • “On the question of Nigel’s prowess:
    You gotta be kidding me.
    Radiohead’s music has been more distorted, especially on Amnesiac and Hail…
    Listen closely to Backdrifts. Or Packt Like Sardines. Do you think the buzzing is accidental??? Furthermore, Kid A and Amnesiac were recorded together, how could you contend that the quality of production is different? And In Rainbows sounds pristine. Again, where it’s distorted, it was meant to be distorted.
    Do us a favor, if you don’t know anything about a subject, don’t comment on it.”

    You’re right about it being distorted since Amnesiac and Hail. But that is actually not Nigel’s fault. It’s the guy who does their mastering. I forget his name at the moment.

    If you want to talk about listening closesly to a song track, go listen to Arpeggi/Weird Fishes and pay attention at 2:32 where you can actually hear the music and Thom’s vocals clipping because the track was mastered WAY TOO HOT! So don’t tell me I don’t know anything because I went to school for audio recording and know A LOT more than you do, trust me!

    And I never said Kid A’s production was bad. I actually believe the exact opposite. Go back and read more carefully. I said that their production, mixing, and mastering quality has fallen off since Amnesiac. And if you recall, this album was mixed and mastered after Kid A. So please shut the fuck up about it being recorded at the same time, because I already know that.

    For the record, my main gripe with In Rainbows was Thom’s vocals. I thought they were mostly shit. I know he is capable of so much better, because I’ve heard a lot of live versions of these songs. And what worries me is that I also thought Thom’s vocals were shit on The Eraser. So to me, this is two bad albums in a row by Nigel. As a producer, I thought he was also better than this. But I’m starting to wonder if he’s either getting lazy or just plain “losing it.”

    Obviously though, my thoughts can’t be too far off, because like I mentioned before.. even the band had decided to shop around for another producer before starting this last record!

  • Oh, and go listen to Bodysnatchers on vinyl and then compare it to the cd version. Then come back and tell me that the guitars are supposed to sound that distorted (as they do on the final commercial cd).

    HA!

  • The YouPoop vid doesn’t do justice to their performance. And it’s been removed anyhow. There is however a pretty decent MP3 on http://discotheke.blogspot.com/2009/02/radiohead-15-step-grammy-award-photos.html

  • I still think you’re on crack. Thom’s vocals sound fine on both the eraser and in rainbows. my ears are pretty sharp in fact. Radiohead consistently has the sharpest production in rock music; when i played in rainbows for a friend who, while not a radiohead fan, is a recording engineer by trade, he commented that the production is the most impressive aspect of the album. Your opinion on this issue puts you in a distinct minority, and furthermore, your handle here is childish and obnoxious.

    For the record, this site is usually a breath of fresh air, free of the bile that characterizes so many internet music blogs, and while I don’t mean to contribute negativity, it’s ridiculous to criticize Radiohead’s production values.

  • “I don’t think they want to be main stream and I’m glad it’s that way. I probably wouldn’t like them as much”

    Please explain how Radiohead are not mainstream, I honestly want to know.
    I swear some of you guys are so freakin’ deluded…

  • “it’s ridiculous to criticize Radiohead’s production values.”

    Umm…why?

  • so, they only went to perform that song? how many carbon footprints do they reduce leaving phil, colin and ed out of it?

  • Wow Ed’s 9 feet cock you really seem to know your shit. When the un-mastered version of hail to the thief came into my ears, i though: “Wow, these are gonna be fucking nice once it comes up properly mixed and mastered.”

    but when the album finally came out, i put it on, and i really wasnt impress with the sound. I remember thinking: “Jeez, is this really the final product?” I do think that In Rainbows sounds very good, not being a expert at sound, but Hail to the thief kinda sounds like crap. Plus if I may add, There There sounded so good live, especially the part after the 2nd chorus, very energic and all, and the studio version they recorded kinda felt flat, sequences, and soulpowerless. anyone else felt that way?

  • Nope, I don’t agree. “There There” sounds perfect.

  • Let me add that I think it’s one of Nigel’s greatest productions. As an aside, I think the production on Optimistic is his low point with the band.

  • I think everyone should just shut up about the production bull shit because clearly it’s never failed them and if it aint broke you dont fix it.

    ps: they shopped around for a new producer because they wanted to experiment by themselves with more freedom but it wasnt working well which is why they went back to nigel because the band feels they accomplish more during studio sessions.

  • No Radiohead record will ever sound as sharp and clean as OK Computer.

    This is my opinion of course. But since OK is the record that really earned Radiohead all their critical acclaim and brought them to the forefront of alternative-indie rock or whatever the fuck you want to call it.. I find it rather hard to argue the fact that the songwriting and production was brilliant on that one, more so than In Rainbows. Again, my opinion. But I don’t believe that this last one will go down in history as their masterpiece. I think OK is still the album to beat in that respect.

    I hate to be critical of the band I love so much, but I can see them slowly slipping away. Just listening to bootleg cd’s and live videos on YouTube has revealed to me that Thom’s voice has been heading south and that the fans still get the most excited over cuts like Paranoid Android and Karma Police than they do about House of Cards and Reckoner.

    I do enjoy Jigsaw though. I think they actually got the recording of that one right. But I think it should have kept the name “Open Pick” and been the first track on the album.

    I dunno. Fuck it. Cheers

  • Radiohead fans are some of the most loyal I know and also some of the biggest whiners around. Just enjoy the music and stop griping. And for those who are still hanging on to OK Computer, the band has moved on. Let it go. If you don’t like the new direction, then go listen to Coldplay or something else.

  • Hey what is music if we cant fucking analyse it and discuss its production values and shit. Some people find it interesting not only to listen to it, but also to look deep into it. If you’re not happy stop reading the fucking comments. We’re not gonna talk about the fucking grammies forever. Peace!

  • We’re due for some new news, this page is kinda full now, not to mention full of shit…

    For T: For all im concerned you’re the only one whining here, so please do everyone a favor and put a cork on it.

    Thom x

  • I also studied Recording and Sound Production…. SO????!!! Mr. Cock Expert, i’m not interesting on listening to minute 3:23 of song 4 in album 7, or whatever you want us to listen to, just to prove your pointless argument… and I don’t have the vynil like you do….pfss… what i’m trying to say is DON’T BE SO NERD ABOUT IT…. you may know how to master your Cd’s or whatever, but i guess you never got the whole idea of In Rainbows concept… that makes a masterpiece, not the stupid and nerd detail of if they used a Shure57 for the voice or a Behringer…. i bet nobody noticed that detail of ”distortion” that you mentioned… don’t forget it’s MUSIC

    But I do agree that on the tracklist of the album Track 1 must have been Jigsaw… and would have changed some other songs order too, but that’s a small detail too…

  • This is getting interesting, in an explosive kind of way. It explains a lot about the world we’re living in. Put a bunch of people in one room, and the next day they’ll all be dead by strangulation. We should be ashamed of ourselves. No wonder the aliens wont reveal themselves to us… They’re fucking scared!

  • i don t know if someone already taked about this or not . . . and i don t really want to read 78 comments hehe so . . .

    the only thing i have to say is :

    did you see both thom and johnny [ don t bother with spelling please . . . ] ‘ s faces on this picture here @ atease ? . . . those 2 faces are sending such a positive energy and smile to this world – we need that – big time – . . . so radiohead . . . don t get too mainstream – we like those smiles . . .

    peace and love

    p.

  • alien . . .

    i love U

    i am so happy people like you exists .

    i cannot believe i was being so positive with my message and it was so much crazy ridiculous stupid conversations going on . . . wow . . .

    c’ mon people

    read alien’s words . . .

  • ps : fuck i truly think DrTchocky is him for real . . . and i am happy for that . . . even if is not truth . . . i love this world . . . why are we being so stupid ?

  • Radiohead dererved the grammy… i’m sorry mate…. i’ll send it by FedEX if that’s alright with you

  • I kill NERDS, i love killing them

  • Ed’s Cock talks about Nigel’s bad production first, then he defends himself talking about the mastering guy and Thom’s vocals.. ???????????????? So… maybe the mastering guy and thom yorke shouldn’t have been nominated for the Grammys? But what does that got to do with Nigel?

    I don’t understand your position…

  • You can keep arguing about Nigel all you want. In the end most people won’t have any idea which awards Radiohead did/didn’t win, or who did or didn’t dance naked with McCartney. As much as everyone including Kanye West seemed inspired by their performance of 15 step, the “diss of Kanye West by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke” (complete with Kanye saying how it broke his heart on tape, on YouTube, in the middle of a VH1 broadcast concert where he plays new songs, as if Thom talked about Aphex dissing him in between Jigsaw and Reckoner in Scotch Mist) is going to be all anyone remembers of these Grammys in a few years. It may do some damage to how seriously people take Kanye, but he’s liked by more people than Thom, so he will have the sympathy in the end, and the severe damage it’s going to do to Thom (and how seriously anyone takes him) will make him second only to Chris Brown in career killing moves on a single weekend in LA. it’s going to have a devastating effect on the makeup of Radiohead’s fanbase, Radiohead’s public image, and Radiohead’s own critically proclaimed status as something like the “voice of a generation”, regardless of anyone’s feelings on Mr. West or his music. this is their “Mission Accomplished” or “Heckuva Job, Brownie.” this is what finally makes Radiohead irrelevant. It will cement the creep image Thom Yorke has been trying to escape for his entire career, and define Thom Yorke to anyone who isn’t previously aware of him, which is a lot of people, and that’s going to set Radiohead back to a place they don’t want to be, loved by pop hating elitists, an image of has-been, under-rock-dwelling, tin-eared (subtext: racist) old men that will not attract new fans worth having. Of course needless to say, your image affects the kind of statement you can make and how well you inspire people with your music going forward, and Radiohead have always been well aware of this, and sought to change things up to create a positive climate around their music that would help in people identifying with it. In Rainbows and everything surrounding it so far has been their best marketing ever, their most trust of their fans, and the resulting payoff. I’ve been a fan for 9 years and they have made little mistakes but hardly any. Until just now, they were in a better place than they’ve ever been in the public consciousness. Kanyegate is the first seriously bad karma in Radiohead’s career. It seems small, but it will become a large thing. I don’t think going there was worth this, since it will do damage beyond any positive results of playing a song there. But I guess we all thought Thom was beyond this kind of stuff. I know this sounds like laughable exaggerations now, but remember no one has seen the tape. Remember Radiohead has been defined as a band known for openmindedness to all genres, and remember Kanye is not only an arrogant exaggerator: he is the most successful hip hop star of the past 5 years, he receives nearly as much critical acclaim as Radiohead (this is not Coldplay we’re talking about) and he’s one of the biggest pop stars in the world right now, having controversially “graduated” from hip hop. Kanye’s last album in fact was widely compared to Kid A for his change in style, and Kanye’s largest fansite (including its moderator, who himself had a Thom Yorke avatar, and attended the taping of this concert, and broke this story on their site, and you can tell how disappointed he was) was full of huge admirers of Radiohead. Radiohead have been defined for being a band that, however anonymous or abrasive as personalities on the outside, were just uncomfortable with the bullshit aspects of the industry and were actually deeply appreciative of their hardcore fans, and admirably neurotic, rather than misanthropic. Even if the diss of Kanye hardly proves this image was entirely wrong, that’s what will become the story. Kanye was a hardcore Radiohead fan-a bigger Eraser fan than most people here, for fuck’s sake. Seriously this is not good news for Radiohead, and the sooner people stop using it as an opportunity to slate Kanye for his arrogance, the sooner you will begin to see the tiny dimensions of the time capsule Radiohead have just hermetically sealed themselves into.

  • whatever happened between Kayne and Thom was private and should have stayed that way…i don’t hear Thom talking about it much..only Kayne while he’s taping a show for VH1…that to me says it all…

  • well, first of all, why would Thom Yorke talk about his own ignoring of Kanye? it didn’t mean anything to Thom (like it meant to Kanye, that’s the whole point here) and anyway who would challenge him on it? he doesn’t ever do interviews anymore. Kanye probably didn’t come up with this out of nowhere, they probably asked him a question about his experience at the Grammys this year. considering how little excitement there was at the Grammys I would expect for anyone that a feeling of personal rejection by one of their musical loves would linger in the memory, especially given the attention Radiohead’s performance received, and really if it made the person feel so bad, why not mention it? you’re right, it doesn’t make Kanye come off the biggest person to go public with such seemingly personal disappointments or misunderstandings, one could say even if he was a big fan he should realize what a public misanthrope Yorke is and not expect politeness, but then again, I’m a big fan and I know about how Thom is and this was a huge shock to me because Thom is not supposed to be like this in one-on-one encounters with fans who approach him as fans and treat him as a person, even if they happen to be famous, and it sounds like Kanye did exactly the same approach here. imo, it’s fundamentally different from any of the other disses so far, unless Kanye is outright lying about what happened. It’s different cause Thom is not in the 1997-2000 phase where all non-aggressive contact with mainstream culture seemed to do his head in, he’s supposed to have grown up and got semi-used to being famous, and grateful for having the position of being able to serve as a mainstream ambassador for the sounds and ideas that are so important to him. and the Grammys was new for them this year because they could stand it for the first time, I thought, and I had a lot of respect for them for playing there even though some fans didn’t. And now, fucking hell, it turns out he can make adverts for the Grammys, he can sit there and listen to Gwynnie fawn all over his band, he went out that evening to dance naked with members of Maroon 5 (whose only moving music was with Kanye!!), and then not speak to a pop star who at least is trying to say some honest things in his music, who’s done great stuff in the past, and who praised Thom’s music all over his own ad, what does that say? Second thing is that all the other disses that have been recorded, have either been of members of bands whose music had similarities to Thom’s and was lumped together with Thom’s in a way that, again, “did his head in” for a while (Coldplay etc) or else, people (i.e. Ronan Keating) whose music simply has such different ambitions from his that even if Thom could appreciate it on its own merits, he may not be able to see those people as fellow musicians, closed minded as he is. This case is different because whatever you think of some of Kanye’s music, you can’t deny that as a whole he has different goals from say Ronan Keating or even Coldplay. it’s the first time Thom ever dissed a musician who is coming from a similar place as Thom in some ways, yet makes a completely different style of music which no one could mistake for a ripoff of his work. I.e. there is no excuse for the diss, unless Thom wants to start being one of those Kid Rock or Gallagher figures whose image is based on rejecting everyone else not up to his own perfect standards. it’s not that he has to praise or even listen to the music of everyone else out there- notice how Kanye didn’t say he was upset because Thom told him he hadn’t listened to him or said he didn’t love his albums- but at least, he wouldn’t mind having them as fans, right??

    Kanye has always been very publicly emotional, it seems the way he is talking about it isn’t a “fuck Thom, now I won’t listen to Radiohead” kind of attitude, but just stating the fact of what happened, that he went up to him and with unusual humility for Kanye, just said he was a fan (not the greatest in the world) and Thom had no words and wouldn’t look at him or something. Now just Kanye stating it that way, and apparently it’s one of the more emotional moments of his interview, that turns this into a big deal- many people watching won’t have heard Thom’s music (while Kanye has been steadily in the top 5 of the album charts for the past three months). I’m sure the real reason is no particular animosity toward Kanye’s music or even his personality (Thom’s ears being under a rock since Kanye broke out) but more like Thom’s delusional view of the entire pop scene as some conspiracy of automatons he wants no part of, and thus, a popular musician “celebrity” such as Kanye, encountered for the first time at the Grammys, being an emissary of that Great Satan known as “fridge buzz”. However, non-Radiohead fans not having watched Meeting People Is Easy, read interviews, studied lyrics, and being generally unaware of the odd pathways of Thom’s mind, “dissing” Kanye even by ignoring his thanks to Thom for making music, makes it appear Thom doesn’t want Kanye as a fan, and viewers of the interview will have to guess why that would be, since no explanation will be given. Is it because Kanye’s too popular? (“Radiohead hate popular music, they want to be obscure for its own sake”, just the tag they had been avoiding lately). Because he does, or did, hip hop? (“Radiohead only like rock music, they’re closed minded to other genres, they don’t like hip hop musicians, in fact rappers and producers aren’t musicians because hip hop isn’t music”, the pure opposite of Radiohead’s philosophy since OK Computer, but no one but Radiohead fans will be able to guess that Thom’s playlists are over 50% hip hop related or beat related music) or maybe even because he’s black (let’s face it Radiohead’s most highly visible fans are not usually black, apart from Kanye himself that is, and many much less famous people. most people watching will have no idea he danced naked at a party with ?uestlove that same night).

    The fact is, however someone interprets it, even just as simple pop star elitism, this makes Thom look very very bad, whatever it says about Kanye too.

  • who’s to say thom’s dissing of kanye was anything to do with his musical background? its quite plausible thom simply doesn’t like the fella. kanye west is known to have a huge ego. i can picture kanye walking over to thom with a cocky swagger and saying,”Hi I’m a fan” like thom should be grateful of that fact

  • Swagger, i.e. Swagga Like Us, is the only reason I can think to make sense of why Thom would act this way. Perhaps he was genuinely offended by the rap pack’s “Paper Planes” desecration (perhaps more so because his children were watching at home?), never having heard their track before, being an MIA fan himself- his whole family are huge MIA fans, apparently- and being unaware of any other contributions Kanye had made to civilization, except just possibly the “Us Placers” Eraser remix which he may have felt was useless and offensive on a more personal level to him, ignoring the obvious admiration of the remixers for the original. Or maybe Thom’s enough of a pop snob to work up a serious hatred for him just on the basis of having performed American Boy. (Now that would be sad.) I wonder though, if as you suggest, Thom had wasted his time reading enough gossip headlines or watching enough mindless TV shows to know about Kanye’s “ego” yet also lives so far under a rock he hasn’t bothered to listen to his albums to know there is some kind of substance (like it or not) beyond merely ego, what does that say about Thom Yorke? It would be like if Thom was known to be a Michael Stipe fan, even though his own music had certain large differences with Stipe’s, and if he approached Stipe in 1995 to say thanks for making music and Stipe just ignored him because he’d read in the media how Thom was a moody bastard, without bothering to listen to his work. I think you’re correct that the rejection probably had nothing to do with music, which he probably hasn’t listened to, but I really doubt that if Thom lacks knowledge of Kanye’s music, he has any additional knowledge about his ego, since he isn’t known to follow the tabloids, and certainly not to trust them. Really, if he found out any fact about Kanye by accident or from a friend in recent months, without paying attention, it should be that #1 fact. Kanye answered “Thom Yorke” as one of the artists that influenced him most in the questionnaires they sent out to make those Grammy posters, and thus was a “real fan”, not just someone who heard on that very night that Radiohead would be at the Grammys and thought it would be cool to say hi to a fellow celebrity (though we desire for approval by Thom could have been part of it, I think it obviously isn’t the only part of it since Kanye has namedropped him on earlier occasions, and Thom’s own desire for approval by his idols like Neil Young and Stipe has surely played into some of the praise he’s given them publicly, whether he’s aware of it or not). #2 fact. Kanye changed his musical style from the expectations of his genre to embrace more electronic sounds because he is into them (and yeah, perhaps to find a different or larger audience- as Radiohead did with Kid A- but again, the fact he is genuinely into those sounds is apparent). Now even if Thom detests Kanye’s latest album and some of Kanye’s public pronouncements (which I’m sure he would if he was aware of them- if he would like any Kanye album, it’s most likely to be The College Dropout) there are surely others he could respect. Let’s see… Radiohead made an entire depressing and somewhat useless, except in a historical context, record all about their defeatist attitude in the face of the actions of Osama Bin Laden, Tony Blair and George W. Bush, titling the album in a provocative manner yet all the while while rejecting the idea of making a “political” album when clearly they had made decisions in its recording that intentionally minimized the enjoyability of the music and thus its ONLY value was as a document of the powerless feeling many people felt in the political situation at the time. Ok. Well, Kanye made an album a couple of years later that said more than a few things, but people could actually be inspired by, and then said straight out on national TV, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” which turned out to be about the exact moment George Bush’s presidency went from general approval in America to general disapproval, paving the way for the downfall of the radical right wing agenda that had taken over the country, the agenda most responsible for Thom having to make an album such as Hail to the Thief. I think Thom Yorke had better respect that, even if he would never do the same moves as an artist. Kanye is really the ’90s U2 of the ’00s music world, and Thom might have a love-hate relationship with U2 (and was stupid enough to publicly claim “we’re better than them” in 1995, even when U2 are such an obvious influence on early Radiohead) yet I don’t think he would have ever been stupid enough to try to just ignore Bono if he approached to say thanks for making music, stupid enough to scowl or say “I’ve heard of you” and look away. No. Maybe Bono would “deserve” it, as some say Kanye deserves this, but no way would Thom act like that with Bono, because Thom realizes it’s good to have people like Bono as genuine fans of Thom Yorke, even if Thom Yorke can’t be a genuine fan of Bono. Kanye as a fan helps more people discover Radiohead, and honestly, more the “right” kind of people, than having Kanye as an enemy will help, since Radiohead like Kanye are pop artists, for which true musical elitists should have zero interest, and so, the only people he attracts by “dissing” him are people whose main mission in life is to hate Kanye so much that if someone else is unbelievably rude to him that person gains a lot of respect in their eyes (a relatively small number of people, simply because those who hate Kanye’s music or ego may still defend him in this situation where it appears he was unusually humble and got a cruel putdown) or else people who hate not Kanye himself but the entire pop and/or hip hop genre he represents, who hate any music they hear on the radio, especially if it isn’t “real” i.e. has beats in it, or rapping (a large number of people, and I think ones Thom would not ever want to gain as Radiohead fans). In the end it won’t matter that musical differences weren’t the reason for this event. This kind of rudeness is just not normal, though, even for artists of Thom’s reputation for making odd music. It’s a misunderstanding that appears to make no sense, but most people won’t give the benefit of the doubt to some aging rock star they’ve barely heard of, even if Thom says *anything* more about it in his own defense (which he’s not going to do, let alone apologize to Kanye after he publicly executes this perfect jujitsu on Thom’s reputation) and so people who hear about it will wonder why and form their own crazy, and mostly very wrong, interpretations. And yes, Thom should be “grateful of the fact”, not because it’s Kanye, but because he should be grateful of every real fan, and I think most of us thought that he still was.

  • You know, I really doubt Thom listens a lot to say, The Arcade Fire. That is not his kind of music in the current millennium. But if Win Butler approached Thom to say thanks for making music, as someone on At Ease noted, I’m sure Thom would never ignore him or act like he wished he didn’t have Win Butler as a fan. Thom knows Win Butler’s audience has a large overlap with Radiohead’s audience, that many Radiohead listeners respect Win Butler, and would be offended if he acted that way, regardless of his feelings on Win Butler’s music. Whether you like it or not, there is a lot of evidence that these same things are true of Kanye West’s audience vis-a-vis Radiohead’s, yet Thom is so out of it he appears not to know it (if Radiohead, like Kanye, had a more equal and less top-down approach to their fans, such as letting fans comment on his little Dead Air Space entries, maybe he would know more about what’s important to his fans). Thom also probably knows that Win Butler is responsible for being some people’s #1 musical love, and introducing some people to the world of music in general, including to Radiohead.
    Again, evidence (the #1 Kanye fansite, which hypes Radiohead to the same degree Pitchfork does) suggests Kanye may be responsible for exactly the same thing, and Thom doesn’t know it. Thom also knows that, the way he himself represents “alternative rock”, Win Butler represents “indie rock”, to a lot of people, and so there’s more than just a personal stake in rejection of Win Butler, it comes across like a rejection of that entire scene, and hurts a lot more people. Kanye represents “hip hop” to people who don’t usually listen to hip hop, and
    thus is that same kind of musical gateway drug- regardless of if, like Thom Yorke’s own music, many people who go through his gateway later reject his music in favor of lesser known, more innovative artists of the genre. Still, the fact remains that
    both Radiohead and Kanye serve as gateways to alt/experimental rock and hip hop respectively, and it is depressing for such artists to feud because it maximizes inter-genre warfare in general (as Radiohead fans and Kanye fans become polarized against each other, it becomes less likely Kanye fans will listen to There There, read interviews and then disover say the music of Can, or that Radiohead fans will love Late Registration, read about the album, discover say where Touch the Sky was sampled from, and fall in love with Curtis Mayfield) the course of the fighting creates defensiveness that will close minds on both sides and it minimizes the opportunities for people to discover new sounds, which is anathema to Radiohead’s goal in being a popular band- to spread new sounds- something having Kanye as a public fan enables them to do, regardless of however much Thom is indifferent or even disapproves of Kanye as an artist. Finally, Radiohead or rather Thom Yorke do have other goals as a popular band- ideas and values they want to spread. Thom should know that treating anyone in such an assh0le-ish manner is poor publicity for his band and the causes he supports, causes and sounds for which he chose to be a mainstream ambassador, rather than hiding in a bunker and making music for a tiny audience, something which, again, he has said is anathema to him, but isn’t borne out by these recent actions.

  • Prophet, weird fishee, Patrica whoever you are, just STOP!

    Please go see a doctor…

  • prophet you place waaaay tooo much emphasis on kanye. thom yorke is a hip hop fan of TRUE experimental artists. kanye is a popstar there is feck all experimental about him but i digress. thom yorke tends to shun any famous people who approach him. as recently as last year he did the exact same thing to ronan keating – someone with far greater record sales than kanye west. dont think his career has suffered too badly

  • Kanye is a pop star, not an underground hip hop star, you’re right. I know Thom likes underground hip hop, and old school hip hop. However, most people have no way of knowing that, so may assume things that are wrong, in a case like this where people have to guess as to why Thom did what he did (it’s not that Kanye is going to provide any explanation why it happened, so really, thinking Thom is a worthless asshole is going to be the most common interpretation whatever happens). Secondly, in my view Thom doesn’t come off any better for dissing a huge pop star than he would for dissing an underground hip hop star, if the huge pop star has a reputation for taking risks and saying things with his music the way Kanye has had, at times. Just because Kanye makes blatantly pop music, does not mean he doesn’t experiment within that genre. He quite clearly is one of the more experimental pop artists today, in terms of changing his style and trying to speak in different ways to different people. In fact Kanye experiments a lot more than a lot of underground hip hop (or indie rock) which are both genres that today are based on nostalgia and rehashing old styles. But your reply just sums up the anti-mainstream sentiment among a lot of Radiohead fans. I guess if all Radiohead fans all hate all pop artists other than Radiohead, this is no problem, since all Radiohead fans would by extension hate Kanye West. However, in fact this seems certainly wrong, and there is a lot of overlap in their fan bases. I just hope people who like Kanye are more rational than some of the people who like Radiohead, and maybe they won’t let this affect their feelings on the songs.

  • holy crap…give it a rest already!!!

  • well then,
    it’s obvious Thom hates autotune!

  • someone here is a fan of the run-on sentence

  • You got that right Mike…

    Someone here has too much fucking free time. If i felt like reading a book I’d buy one.

    By the way, Depeche Mode’s new album sounds pretty good! Oh wait, this is a radiohead site.

    MY version of amnesiac’s got The amazing sound of orgy and Trans-atlantic drawl, right before Pyramid song. I know Thom didnt want it this way, but at the end im the one fucking listening to it, right?

    I think 2+2=5 sounds like crap, especially the rocking part. Such a good fucking song, but where’s the bass that sounds so good live!?

    I also replaced the awful Atoms for peace with Jetstream on The Eraser, just because it makes sense. No more skipping tracks.

    The version of In Rainbows i got has 14 songs. Yes, Down is the new up, up on a ladder, bangers & Mash and Last flowers are on there. What the fuck!?

    How come there is 2 Los Angeles version of I will!? One on Comlag, with drums and bass, and one on the 2+2=5 cds, that sounds like the unmastered version we heard first. They both have the same title, what the fuck!

    How come even though i love radiohead to death i cant stand one fucking song on Pablo honey!?
    We’re they on drugs, or did they discover drugs in 1997?

    How come The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are such a fucking good band!? (Try it if you havent)

    And finally, why the fuck is it snowing upward here!!???

  • Ok…

  • What the fuck happened here…

  • Here’s how it went down…

    Radiohead fans are kinda bordeline mentals (in a good way). Thats what I noticed in my studies of human behaviour, which are mostly fictif.

    So what the fuck happened here is completely normal, although quite interesting. This comment page is very anonymous, and people take advantage of it (again, in a good way).

    I for instance wrote many comments under many names that I wont reveal, but you’d probably have a laugh and a half if you’d know, like I did as I wrote them.

    Prophet, which wasnt me, probably had a good time writing his too. Why not, isnt life just a series of good and bad times? Is it bad to try to make good of time? Coz remebe folks, time is not an horizontal line, its a vertical one, but you didnt hear it from me. (Wink Wink)

    Spread the love, laugh out loud, coz the end is near…

    Jesus

  • Jesus, fer fuck sake, what have I told you about blogging! Dont you have some people to save or something? At least dont use your real fucking name, what the hell are you trying to do, make the Devil notice you? Gosh! Freaking idiot!

    God

  • HAAA AH! Gotcha! Now im taking you to hell where there’s free booze and hookers for all eternity!

    George

  • I used to rule the world…

  • Omg, this place is insane. Why can’t Radiohead fans be happy and nice like U2 and Coldplay fans. Anywayz, the performance rocked. Radiohead is awesome.

  • [...] 8 minutes of footage from Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and USC Marching Band rehearsing for their Grammy Awards performance. The rehearsals were at Sony Studios in Los Angeles and you can see the excited band members taking [...]

  • [...] USC Trojan Marching Band have a released a recording of their performance with Radiohead at the Grammy Awards. [...]

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