Radiohead – Hail To The Thief
RADIOHEAD – HAIL TO THE THIEF
May 26th 2003 [Japan]
June 6th [Netherlands]
June 9th 2003 [Europe]
June 10th 2003 [North America]
02 sit down, stand up
03 sail to the moon
05 go to sleep
06 where i end and you begin
07 we suck young blood
08 the gloaming
09 there there
10 i will
11 a punch-up at the wedding
14 a wolf at the door [/one_half_last]
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The shows are aimed at road-testing new material recorded in studio sessions booked to start April 2002. The intention is to play to hardcore fans, rather than what they see would be a larger, potentially more apathetic festival audience. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood previously said that the gigs are “to let [Radiohead] get their shit together” and allow the songs the chance to evolve, while fellow band member Ed O’Brien explained that they want to be “pretty self-indulgent”Radiohead began recording the follow-up to ‘Amnesiac‘ in April 2002. Colin Greenwood said in March 2002 that work will begin on new music in just a matter of weeks. He commented: “We’re going to start work again in April. We’re going to give it a bit more of a break than the last time. We’re planning to play some shows in Europe in the summer and we’ll take it from there.”
Ed O’Brien added: “We don’t know what it will be like yet. You get asked this question before you make a record and we just don’t know. So many times you say it’s going to be the three minute pop song record, and other times you say it’s the prog rock record and it never turns out that way. We’ll just get back into rehearsal and then back into the studio and we’ll see what happens.”
The sessions engineered by Graeme Stewart, who lent a hand on both Kid A and Amnesiac, as well as producing the highly experimental Amnesiac b-sides. The band is likely to reteam with Nigel Godrich for more recording further down the road.
While little is known about the new material aside from a handful of tunes sporadically previewed on the Amnesiac tour, one need only examine the band’s current listening diet to deduce the future direction of Radiohead. Or not: “We’re listening to a lot of guitar music at the moment,” guitarist Ed O’Brien told Worldpop. “I like a lot of the new bands like Electric Soft Parade.” Of course, Ed also dropped the names of the White Stripes and the Strokes, and he’s been saying the next Radiohead album is going to have a big guitar sound since, well, since 1997.
Thom Yorke, meanwhile, has been listening to equal doses of Tim Buckley and glitch. Guitarist/keyboardist Jonny Greenwood has been learning both accordian and trumpet. In fact, the guys have been stocking up on all manner of “software, strange instruments, and synths” for the new recordings, according to our sources.
Among the new-ish material performed on the Amnesiac tour were the anthemic “Reckoner” (a hooky riff-rocker in its sole performance last year– who knows how it’ll turn out once Yorke sics his ProTools on it), but Phil has said that ‘Reckoner’ is ‘dead and burried’. “Follow Me Around,” a holdover from the post-OK Computer period, and “Wicked Child” (actually debuted on their 2002 tour after being played only once at the band’s 2000 webcast).
The official Radiohead site posted several lyrics and lyric fragments from the works in progress, with bits of “Reckoner,”
“Bring on the New Blood,” “Keep the Wolf from the Door,” and “Up on the Ladder” among other, untitled snippets of Yorkespeak.
|Hail To The Thief Singles & Promos|
|There There||Go To Sleep||2+2=5|
|A Punchup at a Wedding||Not My Fault||Skatterbrain|
Colin talks about their plans for the new album “We fly to LA at the end of august. (Longtime producer) Nigel Godrich rents a space there. We’re going to spend two weeks working. The plan is like with OK Computer’ We’ll have loads of songs we know and it’ll just be (mimes dumping a pile of books on the table)… there!” He thinks about this: “It means that we’ll be in America for September 11. Which will be interesting”
Jonny Greenwood said: “We’re going to LA to record to the new album. No, it’s not very ‘Radiohead’, but we recorded the last album in a cold northern Europe location because we thought it was us. It wasn’t. So we’ll try this.” Joking about it being a West
Coast album in the style of The Eagles or Lynyrd Skynyrd Jonny said:”Well Phil’s singing, so it could work out that way,”
Thom: “Well, the idea is not to use any computers on this record. (Mirthless laugh) Ha!, we’ll see how long that lasts.” Thom Yorke did two solo perfomances for the Bridge School Benefit Concert in Mountain View, where he played new songs ‘Sail to the moon‘ & ‘There there ‘.
Ed O’Brien said in October 2002: “We’ve done about four weeks.” He explained, “Two weeks in Los Angeles and two in our own studio in Oxford. It’s sounding good. A lot of energy, really good. It just feels really good. As I always say it’s gonna be an album of three minute pop songs. That’s what they always say but that’s what it is this time.” When asked if he was joking, or whether he was serious about the sudden change of style for the band’s, O’Brien remained positive. “Yeah,” O’Brien laughed, “Guitars?
Yup, there are a few. In fact there’s a bit of everything. It’s sounding really good. It’s like ‘We’ve honed our thing, we’ve done our thing’ so what we’re doing feels like the right thing to be doing now. As vague as I am.”
In Janaury 2003 Ed revealed that the atmosphere in the band is “fucking brilliant” compared to the frosty recording sessions for their last two albums ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac, and that the new songs contain “space and sunshine and energy”. He commented: “You know that time when bands begin to swagger, like when the Stones got in a grove from ’68 to ’73? In the last two years, I think we’ve done that. To me, this record feels like the culmination of the best bits of ‘The Bends‘, ‘OK Computer‘, ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac‘.
Speaking to Q, drummer Phil Selway added: “I don’t think we’ve ever felt so self assured in the studio. This time no shit hit the
fan. And Thom’s voice has been incredible. That’s the stand out element for me. He’s reminded us that he’s in a league of his own.”
Recording was completed in January, although sessions on the record are expected to continue until at least mid-February. On March 1st Thom mentioned that the band are listening to the new tracks before sending the record to mastering. On Myxomatosis
Thom said: “well im listening to it now. it has Funk and UGGGGLLLIIIIEEEEEE keyboards”. When talking about the working titles ‘2+2=5’ & ‘Are you listening?’ Thom denied that they were going to be the actual titles (“K O R R e K T ! it isnt. it never was. HA!”).
Title and tracklisting were announced on March 24th 2003. The album leaked on the internet in full on March 30th.
The title of Radiohead’s sixth album ‘Hail To The Thief‘ is also an anti-George W. Bush slogan used by protesters at the end of the controversial election campaign that put him into the White House. The phrase ‘Hail To The Thief’ was coined by protesters at the end of the 2000 US Presidential election, when controversy famously surrounded Bush’s rise to office. The battle between Bush and Democrat candidate Al Gore came to a bitter end, with the result in the key state of Florida dogged by recounts, amid allegations of unfairness in the voting process.
On the day of his inauguration Bush was greeted in Washington by thousands of protesters with banners, some of who shouted, ‘Hail to the thief, our commander in chief’. The phrase has now become well used in anti-Bush circles. A website, www.hail-to-the-thief.org, that casts a cynical eye over US policy is active and goes under the banner ‘Hail to the Thief! Love your country. Never trust its government.’ A number of books and articles have also been written, perhaps most famously ‘Mediaocracy 2000 -Hail to the Thief’ by Danny Schechter, which looks at the role of the media in the election.
In the meantime; Asian Dub Foundation released their new album featuring Ed O’Brien on guitar. Ed collaborated with the band on three tracks ‘1000 Mirrors’ (as well as Sinead O’Connor), ‘Blowback’ and ‘Enemy of the enemy’.
Jonny Greenwood has also been recording some original music for a documentary about the human body, called ‘Body Song’, with “assistance” from the band. The movie premiered in January 2003.