Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Radiohead released In Rainbows

In Rainbows


Released: October 10, 2007

Charted: January 6, 2008

Peak: 11 US, 11 UK, 13 CN, 2 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.3 UK, 3.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: experimental rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. 15 Step
  2. Bodysnatchers (11/10/07, 8 MR)
  3. Nude (3/31/08, 37 US, 21 UK)
  4. Weird Fishes/ Arpeggi
  5. All I Need (1/5/09, --)
  6. Faust Arp
  7. Reckoner (9/23/08, 74 UK)
  8. House of Cards (7/5/08, 24 AA)
  9. Jigsaw Falling into Place (12/30/07, 14 AA, 30 UK)
  10. Videotape

Total Running Time: 42:39

The Players:

  • Thom Yorke (vocals)
  • Jonny Greenwood (guitar, keyboards)
  • Ed O’Brien (guitar, effects)
  • Colin Greenwood (bass)
  • Phil Selway (drums)


4.089 out of 5.00 (average of 29 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Radiohead released In Rainbows as a surprise download in the fall of 2007, letting fans pay whatever they liked. But the real surprise was how expansive the music turned out to be.” RS’20In Rainbows, as a title, implies a sense of comfort and delightfulness.” AMG It is actually “Radiohead’s warmest album, with the vibe of a communal jam session. One that’s taking place at the end of the world, of course.” RS’20

“Symbolically, rainbows are more likely to be associated with kittens and warm blankets than the grim and glum circumstances Radiohead is known for soundtracking. There’s a slight, if expected, twist at play. The band is more than familiar with the unpleasant moods associated with colors like red, green, and blue – all of which, of course, are colors within a rainbow – all of which are present, and even mentioned, during the album.” AMG

“On a couple levels, then, In Rainbows is not any less fitting as a Radiohead album title than ‘Myxomatosis’ as a Radiohead song title. Despite references to ‘going off the rails,’ hitting ‘the bottom,’ getting ‘picked over by the worms,’ being ‘dead from the neck up,’ and feeling ‘trapped’ (twice), along with Radiohead Wordplay Deluxe Home Edition pieces like ‘comatose’ and ‘nightmare’ – in the same song! double score! – the one aspect of the album that becomes increasingly perceptible with each listen is how romantic it feels, albeit in the way that one might find the bioport scenes in David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ to be extremely hot and somewhat unsettling.” AMG

“Surprisingly, some of the album's lyrics are even more personal/universal and straightforward than anything on The Eraser, the album made by Thom Yorke and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.” AMG “Yorke gets soulful in the intense love songs All I Need, House of Cards, and Nude.” RS’20 “‘I’m an animal trapped in your hot car,’ from ‘All I Need,’ has to be one of the saddest, most open-hearted metaphors used to express unrequited love. ‘House of Cards’ begins with ‘I don’t want to be your friend/I just want to be your lover/No matter how it ends/No matter how it starts,’ and the one with the worms includes ‘I’d be crazy not to follow/Follow where you lead/Your eyes/They turn me.’” AMG

“This effective weaving of disparate elements – lyrical expressions commonly associated with the band, mixed in with ones suited for everyday love ballads – goes for the music as well. The album is very song-oriented, with each track constantly moving forward and developing, yet there are abstract electronic layers and studio-as-instrument elements to prevent it from sounding like a regression. In Rainbows will hopefully be remembered as Radiohead’s most stimulating synthesis of accessible songs and abstract sounds, rather than their first pick-your-price download.” AMG

Resources and Related Links:

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First posted 5/12/2008; last updated 6/2/2022.

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