Radiohead's "Kid A" Turns 20--Anniversary Set Speculation and Discussion

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Chrome_Head, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    We're coming up fast on the 20 year mark of Kid A being released this October. The band's camp has been strangely silent about any reissue/anniversary plans:

    "It’s not just you and your boos who have been having fun in Zoom meetings, it’s also alt-rock giants like Radiohead. The group have been in “online meetings” to discuss a special anniversary.

    In a new interview with NME, birthday boy Ed O’Brien has shared that Radiohead are in the middle of online discussions about how to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their seminal record Kid A.


    While O’Brien, on the promo circuit for his own solo album, Earth, had previously said that the band were intent on “doing their own thing” for the foreseeable future. But with Kid A‘s 20th anniversary perhaps there’s something more to look out for.

    “We’re an ongoing band and have online meetings – there was a Zoom call recently,” O’Brien told NME. “We’re talking about stuff, but for the foreseeable future everyone is doing their own thing. When it feels right to plug back into Radiohead, then we will.”

    “We’ve had different chapters in Radiohead life. Up until the end of OK Computer was one chapter; Kid A through to A Moon Shaped Pool was another chapter. We’ve sort of drawn a line now and are wondering what the next chapter will be. That’s what we’ll figure out next.”

    But what about the upcoming anniversaries of 200’s Kid A and 2001’s Amnesiac? “Due to the nature of it, I can’t fully reveal anything – but there have been talks about ways of doing something,” he replied to NME.

    “Everything gets thrown up in the air with coronavirus, so a lot of ideas are being mooted. It would be nice to honour it, but then there’s the struggle – how can you get that excited about an album that came out 20 years ago? I can’t. I’m thankful it was a moment and know that it means a lot to people, but it was a long time ago.”

    He concluded: “Personally speaking, looking back is not something I ever do. The past feels like a long time ago and isn’t something that feels important. Obviously I’m thankful that there’s an appetite for it. I’m not a fan of Radiohead, I’m in Radiohead. It’s a very different experience for me.”

    Radiohead are in online discussions about 'Kid A' 20th anniversary

    Funny enough, they didn't mind looking back for 2017's OKNOTOK release which saw the band's previous album OK Computer remastered and reissued with all the B-sides and three leftover tracks that had some new bits added to them.

    So what would you, as a Radiohead fan, want to see on a potential Kid A anniversary set? We all know that the leftover tracks were compiled into the following year's Amnesiac album, and that even that had singles and B-sides. People seem unclear exactly what is leftover from these sessions (someone on Reddit mentioned that what became "Idioteque" on the album evolved out of an hour long studio jam).

    For further discussion: when did you first hear this album, and what did you think?

    Also, attention threadcrappers: do us all a courtesy and please take your hatred for this album elsewhere!

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  2. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I’m hoping they learned from the minidisc leak that people really want all their scraps. If they release a deluxe edition with hours of outtakes, I’d be ecstatic. I want to hear all the different arrangements they went through before landing on the two albums.
     
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  3. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    I d love a special anniversary release. I cant believe it's already been 20 years. I'm so old now.

    Woke up early on a Tuesday and rushed to Borders to get Kid A on morning of release. I knew it was great, but it took 7 complete spins before the whole thing started clicking in my brain. Still a favorite..

    I realize the band is long in the tooth and the musicians must follow their own muse, but I sure do wish they'd do more Radiohead things rather than solo things.
     
  4. CassetteDek

    CassetteDek social distancing since 1979

    Location:
    Chicago
    I can’t imagine there’d be a lot left in the shadows unreleased, but what I’d really like to hear is some more live recordings, especially from the 2000 shows.
     
  5. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I first heard the album the day before it was released. I was in a record store and they had it playing. They sold me a copy after we talked about it for a bit. I was the only one home when I got back; I put the CD on and just focused on taking it in over the next hour. I sifted through the artwork and found the hidden booklet under the tray. The whole experience stuck with me ever since. Between the music and the hidden artwork, everything felt like a surprise. I had no idea what the next song might sound like. I had no idea what the words in the booklet meant - they were partially lyrics and weird phrases I couldn’t make sense of. This was the first album I’d ever heard that sounded like this. It was such a clear leap forward for the band. It’s still my favorite record of theirs.
     
  6. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    Location:
    New Jersey
    One of the videos on the public library had an early version of “there there” from this era. I wonder how much they worked on that or if it was just the one jam. They definitely tried “true love waits” and “I will” before chopping those into parts for Amnesiac songs. “Follow me around” was attempted during these sessions I think? There could be countless other songs we don’t even know about from this era too. “Attention” got kicked around for a while during OKC, resulting in multiple different versions on the minidiscs and OKNOTOK. Who knows what else like that might be in the vaults? I want it all.
     
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  7. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    In October of 2000, I hadn't quite turned 20 (I would the following month). I was in my second year of college, living away from home for the first time in an off-campus apartment with 3 other strangers. I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone, and everyone was in everyone's business all the time. Even in the small, sleepy college town, I wasn't ready for the hustle of passing by strangers who wouldn't make eye contact or chat (it's ok, I eventually made some good friends).

    All this to say is that I should've been primed for a total dissertation on alienation like Kid A, but I didn't get it at all, not at first. I rushed out to grab it from one of the local CD stores the first day, and on a first spin, was greeted by humming and gurgling synths, Yorke's modulated voice, blaring free jazz horns, and ambient thinkpieces like "Treefingers". I was a huge fan of the band's guitar heavy sound, and couldn't help but be a little disappointed with what I was hearing. I remember someone in one of my classes remarking that it sounded "like Aphex Twin".

    The more I listened to it, the more I liked it of course. The following year's Amnesiac was another piece of the puzzle. It was billed by the label or music journos as "a return to the guitar sound" before release (when in actuality, the ratio of guitars to electronics is about the same on both records). Kid A really presaged my own musical evolution--I was mostly listening to heavy rock at the time, but would soon delve deep into classical, jazz, electronic, ambient and Brian Eno myself. Then 9/11 happened in the US, and both albums' new-millennium anxiety and angst felt even more prescient.

    I think Kid A was an album that could've only been made, and had the impact it did, at that time and in 2000. I like what I saw someone say about it online recently, it's an album about "not being able to relate to the world".
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  8. Chauncey

    Chauncey Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I would love to see a couple of live shows from this era get released.
     
  9. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Isn't nearly everything 'from the vaults' now freely available through that Radio head 'public library'?

    But if there is enough unheard stuff to make a boxset worthwhile - and Corona would make working up such a set logistically challenging - perhaps they might want to wait for next year's anniversary of Amnesiac? For a box that covers both releases? I have always thought of these albums as two halves of a whole piece of art.
     
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  10. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    Since the sessions that resulted in both albums came before/during 2000, I think marking their release with this year would be a fair move by the band.

    And they may as well forego the physical route for now, and do something similar to their official dump of the hacked minidisk material of OK Computer sessions from last year. Maybe a big online archive for these sessions that they could keep updating (different then and separate from the current online library)?
     
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  11. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    Location:
    New England
    I caught their performance on SNL and was blown away by "The National Anthem". I picked up the album at Borders during the next week while my car was being serviced at a shop across the street. I distinctly remember my first listen on a discman while sitting in the Honda waiting room and browsing the artwork in booklet!
     
  12. Exitmusic

    Exitmusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leicester U.K
    I've always loved the "blips " they used to advertise Kid A.
     
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  13. Otis1974

    Otis1974 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisburg, NC
    On the night of Monday October 2nd, 2000, I was at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC watching the Flaming Lips on their "Headphones Tour" in support of "The Soft Bulletin." At the end of the show I had to wait in a long line to get my driver's license back, which they made people pony up as collateral for the cheap FM receiver and headphones they handed out, and it was just after midnight when I got to my car. As I was driving down Franklin street on my way back to Raleigh, I noticed that the Record Exchange was open and remembered that they having a midnight sale for the release of Radiohead's new album "Kid A." By the time I parked and walked up the initial rush was over so I did not have to wait in a long line to get in, but I did buy the very last copy of "Kid A" on CD that they had had in stock that night.

    I waited until I got home to open up the CD and give it a listen because I wanted to be able to listen to it on my headphones and really devote my attention to it. I was hooked from the very first note of "Everything In It's Right Place" and by the time "How to Disappear Completely" came on I was in tears. It never bothered me that the guitars on the album didn't sound like guitars or there was more of a focus on electronic instruments. To me, great music is great music whether it comes out of a Fender Telecaster or an Ondes Martenot.

    I still listen to and love "Kid A" 20 years later and I will continue to listen to and love it 20 years or more from now.

    Charles
     
  14. Exitmusic

    Exitmusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leicester U.K
  15. Piiijiii

    Piiijiii Hundalasiliah

    Location:
    Ruhr Area, Germany
    Bring it on! OKNOTOK was such a great reissue, especially the sound of the remastered album and the White Cassette.
    Kid A is one of the greatest albums of all times btw.
     
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  16. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    I think a box set would be great, this is still one of my favourite albums by them, but there's a lot of unreleased recordings and I don't think it would be cost effective to include EVERYTHING. The online dump route is probably more practical and in keeping with their ethos
     
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  17. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    Thanks for the heads up on that. I'm always on the lookout for good Radiohead books--there aren't many.

    I did pick this one up several years ago. It goes deep into the weeds of the musical theory behind both albums. Probably stuff the band themselves never even considered when they were making it. A very dense but interesting read:

    Radiohead and the Resistant Concept Album: How to Disappear Completely / Marianne Tatom Letts

    https://www.amazon.com/Radiohead-Re...d+concept+album&qid=1594497762&s=books&sr=1-1
     
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  18. jboersma

    jboersma Tower of Power

    Location:
    St. Cloud, Florida
    I love to see a special vinyl release particularly since the last US vinyl pressing is widely considered a dud
     
  19. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    Location:
    New Jersey
    If they put the most fleshed out or best outtakes on vinyl I’d pick that up. And I’d also pay for access to a big online dump of the sessions!
     
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  20. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    Really heady stuff for 2000, and this was how the band promoted the album in lieu of actual full-length videos, if I remember correctly. There were also no singles.
     
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  21. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    I have the 2016 XL release (Europe), and it sounds pretty good--should be very affordable to grab still.

    Radiohead - Kid A

    Not sure either this or Amnesiac could really be bettered by a remix or a remastering. Instead, they should devote whatever they do to the unheard session tapes, early versions, or live stuff.
     
  22. challenge

    challenge Forum Resident

    Location:
    Missouri
    Agree I wish they would release a good live show instead of extras
     
  23. jboersma

    jboersma Tower of Power

    Location:
    St. Cloud, Florida
    Yes, I've heard the EU pressing is OK, but getting it here in the States isn't exactly cost effective.
     
  24. Leviethan

    Leviethan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    This was the first album I had before release because someone dubbed a torrent to cassette for me (I didn’t own a computer yet!)
    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I listened to it endlessly for three weeks before I went to Record Exchange in Boise on the release day. I bought the imported double 10 inch version, which I still have. I got to see them on the Amnesiac tour at the Gorge a few weeks before 9/11. Still one of the most profoundly moving experiences of my life.
     
  25. stonesfcr

    stonesfcr Forum Resident

    Complete sessions a la OK Computer box would be sweet
     
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