Radiohead: The King of Limbs Live From the Basement

Live in-studio set is a revelatory view into the humans behind the songs

Thom Yorke of Radiohead performs in London.
Jim Dyson/Getty Images
January 19, 2012

Radiohead didn't tour widely last year, so this live-in-studio set – The King of Limbs in full, plus three outtakes – is the closest most fans will get until next month's arena tour to seeing their latest material onstage. It's a revelatory view: Assisted by a brass section, the band transforms knotty ciphers into vital grooves. Cold-blooded compositions like "Bloom" make way more sense when you see actual humans put them together, and who knew "Morning Mr. Magpie" would be great as a punk tantrum? Thom Yorke radiates his usual weirdo charisma, whether hitting a shiver-inducing high note on "Give Up the Ghost" or busting a seizure-shimmy move to "Feral."

This story is from the January 19th, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »