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20 Insanely Great Radiohead Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know

Revisit key deep cuts, B-sides and live-only gems that could end up on group’s ninth LP

Radiohead; 20; Insanely Great; Songs; Hardcore Fans

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Radiohead are up to something. It's been five years since the band released The King of Limbs, but with the arrival of headlining dates at summer festivals abroad such as Primavera and Lollapalooza Berlin, the unused Bond theme "Spectre" and reports that Radiohead established a new LLC — a likely precursor to a new LP — it's clear that Thom Yorke and company could drop their much anticipated ninth album at any moment.

Before it arrives, however, Rolling Stone dove into the lesser-explored crevices of the band's discography — deep album tracks, B-sides, compilation and soundtrack songs, and fan-favorite live cuts that have never seen official release — to compile a list of key obscurities. From "Follow Me Around" and "Fog" to "Worrywort" and "Lift," here are 20 great Radiohead songs only hardcore fans know.

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“Go Slowly” (2007)

For any other band, this would be one of their crowning achievements. For Radiohead, it's basically a sketch that accidentally struck gold. Too half-formed to earn a place on LP, but too haunting to be left on the cutting room floor forever, this spare stunner from the In Rainbows sessions unfolds like a distant cousin of "Exit Music (for a Film)." "Go Slowly" is rooted in a profound despair of some kind, and its only escape is to dig further down. "I didn't care/But now I can see that there's a way out …," Yorke croons, like he's calling to death itself as his voice sinks beneath a quicksand of feedback to end one of the most beautifully disconcerting songs that the band has ever recorded. D.E.

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“Down Is the New Up” (2007)

At first blush, it's pretty bizarre — albeit fitting, given the song's commitment to confusion — that this immense B-side didn't find a home on In Rainbows (it wound up on the disc of bonus tracks that was released alongside the album's CD release). On the other hand, this sniveling, carnivalesque piano jam is so discombobulating that it feels like the perfect complement to the album that flipped the music industry on its head. Kicking off with some of Radiohead's characteristically ominous instructions ("Pour yourself a hot bath, pour yourself a drink/Nothing's gonna happen without a warning …"), this unusually rich deep cut soon bubbles into a full-blown falsetto nightmare that would be even scarier if it weren't so damn enjoyable. D.E.

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“Faust Arp” (2007)

A 130-second song that's often dismissed as the interstitial ditty sandwiched between In Rainbows favorites "All I Need" and "Reckoner," this dense and richly orchestrated track is a far more crucial cut than its brevity might suggest. Balancing the intimacy of a lullaby with the passive-aggressiveness of a lovers' spat, "Faust Arp" finds Yorke cooing tightly coiled verses about taxidermy and resentment over a gentle tide of strings that make the whole song sound as though it's inexorably flowing downstream. But Jonny Greenwood is the secret ingredient here, his nimble acoustic guitar lending Yorke's vocals the support they need to get away with lines like "You've got a head full of feathers/You're gonna melt into butter." D.E.

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“These Are My Twisted Words” (2009)

For a band that is constantly innovating how they deliver their music — In Rainbows' surprise pay-what-you-want release, the BitTorrent distribution of Thom Yorke's Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, the SoundCloud drop of "Spectre" — the arrival of "These Are My Twisted Words" is still the most curious in Radiohead's discography.

Coming 22 months after In Rainbows, "These Are My Twisted Words" first appeared on August 12th, 2009, without explanation on file-sharing site What.cd, with the MP3 accompanied by an info file boasting an ASCII picture warning of a "Wall of Ice" arriving August 17th.

Five days later, the winding, krautrock-inspired track was formally released as a free download through the band's official website. The track never received a physical release — although Stanley Donwood–created artwork was included in the file for fans to print out — but "These Are My Twisted Words" continues to have a live presence, popping up frequently during the band's The King of Limbs tour. D.K.

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“Identikit” (2012)

"Identikit" was one of three still-unreleased songs — along with "Cut a Hole" and "Ful Stop" — that Radiohead debuted during their tour in support of The King of Limbs, with the band performing the track nearly three dozen times over the course of their trek.

The twisty, hypnotic cut, one of the funkiest tracks in the band's catalog, boasts guitarist Ed O'Brien's most prominent vocal work, which stays in perfect sync with Yorke throughout the knotty verses that lead into the chaotic chorus.

"Identikit" was also one of the two tracks that Radiohead laid down at Jack White's Third Man Records prior to their 2012 headlining performance at Bonnaroo. However, the band was reportedly unhappy with the finished product, and "Identikit" remains a TKOL tour relic barring inclusion on the upcoming Radiohead LP. D.K.

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