Radiohead have unveiled the studio version of their song, “I Promise.” One of three previously unreleased tracks from their forthcoming OK Computer reissue OKNOTOK, the band debuted the track on BBC Radio’s “6 Music Recommends” with host Steve Lamacq on Thursday.
While the group had performed the song live during their 1996 tour prior to dropping 1997’s landmark OK Computer, a studio version of the song was never released. Those who pre-ordered the forthcoming 20th anniversary edition via the band’s W.A.S.T.E. website also received a digital download of “I Promise” on Thursday.
“I won’t run away no more, I promise,” Thom Yorke plaintively sings over the song’s strutty, acoustic opening. “Even when I get bored, I promise.” Later, orchestral touches swell to meet his building falsettos.
OKNOTOK will also house previously unreleased tracks “Lift” and “Man of War” as well as a remastered version of the original album and eight B-sides. Each song is newly remastered from the original analog tapes.
“The paranoia I felt at the time was much more related to how people related to each other,” Yorke told Rolling Stone about the perceived themes of technology-unease surrounding the record. “But I was using the terminology of technology to express it. Everything I was writing was actually a way of trying to reconnect with other human beings when you’re always in transit. That’s what I had to write about because that’s what was going on, which in itself instilled a kind of loneliness and disconnection.”
OKNOTOK arrives on June 23rd.
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See Radiohead performing “I Promise” live in Mansfield, MA in 1996: