In July, British bookmakers suspended betting on which artist recorded the theme song for the then-upcoming James Bond film Spectre when one person placed a £15,000 wager on Radiohead, resulting in a flood of bets on the Kid A band. While Sam Smith ended up recording the official Spectre theme (“Writing’s on the Wall”), Radiohead’s Thom Yorke confirmed Friday that the band did “write a tune” for the film, and for Christmas, Radiohead shared their version of the theme, titled “Spectre,” with fans.
“Last year we were asked to write a tune for Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were,” Yorke tweeted. “It didn’t work out … but became something of our own which we love very much. As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it. Merry Christmas. May the force be with you.” Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich added in his own tweet, “Merry Christmas everyone!!”
The darkly orchestral “Spectre,” comes on the heels of “Desert Island Disk” and “Silent Spring,” two new songs that Yorke performed solo at the Pathway to Paris earlier this month that are likely destined for the band’s follow-up to 2011’s The King of Limbs. It’s unclear whether “Spectre” will get a physical release, but Radiohead is offering the track up as a free download through their SoundCloud.
Officially, “Spectre” is Radiohead’s first new song since their similarly ghostly titled “Spooks,” recorded prior to In Rainbows, which resurfaced on the Inherent Vice soundtrack in 2014. Prior to that, Radiohead hadn’t released a new song since their “Daily Mail”/”Staircase” single in December 2011.