As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Radiohead are releasing In Rainbows, their seventh studio album, in two different formats: a basic DRM-free download version that costs whatever you want that’s available October 10th, and a deluxe boxed version that includes a double vinyl disc, a book, eight bonus tracks and two CDs, out the first week of December (it also comes with a DRM-free download that actives on October 10th).
The good news for those of you who can’t wait: As any hard-core Radiohead fan knows, most of the songs on In Rainbows have been played live by the band for some time, and versions of them are widely available on the Internet. Here’s a track-by-track breakdown of Radiohead’s new album.
Track 1: “15 Step”
This beat-heavy opener, which was featured prominently during Radiohead’s last tour, will likely contain a cameo by a classroom full of clapping children.
Track 2: “Bodysnatchers”
Ed O’Brien posted about this guitar-driven song on Radiohead.com on October 22, 2005, writing, “It’s always difficult to judge right now but I think we may have got ‘Bodysnatchers’.” The song was first played live in 2006.
Track 3: “Nude”
Radiohead have been fiddling around with this mournful ballad for ten years. It was a regular part of the OK Computer tour.
Track 4: “Arpeggi”
Yorke, Johnny Greenwood and the Nazareth Orchestra played this song on March 27, 2005 at the Royal Festival Hall. The lyrics are deeply depressing, even for Radiohead.
Track 5: “All I Need”
Yorke gets all romantic over warm synthesizers, singing about being a “cloud of moths who wants to share in your light.” The song ultimately unfurls into the most symphonic, strings-drenched piece on the album.
Track 6: “Faust ARP”
Unless this is an older Radiohead song that’s been retitled, “Faust ARP” is a new song that might be either homage to the Krautrock band of the sort-of same name, or an allegory starring Goethe’s hero from Faust – a good assumption, considering the album’s closer “Videotape” name-checks the Faust villain Mephistopheles.
Track 7: “Reckoner”
This song, which dates back to the Kid A/Amnesiac sessions, features one of Yorke’s best opening lines (“Feeling pulled apart by horses”) and Radiohead’s grittiest riff this side of “Myxomatosis.”
Track 8: “House of Cards”
Possibly the most laid-back song in the entire Radiohead oeuvre, “House Of Cards” finds Yorke ruminating about relationships, with a tune that recalls “High and Dry.”
Track 9: “Jigsaw Falling Into Place”
Called “Open Pick” during 2006 performances, this fan favorite thankfully made it onto In Rainbows, despite disappearing from set lists during the latter stages of the tour.
Track 10: “Videotape”
An ode to antiquated technology that premiered live in 2006, Yorke croons over morose piano about saying goodbye to loved ones via VHS.
Track 11 (Bonus): “MK 1”
This song was never played during Radiohead’s 2006 tour, nor was its sequel, “MK2.” “MK1” will be either brand new to fans, or else it’s an In Rainbows session song like “A Pig’s Ear,” “Spooks,” or “Burn The Witch” under a new title.
Track 12 (Bonus): “Down Is the New Up”
This song has been played both by the full band and by Thom on solo piano. The full-band version sounds like a Hail To The Thief track, while the Yorke-solo version sounds like the live version of “True Love Waits.” The only real similarity between the two versions are the lyrics. It’s unclear which version will be on the album.
Track 13 (Bonus): “Go Slowly”
Sounding something like Radiohead covering a track from The Wall, this piano-based, lyrically-lite ballad goes, well, slowly.
Track 14 (Bonus): “MK 2”
Another previously unheard song.
Track 15 (Bonus): “Last Flowers”
Previously known as “Last Flowers Til Hospital” and “Cogs,” this song (like “Nude”) dates back to the OK Computer sessions, and has been performed less than a handful of times.
Track 16 (Bonus): “Up on the Ladder”
Another song from the Kid A era. Similar to its harder-edged cousin “Reckoner,” “Ladder” features jagged guitar riffs before dissolving into a keyboard-driven coda.
Track 17 (Bonus): “Bangers and Mash”
A frenzied, guitar-driven track and the most Bends-ish Radiohead have sounded since The Bends. A consistent highlight of their 2006 summer shows.
Track 18 (Bonus): “4 Minute Warning”
In the Sixties, the British government theorized it would take four minutes for nuclear missiles fired by the U.S.S.R. to hit England, inspiring both the Four Minute Warning public alert and the title of this song.