Excitement for Radiohead‘s ninth album originally peaked after this photo, tweeted by producer Nigel Godrich, appeared online in December 2014.
— nigel godrich (@nigelgod) December 3, 2014
Then, earlier this month, news emerged that Radiohead had founded a new company, Dawn Chorus LLP, back on 7 October 2015. It’s a tactic they’ve used for their previous two albums, launching Xurbia Xendless Ltd in July 2007 in advance of ‘In Rainbows’, released in October 2007, and in December 2010 they formed Ticker Tape Ltd ahead of ‘The King of Limbs’ in February 2011.
Aside from the fact that Dawn Chorus could be a reference to a 2002 Boards of Canada track, there’s no new info about the new album other than that Radiohead have recorded a Bond theme tune in the meantime – the altogether rather brilliant ‘Spectre‘ – and, now, that they’ll be playing festival dates this year, headlining Barcelona’s Primavera in June and Lisbon’s NOS Alive in July.
With all these mysterious rumblings it looks like album number 9 is on the way – so can we possibly speculate what it will sound like? Will it be in the same vein at ‘TKOL’ or go somewhere completely different? Could they throw us a total curveball and make an album of ‘Bends’-style guitar rawk? Previous live shows can give us a few hints. It’s not uncommon for Radiohead to take tracks they’ve played years before and rework them. ‘Nude’, for example, from ‘In Rainbows’, was played first in the late 90s before official release on the 2007 album. ‘Morning Mr Magpie’ was first heard in 2002 before its inclusion on ‘The King Of Limbs.’ The always excellent Citizen Insane has pulled together 12 such tracks – with lots more detailed information on the site – and I’ve added a few more hypotheses. But, realistically, there’s no way of knowing – and that’s what keeps things so exciting.
‘Identikit’ – American Airlines Arena, Miami, February 2012:
‘Skirting On The Surface’ – Dallas, March, 2012:
‘The Present Tense’ – Debuted at Latitude Festival, 2009:
‘The Daily Mail’ – It was released as a single in 2011 after being taken from ‘The King of Limbs: Live from the Basement’ but you never know
‘I Froze Up’ – Debuted during a webcast in 2002 but played again on Atoms For Peace tour 2010
‘Come To Your Senses’ – Played at a sound check, Berkeley, 2006:
Big Boots (Man-O-War) – Meeting People Is Easy, 1998
Unlikely as it was scrapped after this tricky recording session years ago, but you never know:
‘Loop’ – A track played live by Jonny Greenwood
In February 2014. Included because in the Sunday Times interview when asked about the merging of his classical work with Radiohead, he said: “I want all of it to be in Radiohead, really.” Of any of his works, this would be track that slots in best:
‘Ful Stop’ – Chicago, 2012:
‘Wake Me (Before They Come)’ – Hollywood Bowl, 2008
‘Cut A Hole’ – American Airlines Arena in Miami, February 2012:
‘I Lie Awake’ – Soundcheck, Dublin, 2008:
‘Riding A Bullet – Soundcheck, Dublin, 2008
‘Open The Floodgates’ – Soundcheck, San Diego, 2006
There’s a long story behind ‘Burn The Witch’ which you can read here. After crowd requests a few bars have been played live a couple of times. What a tease.
Anyway, bring it on.