Why 'Hail To The Thief'? Well, it's political - and we want to know what you think...

The title of RADIOHEAD sixth album ‘HAIL TO THE THIEF’ is also an anti-GEORGE W BUSH slogan used by protesters at the end of the controversial election campaign that put him into the WHITE HOUSE, NME.COM can exclusively reveal.

The phrase ‘Hail To The Thief’ was coined by protesters at the end of the 2000 US Presidential election, when controversy famously surrounded Bush’s rise to office. The battle between Bush and Democrat candidate Al Gore came to a bitter end, with the result in the key state of Florida dogged by recounts, amid allegations of unfairness in the voting process.

On the day of his inauguration Bush was greeted in Washington by thousands of protesters with banners, some of who shouted, ‘Hail to the thief, our commander in chief’.


The phrase has now become well used in anti-Bush circles. A website, www.hail-to-the-thief.org, that casts a cynical eye over US policy is active and goes under the banner ‘Hail to the Thief! Love your country. Never trust its government.’ A number of books and articles have also been written, perhaps most famously ‘Mediaocracy 2000 -Hail to the Thief’ by Danny Schechter, which looks at the role of the media in the election.

Radiohead return to the UK for a sold-out tour of small venues in May and the record, released on June 9 via Parlophone, has just been completed following final mastering at London’s famous Abbey Road studios. Sessions prior to that were recorded in LA and Oxfordshire, and produced by Nigel Godrich.

NME.COM was also the first to publish the ‘Hail To The Thief’ tracklisting yesterday (March 24). The album mostly consists of studio versions of the songs played on last summer’s tour of Spain and Portugal. Only two, ‘Backdrifts’ and ‘The Gloaming’, which means the twilight between day and night, have not been heard by the Radiohead hardcore.

‘There There’ will be the first single taken from ‘Hail To The Thief’, and will be released on May 26. NME.COM has heard the song, which while still commercial, is also the most unconventional Radiohead single since ‘Paranoid Android’. Despite being a ‘new’ song, it was actually written years ago and a version was played during a studio webcast in November 2000 – around the time of release of ‘Kid A’.

So what do you think of the title? Send your comments to news@nme.com.

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