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Coloring Club Plus — 8/8/19 with “morning bell,” by Radiohead

Aug 8

Aug 8a

I have Radiohead’s discography. Kid A ranks right up there. Trying to remember how I started listening to Radiohead in the first place with OK Computer, but I’ve been a passionate fan of their music ever since. There’s a glowing jewel of humanity in the center of Radiohead’s music. I feel the same way about them as I do about George Harrison and a few other musicians. Morning Bell, my selection from the album, reminds me of a couple who has followed society’s template for success and has achieved society’s idea of success – and finds it to be empty. I watched another hour of Scorcese’s “Living in the Material World” last night and think of the interview where George is talking about how Western religion is one step removed from God and that he wanted a direct experience of God. In another clip he talked about when The Beatles got rich and could buy anything they wanted, but they realized there was no spiritual satisfaction there just because they had money.

Kid A is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released on October 2, 2000 by Parlophone. (There is a plethora of information about this album on wikipedia, if you want to know more!.) After the stress of promoting Radiohead’s acclaimed 1997 album OK Computer, songwriter Thom Yorke envisioned a radical change in direction. The band incorporated synthesisers, drum machines, strings and brass, drawing influence from electronic music, ambient, krautrock, jazz, and 20th-century classical music. They recorded Kid A with OK Computer producer Nigel Godrich in Paris, Copenhagen, Gloucestershire and their hometown Oxford, England. Another album recorded in the same sessions, Amnesiac, was released the following year.

Radiohead released no singles or music videos to promote Kid A and conducted few interviews and photoshoots. Instead, they became one of the first major acts to use the internet as a promotional tool; the album was made available to stream and was promoted with short animated films featuring music and artwork. Bootlegs of early performances were shared on file-sharing services, and the album was leaked before release.

Kid A debuted at the top of the charts in Britain, where it went platinum in the first week, and it became Radiohead’s first number-one album in the United States. Like OK Computer, it won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. Its departure from Radiohead’s earlier sound divided fans and critics, and some dismissed it as pretentious or deliberately obscure. However, Kid A later attracted wider acclaim; at the turn of the decade, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and the Times ranked Kid A the greatest album of the 2000s. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked it number 67 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Yorke wrote many of Kid A’s lyrics by cutting up words and phrases and assembling them at random, combining everyday cliches and banal observations (“Where’d you park the car?”) with violent imagery (“Cut the kids in half”). He cited David Byrne’s approach to lyrics on the 1980 Talking Heads album Remain in Light as an influence: “When they made that record, they had no real songs, just wrote it all as they went along. Byrne turned up with pages and pages, and just picked stuff up and threw bits in all the time. And that’s exactly how I approached Kid A.

About “Morning Bell” from songfacts.com:

Two different versions were recorded. One version appears on Kid A, the other (“Morning Bell/Amnesiac”) appears on Amnesiac. Both albums were recorded simultaneously, but Kid A was released first.

Lead singer Thom Yorke recorded this into a mini-disc player, but lost the song and forgot about it when the mini-disc got zapped in a lightning storm. Five months later Yorke woke up after a long flight and remembered the song.

At a show in Israel on July 9, 2000, Yorke said: “This is a song about forgetting who you are, em, or anything about yourself, and then waking you up, one day, and looking yourself in the mirror, and remembering… and freaking out.

Morning bell
Morning bell
Light another candle
Release me
Release me

You can keep the furniture
A bump on the head
Coming down the chimney
Release me
Release me
Release me
Release me

Where’d you park the car?
Where’d you park the car?
Clothes are all over the furniture
And I might as well
I might as well
Sleepy jack the fire drill
Run around around around around around

Cut the kids in half
Cut the kids in half
Cut the kids in half

Release me
Release me
Release me
Release me

Songwriters: Colin Charles Greenwood / Edward John O’brien / Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood / Philip Selway / Philip James Selway / Thomas Yorke / Thomas Edward Yorke

12 thoughts on “Coloring Club Plus — 8/8/19 with “morning bell,” by Radiohead

  1. What a beautiful bird!
    Discovered Radiohead at work (where I discover most things) when we used to caption
    Bates Motel and they played “The Tourist.” Such an amazing vocal dip in that song.
    All their stuff is so haunting and full of pathos!

    Liked by 1 person

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