Monday, December 28, 2015

The Force Awakens: Radiohead Frontman Thom Yorke Unleashes Scrapped James Bond "Spectre" Theme Song on Christmas Morning (self-released)




While they may be a little out of my typical wheelhouse of head-nodding Hip-Hop or fist-clenching Punk Rock, I've always been a casual fan and long-time admirer of Radiohead's rather unique aesthetic and business tactics... name-your-price In Rainbows, Kid A, OK Computer, I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings, The King of Limbs, Amnesiac, and COM LAG (2plus2isfive). Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and his band mates have seemingly always attempted to employ an underlying Hip-Hop feel and have a mutual respect for the genre as a whole; Philly-bred Tonight Show band The Roots sampled them on Game Theory stand-out "Atonement," as did Kanye, Pharrell & Lupe Fiasco's short-lived super-group Child Rebel Soldier (CRS), and even Portishead founder Geoff Barrow & Katalyst went as far as to revamp "Fitter Happier" on a Guilty Simpson & MED-asssisted Quakers cut. Yorke has even managed to work alongside the mysterious masked villain himself, MF DOOM, on a number of occasions over the years since his critically-acclaimed "solo" debut, The Eraser. So, what I'm ultimately getting at here, in a very long-winded roundabout manner, is that Radiohead without a doubt deserve a little yuletide coverage here at Hip-Hop-minded The Witzard - ha. "Last year, we were asked to write a tune for [James] Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were... 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," a rather generous Star Wars-frenzied @thomyorke wrote on Twitter in a lengthy three-part post early Christmas morning.


It seems as though Radiohead were at one point, in the running to record an original and ultimately scrapped Spectre theme song, which ended up going to "Stay with Me" crooner Sam Smith; nearly having put Radiohead amongst an elite crop of James Bond theme performers including the likes of Louis Armstrong, Paul McCartney & Wings, Madonna, Garbage, Jack White & Alicia Keys, Duran Duran, Adele, Chris Cornell, and Carly Simon. Yorke's statement and immediate FREE Christmas gift of "Spectre" now, seemingly only adds validity to previously debunked reports and sleuthing Radiohead fan forum murmurs that alluded to Radiohead's involvement with Spectre's theme long before director Sam Mendes announced Smith's "Writing's On The Wall." While it functions exceedingly well as undeniably classic Radiohead song, one could see how "Spectre" didn't exactly fit too well with the latest addition to the never-ending James Bond series, as it's a little more dark and brooding (befitting Radiohead's aesthetic) than your typical tastefully sexed-up spy romance-drenched Bond themes. It is however, quite interesting to imagine what a Radiohead-scored Bond sequence might have sounded like, which is why I've included self-proclaimed "huge Radiohead and James Bond fan" StereotypeAnomaly's wonderfully edited Spectre trailer mash-up above. If nothing else, I would imagine that "Spectre" is likely evocative of Radiohead's long-rumored King of Limbs (2011) follow-up, from which they've recently been testing a number of previously unreleased tentative album tracks live on the road.

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