When asked to name Radiohead’s greatest album, the two most common answers are OK Computer and In Rainbows. Released a decade apart, the latter blends the former’s alt-rock instrumentation with the band’s previous electronic experiments, such as Kid A and Amnesiac. Whether you prefer OK Computer or In Rainbows, it’s safe to assume that both are masterpieces in their own right, highlighting Radiohead‘s endless creativity and pioneering musical skills.
In Rainbows was self-released by the band as a pay-as-you-like download in 2007 before XL Recordings distributed physical copies of the album. Lyrically, Thom Yorke strayed away from his usual political musings, instead incorporating more personal themes and storytelling. According to Yorke, the initial writing and recording process was challenging. “We spent a long time in the studio just not going anywhere, wasting our time, and that was really, really frustrating,” he said. The band even considered breaking up, although they ultimately decided not to “because when you got beyond all the shit, and the bollocks, the core of these songs were really good”.
Luckily, the band continued and ended up creating one of their strongest albums. The record was teased by the singles ‘Jigsaw Falling Into Place’ and ‘Nude’, although ‘Weird Fishes/ Arpeggi’ has also become a firm fan favourite. Another standout track is ‘Bodysnatchers’, driven by an aggressive riff and infectious drum beat. During the album’s creation, the band posted frequent updates on their website. On October 25th, 2005, guitarist Ed O’Brien posted the statement: “It’s always difficult to judge right now, but I think we may have got ‘Bodysnatchers’.”
During a 2006 interview with Mojo, Yorke described the inspirations behind the track, describing it as “a little bit like Neu! meets dodgy hippy rock. It sounds like that new Australian band Wolfmother – I really like them, actually.” Elsewhere, Yorke has described Victorian ghost stories as a source of lyrical inspiration.
However, speaking to NME in 2007, Yorke detailed the recording of the intense track, revealing that his vocals were completed in one take. “I have this thing… just before I get sick, I’ll have this 120-hour hyperactive mania, and that song was recorded during one of those. I felt genuinely out of it when we did that. The vocal is one take, and we didn’t do anything to it afterwards. We tidied up my guitar because I was so out of it, my guitar playing was rubbish. My best vocals are always the ones that happen there and then.”