The Year 2000 – Kid A by Radiohead
Kid A is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in October 2000 by the Parlophone label. A commercial success worldwide, Kid A went platinum in its first week of release in the United Kingdom.
Despite the lack of an official single or music video as publicity, Kid A became the first Radiohead release to debut at number one in the United States. This success was credited variously to a unique marketing campaign, the early Internet leak of the album, and anticipation after the band’s acclaimed 1997 album OK Computer.
Experimenting with Recording
Kid A was recorded in Paris, Copenhagen, Gloucestershire and Oxford with producer Nigel Godrich. The album’s songwriting and recording were experimental for Radiohead, as the band replaced their earlier “anthemic” rock style with a more electronic sound. Influenced by Krautrock, jazz, and 20th century classical music, Radiohead abandoned their three-guitar line-up for a wider range of instruments on Kid A, using keyboards, the ondes Martenot, and, on certain compositions, strings and brass. Original artwork by Stanley Donwood and Thom Yorke, and a series of short animated films called “blips”, accompanied the album.
Final mixing of Kid A took place in Abbey Road Studios.
Awards & Reception
The album won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. It also received praise for introducing listeners to diverse forms of underground music. Despite the band’s new direction alienating some fans and critics, Kid A received generally positive reviews from notable music publications. Several publications have rated it as the best album of the 2000s and among the greatest of all time. To date the album has sold over four million copies worldwide.
The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.
All through my life I’ve had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was.