20 years since Kid A...

I found this album really confusing when it came out: I was definitely not ready for it. Even now I think it’s over-rated, and admire the bravery in making such a left turn and defying expectations more than like the music. I probably prefer The Bends, In Rainbows, Hail To The Thief and maybe even Amnesiac.

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I remember reading loads of stuff about Motion Picture Soundtrack before ever hearing it, i think it was in their live sets for a good while. Anyway when I heard it on Kid A, what an anti-climax

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They opened with Optimistic when I first saw them saw them play, back in the tent tour, so it holds a special place. That said, i do love it and it helps make Kid A what it is. Especially starting Side B or bringing it back after Treefingers


Haven’t listened to it in years. The bad reviews of it are massively cringe, I’m not really certain anyone can mount a convincing attack on kid A


Kid A is my favourite Radiohead record, and would likely make my top 10 of all time.

As others allude to, it’s such a gateway record that opened up my tastes much more widely.

Baffling when it came out - brilliant, still, 20 years on.

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Good record, there were probably better but I didn’t hear them when I was a teenager so it’s moot.

quaint how angry people got about some synths and beats


Morning Bell is genuinely unsettling in a way few of their songs achieve, love how it’s weary and very tidy at the same time, that major key turn in the chorus is very affecting. Probably the best thing they ever recorded


Also really suits the brittle and bright clean production of the time, don’t think if it was recorded today it would have as cohesive an aesthetic

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:grinning: Always just assumed Fence was a club house for the 5-10 folk who made up early Fence Records. Blows my mind it was an actual shop normal people could go in to.

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It was an amazing wee shop. Got so many crackers there - the day I bought Loveless, Discreet Music and Echo Dek for £6 each stands out in particular. Lived in a flat a few doors down from there in my 2nd year, which was particularly dangerous for my bank balance. Got my N64 there too :slight_smile:

Actually, it might have become Fence during my time there, can’t really remember. Amazing wee 2nd hand place on the other side of town too - Eclipse, I think it was called


If you’ve not read it already, Vic Galloway’s book Songs In The Key Of Fife gives it numerous shout-outs. Sounded a great wee place.

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I’ll look it up, thanks!

I’m really stoked with your choice of favourite song and nearly went for it. The sheer release of those bars against what comes before and after is incredible and yes the lyrics convey divorce in a very real and unsettling way. That one little tiny amendment to the drums for one bar really Sounds like a mistake and probably isn’t is it? Brilliant.


The whole thing just sounds like somebody struggling to keep it together through clenched teeth to me, the clinical and sterile almost plain keys combined with the marching beat that hints at being off-kilter with it/s 5/4 time signature and little snare rolls makes it feel unsettling, like the fear of something lurking beneath the banality. All leads to that great atonal screech of strings in the instrumental part.


Been on dis in one form or another since 2006 and I still think my most controversial opinion ever aired here is that amnesiac > kid a. Still stand by it. Both are amazing but amnesiac has the better songs.


My take is that they should have been combined. Both have always felt a bit incomplete to me.

Came out a couple weeks after i moved to Swindon (i know…) to do my art degree. Popped in the record shop the Friday before release and it was on the racks. Couldn’t believe my luck. OKC changed my life, musically speakimg and I was so excited for Kid A. I had been to the Victoria Park gig a week or so before which was one of my favourite gigs ever, so had heard a lot of the songs already.

But the album came out at such a big time in my life, farmer’s son moves away to big city (Swindon seemed big at the time anyway) and i didnt know anyone and i remember walking out the shop, putting it straight into my discman, EIIRP in one ear, my friend Keith on the phone im the other ear, me telling him how I’d already got the album and it was amazing (I’d heard about 1 minute of it by this point).
Listened to little else for weeks, devoured the artwork and text hidden in the CD case.

Anyway, point being i loved it, i still love it, it will always take me back to that place, a place i fucking hated(!) but honestly it couldnt have come out at a better time for me. It will always be my favourite album

Not sure what point any of the above is making but essentially very important and good album for me, 10/10


Amazing album, not just because of the great music but, as others have mentioned, it was an incredibly important gateway to me at a time when I needed that. Not only that but I think the opening of EIIRP is one of the most understatedly brilliant ways to start a record.

I won a competition to hear the record a few weeks before it came out - so my sister and I went to a listening party somewhere in Camden market. We listened to it start to finish in the dark, and it blew my 15 y/o brain apart. Then when it came out I went in an early break time to get it from a local music shop (Modern Music in Abingdon, RIP) and just listened absolutely non-stop for months. I loved it, loved the artwork, loved the marketing around it, loved the Steve Lamacq special they did, loved everything. Some of it seems quite cringey now really but that totally underestimates the importance of it to 15-year-old me.


Love that Jonny has become full Jimi Hendrix in this. What the album could have been…