Hail to the Thief isn’t as good as In Rainbows but it’s a much more interesting album imo (and I like the unpleasant feeling of dread, very reminiscent of the Iraq war… which I don’t like, but I like gloomy music).
I remember 2003 well. I was 11, and it was as though the world suddenly turned into hell or something. I was exposed to Hail to the Thief and Sleeping With Ghosts by Placebo, and I remember the Blair/Bush invasion of Iraq. Grim music, grim year.
I mostly remember HTTT sounding like the band was flopping around and really unsure of what they wanted to do. Some good tracks, but mostly forgettable. It’s more interesting in a “what the hell is this?” kind of way, but not in a way they intended.
Hail to the Thief could do with some trimming (maybe lose The Gloaming and Scatterbrain) and they’ve done better albums, but it’s still very good
I presume this matches with the ratings I’ve given them before.
Top Tier: In Rainbows/Kid A/OK Computer 5 Stars
Tier Two: The Bends/Thom’s HTTT tracklist/AMSP 4.5 Stars
Tier Three: Amnesiac/KOL 4 Stars
Tier Four: HTTT 3.5 Stars
Tier Five: Pablo Honey 3 Stars
I like most of the songs on HTTT, it just needs to be trimmed in order to make a focused album. 3.5 might be a bit brutal really, but it does fall down trying to squeeze things like Sucking That Blood and Ben Stokes’ Wedding into that selection of songs.
sail to the moon
sit down. stand up
go to sleep
a wolf at the door
hmm interesting, might give it a try
yeah if HTTT cut some of it’s guff it could easily be a top 3 Radiohead album
There There would be an awful opener and 2+2=5 in the backhalf is a travesty. That sequencing would underscore just how much puttering about there is on the album. Only possible advantage that tracklist has is that it drops a few of the weaker tracks.
HTTT just isn’t that good and nowhere near their best work.
I think I probably thought that once, I don’t any more.
I put it on a playlist a while ago:
if you have to alter the tracklist, it’s probably not a good album.
fuck debating what their best album is, I’ll settle on HTTT being recognised for the mediocre album it is.
sort of agree, don’t fancy there there as an opener at all but i dunno, it’d be very easy to take a good album and ruin it by altering the tracklisting and chucking in a b-side. don’t think it should be written off, there’s great stuff on it. wolf at the door is probably top 3 radiohead songs for me.
Was reading a while ago that the aim of a lot of HTTT was to try and capture the live sound they’d found for the Kid A/Amnesiac stuff which I can kinda see and might be why it appeals to me (the I Might Be Wrong live EP is one of my most played RH records)
There There’s a great live opener but think it works better later on the record, where 2+2=5 is a natural opener
By the time The Gloaming has started getting really tedious, hearing those drums suddenly start up is a proper thrill
I’m sure 2+2 used to come out pretty early in live sets but now it tends to be near the end which always feels like odd placement
Yeah - I read that too… it was all written and recorded pretty quickly too…Nigel G said they all accept now it was too long and unfocussed. I remember really not liking it at the time but in one of my recent Radiohead obsessive episodes (sparked by the OKC reissue) I relistened and it’s got so many amazing songs on it… I think Thom said at one point There There is his favourite Radiohead song… although he’s said that about more than one so far I can tell
I really HATE the song-titles-with-brackets thing, though
I can hear that, but a lot of it just sounds malnourished to me.
I’m probably also alone in thinking There There is nowhere near a top tier track. This one might sound better live, but on record it always felt a bit flat and like there wasn’t really much to the composition.