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Radiohead Surprise Fans With Early Release of The King of Limbs

The King of Limbs
The King of Limbs
Courtesy Radiohead

Formed in the English town of Oxfordshire in 1985, Radiohead experienced success early on when their 1992 hit single "Creep" launched them into mainstream success on both sides of the pond. They would go on to release their sophomore album The Bends in 1995, and would later release the biggest album of the band’s career, 1997’s OK Computer. After releasing two more albums through their former label EMI, Radiohead began eschewing common formats and cycles and began self-releasing their own music after severing ties with EMI, allowing the band to work at their own pace while nurturing a sound that has grown to define the band as musical pioneers in the 21st Century.

When the band announced earlier this week that they would be self-releasing their 8th album The King of Limbs on Saturday February 19th, the blogosphere lit up with anticipation about the release. However Radiohead managed to fool their fans yet again and released the album this morning, a day ahead of the scheduled release. And while devout fans of the band have remained loyal and supportive of the new music, there’s already been a large number of bedroom critics that have taken to the internet to promptly bash The King of Limbs with its’ introspective themes and ambient sounds.

While most of the response to The King of Limbs has been positive, there have been many detractors regarding the video of the first single, "Lotus Flower." The stark black and white video showcasing Radiohead front man Thom Yorke dancing like Ian Curtis during a seizure seems a bit self indulgent and mighty peculiar to many fans. The lack of creativity in the video is strange coming from a group like Radiohead. It seems almost as if the band was sitting around yesterday easting fish and chips and abruptly decided to shoot a music video and upload it to YouTube.

From what I’ve heard of the album, it’s an expansion of their already established sound combining elements of electronica and ambient noise in a familiar package that Radiohead fans have grown to love.

As fans settle in to a three day weekend with their iPods blasting King of The Limbs on repeat, many are still awaiting the physical release of the album which promises tons of extra artwork and a tangible piece of Radiohead that they can take home and display on their mantle.