Radiohead – Kid A/Amnesiac

Previously pressed on 10″ vinyl, both Kid A and Amnesiac are now available on 12″ heavyweight-vinyl. John Earls reports…

kid a and amnesiac


For a band who seem to regard innovation as their most important quality, there’s no surprises Radiohead haven’t troubled the reissue market.

There’s never been a deluxe edition of any Radiohead album, which hasn’t been helped by the infamously messy end of their record deal with Parlophone, when they left then-owner Guy Hands’ chaotic rule in 2007 shortly before the release of In Rainbows.
Since then, Radiohead and Thom Yorke’s physical solo releases have been through XL. In May, the label quietly reissued six Radiohead albums on vinyl to coincide with the new A Moon Shaped Pool.
That only left Kid A and Amnesiac, which now follow in the same £20 format as May’s download code/180gm vinyl/original packaging reissues. For length reasons, both albums are on double vinyl – this time on 12”, rather than the original double 10” non-heavyweight-vinyl releases by Parlophone.
Recorded at the same time, if taken as a whole there’s a classic album among these two releases – and a fair bit of filler too. For every groundbreaking masterpiece like The National Anthem or You And Whose Army? is a soggy ‘Bung it on anyway’ experiment like Hunting Bears or the unlovely Treefingers.
At the time, Kid A arriving three years after OK Computer seemed like a huge wait. It was greeted as a puzzling, tune-free exercise by many contemporary critics. Now it’s revered as reinventing Radiohead altogether, when the truth is somewhere in between. At least it was more radical than the five-year gap between the dispiriting trudge of The King Of Limbs and the only slightly more welcoming A Moon Shaped Pool. Perhaps the bigger issue as Radiohead continue to gaze inwards is whether XL’s purchase of their catalogue means the band’s vaults are finally about to open.