4.7 36
by Radiohead

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Billed as the more accessible bookend to the inscrutable but chart-topping Kid A, this compelling disc isn't exactly a paradigm of mainstream pop. Yes, guitars do rear their -- sometimes ugly, sometimes quite beautiful -- heads more often on Amnesiac, but the songs here are every bit as deep and provocative. Not that that's a bad…  See more details below


Billed as the more accessible bookend to the inscrutable but chart-topping Kid A, this compelling disc isn't exactly a paradigm of mainstream pop. Yes, guitars do rear their -- sometimes ugly, sometimes quite beautiful -- heads more often on Amnesiac, but the songs here are every bit as deep and provocative. Not that that's a bad thing, of course. Most of Amnesiac's songs are wrapped in claustrophobia-inducing effects (like the pitch-shifter applied to Thom Yorke's already otherworldly voice on "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors") or bracing, atonal blasts of noise (like the machine-shop blare that permeates "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box"). When they do surface, the guitars that were all but absent on Kid A emerge in uncharacteristic ways: "I Might Be Wrong," for instance, finds Jonny Greenwood and Ed O'Brien locked in a down-and-dirty blues battle that suggests the Yardbirds -- as gene-spliced with Underworld. Similarly, "Pyramid Song" takes a relatively spare, piano-driven melody and surrounds it with strings that wrap ever tighter, accentuating the desperate tone of Yorke's vocal. The singer asserts himself a bit more strongly on this disc, rather than burying his plaints beneath the sonic waves. His tone, harried and paranoid, remains essentially unchanged, his frets and fears articulated with an anguished delivery that sounds more credible than ever. Exhausting, but unforgettable, stuff.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Faced with a deliberately difficult deviation into "experimentation," Radiohead and their record label promoted Kid A as just that -- a brave experiment, and that the next album, which was just around the corner, really, would be the "real" record, the one to satiate fans looking for the next OK Computer, or at least guitars. At the time, people bought the myth, especially since live favorites like "Knives Out" and "You and Whose Army?" were nowhere to be seen on Kid A. That, however, ignores a salient point -- Amnesiac, as the album came to be known, consists of recordings made during the Kid A sessions, so it essentially sounds the same. Since Radiohead designed Kid A as a self-consciously epochal, genre-shattering record, the songs that didn't make the cut were a little simpler, so it shouldn't be a surprise that Amnesiac plays like a streamlined version of Kid A, complete with blatant electronica moves and production that sacrifices songs for atmosphere. This, inevitably, will disappoint the legions awaiting another guitar-based record (that is, after all, what they were explicitly promised), but what were they expecting? This is an album recorded at the same time and Radiohead have a certain reputation to uphold. It would be easier to accept this if the record was better than it is. Where Kid A had shock on its side, along with an admirably dogged desire to not be conventional, Amnesiac often plays as a hodgepodge. True, it's a hodgepodge with amazing moments: the hypnotic sway of "Pyramid Song" and "You and Whose Army?," the swirling "I Might Be Wrong," "Knives Out," and the spectacular closer "Life in a Glasshouse," complete with a drunkenly swooning brass band. But, these are not moments that are markedly different than Kid A, which itself lost momentum as it sputtered to a close. And this is the main problem -- though it's nice for an artist to be generous and release two albums, these two records clearly derive from the same source and have the same flaws, which clearly would have been corrected if they had been consolidated into one record. Instead of revealing why the two records were separated, the appearance of Amnesiac makes the separation seem arbitrary -- there's no shift in tone, no shift in approach, and the division only makes the two records seem unfocused, even if the best of both records is quite stunning, proof positive that Radiohead are one of the best bands of their time.
Blender - Douglas Wolk
Nobody has ever made a record that sounds like this before. Eventually, they will. But Radiohead will have done it first.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Parlophone (Wea)


  1. Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box
  2. Pyramid Song
  3. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors
  4. You and Whose Army?
  5. I Might Be Wrong
  6. Knives Out
  7. Morning Bell/Amnesiac
  8. Dollars & Cents
  9. Hunting Bears
  10. Like Spinning Plates
  11. Life in a Glass House

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Radiohead   Primary Artist
Orchestra of Saint Johns   Performing Ensemble
Humphrey Lyttelton   Trumpet,Bandleader,Leader
Paul Bridge   Double Bass
Jimmy Hastings   Clarinet
John Lubbock   Conductor
Pete Strange   Trombone
Orchestra 440   Performing Ensemble
Adrian Macintosh   Drums
Thom Yorke   Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Jonny Greenwood   Arranger,Orchestral Arrangements
Graeme Stewart   Engineer
Stanley Donwood   Book,Drawing
Radiohead   Producer
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Nigel Godrich   Producer,Engineer
Tchocky   Book
Dan Grech-Marguerat   Engineer

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Amnesiac 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well worth the purchase! Radiohead's latest limited edition CD surpasses any other, especially in artwork and presentation. What a great collectable. Great music!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this cd, and can only give high praise. Radiohead is one of the great bands out there, and this is definately a must buy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
another amazing piece of work from radiohead! wonderfully orchestrated songs...thom yorke's beautifully anguished voice doesn't get distorted as much as Kid A...and the guitars are slowly making their way back into the music...wonderful stuff! radiohead sure knows how to take their music in a differet direction with each album and create an amazing listening experience!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the only band that matters right now.
new - progressive - non-pop
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid Radiohead fan who owns most of their albums (save for Pablo Honey), it was truly an effort to find anything I liked on Radiohead's latest, ''Amnesiac.'' In this author's opinion, Radiohead has carred on the artist/musician motif just a little too far -- too much abstract act and not enough music. Perhaps the title ''Amnesiac'' is appropriate -- it might be indicative that Radiohead has lost its musical direction. ''O.K. Computer'' was truly an outstanding album, and ''Kid A'' not a bad follow-up, but my copy of ''Amnesiac'' most likely (and quite sadly) end up in a garage sale somewhere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Believe it or not,I had never heard any of Radiohead's material before(I know,I've been under a rock musically for awhile..),and the manager of the CD store here convinced me to buy this.(I have the limited book version) All I can say is...WOW! ''Amnesiac'' takes some getting used to, but to these ears it sounds like Thom got into his Kraftwerk records big time.I especially like the third track-music for a cyborg factory. If some of you don't like the direction the band is going in,hey,they're CHANGING, and change is good! They've converted me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There's something beautiful about this album. Oh, I'll admit when I first sat down to listen to it, I was extremely irritated by the end of Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors. But when Thom's mournful voice and the splendid piano work on You And Whose Army? came on, I was thrilled. And as the album went on, I decided it wasn't that bad. I've listened to it numerous times now and have decided that I do like it. It's not their best album (and I own every single one), but I can live with it. Because there are some songs reminiscent of OK Computer on there. I consider this their step back from Kid A to OK Computer... and can't wait to hear the band's next effort.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid Radiohead fan, I jumped at the opportunity to buy this album. I've got everything they have released, and 'Amnesiac'is frighteningly good. ' Pyramid Song ' is one of the most spine tingingly great pieces of work they have produced, as good as anything on 'OK Computer'. ' Like Spinning Plates' sounds just like the title. They are a band who look like they are enjoying their music, even though it is not for everyone. They are taking footsteps forward. Although 'Ok Computer' was their masterpiece, ' Kid A/Amnesiac ' was the work of a band that is not afraid to alter themselves, and some of their sound, but not all of it. No one would else would have even tried at the moment. It was brave.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Listening to Amnesiac for the first time was like the premier of a Beatles or Pink Floyd album: a slight disappointment, a bit of a let down. That was because I hadn't caught up with the non-formulaic and unexpected direction Radiohead have gone. It is ironic that a band called Radiohead doesn't get airplay because they refuse to follow the proper patterns. Amnesiac is colossal and I expect their next cd to be another disappointment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another incomparable masterpiece. It has everything, even what it doesn't have...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best album that Radiohead has ever done. Radiohead is so far beyond. They are innovators for music in the future. This album a bit electronic but still got that edge they are known for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just as with people, no two albums should sound or be exactly alike, so this album shouldn't be considered a 'blueprint' for how to make a critically or commercially successful album. But for its track arrangement, sequencing, and start-to-finish feel, Amnesiac by Radiohead defines what an album should be - a collection of great songs with a progression, a development, and a culmination. You can hear the human personal quirks of their playing through the often computerized sounds - that's the point. It's like they are post-rock and roll, yet their 'jazzy', individual warts-and-all styles of playng shine through little cracks in the otherwise cold and desolate digital soundscape. This band is self-aware. This album reflects it. A+. P.S. the live versions of some of these songs, soon to be released on an 8-song EP, sound different and, well, more live.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simply their best album yet. Ghostly Futuristic sonic bliss.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i usually listen to just rap music, but this cd blew me away. 'kid a' also put a spell on me. definitely a good break from the bubble gum pop acts out there. whenever you get a chance, pick this up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a Radiohead fan for years, and Radiohead just continually gets better every album they put out. The songs on this album will steal your soul and take it on a whirlwind trip around the universe. It's not their best album, but it's definitely one of my top three Radiohead albums.
Guest More than 1 year ago
amnesiac (and kid-a) is more than just another cd by radiohead, both of these albums(which were both born in the same recording sessions) are landmarks in the history of rock, and i believe they will have as much impact as nirvana's ''nevermind'' had in the early 90's. it is not less musicality, its just different instrumentation, which makes their music (not necessarily better), but much more interesting. the cd has the same or even better music quality than ok computer, but the sounds are different, they dont use the same boring sounds that garage american bands use. be careful though, if you start listening to radiohead soon you will start listening only to radiohead. and everything else is going to sound not as good as it used to. is just like coffee you probably wont like it as much the first time because its different, but later you will be basically addicted to it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When Radiohead emerged on the scene with Pablo Honey and the radio friendly ''Creep'', they were unfortunately grouped with other ''alternative'' bands. However, Radiohead emerged as a leader in music rather than a follower. Each album has shown a progression in musical and lyrical complexity. Amnesiac is the follow-up to the highly acclaimed Kid A. Kid A was a complete opposite of their Grammy award winning OK Computer. Amnesiac continues that unique journey by a band not concerned with commercial success. After the first notes of ''Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box'' are heard the listener is transported into a haunting, introspective, experimental musical journey. Instead of creating the same old rock and roll formula, Radiohead moves away from the guitars and experiments with noise. Each song flows into one another and yet they are all unique in their sound. The haunting sound of ''I might be wrong'' and its equally though provoking lyrics will stick with you even after you are done listening. Thom Yorke and company has done a masterful job of creating an atmosphere on this album not just music. This is an album that you put in your car and find an excuse to drive. This is truly one of the greatest albums I have ever listened to in my life. This album in its experimentation deserves to be mentioned with other albums like Quadrophneia, The Wall, and Sgt. Pepper's. Thankfully, Radiohead once again shows why great music cannot always be defined and categorized.
Guest More than 1 year ago
tom yorke has explored the unknown world which only exists between heavens and earth. a paranormal dimention traveled only by angels and nomatic spirits. with only music to comminate his tale amnesiac brings to life amnesiatical hymns and invites other worlds home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
thi cd was one of the first cds i got by radiohead i heard this album once and never put it down after that. all the ttracks are equally good i could sit for hours and listen to this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like the sounds of this cd when you heard this cd then get it, but if you haven't heard the samples yet, then i edvice you to sit down and hear the outstanding studio performance with sounds that no one had done first (believe me this a worth to hear throw those ears).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just bought this CD today. It's very good. It is also, however, quite sad. The album is like a wave of emotion in the form of a CD. The songs are well-written and have a uniqueness to them that you will definately not find from any other band. As for the album art, it is quite original, but has a darker tone than other Radiohead albums. This album is definately something to have in your CD collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although it isn't as immediately addictive as some of Radiohead's other albums, Amnesiac is possibly their best work. It took me many listens to realize it, but Amnesiac evokes emotions like no other album ever has. If you don't love it the first time, just keep listening.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This isn't radiohead's best cd, but its awesome nonetheless and i dont see why alot of people do not like it. These are ratings for the tracks: Packt like Sardines in a Tin Box - 8/10 Pyramid Song - 10/10 Push/Pulk Revolving Doors - 9/10 You and Whose Army - 10/10 I Might Be Wrong - 100000/10 (no, thats not a typo..this is radioheads best song besides: Knives Out - 100000/10 (This ties with IMBW for Radioheads best song EVER) Morning Bell/Amnesiac - 7/10 Dollars and Cents - 11/10(not a typo either) Hunting Bears - 1/10 (It sounds like it was made in 2 minutes...) Like Spinning Plates - 10/10 (The album version isn't that good, but it is AWESOME when Radiohead plays it live) Life in a Glass House - 8/10 As I suggested before, when you listen to this CD for the first time, skip to track 5 and/or 6 or even track 8 before listening to anything else, they are truly radioheads best!