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Hail To The Thief

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Audio CD, June 10, 2003
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Radiohead is Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Philip Selway and Thom Yorke.

Radiohead's previous recordings have included 1993's Pablo Honey, 1995's The Bends, 1997's OK Computer (the tour for which was documented by the 1998 film Meeting People Is Easy), 2000's Kid A, 2001's Amnesiac, 2003's Hail To The Thief and In Rainbows, which was ... Read more in Amazon's Radiohead Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Hail To The Thief + Amnesiac (2-10" LPs) [Vinyl] + The Bends [Vinyl]
Price for all three: $50.25

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B000092ZYX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,023 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,817 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 2 + 2 = 5
2. Sit down. Stand up.
3. Sail to the Moon.
4. Backdrifts.
5. Go to Sleep.
6. Where I End and You Begin.
7. We suck Young Blood.
8. The Gloaming.
9. There there.
10. I will.
11. A Punchup at a Wedding.
12. Myxomatosis.
13. Scatterbrain.
14. A Wolf at the Door.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Filling the gulf between OK Computer's epic progressive rock and Kid A's skittering electronic theatrics, Hail to the Thief borrows equally from each. Its title implies that this will be a collection filled with songs of anger and dissent, but Radiohead no longer howl at the moon like they did on 1995's The Bends. Instead, they use eloquent metaphors and complicated arrangements to express the uncertainty, fear and anger arising from the 2000 U.S. presidential election and a post-9/11 world. There’s no doubt about where Thom Yorke and company stand; the prog-rock break on "2 + 2 = 5" and Yorke's terror at the thought of being "put in a dock" make that immediately clear. But there's a prevailing sense of powerlessness here. The tinkling piano behind the cold sonic surface of "Backdrifts" and the brief, swooping melody in the middle of "Sail to the Moon" are islands in a sea of confusion. Like the band's best work, Thief requires more than a few listens to fully appreciate, but those who stick around will be richly rewarded. --Matthew Cooke

Customer Reviews

Hail the thief is a great cd from radiohead and I would rate it high after albums like OK COMPUTER and THE BENDS.
If you're wondering if you should buy this album or not, here's what I'm going to say: - If you're a Radiohead fan then OF COURSE!
Hail to the Thief is very good album that will offer something new each time you listen to it due to the complexity of each song.
Jeremy Cardwell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

383 of 417 people found the following review helpful By drew m on June 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Thom Yorke has said in recent interviews that Hail to the Thief will be the last album from Radiohead as you know them. Two years from now, he predicted, Radiohead will reemerge completely unrecognizable. Given that Radiohead could release a blank CD and have the world salivate over it, the possibilities of Yorke's prophecy inspire both wonder and fear. Funny that the band's new CD, Hail to the Thief, should do the exact same thing.
Here it is, Radiohead fans - the final cumulative effort from the most original rock band in decades. Thief sounds nothing like The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, or Amnesiac. Thief sounds everything like The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, or Amnesiac. It is warm. It is cold. It is accessible. It is inscrutable. It is gorgeous. It is terrifying. It is immediate. It is distant. And, above all else, it is fascinating. For the people (okay, everybody) hoping Radiohead might warm up after their Kid A/Amnesiac double dose of nihilism, Thief does just that. But it does even more. Thief isn't another OK Computer. If you want that, you may want to listen to... OK Computer (that is why it exists in the first place). Instead, Thief is a cohesive mishmash of The Bends' immediacy, OK's layered guitar wails, and Kid A/Amnesiac's electronic gurgling. The critical thing is that Radiohead, as a band, have improved in all those musical approaches, and the result is their most sonically diverse album yet. Looking for proof? Just consult "2+2=5", a slow brooding echo chamber that, midway through, blasts into an electric-guitar fury that sounds like, of all things, a Pearl Jam song. Or try "Sit Down. Stand Up.", a forbidding piano haunter that slowly and sickeningly crescendos into an electronic hailstorm.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Tom Benton on February 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
After completely changing their sound with 2000's KID A and 2001's AMNESIAC, the fate of Radiohead seemed uncertain. Where would they go next? They'd already passed on their chance to become the world's biggest band, and they'd lost a lot of fans who loved the band for its strong, dreamy 90's alt-rock sound on the group's first three albums. It all came together in 2003, when the band suddenly reappeared with HAIL TO THE THIEF, a 14-track masterpiece spawned from the recent (negative) changes in the political landscape.

A big part of why HAIL TO THE THIEF is such a success is that the band combines the strength, aggression, and subliminal protests of their early albums with the oddity and surreal techno sound of KID A and AMNESIAC. The result is Radiohead's finest album since OK COMPUTER, and also their darkest and most unsettling. On HAIL TO THE THIEF, the band is no longer trying to take a stand. To them it seems that time is up, and they're just going to rub it in our faces, with lyrics like "We can wipe you out anytime," "You have not been paying attention," and "We tried but there was nothing we could do." Listening to this album, I can't help thinking that Radiohead is the best band since The Beatles, and that HAIL TO THE THIEF is the Radiohead equivalent to THE WHITE ALBUM, a diverse collection of songs (though these are, of course, considerably more morose than anything The Beatles ever composed).
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84 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Rubin Carver on May 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Why the title? Because had any other band released this album, it would have been lauded as complete genious, a breakthrough in popular music. But instead, Radiohead released it, and as such it draws comparison to the titans OK Computer, Kid A, and even to an extent, The Bends and Amnesiac. Is Hail to the Thief as good as these albums? In some ways, yes. In other ways, no. I will go in to as much detail as I can comfortably muster...

First, a major complaint is the album's cohesiveness. Or more like its lack thereof. It is true that the album stalls and restarts in spots. For instance, while "2+2=5" is like a punch to the face from one fist and "Sit Down. Stand Up" a follow up from the other hand, leaving you dazed and half-conscious during the beautiful, astral scenery of "Sail to the Moon", "Backdrifts" sort of stutters. "Backdrifts" itself is a pretty good song, and fits just fine after "Sail to the Moon." However, it doesn't seem to provide an adequete enough bridge between the first portion of the record and "Go to Sleep." In fact, the problem here may not be "Backdrifts," but "Go to Sleep." It just doesn't fit on the album that well. I love the song but it divides the record up.

"Where I End and You Begin" and "We Suck Young Blood" pick up the album again after "Go to Sleep" drops it, indulging in creepy lyricism and emotionally-over-the-top music. "The Gloaming" is conceptually a high point of the album but musically a weak point. Still, it serves the album just fine where it is, and even manages to segway into "There There" effectively. There's a sort of "gloaming" in the album, everything before this track being the dusk and everything after it the night. This fits with the oftentimes political preoccupation of the album fairly nicely.
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Hail to the Thief with Nightmare Before Christmas
I'll try it just for kicks
Jan 1, 2010 by Esteban C. Martinez |  See all 2 posts
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