Though Radiohead had established a solid reputation by 1997 on the strength of their 1993 debut album Pablo Honey and its 1995 successor The Bends, the arrival of their ambitiously expansive OK Computer in May of that year transformed the band into musical deities across the globe.
But while some bands—albeit spurred on by their record labels—would have set out to craft OK Computer Part II after experiencing such ubiquitous critical and commercial acclaim, the unpredictable pair of albums that Radiohead created next reinforced that they are indeed the antithesis of some band.
Recorded between early 1999 and the spring of 2000, Kid A was unveiled in October 2000 and showcased the band’s sonic evolution, as they embraced more electronic textures and ambient melodies as a complement to the more traditional live instrumentation heard on their previous efforts. Beyond its pervasive synths and machine-driven percussion, the album also found the group exploring a notably more varied palette of inspirations, including classical music, free jazz and krautrock. Though no official singles were released from the LP, the 10-track affair comprises some of Radiohead’s finest compositions of their career, including “Everything in Its Right Place,” “Idioteque,” “In Limbo,” and “The National Anthem.”
A short eight months later in June 2001, an additional eleven tracks from the Nigel Godrich-helmed Kid A recording sessions emerged in the form of the band’s fifth studio album Amnesiac. Far from a Kid A outtakes compilation as evidenced by its bevy of sublime tracks such as “I Might Be Wrong,” “Knives Out,” “Pyramid Song,” and “You and Whose Army,” Amnesiac is a nuanced and cohesively executed song suite that expands upon its precursor’s experimental foundations. "When you listen to the two albums, they sound completely different,” guitarist Ed O’Brien insisted to Rolling Stone in May 2001. “They could have been made in different years. The fact is, Kid A and Amnesiac were made at the same time."
Though both albums have been available on special 10-inch double-vinyl since their respective release dates, heavyweight 12-inch double-vinyl editions are now available for the first time. Multiple media outlets and stores have cited this Friday, October 14th as the official release date for both LPs, however the new pressings have already begun to surface across Europe. Regardless of the specific timetable, if Kid A and Amnesiac don’t currently reside in your collection, there’s no better time than now to pick them up and give ‘em a proper spin.