Radiohead Knowledge Base

Hail To the Thief, also referred to as The Gloaming in its liner notes, is Radiohead's sixth studio album. It was first released on 9 June 2003 in the United Kingdom by Parlophone and a day later in the United States by Capitol Records. Following the electronic and krautrock-influenced sound of their previous two albums Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), Hail To the Thief features more traditional rock instrumentation while retaining electronic elements such as drum machines, synthesisers, and digital manipulation.

The album was produced by the band and longtime co-producer Nigel Godrich, and was recorded at Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, California, and Radiohead's studio Canned Applause in Didcot from September 2002 to February 2003. To avoid the protracted sessions of their previous albums, Radiohead recorded Hail To the Thief quickly and focused on recording live takes rather than overdubs, employing a live, "spontaneous" approach. Lead singer and songwriter Thom Yorke wrote many of the album's lyrics in response to the War on Terror and the resurgence of right-wing politics in the Western part of the world at the turn of the millennium. The album's title further reflects this theme, originally being a slogan used by anti-George W. Bush protesters during the controversy surrounding the 2000 US presidential election. The cover artwork, created by Stanley Donwood, is a roadmap of Hollywood with words taken from roadside advertising in Los Angeles written onto colored squares.

Despite a high-profile internet leak of the album ten weeks before its release, Hail to the Thief debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and number 3 on the US Billboard 200. It received positive reviews from critics and was the fifth consecutive Radiohead album to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. It produced three charting singles – There there, Go to Sleep, and 2+2=5 – and was certified gold by the RIAA in July 2003 and platinum by the BPI in January 2004. Hail To the Thief was Radiohead's last studio album released as part of their six-album recording contract with EMI.

Track listing

  1. 2 + 2 = 5 (The Lukewarm.)
  2. Sit down. Stand up.(Snakes & Ladders.)
  3. Sail to the Moon.(Brush the Cobwebs out of the Sky.)
  4. Backdrifts.(Honeymoon is Over.)
  5. Go to Sleep.(Little Man being Erased.)
  6. Where I End and You Begin.(The Sky is Falling in.)
  7. We suck Young Blood.(Your Time is up.)
  8. The Gloaming.(Softly Open our Mouths in the Cold.)
  9. There there.(The Boney King of Nowhere.)
  10. I will.(No man's Land.)
  11. A Punchup at a Wedding.(No no no no no no no no.)
  12. Myxomatosis.(Judge, Jury & Executioner.)
  13. Scatterbrain.(As Dead as Leaves.)
  14. A Wolf at the Door.(It Girl. Rag Doll.)