Music

Twenty Years Later, This Lost Radiohead Song Is Beautiful and Timeless

Watch the video for the previously unreleased "I Promise."
IMAGE Esquire
Comments

As the band approaches the 20th anniversary reissue of OK Computer, Radiohead has gotten retrospective, looking back at those defining years when they released one of the most acclaimed albums in modern music. In a rare, reflective interview with Rolling Stone, Thom Yorke recounted long hours on the tour bus where he "was basically catatonic," Yorke said. "The claustrophobia – just having no sense of reality at all."

It's those feelings that became the basis for OK Computer. One of those songs, recorded more than two decades ago, "I Promise," never made it onto the album. It remained somewhere in their vaults, forgotten as the band moved from that era onto the next reinventions of Radiohead's sound. Debuting I promise last night on BBC Radio, host Steve Lamacq said said Radiohead was "especially pleased to find [the song] in the vaults, because they thought it'd been lost over the years."

But finally, Radiohead has released the official studio version of "I Promise," a song that doesn't quite fit with the inventive atmosphere of OK Computer, but is nonetheless Radiohead at its most beautiful.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Along with the new song, Radiohead has released a video, one that captures the feeling that Yorke described of those days. It's a melancholy man staring out the window of a bus at all the people going about their business as he flies by. He seems content, but he's missing something. As the video shows, he's just an electronic head—separated from his own body and every other human he sees out his window.

What's amazing is that this song—like the rest of Radiohead's catalog—can emerge 20 years later and feel so absolutely timeless. Those emotions in Yorke's voice, in what inspired this album haven't faded with the years. Rather, they've been reserved, ready to reach a new generation of ears. There's more of this to come, too, as Radiohead reveals more unreleased track off the upcoming OK Computer reissue.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Comments
View More Articles About:
About The Author
Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for Esquire.com
View Other Articles From Matt
Comments
Latest Feed
 
Share
Ironically, elected officials are not required to pass the Civil Service Exam.
 
Share
The Securities and Exchanges Commission has just approved the initial public offerings of both companies.
 
Share
What began as a simple exploration of a prison took on greater purpose as filming began.
 
Share
These bottles will have you smelling fresh and clean all day.
 
Share
 
Share
The latest iteration of the German carmaker’s mid-size luxury SUV is its best one yet.
 
Share
His case sparked debate about the death penalty and went right up to the Supreme Court.
 
Share
There's nothing like a big pot of soup to warm you up.
 
Share
 
Share
"You can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself."
 
Share
The Hobbs and Shaw star has some seriously great looks.
 
Share
The environmental activist and former yoga missionary passed away today, August 19.
Load More Articles
Connect With Us