Pyramid Song

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This article is about the Radiohead song. For the Charice Pempengco song, see Pyramid (song). For the Frank Ocean song, see Pyramids (song).
"Pyramid Song"
Single by Radiohead
from the album Amnesiac
Released 16 May 2001 (Japan)
21 May 2001 (UK)
Format CD, 12"
Recorded 1999–2000
Genre Art rock, experimental rock, post-rock, jazz-rock
Length 4:51
Label Parlophone (UK)
Toshiba-EMI (Japan)
Writer(s) Radiohead
Producer(s) Nigel Godrich, Radiohead
Radiohead singles chronology
"No Surprises"
"Pyramid Song"
"I Might Be Wrong"
CD2 cover
Music video
"Pyramid Song" on YouTube
Amnesiac track listing
Music sample

"Pyramid Song" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead. It was the first single from their fifth album Amnesiac (2001) and the first Radiohead single released in over three years, after none were taken from their previous album Kid A.[1] It was issued in most parts of the world, except the United States (where "I Might Be Wrong" was the first, radio-only single).[citation needed] The song was included on Radiohead: The Best Of (2008).[citation needed]

The song features a string section arranged by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and recorded in Dorchester Abbey, a 12-century church about five miles from Radiohead's studio in Oxfordshire.[1] It was inspired by the Charlie Mingus song "Freedom;[2] its lyrics were inspired by an exhibition of ancient Egyptian underworld art Yorke attended while the band was recording in Copenhagen[3] and ideas of cyclical time discussed by Stephen Hawking and Buddhism.[3] Drummer Phil Selway said the song "ran counter to what had come before in Radiohead in lots of ways ... The constituent parts are all quite simple, but I think the way that they then blend gives real depth to the song."[4] In a 2001 interview with David Fricke in Rolling Stone magazine, guitarist Ed O'Brien said he felt it was "the best song we've recorded."[1]

The "Pyramid Song" single peaked at #5 in the UK, and NME named it their single of the week.[5] Rolling Stone ranked it #94 on their list of the "100 best songs of the 2000s".[6] In October 2011, NME placed it at number 131 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[7] Pitchfork Media ranked it #59 in its list of the "Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s".[8]

Track listing[edit]



Chart (2001) Peak
Canadian Singles Chart 2
Norwegian Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart 5
Italian Singles Chart 6
Finland Singles Chart 6
Ireland Singles Chart 10
French Singles Chart 19
Dutch Singles Chart 23
Australian Singles Chart 25
Swedish Singles Chart 59
German Singles Chart 98
Swiss Singles Chart 99


  1. ^ a b c "Radiohead Warm Up with 'Amnesiac'". Rolling Stone. 21 May 2001. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Kent, Nick (June 2001). "Happy now?". MOJO. Bauer. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Greenwood, Colin; O'Brien, Ed (25 January 2001). Interview with Ed & Colin. Interview with Chris Douridas. Ground Zero. KCRW. 
  4. ^ Langham, Matt (4 February 2015). "DiS Meets Radiohead's Philip Selway: "If it means something to some people then that is success"". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Kessler, Ted. "Radiohead: Pyramid Song: This is our favourite Radiohead single in recent memory...". Retrieved 2007-04-22. 
  6. ^ "Mary J. Blige, 'Family Affair' - 100 Best Songs of the 2000s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  7. ^ "NME's 150 Top Tracks of the 2000s". NME. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 100-51". Pitchfork. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 

External links[edit]