Pyramid Song

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"Pyramid Song"
Radiohead pyramidsong.jpg
Single by Radiohead
from the album Amnesiac
Released 16 May 2001
Format
Recorded 1999–2000
Genre
Length 4:51
Label
Songwriter(s) Radiohead
Producer(s)
Radiohead singles chronology
"Airbag"
(1998)
"Pyramid Song"
(2001)
"I Might Be Wrong"
(2001)
Music video
"Pyramid Song" on YouTube
Amnesiac track listing
11 tracks
  1. "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box"
  2. "Pyramid Song"
  3. "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors"
  4. "You and Whose Army?"
  5. "I Might Be Wrong"
  6. "Knives Out"
  7. "Morning Bell/Amnesiac"
  8. "Dollars and Cents"
  9. "Hunting Bears"
  10. "Like Spinning Plates"
  11. "Life in a Glasshouse"
Audio sample

"Pyramid Song" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the lead single from their fifth studio album Amnesiac (2001). The song reached the top 10 on six national charts and was ranked one of the best tracks of the decade by Rolling Stone, the NME and Pitchfork.

Recording[edit]

"Pyramid Song" was inspired by the 1960s song "Freedom" by jazz musician Charles Mingus, and once included similar handclaps.[1] The string section was arranged by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, performed by the Orchestra of St John's and recorded in Dorchester Abbey, a 12-century church about five miles from Radiohead's studio in Oxfordshire.[2] The lyrics were inspired by an exhibition of ancient Egyptian underworld art attended by singer Thom Yorke while Radiohead was recording in Copenhagen,[3] and ideas of cyclical time discussed by Stephen Hawking and Buddhism.[3]

Drummer Phil Selway said "Pyramid 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, guitarist Ed O'Brien said he felt "Pyramid Song" was Radiohead's best work.[2]

Reception[edit]

"Pyramid Song" was Radiohead's first single in over three years, after none were released from their previous studio album Kid A (2000).[2] It peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart and NME named it their "single of the week".[5] Outside the United Kingdom, the song was a moderate success, reaching number two in Canada, number three in Norway, number six in Finland, Italy, and Scotland, and number 10 in Ireland. The song also charted well in Australia, France, and the Netherlands.

Rolling Stone placed "Pyramid Song" at number 94 on their list of the "100 Best Songs of the Decade", writing that it "might be [Yorke's] most blissful recorded moment".[6] In October 2011, NME placed the song at number 131 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years", calling it a "ghostly hymn of stunning beauty".[7] Pitchfork placed it at number 59 in its list of the "Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s", describing it as "an absolutely singular track in a catalog with no shortage of standouts".[8]

Track listing[edit]

UK CD1
  1. "Pyramid Song" – 4:51
  2. "The Amazing Sounds of Orgy" – 3:38
  3. "Trans-Atlantic Drawl" – 3:02
UK CD2
  1. "Pyramid Song" – 4:51
  2. "Fast-Track" – 3:17
  3. "Kinetic" – 4:06
UK 12"
  1. "Pyramid Song" – 4:51
  2. "Fast-Track" – 3:17
  3. "The Amazing Sounds of Orgy" – 3:38
Europe CD
  1. "Pyramid Song" – 4:51
  2. "The Amazing Sounds of Orgy" – 3:38
  3. "Trans-Atlantic Drawl" – 3:02
  4. "Kinetic" – 4:06
Japan CD
  1. "Pyramid Song" – 4:51
  2. "Fast-Track" – 3:19
  3. "The Amazing Sounds of Orgy" – 3:38
  4. "Trans-Atlantic Drawl" – 3:03
  5. "Kinetic" – 4:05

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kent, Nick (June 2001). "Happy now?". MOJO. Bauer. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Radiohead Warm Up with 'Amnesiac'". Rolling Stone. 21 May 2001. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Greenwood, Colin; O'Brien, Ed (25 January 2001). "Interview with Ed & Colin". Ground Zero (Interview). Interviewed by Chris Douridas. 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..." NME.com. 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.
  9. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Radiohead – Pyramid Song". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Radiohead – Pyramid Song" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Radiohead – Pyramid Song" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Radiohead – Pyramid Song" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Radiohead Chart History (Canadian Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Radiohead: Pyramid Song" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Lescharts.com – Radiohead – Pyramid Song" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Radiohead – Pyramid Song". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Pyramid Song". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Radiohead – Pyramid Song". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 24, 2001" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Radiohead – Pyramid Song" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Radiohead – Pyramid Song". VG-lista. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Radiohead – Pyramid Song". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Radiohead – Pyramid Song". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  26. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2001" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 29 July 2018.

External links[edit]