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Single by Radiohead
from the album In Rainbows
Released23 September 2008
GenreArt rock
Producer(s)Nigel Godrich
Radiohead singles chronology
"House of Cards" / "Bodysnatchers"
"All I Need"

"Reckoner" is a song by English rock band Radiohead, released on 23 September 2008 as the fourth single from their album In Rainbows. It was produced by longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. The song developed while Radiohead were working on another song, "Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses".

"Reckoner" was named one of the best songs of the decade by Pitchfork and the NME. Remixes were released by James Holden, Flying Lotus and Diplo. To promote the single, Radiohead released the separate stems for fans to remix themselves, as they had done with their previous single "Nude".


On tour in 2001, Radiohead performed a different song with the title "Reckoner",[1] which singer Thom Yorke likened to heavy metal.[2] Working on this song for their 2007 album In Rainbows, Radiohead wrote a coda which developed into a new song, the version of "Reckoner" that appears on the album.[3] In 2009, Yorke released the song originally known as "Reckoner" as a solo single, "Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses".[4]

Producer Nigel Godrich recalled of the "Reckoner" recording sessions: "People [were] all over the house, shaking things and getting this groove going, then chopping it up into little pieces and putting it back together. It was a lot of fun."[5]


"Reckoner" features Yorke's falsetto, "frosty, clanging" percussion, a "meandering" guitar line, piano, and a string arrangement by guitarist Jonny Greenwood.[6] Yorke said the guitar riff was a homage to Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, "in my sort of clunky 'can't-really-pick' kind of way".[7]


"Reckoner" was released on Radiohead's 2007 album In Rainbows. It was released as the fourth and final single from the album on 23 September 2008.[8]

Radiohead had electronic musicians James Holden, Flying Lotus and Diplo create remixes of "Reckoner".[9] As they had done with their previous single "Nude", Radiohead also released the separate stems from "Reckoner" for fans to remix.[10]


Reviewing In Rainbows, Pitchfork wrote that "Reckoner" "may not be the most immediate track on the album, but over the course of several listens, it reveals itself to be among the most woozily beautiful things the band has ever recorded".[6] In October 2011, Rolling Stone readers voted it the ninth best Radiohead song, and NME ranked it number 93 on its list of the "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[11][12] Pitchfork named it the 254th greatest song of the decade.[13]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Reckoner" is Virtual Lasagna's submission to a video contest conducted by Aniboom. The video was chosen on 1 October 2008. The video depicts a situation in which a place filled with greenery is being replaced with structures, which hints at the gradual deforestation of the Earth for human benefit, but ultimately leads to everything returning to nature.[citation needed]

Cover versions[edit]


  • Thom Yorke
  • Colin Greenwood
  • Jonny Greenwood
  • Ed O'Brien
  • Philip Selway


Chart Peak Position
UK Singles Chart 74[17]


  1. ^ "Pitchfork's Guide to Radiohead's In Rainbows | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  2. ^ McLean, Craig (January 2002). "Radiohead". The Face.
  3. ^ "Ed O'Brien & Thom Yorke at BBC 6Music". BBC 6 Music. 19 November 2007. Archived from the original on 30 December 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
  4. ^ "Radiohead's Thom Yorke confirms new single release". NME. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  5. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (27 April 2012). "The Making of Radiohead's 'In Rainbows'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Radiohead: In Rainbows Album Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Radiohead on In Rainbows". XFM. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Radiohead add 'Reckoner' to fan remix website". NME. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
  9. ^ Richardson, Mark (23 September 2008). "New Music: Radiohead: "Reckoner"". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  10. ^ "Radiohead Planning Remix Project for "Reckoner" | Pitchfork". Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  11. ^ "9. 'Reckoner'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  12. ^ "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  13. ^ "The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 500-201 - Page 2 | Pitchfork". Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Gnarls Barkley - Reckoner (Radiohead cover live HIGH QUALITY) on YouTube
  16. ^ "Robert Glasper releases "Reckoner"; 1single single from new Trio album". Blue Note Records. 21 April 2015.
  17. ^

External links[edit]