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Single by Radiohead
from the album In Rainbows
Released 23 September 2008
Format Download
Length 4:50
Label XL
Songwriter(s) Radiohead
Radiohead singles chronology
"House of Cards" / "Bodysnatchers"
"All I Need"
"House of Cards" / "Bodysnatchers"
"All I Need"

"Reckoner" is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead from their 2007 album In Rainbows, released as the album's fourth single on 23 September 2008. It was named one of the best songs of the decade by Pitchfork and the NME. Remixes of the song were released by electronic musicians James Holden, Flying Lotus and Diplo. Radiohead also 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, aggressive song with the title "Reckoner" in George, Washington.[1] Working on the song for their 2007 album In Rainbows, Radiohead wrote a coda which developed into a different song, the version of "Reckoner" that appears on the album.[2] In 2009, Yorke released the song originally known as "Reckoner" as a solo single, "Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses".[3]


"Reckoner" features "frosty, clanging" percussion, a "meandering" guitar line, piano, a string arrangement by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, and Yorke's falsetto.[4] 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".[5]


"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.[6]

Radiohead had electronic musicians James Holden, Flying Lotus and Diplo create remixes of "Reckoner".[7] As they had done with their previous single "Nude", Radiohead also released the separate stems from "Reckoner" for fans to remix.[8]


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."[4] 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".[9][10] Pitchfork listed it #254 on its list of the "Top 500 songs of the 2000s".[11]

Music video[edit]

The official 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
  • Phil Selway


Chart Peak Position
UK Singles Chart 74[15]


  1. ^ "Pitchfork's Guide to Radiohead's In Rainbows | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  2. ^ "Ed O'Brien & Thom Yorke at BBC 6Music". BBC 6 Music. 19 November 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  3. ^ "Radiohead's Thom Yorke confirms new single release". NME. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Radiohead: In Rainbows Album Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  5. ^ "Radiohead on In Rainbows". XFM. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Radiohead add 'Reckoner' to fan remix website". NME. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2009. 
  7. ^ Richardson, Mark (2008-09-23). "New Music: Radiohead: "Reckoner"". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 2008-12-10. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  8. ^ "Radiohead Planning Remix Project for "Reckoner" | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  9. ^ "9. 'Reckoner'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  10. ^ "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". Retrieved August 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ "The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 500-201 - Page 2 | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Gnarls Barkley - Reckoner (Radiohead cover live HIGH QUALITY) on YouTube
  14. ^ "Robert Glasper releases "Reckoner"; 1single single from new Trio album". Blue Note Records. 2015-04-21. 
  15. ^

External links[edit]