Until my pal and fellow AV enthusiast Julz directed me to this video, I was woefully ignorant of the fact that one of the tracks on Radiohead’s new album, The King of Limbs, was around for the better part of a decade before receiving the studio treatment. Whichever version of Morning Mr. Magpie you prefer, seeing and hearing it played by a single instrument highlights a few things which could go unnoticed in just the studio version (a common function of the acoustic version, and basically the mission statement of this site).
To boot: Thom’s characteristic use of odd chords and dissonant progressions to build tension and make a musical and emotional point; the low-E drone (a technique employed to great effect by guitarists from Jimmy Page to Leo Kottke), creating a vague hypnotic sense which reminds me of that point during an unpleasant dream when you become aware that you’re sleeping but have not yet collected your thoughts enough to wake yourself up; and his melodic creativity and versatility, taking a simple verse to unexpected and interesting places.
Which do you prefer? Did they make the right decision dressing this up for the new album? Or would it have been better left alone as an acoustic B-side?