Kid A is the fourth studio album by English alternative rock band
Radiohead, released in October 2000 by the Parlophone label. A
commercial success worldwide, Kid A went platinum in its first week of
release in the UK. Despite the lack of an official single or music
video as publicity, Kid A became the first Radiohead release to debut
at number one in the US.This success was credited variously to a
unique marketing campaign, the early Internet leak of the album, or
anticipation after the band’s 1997 album, OK Computer.
Kid A was recorded in Paris, Copenhagen, Gloucestershire and Oxford
with producer Nigel Godrich.
The album’s songwriting and recording were experimental for Radiohead,
as the band replaced their earlier “anthemic” rock style with a more
electronic sound. Influenced by Krautrock, jazz, and 20th century
classical music, Radiohead abandoned their three-guitar line-up for a
wider range of instruments on Kid A, using keyboards, the Ondes
martenot, and, on certain compositions, strings and brass. Kid A also
contains more minimal and abstract lyrics than the band’s previous
work. Singer Thom Yorke has said the album was not intended as “art”,
but reflects the music they listened to at the time. Original artwork
by Stanley Donwood and Yorke, and a series of short animated films
called “blips”, accompanied the album.
Kid A has been considered one of the most challenging pop records to
have commercial success. The album won a Grammy for Best Alternative
Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. It also received praise
for introducing listeners to diverse forms of underground music.
Despite the band’s new direction alienating some fans and critics, Kid
A received generally positive reviews from notable music publications.
It was subsequently listed by multiple publications as one of the best
albums of recent years, and in 2009 was ranked No. 1 in lists of the
best albums of the 2000s by Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and The Times.