This Isn't Happening: Radiohead's "kid A" and the Beginning of the 21st Century
Steven Hyden (Author)
Pre-Order Ships Sep 29, 2020
DescriptionThe making and meaning of Radiohead's groundbreaking, controversial, epoch-defining album, Kid A.
In 1999, as the end of an old century loomed, five musicians entered a recording studio in Paris without a deadline. Their band was widely recognized as the best and most forward-thinking in rock, a rarefied status granting them the time, money, and space to make a masterpiece. But Radiohead didn't want to make another rock record. Instead, they set out to create the future.
For more than a year, they battled writer's block, inter-band disagreements, and crippling self-doubt. In the end, however, they produced an album that was not only a complete departure from their prior guitar-based rock sound, it was the sound of a new era, and embodied widespread changes catalyzed by emerging technologies just beginning to take hold of the culture.
What they created was Kid A. At the time, Radiohead's fourth album divided critics. Some called it an instant classic; others, including the U.K. music magazine Melody Maker, deemed it "tubby, ostentatious, self-congratulatory . . . whiny old rubbish." But two decades later, Kid A sounds like nothing less than an overture for the chaos and confusion of the twenty-first century.
Acclaimed rock critic Steven Hyden digs deep into the songs, history, legacy, and mystique of Kid A, outlining the album's pervasive influence and impact on culture, in time for its 20th anniversary. Deploying a mix of criticism, journalism, and personal memoir, Hyden skillfully revisits this enigmatic, alluring LP and investigates the many ways in which Kid A shaped and foreshadowed our world.
September 29, 2020
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About the Author
Steven Hyden is the author of Twilight Of The Gods, Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me, and (with Steve Gorman) Hard To Handle. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Billboard, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Grantland, The A.V. Club, Slate and Salon. He is currently the cultural critic at UPROXX. He lives in Minnesota with his wife and two children.