"The National Anthem
" is the third track from the alternative rock
's 2000 album Kid A
. The song is moored to a repetitive bassline
, has a processed electronic
production, and develops in a direction influenced by jazz
. It has been played at nearly every Radiohead concert since 2000.
Background and recording
"The National Anthem" is thought to have been previously attempted at recording sessions in 1994 and 1997, but according to Radiohead
member Colin Greenwood
, the band decided it was "too good to use it as a b-side for OK Computer
singles".In the album recording, the bass is played by lead singer Thom Yorke
, who wrote the riff at age 16.
In the recording sessions, band members Thom Yorke
and Jonny Greenwood
conducted the session musicians, though Yorke lacks formal musical training. Yorke stated in an interview, "The running joke when we were in the studios was, 'Just blow. Just blow, just blow, just blow'", referring to the chaotic brass section
sound. Although the recording sounds chaotic, each instrument is playing a solo to the riff.
The free jazz
-style brass section featured in the song, influenced by Charles Mingus
The song also features an......