XL Recordings XLS238CD / XLS238: 21st August 2006
1. Harrowdown Hill
“Don’t walk the plank like I did, you will be dispensed with, when you’ve become inconvenient”
2. The Drunkk Machine
“Spitting nonsense, spitting feathers, talking in tongues, swivelling heads, splitting hairs”
3. Harrowdown Hill (Extended Mix)
“I can’t take their pressure, no one cares if you live or die, they just want me gone, they want me gone”
“Between the whip-crack and the moonbeams, ’cause it goes from where we’re heading, the gleaming teeth of the in-between, I can hear some people laughing”
‘Harrowdown Hill’ was the place where weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly’s body was discovered. Thom Yorke’s first solo single tries to tackle the issue and gives voice to doubts as to whether his death was really suicide, with lines like “Did I fall or was I pushed?” and “Where’s the blood?”. Musically, it’s most similar to a superb B-side from Radiohead’s last album called ‘Paperbag Writer’. There is a kind of dry, glitchy and claustrophobic Funk sound with a haunting Piano segment in the middle. It’s included in the original version and as an extended seven-minute mix.
From the sound of ‘The Drunkk Machine’ it seems entirely possible that Thom was “Drunkk” when he made it. It’s an incomprehensible mix of scattershot beats and messy Synthesisers, but it’s still worth a listen. ‘Jetstream’ is far better and is as close to rapping as Thom is likely to come. He spits lines out at breakneck speed over what sounds like a combination of Human Beatbox and monks chanting.
Click here to download an amazing mash-up of Thom Yorke and Kelly Clarkson (It’s incredible the way the vocals intertwine).