Although Radiohead's unreleased “Spooks” started appearing in 2006 as a fairly hard-rocking instrumental track, it never saw the inside of a studio.
Now, here we are 8 years later, and “Spooks” has finally come to life — but in a very different form.
After reuniting with director Paul Thomas Anderson to score his new film “Inherent Vice,” Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood alluded to the fact that the soundtrack would feature an unreleased Radiohead tune, which is sort of true.
They've been playing an instrumental take on “Spooks” since way back in 2006, but the film version does away with the rest of the band — including Thom Yorke's otherworldly croon — in favor of guest contributions from Gaz Coombes and Dany Goffey (of the defunct Britpop combo Supergrass), and a spoken word performance from singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom, who also appears in the film.
It's significantly slower and less frantic than previous live versions, with a bouncy, bass-driven groove and some atmospheric fringes. Newsom appears to be describing characters and scenes in the film, but it won't spoil it or anything (you're starting to sound paranoid).
Listen to “Spooks” here:
And here's Radiohead's quite different live version from 2006:
Meanwhile, there have been a flurry of reports that Radiohead will soon release new material, but details are very scarce indeed. For now, “Spooks” will have to tide fans over.
“Inherent Vice” opens this Friday.