Hail to the Thief (known in its liner notes as Hail to the Thief, (or, The Gloaming)) is the sixth studio album by English rock band Radiohead. It was first released on 9 June 2003 by Parlophone in the United Kingdom and a day later by Capitol Records in the United States. Following the release of the band's previous two albums Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), which incorporated jazz, classical and electronic music influences, Hail to the Thief features more traditional alternative rock instrumentation but retains various electronic elements such as drum machines, synthesisers, and digital manipulation.
The album was self-produced by the band and longtime Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich. To avoid the protracted recording sessions of their previous albums, Radiohead recorded Hail to the Thief quickly and focused on recording live takes rather than overdubs, employing a live and "spontaneous" approach. Lead singer and songwriter Thom Yorke wrote many of the album's lyrics in response to the War on Terror and the resurgence of right-wing politics in the Western part of the world at the turn of the millennium, and said that the album expresses "frustration and powerlessness and anger, and the huge gap between the people that put themselves in control and the people that allegedly voted for them", alluding to the controversy surrounding the 2000 United States presidential election. The album's title further reflects this theme, being a slogan used by anti-George W. Bush protesters at the time of the controversy.
Despite a high-profile internet leak of the album ten weeks before its release, Hail to the Thief debuted atop the UK Albums Chart and at number 3 on the US Billboard 200, and was later certified platinum in the United Kingdom and North America. It produced three charting singles: "There There", "Go to Sleep" and "2 + 2 = 5". The album received positive reviews from critics, and was the fifth consecutive Radiohead album to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. It was Radiohead's last studio album released as part of their six-album recording contract with EMI, before signing with XL Recordings for the release of their next album In Rainbows (2007).
All tracks written, composed and performed by Radiohead.
- "2 + 2 = 5 (The Lukewarm)"
- "Sit Down. Stand Up. (Snakes & Ladders)"
- "Sail to the Moon (Brush the Cobwebs Out of the Sky)"
- "Backdrifts (Honeymoon Is Over)"
- "Go to Sleep (Little Man Being Erased)"
- "Where I End and You Begin (The Sky Is Falling In)"
- "We Suck Young Blood (Your Time Is Up)"
- "The Gloaming (Softly Open Our Mouths in the Cold)"
- "There There (The Boney King of Nowhere)"
- "I Will (No Man's Land)"
- "A Punch Up at a Wedding (No no no no no no no no)"
- "Myxomatosis (Judge, Jury & Executioner)"
- "Scatterbrain (As Dead as Leaves)"
- "A Wolf at the Door (It Girl. Rag Doll)"
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