The King of Limbs is the eighth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, produced by Nigel Godrich. It was self-released on 18 February 2011 as a download in MP3 and WAV formats, followed by physical CD and 12" vinyl releases on 28 March and a special "newspaper" edition on 9 May 2011. The physical editions were released through the band's Ticker Tape imprint on XL in the United Kingdom, TBD in the United States, and Hostess Entertainment in Japan.
Following the protracted recording and more conventional rock instrumentation of In Rainbows (2007), Radiohead developed The King of Limbs by sampling and looping their recordings. Singer Thom Yorke described the album as an expression of "wildness" and "mutation". Radiohead released no singles from the album, but released a music video for "Lotus Flower" that spawned an internet meme.
The King of Limbs was named one of the best albums of 2011 by publications including the Wire, the NME, and PopMatters, and was nominated for five categories in the 54th Grammy Awards, including Best Alternative Music Album. It sold an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 download copies in the first two months of release and became a bestseller on vinyl. The album was followed in the same year by a remix album, TKOL RMX 1234567, and a live video, The King of Limbs: Live from the Basement.
Radiohead announced The King of Limbs on their website on 14 February 2011 with a release date of 19 February. It was released one day earlier, on 18 February. The download of The King of Limbs is DRM-free. The MP3 download costs £6, $9, or €7; the WAV download costs £9, US$14, or €11. Customers could also order a special "newspaper edition" of the album, released 9 May 2011, for £30, US$48 or €36 with the MP3 download, and £33, US$53 or €39 with the WAV download (shipping included). The "newspaper" edition contains "two 10-inch vinyl records in a special record sleeve, many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork, a compact disc, and a colour piece of oxo-degradable plastic package". The retail CD and vinyl editions of The King of Limbs were released through the band's Ticker Tape imprint on XL in the United Kingdom, TBD in the United States, and Hostess Entertainment in Japan.
On 16 April 2011, Radiohead released two tracks not included on The King of Limbs but worked on during the same sessions, "Supercollider" and "The Butcher", as a double single for Record Store Day. They later released the tracks as free downloads to those who had purchased The King of Limbs from the Radiohead website.
All tracks written, composed and performed by Radiohead.