Japanese exclusive double disc set, comprised of 10-track CD album, originally released in 2007, plus bonus DVD featuring Radiohead from the Basement 7 track live DVD housed in a card sleeve complete with 2 lyric booklets.
On the deliriously satisfying In Rainbows, Radiohead returns to a more straight-ahead (though subdued) rock sound. Much hubbub has been made about this record's innovative release. Radiohead allowed fans to pay what they wished to download fairly low-resolution tracks from the band's own website. Like so many innovations, it already seems funny both that it was such big news and that someone else of similar stature hadn't done it sooner. Some pundits were appalled that it took awhile to download the tracks if you tried to do it at the same time as thousands of other people, while others decried that the group was trying to kill the music industry (or save it). Little of the press seemed to focus on the record itself, which actually made sense because it was so entertaining and inviting, the most low-key album Radiohead has made to date. There's even a very straight-forward, simple, silly little love song, "House of Cards." It might be a bit lethargic, but the simple instrumentation of electric guitars, bass, and drums is lovely as heck. A handful of these tunes enchanted fans for years before finally being committed to computer "tape." This is particularly fitting as In Rainbows is the group's most "band"-sounding album since OK Computer. This is not a record that hits you over the head with how far this group is pushing the envelope; it's simply a phenomenal, well-crafted, and exciting album. As soon as it's done, you're playing it again.
After a brief return to earth to deliver the tart, focused In Rainbows, Radiohead drift back into the ether with The King of Limbs. Like In Rainbows before it, the actuality of The King of Limbs is purposefully somewhat obscured by the hullabaloo surrounding the album's surprise release – announced for a Saturday release on a Monday, shifted to a Friday – and in the case of KOL, such clamor is needed. Wispy and ephemeral, shimmering skin draped over the barest of bones, The King of Limbs doesn’t deliberately lack a solid foundation, songwriting traded for sound construction. Masters of mood that they are, Radiohead digitally weave stuttering, glitchy loops of drums and guitars with real instruments, Thom Yorke’s mournful moan and keening falsetto acting as a binding agent, creating an alluringly dour atmosphere.
The album was announced on Radiohead's website on 14 February 2011, five days before release. The name of the album possibly refers to an oak tree in Wiltshire's Savernake Forest, thought to be 1,000 years old. The tree is a pollarded oak, referring to an ancient technique for harvesting timber for fencing and firewood. Though it does not feature on maps, the tree is said to be 3 miles (4.8 km) from Tottenham Court House, where Radiohead recorded part of their previous album In Rainbows. On 18 February, Radiohead's official blog published the first song from the album, "Lotus Flower", with an accompanying music video, followed by a post announcing the album was released.