The King of Limbs is Radiohead's eight studio album. It was announced on February 14th, 2011, together with a presale of the physical version; the digital download was made available on February 18th, less than a week later.
Only one promo single was released, "Lotus Flower", and the promotion of the record was continued with a series of remixes of the eight songs on the record, released on vinyl at first and then on CD.
“I had a friend in LA who’s a DJ and he’s like, ‘You want to DJ?’ And so I started DJing and I got Thom into it, just doing parties and stuff. We were like, ‘This is such an amazing tool. We can make music with this.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, let’s do an experiment for two weeks where everyone has a turntable instead of playing the guitar or drums or whatever.’ And that two-week experiment ended up being fucking six months. And that’s that record, the whole story of all of it.” (Nigel Godrich - Rolling Stone, 2017)
"We had an initial session of about five weeks, and it was really like kids in kindergarten. You had to simplify what you were doing — you couldn't do loads of ideas. You had to listen to one another. Believe it or not, in a band you can lose that. (Ed O'Brien - NPR)
"Almost every tune is like a collage: things we'd pre-recorded, each of us, and then were flying at each other; you get to a point where you think, 'OK, this bit needs a big black line through it.' It's like editing a film or something. I don't think we really genuinely thought anything would come out of it, certainly not an entire record.". (Thom Yorke - NPR)
"Part of what you do is rejection. I think everybody finds it hard, but I think part of creativity is bouncing back from that. What's great about the environment that we have is that no one ever says, 'You can't do that.' You try it, and then it's judged on whether it's right for the track." (Ed O'Brien - NPR)
I thought Thom’s dance in the ‘Lotus Flower’ video was good and he was amazing in the video. If it were me, I’d do the birdy dance and I’d imagine I would enjoy it. With King of Limbs, we all knew that it wasn’t going to be an immediate record but a lot of great records have been 38 minutes long. It’s that old chestnut of a grower. Every record that we’ve done has been a reaction to the last one and King of Limbs carried on that tradition for us.” (Philip Selway - DrownedInSound)
Thom and I worked on these weird creatures, with many limbs, which are neither good nor bad; they just exist and are part of the living spirit of the forest. You can see all of that on the artwork. (Stanley Donwood - Creative Review)
Recording with Radiohead was top secret. We were asked to go to the studio, and we weren’t allowed to mention this to anyone, where it was, when we recorded. We were greeted by Jonny, who’s very shy and relaxed. He showed me and my partner some stuff (...). I got to meet the rest of the band andeveryone was really cool, and we just tried some things out. Then they took what they wanted and mixed it into their piece. (Yazz Ahmed, Uncut Magazine, August 2017)
We also played on “Codex”. I think we were only in the studio for a couple of hours, it was very loose, very relaxed. I think it was more of an experiment for them, to try out some flugelhorn lines, chopping them up and seeing what worked.(Yazz Ahmed, Uncut Magazine, August 2017)
One of the few promotional activities done during 2011 was the free release of The Universal Sigh, a smaller newspaper than the one included with the special edition. It was given away for free in many cities around the world. In London, Thom himself was handing them out.
Even though no city in Latin America was included in the main event, ExitMusicAr received around June 2011 copies of it and sent them out around the country. Pictures of these events are up in our Flickr.
The first live show done after the release of the record was a surprise slot on the Park Stage of Glastonbury Festival, 2011. There, Radiohead played six of the songs on the record plus "Staircase" and "The Daily Mail"
Afterwards, the band recorded a special program for From the Basement where they played the entire album. The series is produced by Nigel Godrich and the band had already recorded a live set in 2008. This set was released on DVD/Bluray in December, togehter with a digital release of "The Daily Mail" and "Staircase"
Radiohead - The King Of Limbs From The Basement (December 2011)