In case yesterday’s decade long overdue performance of “Blow Out” wasn’t enough, Radiohead have blown fans minds again by performing “Spectre” for the first time ever last night. Another surprise from the band that never stops surprising us!
On their second night performing at Chicago’s United Center, the band performed their scrapped James Bond theme for the very first time. Thom Yorke had previously played the song during an earlier solo tour.
Originally written for the James Bond film of the same name, “Spectre” was eventually swapped out for Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall” because the film’s production company found the Radiohead track “too melancholy”. Yes, shocking.
Whilst Smith’s song went on to win a Golden Globe and Oscar in 2016, Radiohead ended up completing the song and releasing it on Christmas day 2015. “Last year we were asked to write a tune for Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were, It didn’t work out … but became something of our own which we love very much. As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it.” read a now deleted tweet by lead singer Thom Yorke.
When it was first released and since, both the band and the songs producer Nigel Goldrich have seemed unhappy about the entire situation with the song.”That fucking James Bond movie threw us a massive curveball,” Goldrich told Rolling Stone in 2017. “It was a real waste of energy. We stopped doing what we were doing and had to concentrate on that for awhile since we were told it was something that was going to come to fruition.”
It seems as though the bands don’t feel too negative about the song itself. Guitarist Johnny Greenwood has told BBC “We’re really proud of it.” in regards to the song after it was released.