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  • 05.04.16

So is Thom Yorke a Spotify hypocrite or not?

Thom Yorke hates Spotify—absolutely despises it. He’s called the platform “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse.” And you won’t find his solo work or his Atoms for Peace side-project on the platform, either. Therefore, people are all up in arms because Radiohead’s new song “Burn the Witch” has been released on Spotify. It’s also been released on YouTube which Yorke once compared to Nazi Germany.

But Radiohead’s full-length albums—except for In Rainbows which was released via a very specific direct-to-fan model—have always been on Spotify. (Okay, not always, but the gaps and strange disappearing songs have more to do with the rocky process of Parlophone transferring Radiohead’s entire catalog to Beggars Group, of which their label XL Recordings is a subsidiary). My guess is that Thom Yorke’s doesn’t have full control over where music released as Radiohead appears, either because (A) his contract differs from Radiohead’s, allowing the solo artist more control over where his solo albums can be found versus where Radiohead’s can be found or because (B) the rest of the band voted and, as a whole, the group prefers to be on Spotify.

Either way, I’m not sure that makes him a hypocrite, and it certainly doesn’t mean he’s changed his tune as many have suggested. In any case, here’s a chart to help you make sense of it all:


DH