Kid A+: Thom Yorke’s 10 best side-projects and collaborations

It’s no secret that Thom Yorke is a genius. From heading one of the most influential rock bands of all time to creating some mind-bending, experimental solo work his tastes and potential are limitless.

Thus, we have taken a deep dive into the Moon Shaped Pool that is Thom Yorke’s mind to bring you his 10 best collaborations and side-projects.

Thom Yorke

If you’ve listened to Radiohead and are looking for somewhere to go we’ve got you covered. Here’s Thom Yorke’s 10 best collaborations.

10. Burial & Four Tet — Mirror, Ego (20110

While all the elements are here for a powerful supergroup the result is somewhat underwhelming. The Burial dub shuffle and scratchy Yorke vocals on Ego do work but it’s nothing mind blowing. Mirror is slightly stronger with more emphatic and urgent vocals from Tom.

If your a fan of Burial & Four Tet it’s worth a listen though it wont open any new windows to the soul.

9. Sparklehorse – Wish You Were Here (1997)

Interestingly, Thom Yorke’s first appearance outside of Radiohead was lending lush, ethereal backing vocals to Sparklehorse’s cover of the Pink Floyd classic. While the cover is ultimately underwhelming it was somewhat prophetic as the band spent much of the ’90s dodging comparisons to Pink Floyd before Kid A dropped like an Atom bomb.

8. Venus In Furs – Bittersweet, 2HB, Ladytron (1998)

Recorded for the Velvet Goldmine movie soundtrack these Roxy Music covers are all class. Along with Yorke is Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood, Roxy’s Andy Mackay, and Suede’s Bernard Butler.

Unfortunately Yorke plays it so straight that he doesn’t end up sounding like Brian Ferry or himself. Blissful listening though, nonetheless.

7. Modeselektor – Shipwreck (2011)

Following up 2007’s This White Flash, the glitchy gallop that is Shipwreck echoes In Rainbows opener 15 step. It’s certainly the funnest extraneous Radiohead track Yorke has done and a perfect introduction to his solo work.

6. Björk – I’ve Seen It All (2000)

Just two months before Kid A dropped and everything we knew about rock albums became completely void, Thom Yorke collaborated with Björk on the first of two singles. From Björk’s Dancer In The Dark soundtrack Selmasongs, the tune surprisingly veils no hints of the direction of Radiohead or the experimental electronica that Björk had come to master.

Nonetheless it’s a beautiful show-piece of two of the most distinguishable voices in modern music.


5. PJ Harvey  – The Mess We’re In, One Line, Beautiful Feeling (2000)

All cut from PJ Harvey’s sixth album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, Yorke is assured in his delivery and brimming with confidence having ruled the world for three years after OK Computer.

One Thing sees Yorke lend his voice as a wordless instrument. Beautiful People has Harvey on guitar and Thom moaning and feeding off her. The stand out though is The Mess We’re In with a nice call and response between the two.

4.Mark Pritchard – Beautiful People (2016)

Mark Pritchard’s 2016 record Under The Sun is absolutely stunning. If you’re not as entranced by Thom Yorke’s electric stuff as Thom Yorke then this is a brilliant ambient-electronic record to sink your teeth into.

Yorke lends his vocals on Beautiful People to return the favour after Pritchard procured two takes for the TKOL: Remixes album and it creates an incredible sense of yearning in this vast, glacial space.

3. Flying Lotus – … and the world laughs with you (2010)

Cut from Flying Lotus’ 2010 magnum opus, Cosmogramma is a sprawling epic of third dimension trip-hop and acid jazz. Easily one of the best songs Yorke has done outside of Radiohead, … and the world laughs with you in a perfect confluence of ideologies.

When Yorke looses it towards the end we get chills and again pray for a full collaborative album.

2. Atoms For Peace – AMOK (2013)

Atoms For Peace was the band Thom Yorke assembled so that he could step out of the spotlight of the most scrutinised rock band in the world to explore more niche elements of electronic production.

The supergroup: Flea from RHCP, drummer Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M., and percussionist Mauro Refosco of Forro in the Dark, was assembled to perform Thom Yorke’s first solo album Eraser in 2009.

In 2013 however, they released the collective album AMOK and it is a blindingly good piece of work.

1. UNKLE – Rabbit In Your Headlights (1998)

Thom Yorke’s collaboration with UNKLE is an inspirational touchstone for his career, foreshadowing his electronic experimentation and programming on Radiohead’s 2000 masterpiece Kid A. When UNKLE drafted DJ Shadow to work on their debut album Psyence Fiction they scrapped all prior material.

Thom Yorke unleashes in the home stretch with his chilling, anxiety-induced way which inspired many vocal highlight on KID A. It was so potent a track that it left an entire horde of fans yearning for an entire Thom Yorke and DJ Shadow album.