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Radiohead – Kid A (2000)

October 5, 2012

[Album 100/1001]

Business Tip #10: Sell The Mills.

To mark the end of the business tip series – the famous business story about Darwin Smith, CEO of Kimberly Clark, and his gutsy decision to sell the company’s traditional paper mills.  Even though the mills had been the company’s core business for a century, he believed that the company’s future growth would be in the consumer business.

At the time, he was ridiculed by analysts.  As the years passed, he looked like a genius, the bold move paid off spectacularly.  See Jim Collins’ book, Good To Great, for a more thorough & articulate retelling.

After The Bends and OK Computer, Radiohead was considered by many to be the top guitar band on the planet.

And then they released Kid A – on the first listen, much of the world was perplexed.

Not proud to admit it now (in my defense, I was young and foolish!) but I was among those who didn’t understand – do they not realize how good the last two albums were?!  Have they forgotten how to play their guitars?!

The first two songs in particular are likely to elicit the response, what the?

Upon review, the audacity has to be applauded – they sold the mills.  In this blogger’s humble opinion, that sort of bold reinvention (and continuous reinvention since for that matter) solidifies their status as the best band still together & touring in 2012.

This is one of those records that one should immerse him or herself in, listen to it almost exclusively for a few days.  Eventually the switch goes, the brilliance becomes clear and the album becomes exceedingly difficult to put away.

So terrific that it’s ‘better’ than The Bends & OK Computer?  I’m not ready to commit to that just yet.

I would say however that it’s superior to just about any album that doesn’t have the words ‘The Smiths’ or ‘The Beatles’ somewhere on the cover.

From → 2000s

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