2019 American Music Awards

Radiohead B-Sides to Be 'Reconfigured' Following Removal From Streaming Services

Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Radiohead in Los Angeles, California in 1997. 

Bad news for Radiohead diehards who flagrantly ignore Thom Yorke's anti-Spotify stance: The U.K. band's pre 2004 b-sides -- previously available on deluxe editions of the group's six albums from that period -- have been removed from Spotify and other digital streaming services, at least for the time being. The deluxe editions appear to be gone from iTunes as well, although CD editions are available from Amazon.

The b-sides disappeared shortly after Radiohead's back catalog became officially credited to XL Recordings instead of Parlophone on streaming services; that change reflects Warner Music Group's divestment of certain assets, including the Radiohead back catalog, to various indie labels.

A spokesperson for XL explained the removal of b-sides with the following statement: "This is the first step in the transfer of Radiohead's back catalogue from Parlophone to XL. The main albums are being made available in their original form as a start, before non-LP material is reconfigured."

Radiohead's Early Catalog Moves from Warner Bros. to XL

While not all of the material included on the deluxe editions met the standards of the group's proper releases, many fan favorites were included. Amid live recordings, demos, radio sessions and other ephemera were studio recordings like The Bends outtakes "The Trickster" and "Killer Cars," OK Computer outtakes "Polyethylene" and "Pearly," and a battery of oddball outtakes and radio sessions from the Kid A and Amnesiac era. 

What the reconfiguration of Radiohead's pre-2004 non-LP material means remains to be seen -- might they be rounded up for a forthcoming box set, or collected for an odds-and-ends compilation? Or will they simply be re-added as bonus material to the albums on streaming services at some point in the future? The former course seems more likely, as the group was unhappy when EMI -- the label to whom it was originally signed -- released its deluxe editions in the mid-2000s.

A rep for XL had no comment when asked for further information about the aforementioned reconfiguration.

Since 2006, XL Recordings has been the default label in the world of Thom Yorke. XL released his 2006 solo debut, Radiohead's In Rainbows and The King of Limbs worldwide (but not in North America), as well as Atoms for Peace's Amok. Yorke's 2014 solo album Tomorrow's Modern Boxes was released through BitTorrent.


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