U.S. OF 'KID A'
Radiohead hysteria in the States, France, Japan, Iceland...
RADIOHEAD have spoken exclusively to NME about getting to Number One In the US charts. New album, 'Kid A', sold over 207,000 In Its first week of release.
Following the band's triumphant show at the Roseland Ballroom in New York last week (October 11), bassist Colin Greenwood told NME that their success was "madness, it's tucking brilliant".
Of the current wave of Radiohead hysteria sweeping the USA, Greenwood added: "It will be interesting to see what happens in Europe now after America and all the press here."
'Kid At is the first British album to top the US charts since Prodigy's 'Fat Of The Land' in 1997, and ticket demand for Radiohead's live shows has reached epic proportions.
Hundreds of fans camped out overnight In freezing temperatures to snap up tickets for their first US show at the New York Roseland on October 11 in under four minutes - with some ticketless fans throwing coffee In the faces of those who managed to get a ticket from the venue via a complicated wristband and lottery procedure.
It was a "frustrating, mismanaged debacle" said fan Kate Clouse, as the first-come-first-served idea stood no chance of working due to the weight of numbers. However, despite the disappointment, hundreds of ticketless fans still turned up at the Roseland venue the following night in a bid to secure tickets.
Eyewitnesses said queues stretched round the block. There were even queues forming to pick tickets up at highly inflated prices from touts. New York authorities ensured a police presence though there was no violence, nor reason for them to intervene.
Among those lucky enough to get in, the response was ecstatic.
"What a pleasure it was to see a band at the top of their game in such a small venue," fan Tim Schenck told NME. "All in all it was well worth the ticket hassle, worth the long queue and worth the crowded space to see Radiohead. Quite simply, one of the best shows I've ever seen."
Tickets for the Radiohead gig on October 20 at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre went in under a minute after an equally messy scrum for tickets by thousands of fans.
As NME went to press, a pair of tickets for the gig were up for for sale on the ebay auction website (www.ebay.com) for a staggering $5,100. Tickets for the New York gig had already changed hands at more than $500 each. The band play one more North American gig at the Sears Theatre in Toronto, Canada, on October 17.
'Kid A', released in the UK on October 2, and a day later in North America, also topped the charts in its debut week in France, Japan, Canada, Israel, Ireland, and Iceland. It is also the first album by a British-signed act to simultaneously top the charts in the UK and US since the Prodigy's 'Fat Of The Land'.
Radiohead's previous highest debut in the American chart was at Number 21 with the album 'OK Computer', for which they won a Grammy In 1999.
Tony Wadsworth, President & CEO, EMI Records Group UK said: "The message is clear for UK record companies: take risks, ditch the formulae and support creative artist development because it pays off."
Radiohead were also due to play the legendary US show Saturday Night Live as NME went to press.
See nme.com for Radiohead updates as they happen.