Main Index Thom Yorke Pablo Honey The Bends OK Computer Kid A Amnesiac Hail to the Thief The Eraser In Rainbows The King of Limbs Amok Tomorrow's Modern Boxes A Moon Shaped Pool
This song was around during sessions for Kid A already, and was mentioned once in Ed's Diary:
monday, january 10th - wednesday, january 19th 2000
happy new year and many many thanks to all you lovely cardsenders.

i think we all arrived at the studio with that same dread of starting where we left off.to plough back into the old tracks seemed like a daunting task. nigel suggested a different plan of action to ease us back into it over the next couple of weeks. the idea was to spend this time working in a completely different way; no acoustic instruments ie any guitars,drums or vocals......everything has to be electronically generated. it means that we can't fall back on what we've done before and forces us to work this equipment. it's actually an incredible amount of fun - which is not something we've had in abundance over the last year or in studios in general. we've been working on four 'bits' and because they are fairly abstract it will be interesting to review it in a few weeks. the important thing is that you are constantly learning even if something doesn't necessarily work out. and actually it's something we've been meaning to do for a while. again it's the need to change the methodology in how you actually make the music - only by doing this will we actually produce stuff that sounds any different. and conversely by finding another approach to recording, it enthuses us in the way that we've worked together as a 'live' band. the rehearsals last week were fantastic precisely because we had not picked up those instruments and recorded them.

this week we have cast the experimental net further afield to include material like 'true love waits' and 'feeling pulled apart by horses'. the former has been kicking around for about four years now and each time we approached it we seemed to be going down the same old paths.........it actually sounds like the start of something exciting now.

did an interesting band version of 'bombers' which thom has attached to what i used to call 'the neil young' song...we may play it some time later this evening.

thankyou to everyone who sent in their demos......maybe i was a little naive to assume that a handful of people would send in theirs' or others' offerings......what i realise has happened is that various publications and radio stations have visited this diary and announced that radiohead are embarking on a fucking talent search or something. bastards. it's probably pay-back time for being miserable and contrary on our last round of interviews.....anyway i've started going through it and will listen to it all, eventually. it's actually very interesting as it strikes me from what i've listened to so far that there are alot of really good musicians out there, but what distinguishes the good from the not so good is having taste. ie for instance you could be simply red (apologies for the easy target) and send in a demo and i'm always going to think it's totally shit in spite of its technical 'proficiency'. having said that there's little that sounds like that. but what i'm saying in an around-about way is that it doesn't matter if i don't think something's that good; if you really love what you're doing then that is all that matters........there is absolutely no point in making music that you think will help you to get signed..........second-guessing what people want to hear is a completely fruitless exercise as it is almost completely impossible to predict what people want to hear; by the time people actually get to hear that music it's more than likely that it's old-hat and most importantly you will never stumble upon something that is truly fresh and exciting.
In spring 2001, around the time Amnesiac was released, these lyrics appeared in the 'imaginery prisons' section of radiohead.com:




feeling pulled apart
by horses.
((inseckt
bites.
machine-gun-cameras.))
FOBBEDoFF
with LAME SHITE EXCUses.
feeling pulled apart
by horses.
i
ve no sons
ani
have
no daughters.
feeling pulled apart
by horses.
your not asleep
your not dreaming
this is not a dream.
this ‘eres
the REckoner

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AHhhh HA HA HA



And on a late-May afternoon at Bray Studios, a film-production complex on the Thames River outside London, Radiohead are rehearsing for a summer tour that includes their first extended U.S. visit since that '97-'98 death March.

There are new songs too. At Bray Studios, they tested one called 'The Reckoner', and Colin says Yorke has another new corker, 'Bring On the New Blood', about "these multiplatinum artists hooking up with the latest French disco producer to do their new record." Regardless of what anyone thinks of Kid A or Amnesiac, Colin says Radiohead never were, or ever will be, that desperate.
Radiohead soundcheck with 'Knives Out' and a new tune with no name and mumbled words. It is a clanging, driving thing, a bit Doors-like, full of swampy blues riffs. In Seattle, they played another new song, 'The Reckoner'. Yorke describes it as 'like a heavy metal tune. It will be absolutely brilliant. I've got this thing in my head, I know it's gonna be amazing, but it's absolutely miles away.'
On June 23rd 2001, the band premiered the song, which was now called 'Reckoner', during the first North American leg of the Amnesiac tour at The Gorge in George, WA. In interviews from that year there was talk of plans for the 6th album to feature heavy guitars again, and so it seems that at this point the song was a candidate for the upcoming sessions:
  Unreleased may 2001 june 2001 07/'01 august 2001 september 2001 10/2001
True Love Waits [7] 30 01 16 20 09 14 02
Reckoner [1] 23
Nude [2] 24 03
Follow Me Around [2] 29 07
In 2004, this picture appeared in the Scrapbook section of radiohead.com. However, it is unknown if the band recorded a version of this song during the Hail to the Thief sessions:

This picture shows a scan from one of Thom's sketchbooks. The page features some lyrics that don't belong to any known version of the song and can't be dated. The image also appeared in the Scrapbook section of radiohead.com in 2004 or 2005:

'Reckoner' would then be one of the songs that were considered for the seventh album. On April 16th 2005, at the beginning of the sessions that would ultimately produce In Rainbows, Thom performed the song at the Trade Justic vigil in London. Compared to the 2001 version it had been reworked by this point and featured a new chorus ("gimme french fries"/"gimme fair price"):
'Reckoner' was one of the titles that appeared on the blackboard the band used during two weeks of rehearsals from september 19th to 30th 2005. At the end of that session, Colin posted a picture of this board on Dead Air Space on september 30th, unfortunately (and probably intentionally) in rather low resolution, so that some of it can't be deciphered:
On march 8th 2006, shortly after sessions with Mark Stent had come to an unfruitful end, another photo of a blackboard (and a perhaps slightly worried Ed) was posted on Dead Air Space. A tour had been scheduled for may and june to escape the frustration of the recent sessions and to breathe new life into the project. Rehearsals for the upcoming dates had begun recently, and this board shows which new songs were at this point considered for inclusion in the setlists. 'Reckoner' was one of these, but would not be played (click image for full size):
After the 2006 tour had ended, the band began sessions with Nigel Godrich, and during this period an attempt was made to write a new section for the song. This new section then took on a life of its own and became a separate song, which was released on In Rainbows as 'Reckoner', leaving the older song's title and future uncertain for a few more years.
In late 2008 or 2009 the song was recorded again, this time by Thom and Jonny only.
On September 3rd 2009, Thom announced the release of the song on Dead Air Space. The single was released on September 22nd 2009 on a 12" vinyl, backed by 'The Hollow Earth':

On October 2nd 2009, a new full band arrangement of this song was premiered at the Echoplex in Los Angeles at the first gig of Thom's then unnamed band, consisting of himself, Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco:
  2009 single oct. 2009 april/august 2010
Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses [13] 02 04 05 05 06 08 10 11 14 15 17 18 01
The Hollow Earth [13] 02 04 05 05 06 08 10 11 14 15 17 18 01
Live performances # to # during the touring for Amok:
  2009 single june/july 2013 09/2013 october 2013 november 2013
Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses [30] 14 06 07 09 10 12 13 16 17 21 24 25 26 24 27 30 02 03 06 09 10 13 16 17 19 18 19 21 22 23
The Hollow Earth [6] 14 17 21 24 25 22