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"Harrowdown Hill" is a song by Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, released on his debut solo album The Eraser (2006). It was released as a single on 21 August 2006, peaking at #23 in the UK Singles Chart. A music video was released on 31 July 2006 and had its first play on Channel 4.[1] Yorke wrote the song about death of David Kelly, a British weapons expert who told a reporter that the British government had falsely identified weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"Harrowdown Hill"
Harrowdown Hill.jpg
Single by Thom Yorke
from the album The Eraser
B-side
  • "Jetstream",
  • "The Drunkk Machine"
Released21 August 2006
Format7", 12", CD
GenreAlternative rock, electronica
Length4:38
LabelXL
Songwriter(s)Thom Yorke
Producer(s)Nigel Godrich
Thom Yorke singles chronology
"Black Swan"
(2006)
"Harrowdown Hill"
(2006)
"Analyse"
(2006)

Contents

WritingEdit

According to the Globe and Mail, "Harrowdown Hill" resembles a love song with a sense of "menace" and "grim political showdown".[2] Yorke said the song had been "kicking around" during the sessions for Radiohead's sixth album, Hail to the Thief (2003), but felt it could not have worked as a Radiohead song.[3]

The lyrics are about David Kelly, a British weapons expert who is presumed to have committed suicide after telling a reporter that the British government had falsely identified weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Kelly's body was found in the Harrowdown Hill woods near Yorke's former school in Oxfordshire.[4]

Yorke was uncomfortable about the subject matter and conscious of Kelly's grieving family, but felt that "not to write it would perhaps have been worse".[2] In an interview with the Observer, he said it was "the most angry song" he had ever written.[5] He told the Globe and Mail: "The government and the Ministry of Defence were implicated in his death. They were directly responsible for outing him and that put him in a position of unbearable pressure that he couldn't deal with, and they knew they were doing it and what it would do to him."[2]

Music videoEdit

The "Harrowdown Hill" music video was directed by Chel White of BENT Image Lab in 2006. It features stop-motion eagle animation by David Russo, time-lapse footage by Mark Eiffert, and a technique known as Smallgantics. It was released on 31 July 2006 and had its first play on Channel 4.[1]

Track listingsEdit

  • Promo CD
  1. "Harrowdown Hill" (Early Fade)
  2. "Harrowdown Hill" (Full Length)
  • 7" XLS238, limited to 5,000 copies
  1. "Harrowdown Hill" - 4:38
  2. "Jetstream" - 3:44
  • CD XLS238CD, limited to 10,000 copies
  1. "Harrowdown Hill" - 4:38
  2. "The Drunkk Machine" - 4:07
  3. "Harrowdown Hill" (extended mix) - 7:01
  • 12" XLT238, limited to 3,000 copies
  1. "Harrowdown Hill" (extended mix) - 7:01
  2. "The Drunkk Machine" - 4:07
  • 12" XLT238US
  1. "Harrowdown Hill" (extended mix) - 7:01
  2. "The Drunkk Machine" - 4:07
  3. "Jetstream" - 3:44

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Harrowdown Hill". 28 July 2006. Archived from the original on 10 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-06.
  2. ^ a b c Evert-Green, Robert (June 14, 2006). "Radiohead retooled". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Thom Yorke: 'Why I made a solo album' - NME". NME. 2 July 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  4. ^ Powers, Ann (28 June 2006). "Thom Yorke, free agent". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  5. ^ Mclean, Craig (18 June 2006). "All Messed Up". Observer Music Monthly. Retrieved 18 June 2006.

External linksEdit