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"House of Cards" is a song by English rock band Radiohead from their seventh studio album In Rainbows (2007). The song was serviced to American modern rock radio on April 6, 2008 as the third single from the album. It was initially released promotionally alongside "Bodysnatchers" in the United Kingdom. The music video for "House of Cards", directed by James Frost, was produced using lidar technology and released in June 2008.

"House of Cards"
Promotional single by Radiohead
from the album In Rainbows
ReleasedApril 6, 2008 (radio)
GenreArt rock
Producer(s)Nigel Godrich
Radiohead singles chronology
"House of Cards" / "Bodysnatchers"


Singer Thom Yorke first performed "House of Cards" in an acoustic rendition at the 2005 Trade Justice rally in London.[1] An early version had a bass riff written by guitarist Jonny Greenwood, which his brother, bassist Colin Greenwood, likened to R.E.M.[2] Yorke and drummer Philip Selway reworked the song with the rhythm on the final version.[2]

Music videoEdit

The music video, directed by James Frost, was produced in a minimal set in Florida. It features rendered images of Yorke's face as well as those of several other people, interspersed with images of suburban landscapes and people attending a party.[3] In lieu of traditional cameras, the video was made with lidar technology, which detects the proximity of objects from the sensor.[4] The use of lidar technology gives the video a grainy and grid-like appearance.[4] Sheets of acrylic glass and mirrors are passed in front of the lasers to create scenes in which the image appears distorted, partially disappears, or begins to disintegrate as if being carried by wind.[4] The data used to make the video was released as open source under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license and is available at Google Code as both CSV raw data and Processing code.[5][6]

Critical receptionEdit

Track listingEdit

Promotional CD-R single[8]
  1. "House of Cards" (radio edit) – 4:35
  2. "Bodysnatchers" – 4:01



Chart (2008) Peak
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[9] 24

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label
United States[10] April 6, 2008 Modern rock radio ATO, TBD


  1. ^ Randall, Mac (1 February 2012). Exit Music: The Radiohead Story Updated Edition. Backbeat Books. ISBN 9781458471475.
  2. ^ a b "Radiohead | Pitchfork". Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Radiohead make new video – without cameras". NME. London. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Nye, Calley (14 July 2008). "Radiohead Partners With Google For Music Video Launch". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  5. ^ Chacksfield, Marc (17 July 2008). "Radiohead embrace open source". TechRadar. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  6. ^ Steuer, Eric (14 July 2008). "Radiohead's 'House of Cards' video data published under Creative Commons license". Creative Commons. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  7. ^ "The 51st Annual Grammy Awards Nominations List". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 6 June 2013. Archived from the original on 2 January 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  8. ^ "Radiohead Bodysnatchers / House Of Cards UK Promo CD-R acetate (438803)". EIL. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Radiohead Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  10. ^ "R&R Going For Adds: Alternative (Week Of: April 6, 2008)". Radio & Records. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2013.

External linksEdit