chansons

Scatterbrain

Ecriture : 2002 ?
Premier live : 22 juillet 2002 (Lisbonne, Portugal)
Fuites sur le net d’un mix de février (non définitif) : mars 2003
Sortie sur album : 26 mai 2003 (Hail To The Thief)
Live acoustique : 29 septembre 2003
Remix : 24 mars 2003 (Skttrbrain – Four tet)

Titre alternatif : As Dead As leaves

Petite chanson toute tranquille, Scatterbrain, plaît, ou insupporte par sa répétition. La guitare est douce, et claire, un morceau classique, mais efficace. Une chanson très influencé ’paysage déchaîné’, ’ballades’, un peu comme à l’époque KID A.

Track #13, Scatterbrain, is an unsettling sounding track…

Thom: « My absolute favourite type of weather is force ten gale. That’s the happiest I am, in a sort of gale that might just take you up in the air and never come down again. And it was sort of… I mean, whatever came out lyrically, it was actually supposed to be a sort of celebration of this sort of storm, which is that… you know, I thrive on that. You know, I’m singing about a wild storm, but yet the music is very, very soft, you know, and really assuring. Like you’re listening to it from outside the window. It’s sort of a really lonely song as well. That’s sort of the loneliest song on the record, I think. »

Jonny: « It’s very simple and sort of quite pretty, but there’s something about the music for me, the chords for me, where it never quite resolves. It’s never… it never really grounds, or something, never grounds itself. So it just sounds like it’s always about to resolve, and in a way it never does, which makes it quite floaty and… »

Ed: « But in terms of the instruments that are played… that it gives it that warmth. Reminds me a bit… I always thought it was like Stevie Wonder, that Talking Book era, you get that warmth. And what he’s doing a lot of the time is he doesn’t resolve stuff. He does these beautiful chords and then they just… it’s all wrapped up in the warmth of the recording and his great voice, but sometimes it just doesn’t resolve, which is brilliant and why it’s so different. We always thought of this as a sunday morning song, really. But maybe it’s not… maybe it’s a Radiohead sunday morning, which is, you know, a copy of the paper with some bad news on the front, yeah. »

— CD officiel d'Interview, 2004

C’est un peu aussi une chanson d’amour :

‘Scatterbrain (As dead as leaves)’ is the next track. And you mentioned this earlier on when we were talking about the genesis of the album. It seems to combine the specifics, but also universal thing at the same time, which you do quite a lot. »

Thom: « Yeah. »

John: « It seems to me… ‘Yesterday’s head lines blown by the wind’. »

Thom: « Yeah um, the song itself basically… some day, it’s a really really difficult song to describe where it came from. Because on the surface it really was just an instant where, um, those things happen. But at the same time there was a lot of other stuff going on which might have gave it significance… My favorite type of weather in the whole wide world is extreme wind. I just get really excited! Oh dear… »

John: « Fair enough, it is exciting! It is a bit dangerous… »

Thom: « Yeah, it is a bit dangerous, there was one time when… I have a house in the middle of nowhere, and the house next door, the roof blew off! And we just watched it. And it was exactly like, uh… Wizard of Oz. It was fantastic… (Uh.) And this was in a similar instant in the city. »

John: « Do you seek out this kind of weather condition? »

Thom: « Yeah, man, I don’t care if slates come flying off. »

John: « So, you’re going straight to the eye of the hurricane. »

Thom: « Too right, man. »

John: « Excellent, right… ‘Scatterbrain’. Bear that in mind when you hear this. »

Thom: « But it’s kind of a love song as well, in a way. »

John: « Really? »

Thom: « Yeah. (laughs) That’s it! »

John: « You won’t be revealing too much! »

Thom: « That’s all you get! (laughs) »

— Thom Yorke / Q #261, avril 2008

Le journaliste de Q note une parité avec un roman de Thomas Pynchon : V. (il faut dire que Thom a bien aidé à comprendre le lien en 2002… cf. plus bas)

SCATTERBRAIN (AS DEAD AS LEAVES)
Lilting number, which again reflects Yorke’s intense monitoring of the news prior to recording, in particular his habit of walking in the countryside with a portable radio: “Out in the middle of nowhere, the media is really amplified – it’s like being permanently on drugs.” Hence the links between natural forces (wind, hail) and images of conflict (bullets). Elsewhere, the lyric about “Yesterday’s headlines blown by the wind” derives from a passage in Thomas Pynchon’s labyrinthine 1963 novel V, about the search for a mysterious vanished woman.
— Q #261, avril 2008
22 juillet 2002

On a découvert la chanson en live à Lisbonne, Portugal, le 22 juillet 2002.

Voici la version du 01 août 2002. On notera que Radiohead retouchera assez peu la chanson par la suite.

Il semblerait que Thom ait un peu de mal à se souvenir des paroles de la chanson, aussi, a-t-il l’habitude d’emporter une feuille avec les paroles pour les concerts… Un de celles-ci va être récupérée. On peut y lire ceci :

somewhere I’m not in a force ten gale
swimming in an oil slick
pulled out by the tide
broke over lines, tonadoes eye.
going out o fmy mind, bad fucking vibess.
somewhere I cant hear this noise.
wildlife dying somewher with sunshine.
poisoned or poor no sharp pains or lumps.
a rare species being wiped out scattered far and wide.
eyes open him confused at a loss.
avoiding your gaze were the voices stop.
lightning fuse.
power cut.
on black ice, under floorboards.
just keeping afloat.
somewhwer Im not
just keeping afloat.
fingers dead in the ice
skin burning
watching the growths.
somewhere I cant
just change sides
bumper to bumper
nose to tail
always in my face
tv ariels bendt double, ina force ten gale.
watching someopne elses lights on the gangplank.
ive lost my train of thought, it happens all the time.
dont kno how old iam, tumbling down.
dont recognize us, thinking the wrong thoughts.
shoulkd maybe grow up
somwhere I dont give a fuck.
somwhere Im not under breaking oaks.
pulling up asphalt pulling up rocks.
the roots dig up the road
a blobk of ice
not in a rash doing bad dance.
more rain,sticking rain.
there used to be a field, now thers a lake.
somewhere im not, sandbagging.

 

Un peu plus bas, sur la même pages, ces lignes, extraites d’un roman de Pynchon :

« It was one in the morning, a wind had risen and something curious too had happened; as if everyone in the city, simultaneously, had become sick of news of any kind; for thousands of newspaper pages blew through the small park on the way crosstown, blundered like pale bats against the trees, tangled themselves around the feet of Rooney and Rachel, and of a bum sleeping across the way. Millions of unread and useless words had come to a kind of life in Sheridan Square; while the two on the bench wove cross-talk of their own, oblivious, among them. »

début 2003
Dans le foutoir qu’était (et qu’est toujours !) le site officiel du groupe, apparaissent de nouvelles choses, dont cette fiche (sûrement un scan de deux pages du carnet de Thom Yorke), avec l’ébauche des paroles :

forcetengale

Voici le fond qui était utilisé pour illustrer certaines pages du même site :
scatterbrain

Mars 2003
Le nouvel album de radiohead va sortir dans une dizaine de semaines. La tension est à son comble… et catastrophe (pour le groupe), un technicien réussit à faire fuiter les chansons avant leur date de sortie. En Mai, quand l’album sortira, on se rendra compte que ces premières versions qui ont circulé n’étaient pas les versions finales, puisqu’un peu de mixage sera pas la suite ajouté, mais celles de février 2003.

26 mai 2003

La chanson figure sur l’album Hail To The Thief.

29 septembre 2003
Thom et Jonny profitent d’un passage radio sur KROQ pour s’essayer à une version acoustique de la chanson :

24 mars 2004
On a confié à Four tet la charge d’en faire un remix, vous pouvez l’entendre sur le single « 2+2=5 » (sous le titre Skttrbrain).

Colin: « We just had… we’re sending out some of the songs to people we like, the music, people like Cristian Vogel, and Kieran from Four Tet, he’s just done a remix of ‘Scatterbrain’ from the album, which is wonderful, and he toured with us, actually on some of the dates, and he’s wonderful, and his new album Rounds is fantastic. »
— Colin Greenwood XFM, 28 mai 2003

24 mars 2004
Une version plus longue du remix apparaît sur Com Lag.

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