Why Radiohead's "Videotape" Is Such a Difficult Song to Perform

And perhaps what gives it it’s “unexplainable substance.”

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The song “Videotape” has been described as Thom Yorke’s favorite from the 2007 Radiohead album, In Rainbows. The artist explains, it has an “unexplainable substance” to it, making it one he often likes to open live shows with. However, during a performance in 2008, fans were shocked to see Yorke struggle with the opening of the tune — four seemingly simple quarter notes. As explained by Vox, Berklee music professor Erin Barra, and fan Warren Lain, the song’s complexity lies in a sort of subtle syncopation where the drums and piano intentionally play off beat. For a more in-depth look at the music theory, check out the video above.

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