*UPDATE FOR 2018* As this is still getting okay traffic I’ve decided to give it a revamp for the new year. This was originally posted in April 2015 and since then I’ve gotten more into having tidier Logic scores as well as posting the piano roll and I’ve also upgraded my Arturia collection. So here’s the up-to-date Everything in its Right Place
Radiohead’s Kid A saw a change in direction for the Oxford five-piece. Released in 2000, and sandwiched between OK Computer and Amnesiac, it’s probably fair to say it had a little influence from both of these albums. With less of an obvious rock influence than OK Computer but not quite as far-out and experimental as Amnesiac, it regularly tops music publications’ ‘best of’ lists.
The opener is Everything in its Right Place, which has been covered by Alarm Will Sound, Robert Glasper and Brad Mehldau, remixed by Gigamesh, Tensnake and Paul Oakenfold and sampled by Marcel Fengler and SBTRKT.
Thom Yorke composed the song originally on the piano before taking it to the studio. He cites losing interest in guitar music as a major influence for this album, and he’s fairly disparaging about his keyboard abilities too, saying:
I totally lost interest in playing guitar… it just didn’t do it for me any more… I started playing the piano, I’m a terrible piano player so that was kind of good… everything was a novelty… I wrote a lot of stuff on piano… the less you know about an instrument the more you get excited about it.
The whole song is really just three chords, with a fourth thrown in briefly during the verse, so it’s a nice, easy piece to get your fingers around.
The intro is comprised of three chords, each chord is a simple major triad with a high C note on the top. This is called an inverted pedal, where there’s a note that drones throughout and it’s in the bass or lowest voice. The triads are C major (C E G), Db major (Db F Ab) and Eb major (Eb G Bb). With the high C note that gives us C, Db∆7 and Eb6 (if you’re unfamiliar with chord naming conventions, have a read of this).
The time signature flits between 6/4 and 4/4. What Yorke originally intended is a mystery as the percussion that kicks in later is a solitary kick drum on each quarter beat, not giving anything about the meter away. You can think of it as 10/4 if that helps you count, but either is perfectly acceptable. I’ve contextualised each example with a kick drum – a simple blip from Logic’s Ultrabeat to help count along.
I’ve notated all the right-hand parts one octave higher than they sound, for ease of reading.
Here’s the piano roll with the left-hand highlighted in red:
Interestingly these are the same chords (albeit in a different key) as Pyramid Song from Amnesiac, released a year later.
The verse also contains the same chords as the intro with an added F chord in its 2nd inversion (C F A).
The bridge employs the same chords as the intro, just in a different order: Db∆7, C then Eb6. The time signature is a little harder to follow here as there’s a bar of five, a bar of four, a bar of six then a bar of four again; the best solution is to follow the melody (which is a static C note “Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon…”). Wikipedia has this to say about the chorus’s bleak lyrics:
The line, “Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon”, apparently refers to the face one makes in reaction to a lemon’s sourness. Yorke revealed in an interview that while promoting OK Computer, he was told he frequently exhibited a sour-faced look.
Editing in its Right Place
The main keyboard part is most likely is often attributed to a Prophet 5, however it has been pointed out to me by Reddit user iscreamuscreamweall that the main synths is actually a rare Crumar DP-80. You can hear one in action here.
The sound is a single sawtooth oscillator with the filter cutoff turned to around 100 Hz. There’s no resonance or envelope modulation, however turn the keyboard tracking up to maximum. Set the amplitude envelope to have a short attack, a decay of about 450 ms, turn the sustain to half way and use a release of about 1500 ms. There’s a Release button that needs to be enabled for this to work proeprly with the voice allocation.
For some strange reason it disabled whenever I change the voice mode, so keep an eye! On the subject of voices, I set my patch to have 8 voices with the circular or reset modes working just fine.
You can download the patch here.
I’ll leave you with Robert Glasper excellent cover/mashup with Maiden Voyage that really pushes the harmonic possibilities with this framework.