From Cracked.com: Radiohead’s Decade-Spanning Secret Album
Radiohead’s In Rainbows came out on 10/10/2007, 10 years after OK Computer, and there are 10 letters in the names of both albums. Additionally, OK Computer’s original working title was Zeroes and Ones, or “01,” (the mirror image of “10” … obviously). Even that last part alone is enough to make Radiohead fans start looking for a crazy conspiracy, as you’re probably aware if you’ve ever had to spend a long car ride sitting beside one. The scary part? This time they’d be totally right.
There’s a way to combine the tracks from OK Computer (hereinafter referred to as 01) and In Rainbows (hereinafter referred to as 10), to form one huge mega-album. As Puddlegum explains, “To create the 01 and 10 playlist, begin with OK Computer’s track one, “Airbag,” and follow this with In Rainbow’s track one, “15 Step.” Alternate the albums, track by track, until you reach “Karma Police” on OK Computer, making “All I Need” the tenth track on the 01 and 10 playlist.” It’s not that they sound nice together; it’s that these songs were definitely meant to make us shit our pants when played like this. In the way that “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight” and “The End” all flow into each other on The Beatles’ Abbey Road, these songs all flow into one another as well, as if they were all recorded in one big session.
Don’t believe us? Just listen to it. To get the full effect, you need to set your player with a 10-second crossfade between tracks (more 10s!), but you can notice most stuff without doing that. Then shit your pants.
This blogger points out that the song “Nude” (10 album), starts with the reverb from “Subterranean Homesick Alien” (01 album) still lingering, and the beats at the end of “Airbag” (01) set the tempo for “15 Step” (10). There’s nothing unusual about that … except when you consider that those songs were written and recorded 10 years apart. The pants-shitting synchronicity also applies to the lyrics. Puddlegum gives some examples and says: “There appears to be a concept flowing through the 01 and 10 playlist. Ideas in one song [are] picked up by the next.” In fact, one of the songs from In Rainbows was originally written for OK Computer and not used for 10 years, and the title of another seems to sum up the whole thing: “Jigsaw Falling Into Place.”
Remember all that “10” stuff we mentioned up top, about the date, the time between albums, the number of letters in the titles and whatnot? Want more? Radiohead themselves announced In Rainbows only 10 days before it came out (which is rather unusual), and the announcement was followed by a series of 10 cryptic messages posted by the band on their website. That’s nothing new: Cryptic messages might be the only way alternative rock musicians know how to communicate. But then Radiohead fans, being Radiohead fans, noticed that the messages emphasized the letter X (one image was titled “Xendless Xurbia”). And, say, isn’t “X” the Roman numeral for 10?
The band has never officially confirmed any of this, though Puddlegum claims Thom Yorke was annoyed by how long it’s taken people to figure it out. Come on, dude — not all of us are insane alien geniuses.