With the special deluxe edition of Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool also comes a piece of 1/2" master tape from the band's recording sessions throughout their career. The item is more of a collectible, as according to the product description, the tape "degrades over time and becomes unplayable," but instead of letting the tapes "[end] up as landfill," they decided to include it in the special deluxe edition.
"A new life for some obsolete technology," the product description reads. "You may have silence, you may have coloured leader tape, you may have a chorus... it's a crapshoot."
Of course, fans were curious as to what piece of Radiohead recording they received, and one fan even took his to a mastering studio to find out what's on the tape, as Pitchfork points out.. The resulting snippet is a short one, but Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich was able to confirm that the snippet is of "Bodysnatchers" after Matt Blackwell tweeted at Godrich. Thom Yorke also retweeted Godrich's confirmation.
The Radiohead subreddit wasn't convinced, though, and one Reddit user who goes by HusKing believes that Blackwell actually received "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" and not "Bodysnatchers."
Whatever the tape may be, fans are nonetheless getting a very cool part of Radiohead history. Compare the two tape snippets below with "Bodysnatchers" and "Jigsaw Falling Into Place," as well as Blackwell's account of the process of getting his 1/2" tape spliced.
Hey guys! This is my video, hope you guys enjoyed it. Such a blast getting out to do this. This was done at Terra Nova Mastering in Austin, Texas. I simply called up, told them everything, that it's 1/2" tape, and the assistant talked to the mastering engineer and she came back on the phone and said they would be able to do it. It was cheap'ish (above $50 below $100), I don't want to get into exact prices of the engineer here, but I paid for a half hours time.
We carefully removed the tape from its plastic wrap, which it's actually inside of it, like a little slip. Then he spliced it on to two sides of leader tape. He thought it was originally at 15 ips, but I had heard from another engineer that it was probably 30ips. So I said let's try that first. and it worked!
If you have any other questions, I'll try and help but that's pretty much the gist of it!
Here's my soundcloud digital transfer repeating link: https://soundcloud.com/matt-blackwell/radiohead-tape-segment-repeating
Nigel retweeted it saying "it's Bodysnatchers!" which made my year. (and update: Thom retweeted it!! Oh wow...) Though as per all of this and AtEase, if you listen back to HusKing's comparison soundcloud repeating bit, it matches the tape segment exactly. I think at this point there's no question that it's 1:20 in Jigsaw! Which as a user over at AtEase pointed out, snippets of Jigsaw on tape were the first preview of In Rainbows in 2007, so that's pretty weirdly full circle!
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