Radiohead new song 'Burn the Witch' on Spotify and YouTube despite Thom Yorke's scathing attack on streaming

Yorke branded streaming services 'the last desperate fart of a dying corpse' and compared YouTube to Nazi Germany

Jess Denham
Wednesday 04 May 2016 09:30
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Thom Yorke appears to have had a change of heart about streaming services - or are his hands tied by his record label?
Thom Yorke appears to have had a change of heart about streaming services - or are his hands tied by his record label?

Radiohead’s new song “Burn the Witch” has appeared on Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music despite frontman Thom Yorke lambasting streaming services three years ago.

Yorke memorably described the latest development in music distribution as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse” in 2013, before later comparing YouTube to Nazi Germany.

Yorke’s initial criticism of streaming services saw both himself and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich remove their music from Spotify in protest at the company “making money with the work of loads of artists who don’t get any benefit from it”.


“People continue to say that this is an era where music is free, cinema is free. It’s not true,” he said. “The creators of services make money – Google, YouTube. A huge amount of money, by trawling, like in the sea – they take everything there is. 'Oh, sorry, was that yours? Now it's ours. No, no, we're joking – it’s still yours.'

“They’ve seized control of it – it’s like what the Nazis did during the second world war. Actually, it’s like what everyone was doing during the war, even the English – stealing the art of other countries. What difference is there?”

Yorke also tweeted: “Make no mistake new artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid while shareholders will shortly be rolling in it. Simples.”

Spotify is clearly overjoyed at the move, simply tweeting “Yes Radiohead, yes”.


“Burn the Witch” premiered online on Tuesday afternoon with a stop-motion video by Chris Hopewell posted to YouTube.

It is now available to download from iTunes while their ninth album, rumoured to be titled Dawn Chorus, is expected imminently.

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