Back in 2007, following the release of their critically acclaimed album In Rainbows Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead didn’t go out on tour immediately. No, instead the opted for something, which at the time, may have felt a little strange – they broadcast a series of in-studio web-casts via a stream. During it they covered Joy Division/New Order’s ‘Ceremony’ it’s a sight to behold.
Fairly revolutionary at the time, the band were always a little ahead of the game when it came to technology. But they weren’t always striving for future sounds, they sometimes found inspiration in the past. As rare a cover performed by Radiohead might be, this one feels like one of the best.
One of those inspirations for Radiohead, among many others, would be Ian Curtis’s Joy Division, and so it seems fitting they cover one of their greatest songs ‘Ceremony’. The track, beginning as a Joy Division song – in fact, it was one of the last songs Ian Curtis worked on prior to his suicide and was performed at their last ever gig in 1980 – it became a New Order track following their formation and featured in most of their live sets.
The Radiohead cover, however, leans more directly on Ian Curtis’ version and feels both authentic and yet expertly curated to pay homage to the original composition. It is instead played with a raw passion, a lack of inhibition and with a deep appreciation.
Take a look below at the footage below and enjoy one of the greats paying lip service to one of its inspirations.