Last week, Radiohead shared the previously-unreleased OK Computer b-side, “I Promise.” It is one of three unearthed tracks to be featured on OKNOTOK, the 20th anniversary reissue of the band’s landmark album. While the song’s studio version was new to fans, Radiohead has performed it live before — in 1996. Fast forward 21 years, and they are dusting “I Promise” back off. Tonight (June 7th) in Oslo, Norway, Radiohead performed the classic song much to fans’ delight.
Prior to playing the song, frontman Thom Yorke shared a few thoughts, saying, “Normally I don’t think we’re the sort of people who look back, but it was interesting when we did. What a bunch of nutters we were and probably still are.” He also expressed a small bit of regret in not putting out the song sooner: “One of the crazy things we did was not release this song, because we didn’t think it was good enough.” It’s strange to imagine a song as beautiful as “I Promise” not being “good enough,” but Radiohead is notorious for saving songs for years and years. The performance sounds impressively similar to the original, considering the band is 21 years older today than when they last performed the song.
Radiohead also shared a video for the unreleased track. In addition to “I Promise,” the reissue will features two other unreleased songs from the OK Computer era, “Man of War” and “Lift.” The latter has been a fan favorite for years, and guitarist Ed O’Brien recently opened up on why the song never saw the light of day, saying it “would have killed us.”
Radiohead is currently on tour, and OKNOTOK will be released on June 23rd. Check out the dates here, and pre-order OKNOTOK here or on Amazon. Lastly, for those curious how “I Promise” sounded back in 1996, check out the video below for reference.