Thom Yorke appeared on latest installment of BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. The weekly series asks guests to choose eight musical recordings, a book, and a luxury item that they would take with them to a desert island.
In Yorke’s case, he chose Talking Heads’ “Born Under Punches”, Neil Young’s “After The Goldrush”, R.E.M.’s “Talk About The Passion”, and Nina Simone’s “Lilac Wine”. Other selections included Scott Walker’s “It’s Raining Today”, Squarepusher/AFX’s “Freeman Hardy & Willis Acid”, Labeque Sisters’ “5. Le jardin féerique”, and Sidney Bechet’s “Blue Horizon”.
Yorke picked Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki as his desert island book, and a portable audio recorder as his luxury item.
Elsewhere during the episode, Yorke discussed the passing of his longtime partner, Rachel Owen, in 2016. “When the kids’ mum died, it was a very difficult period and we went through a lot,” Yorke said. “It was very hard. She suffered a great deal and my ambition is to make sure that we have come out of it alright, and I hope that’s what’s happening.”
“I’m lucky now because I have a new partner who has come and brought a light into all of it, which has taken a great deal of strength. And really if all that’s OK … If I’m able to make some music that expresses all that and is still important to people, that’s more than I can ask for.”
You can replay the full episode, which includes Yorke’s rational for each selection, on BBC Radio 4’s website.
The Radiohead frontman recently contributed a new song called “Daily Battles” to the film Motherless, Brooklyn. Later this week, Yorke will embark on a US tour in support of his third solo album, ANIMA. You can get tickets to the dates here.