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Radiohead / Dr Dre
Photography Danny Clinch / Scott Council

Radiohead considered working with Dr Dre on Kid A

‘The problem would have been finding modus operandi... Could he have handled a rock band? Who knows?’

Radiohead recently graced the cover of Rolling Stone to discuss their seminal third album OK Computer, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an upcoming reissue titled OKNOTOK. The magazine recently published a follow-up to their main cover story featuring many of the anecdotes the band told them that couldn’t fit naturally into the main profile, and there are some interesting tidbits – most notably, that they wanted to work with hip-hop legend Dr Dre on follow-up album Kid A.

“It was sort of like a dream,” guitarist Ed O’Brien explained to the magazine. “I kept on saying, ‘Oh, I’d love to work with Dr Dre.’ I knew it would likely be shouted down or laughed at. Also, it might have been be a little bit forced. But at the time, in my head, it made perfect sense. The problem would have been finding modus operandi because Dre obviously works in a certain way. Could he have handled a rock band? Who knows? But it came from being a fan of NWA and his productions around that time.”

Kid A, of course, was the album that saw Radiohead ditch guitars and embrace glitchy electronic programming, sequenced drum-machine rhythms, and experimental sample loops. Given that Dr Dre was producing a similarly forward-looking, electronic take on hip-hop that took in aspects of P-funk, robot vocoders, and old-school electro, the pairing might not have been totally bizarre.

Read the whole piece over at Rolling Stone, and listen to Kid A’s “Idioteque” below.