When the band showcased this song on their 2006 tour it was known as "Open Pick."
In an interview with the New Musical Express December 8, 2007, vocalist and lyricist Thom Yorke was asked if he'd experienced the night out he describes in this song first hand. Yorke replied: "I would never say it was personal because it's always a set of observations. 'Jigsaw Falling Into Place' says much about the fact I used to live in the center of Oxford and used to go out occasionally and witness the chaos of a weekend around here. But it's also about a lot of different experiences. Personally, I was really surprised that it's going to be the single. The lyrics are quite caustic - the idea of 'before you're comatose' or whatever, drinking yourself and getting f--ked-up to forget. When you're part of a group of people who are all trying to forget en masse it is partly this elation. But there's a much darker side."
When the album was initially released in 2 formats, an innovative DRM-free download with a name-your-own price scheme or in a deluxe boxed version. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood was asked by Rolling Stone magazine why they initially chose to release the album this way. He replied: "Partly just to get it out quickly, so everyone would hear it at the same time, and partly because it was an experiment that felt worth trying, really." Greenwood was then asked about the variable pricing. His response was: "It's fun to make people stop for a few seconds and think about what music is worth, and that's just an interesting question to ask people."
When In Rainbows was completed in the summer of 2007, the band were without a record contract, as their 6 album deal with Parlophone had expired. In an interview with Steve Lamacq on the BBC 6 Music radio station, Thom Yorke said that the idea to initially release it as a download came from the band's management, who didn't want to release an album while out of contract. They also had to take strict measures to stop the album leaking. Guitarist Ed O'Brien explained: "We had to literally tell no one. I didn't tell my wife we were going to release it like this."
In an interview with the Observer Music Magazine December 2007, Thom Yorke was asked why the album was called In Rainbows. The Radiohead lyricist replied: "Because it was the desire to get somewhere that you're not. I thought of that last night."
Adam Buxton, the director of the song's video, talked about how he used cameras attached to helmets in the New Musical Express December 15, 2007: "It always occurred to me that the Helmet Cam technique might be good for some kind of music video. It does, however, have the downside of making you look like a kind of prat, so I was concerned that a band such as Radiohead might be uncomfortable with that. But, despite the daftness of the helmets (which I sprayed silver for added daftism,) I knew they would still look cool. The band played the song through twice and the shoot took 20 minutes. We used the second take. It was one of my favourite days ever. Me and Garth (Jennings, producer) did an un-ironic high five when we finished editing. We just made a Radiohead video! Not only that, it's the first video to feature the whole band since 'Street Spirit' and it cost £400 (for the five bike helmets and cameras!)"
Thom Yorke worked on many of the songs for the In Rainbows album in his local Oxford pub, the Rose and Crown. He explained in an article in the New York Times December 9, 2007: "I sit there, on the way in, because it's a really nice little table. And then I get out my scraps of paper and I line them up. I need to put them into my book because they're just scraps of paper, and I'm going to lose them unless I do it. So am I writing here? Probably. I don't know yet. I'm just collating information. This is a nice, relaxing thing to do, and it also keeps your mind tuned in to the whole thing. And you see things you didn't know."
In Rainbows was chosen by journalists at Mojo magazine as their Best Album of 2007. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood explained to the magazine in their January 2008 issue why he was surprised by the response to In Rainbows' digital release: "I felt some would be curious and that there'd be people in record shops who'd be annoyed. But it was mad. I sat in my kitchen at midnight, wrote a few words saying that the album was coming out in 10 days' time, and it generated all that. The immediacy of it all was very exciting, very different to the old ways of putting records out."
In Rainbows rose from #156 to #1 in January 2008 on the Billboard album chart, the biggest jump to the top this century and the third biggest leap to the summit of all time. The record for the biggest rise to #1 belongs to the Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death, which in April 1997 shot from #175 to the pinnacle. This superseded the previous record-holder, now in second place, Pear Jam's Vitalogy, which went from #173 to #1 in December 1994. All 3 albums arrived in the chart at a low position, prior to their official release.
While CD sales continued to decline in 2008, sales of vinyl albums picked up, as audiophiles sought them out. In Rainbows
was the biggest selling vinyl album that year, with 25,800 units sold. Originally released in 2007, it was initially distributed as a digital download, then on CD, then on vinyl, in January 2008.