This is the title track of the debut album by Atoms For Peace, a group comprising Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Beck's drummer Joey Waronker and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco. This haunting tune is the record's most instrumental cut, with only whispers of voice added to the mix until it builds to a crescendo at the end.
Comparing the recording process of Amok to the way jazz music was made, Godrich told Rolling Stone that Miles Davis' process for his seminal 1969 album In a Silent Way came to mind. He explained: "It's that thing of creating interaction between people and then editing that whole thing to create dynamics, you know? It's weird - it ended up being sort of [a process of] interacting as much as we could do that, and we were thinking about things in very much a jazz way in terms of using edits and big blocks of music to create arrangements."
Thom Yorke sings here of "to run amok." The term comes from a Malay word "mengamok" which roughly translates to "Make a furious and desperate charge."
The Four Tops' "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" was written by the Motown team of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and Eddie Holland. The phrase "Sugar pie, honey bunch" was something Dozier's grandfather used to say when he was a kid.