Follow Me Around

Album: Kid A Mnesia (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Follow Me Around" dates back to the 1997 OK Computer era, when Radiohead often performed it at soundchecks on tour. The stripped-down song quickly became a fan favorite, but didn't make it onto disc until the band included it on their 2021 anniversary triple-album Kid A Mnesia.
  • The melancholy tune finds Thom Yorke singing of someone stalking him. The identity of the person following him around is unclear. There are two possibilities.

    1) Yorke is facing some form of inner conflict triggered by regret over a past choice.

    I see you in the dark
    Corner of the street
    Comin' after me, yeah
    Headlights on full-beam


    He cannot escape the consequences of this life-changing decision and wishes he could return to his former self. Instead, York feels he "ceases to exist."

    2 The New Labour government is surveilling the Radiohead singer

    Blowin' holes in everythin'
    Thatcher's children
    See you on the way back down


    Tony Blair's New Labour party was in power when Radiohead recorded the song. Yorke hated their departure from Labour's traditional socialist policies and felt they differed little from Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government (The booklet in Kid A's CD plastic casing contains a demonic caricature of Blair). Yorke may have felt they were watching him.
  • Radiohead attempted to record the song in both the 1997 OK Computer and early 2000s Kid A/Amnesiac sessions, but weren't happy with the results.

    A live version does feature on Radiohead's 1998 documentary film Meeting People Is Easy, when the band performed it at a soundcheck in Fukuoka, Japan. "Follow Me Around" made its first proper live debut at a Toronto concert in October 2000, when Thom Yorke performed the song acoustically, after fans campaigned for it to be played live.
  • Radiohead released the song as a single from Kid A Mnesia on November 1, 2021. Its accompanying video, directed by Us (The Rolling Stones, Harry Styles, Hozier) stars Australian actor Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential, Iron Man 3).

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