Jonny Greenwood on Inherent Vice song “Spooks”

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson debuted his seventh feature film Inherent Vice at New York Film Festival this past Saturday. An adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s bizarre 70s-set neo-noir novel Inherent Vice, the film was met with fascination, praise, and befuddlement in about equal measures, with critics tending to comment on the film’s indelible craft, hazy narrative, and psychedelic period-piece details. Viewers were also quick to talk about little curios and easter-eggs the film included, with several people also noticing that Inherent Vice appeared to contain a new Radiohead song.

Slate magazine went to the press screening of the film Saturday morning, when they reported that the film had a previously unreleased Radiohead song called “Spooks” on the soundtrack. The band had performed an instrumental song called “Spooks” at a show in Copenhagen, Denmark back in 2006, and Inherent Vice is indeed the third consecutive film of Paul Thomas Anderson’s to feature a score concocted by Radiohead’s lead guitarist and keyboardist Jonny Greenwood (following There Will Be Blood and The Master).  This fact strengthened the belief that “Spooks” was a song that the band performed for the Inherent Vice original soundtrack. swiftly posted an article that the version of “Spooks” in Inherent Vice was indeed a Radiohead song, but Greenwood himself tweeted to Pitchfork the actuality of the matter. His post reads as such:

Johnny Greenwood Tweet - FDRMX

In subsequent tweets, Greenwood further corrected himself by saying “spooks” was only performed by 2-thirds of Supergrass, and when the fellow-Oxford based band 31 Hours tweeted that they were upset that Radiohead didn’t finalize the song, Greenwood responded with the following comment:

31 Hours Tweet - FDRMX

So in a nutshell: “Spooks” may have had its origins as a song performed by Radiohead, but Greenwood has allowed members of Supergrass to have the honor of making it their own for the Inherent Vice soundtrack. Hardly bad news at all though, as it’s goes to show how Greenwood has reached a level of connectivity and respect in the music world where he can have other artists perform his music if he finds the need too.

Inherent Vice is set to have its official release on December 12th. Expect stories about pot-head detectives to become all the rage again right before Christmas!