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Nigel Godrich on Why Radiohead Waited so Long to Record ‘True Love Waits’

"We could do ‘True Love Waits’ and make it sound like John Mayer. Nobody wants to do that."

By Hayden Wright

For decades, “True Love Waits” was one of Radiohead’s most popular unreleased songs: It’s legendary in its failure to be released on several albums, after many attempted recordings. The song finally made the cut on last year’s A Moon Shaped Pool, but its journey is still steeped in myth. Longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich shared production notes from sessions in the mid-90s that attempted shepherding the song to completion.

Related: Watch New Footage of Radiohead’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ Sessions

“A page from my notebook from recording OKC… old school pre computer editing…. this song didn’t make it anyway ;),” he wrote.

OKC is a reference to the band’s 1997 release OK Computer. In 2012, Godrich discussed the protracted recording process for “True Love Waits.”

“We tried to record it countless times, but it never worked. The irony is you have that s—– live version. To Thom’s credit, he needs to feel a song has validation, that it has a reason to exist as a recording. We could do ‘True Love Waits’ and make it sound like John Mayer. Nobody wants to do that,” he told Rolling Stone.

See notes from the early recording session here:

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