Thom Yorke reads Oliver Sacks?

Sure, Oliver Sacks has musicophilia, but does fellow Brit Thom Yorke have Sacks-ophilia?

Radiohead’s 2007 In Rainbows is widely considered one of the best albums of the decade. So as would be expected, the “bonus disc” that was packaged with the box set (and later released as a digital download at the w.a.s.t.e. shop where it is still available for purchase) listens less like a collection of songs that didn’t make the cut and more like In Rainbows‘ organic extension.

“Last Flowers” is one of the tracks from that 27-minute bonus collection. It’s a somber ambulance-sitter; a deranged, desperate, piano-weighted stunner. It’s one of those Radiohead songs so beautiful, that as it comes to a close one wonders, “How do they do it?”

Part of the answer, at least in this case, can presumably be found near the end of page 90 in Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, a book as prominent as any in the neuroscience literature. Here, Sacks is in the midst of introducing pathological “excesses” of neurological function. And then this happens:

Compare this to the last lines of “Last Flowers”:

It’s too much
Too bright
Too powerful

Too much
Too bright
Too powerful

While our efforts to contact Radiohead for confirmation of this connection have been (predictably) fruitless, this seems like a pretty solid source. So, the next time you’re in that familiar “how did they think of that” bind, your best bet might be to pull a LeVar Burton and…

Oh yeah, you can go anywhere.