"Everything in Its Right Place" is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. It is the opening track on their 2000 album Kid A. The song is noteworthy in its own right as it has been covered by several other artists, features heavily in Radiohead's set list and received positive reviews from critics. The song ranked #24 on Rolling stone's 100 best songs of the decade.
While no single was released from Kid A, lead singer Thom Yorke has since expressed regret over not releasing "Everything in Its Right Place" as the lead single.
The song was written late one night by Thom Yorke on a piano at home. According to Yorke, "I bought a piano for my house, a proper nice one - a baby grand. And this was the first thing I wrote on it. And I'm such a shit piano player. I remember this Tom Waits quote from years ago, that what keeps him going as a songwriter is his complete ignorance of the instruments he's using. So everything's a novelty. That's one of the reasons I wanted to get into computers and synths, because I didn't understand how the fuck they worked. I had no idea what ADSR meant."
The recording was largely finished in another night by Yorke together with drummer Phil Selway and producer Nigel Godrich. The final composition featured neither guitar, piano, nor drums, but electric piano, drum machine and computer manipulations of Yorke's voice. The song features an unusual chord progression with a great deal of dissonant harmony, which, combined with the bizarre vocal effects and unintelligible sounds, gives the song an ominous and eerie feel. Another distinguishing feature is its marriage of an unconventional time signature (10/4) to a dance/house groove. The feel of the song, especially when played live, has been seen as akin to house music and minimal techno due to its keyboard part, which plays an ascending chord sequence in a syncopated rhythm, alongside a steady, synthetic bass drum.
Though not all band members contributed directly to the sound, all are credited equally on the track, as always. Thom Yorke and guitarist Ed O'Brien have both cited "Everything in Its Right Place" as the moment their frustrations with a year of contentious recording sessions began to give way, and they felt they were actually getting somewhere with their experimental approach, which had initially been worrisome to O'Brien. After the completion of the song in early 2000, the album was finished in only a few more months in an atmosphere of greater cooperation and understanding between Yorke and the other band members. Thus it formed a natural opening track for Kid A, the first album compiled from these recording sessions.
Yorke is reported to have written this song in the shadow of their 1997–1998 OK Computer tour. Specifically, as he recalled in an interview, it was their show in Birmingham, England, that affected him the most, as he was beginning to fully realize the band's sudden and unexpected fame. Yorke reportedly left the stage for his dressing room, feeling burned out and helpless.
The line, "Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon", apparently refers to the face one makes in reaction to a lemon's sourness. Yorke revealed in an interview that while promoting OK Computer, he was told he frequently exhibited a sour-faced look. Other lyrics are said to have been drawn randomly from a hat in a process inspired by artist Tristan Tzara, whose instructions for "How to make a Dada poem" appeared on Radiohead's website at this time.
The electronic sound and abstract, repeated lyrics of "Everything in Its Right Place" came as a shock to many listeners, introducing Radiohead's change in musical style on Kid A.