Morning Mr Magpie is the first of only a handful of properly guitar-driven songs on The King Of Limbs. The main body of the track is based around a repetitive guitar riff making use of lots of rhythmic muting, fleshed out with several other wide-panned loose and low level guitar lines adding melody.
To us, the guitar parts instantly bring to mind New York based band TV On The Radio - not a surprising comparison, bearing in mind that TOTR regularly admit to being heavily influenced by Radiohead (their debut album was named OK Calculator).
As with a lot of Phil Selway’s drum parts over more recent Radiohead albums, the drum beat to Morning Mr Magpie owes a heavy debt to krautrock. Towards the end of the track a panned delay on the hi-hats thickens out the drum sound, slightly changing the rhythm.
Like many songs that eventually turn up on Radiohead albums, Morning Mr Magpie is actually a reworked version of a song that's been floating around for some time. Check out this video of Thom Yorke performing the original version, called Morning M'Lord, from a Hail To The Thief era webcast.
Probably one of the stand-out tracks on The King Of Limbs, the track makes great use of the various rhythmic devices to add to the tension of Thom Yorke’s (possibly) politically motivated lyrics.