Radiohead is one of those bands that many up-and-comers cite as an influence. By pushing the envelope of creativity in modern rock—often beyond the comfort zones of listening ears—they have managed to expand the genre and encourage musical experimentation among thousands of musicians that have come behind them.
And yet, like so many acts (and perhaps to their dismay), Radiohead’s most memorable hit is their first. “Creep,” first released in 1992, was actually met with mixed reviews because its highly self-deprecating lyrics were viewed as too depressing. But upon the song’s re-release a year later, “Creep” found its audience and has since become one of the band’s most-beloved songs.
Ironically, it is one of the least experimental tunes in the band’s catalog, recorded when they were still playing music solidly in the mainstream, and doesn’t really reflect Radiohead’s musical direction since. For that reason, the band has had mixed feelings about the song’s success over the years, to the point that they have pulled it from their live set lists several times, not playing the song live at all between 1998 and 2001 (and only sporadically since).
That being said—a classic is a classic, and this is musical history.
I’ve posted two versions of “Creep” below. The first, the official video, contains the Americanized lyric (“f**king special” was changed to “very special”). The second is a cover of the song by the Belgian choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers, made popular as part of the soundtrack for the film The Social Network. You’ll notice the choir version has the, um, “European” lyric. Enjoy!