Three-Way: Radiohead – “Creep” from the album ‘Pablo Honey’
Radiohead, ‘Pablo Honey’ on iTunes.
by Walter Price
Back in the year of 1993 if you were a bland twizzle minded soul you would tune into local pop stations and hear yourself some Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Sting, Mariah Carey, and possibly Meat Loaf. Nothing wrong with that. But I have this sneaky suspension that you were on that Alternative Rock wave of self-discovery. Finding places to hear sounds from acts like Depeche Mode, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Lemonheads, Jesus Jones, and I am sure you were transfixed by one band over them all. That band, the one hailing from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England.
That band was Radiohead and their album in 1993 was called, ‘Pablo Honey’. An album that truly crept up on the world. Back n the day when record companies and radio stations still let songs and artists simmer, and build. A beautiful album full of rock the US ears hadn’t heard or felt previously. Tracks like “Thinking About You”, “Anyone Can Play Guitar”, “Ripcord”. “Vegetable”, to mention the core of the release. But one song really captured the angst you were feeling that year. That song was “Creep”.
Rolling Stone Magazine’s Glenn Kenny had this to say about the track in 1993, “With its chiming guitar and near-whispered vocal, the song begins meekly, almost anonymously. Addressing some love object, the singer observes: “You’re just like an angel/Your skin makes me cry.” Naturally, the singer doesn’t feel he measures up: “I wish I was special/You’re so very special.” We think we know what’s going on, but out of nowhere, another guitar intrudes with sick bursts of hacking-cough noise; the singer spits, “But I’m a CREEP!” and all hell breaks loose. Shimmering walls of distortion-soaked axes transform this wistful little idyll into a cyclone of self-loathing.”
Eventually, we would all agree. Even if the song’s popularity would increase the band’s exposure, Radiohead wasn’t having it. So within the group, a love/hate relationship with the song began. Even if Radiohead had mixed emotions about “Creep” and its place in the band’s mythos, that didn’t stop eager fans cherishing it. Hince the vast array of cover versions, which we have three of the most intriguing.
Tears For Fears (live)
Amanda Palmer (Studio 360)
Macy Gray (TV performance)
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