Thom Yorke’s Isolated Vocal Track on Radiohead’s 1992 Classic, ‘Creep’

The 1992 song “Creep,” Radio­head’s anthem of self loathing and unre­quit­ed love, was orig­i­nal­ly record­ed in one take.

The song had been writ­ten sev­er­al years ear­li­er by singer Thom Yorke, when he was still a stu­dent at Exeter Uni­ver­si­ty. “When I wrote it,” Yorke said in an ear­ly inter­view, “I was in the mid­dle of a real­ly, real­ly seri­ous obses­sion. It last­ed about eight months. And it was unsuc­cess­ful, which made it even worse. She knows who she is.”

The emo­tions were appar­ent­ly still run­ning deep when Yorke and his band­mates went into Chip­ping Nor­ton Stu­dios in their home­town of Oxford to record their debut album, Pablo Hon­ey. The raw, cathar­tic qual­i­ty of “Creep” caused an imme­di­ate stir, said pro­duc­er Paul Kolderie. “Every­one in the stu­dio applaud­ed when it was done.”

The orig­i­nal take was large­ly retained, except for a few touch-ups. Yorke went back into the stu­dio and record­ed a rewrit­ten first verse. He also agreed to change the sar­cas­tic phrase “You’re so fuck­ing spe­cial” to “You’re so very spe­cial” to make the song suit­able for Amer­i­can radio. You can hear Yorke’s vocals from the san­i­tized ver­sion in the iso­lat­ed track above. For the full arrange­ment, see the offi­cial video below.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Lis­ten to Fred­die Mer­cury and David Bowie on the Iso­lat­ed Vocal Track for the Queen Hit ‘Under Pres­sure,’ 1981

A Mid­dle-East­ern Ver­sion of Radiohead’s 1997 Hit “Kar­ma Police”

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Gives Teenage Girls Endear­ing Advice About Boys (And Much More)

Radio­head-Approved, Fan-Made Film of the Band at Rose­land for 2011′s The King of Limbs Tour

Kurt Cobain’s Iso­lat­ed Vocal Track From ‘Smells Like Teen Spir­it,’ 1991

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Comments (3)
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  • bitRAKE says:

    Pre­tenders ver­sion = BEST.

  • jordi says:

    I have the high­est respect for Radio­head and Tom Yorke, but I can’t under­stand how at least two gen­er­a­tions of kids have fall­en for this shame­less depic­tion of a man rolling around in his own self-pity… It’s com­plete­ly unbear­able for me: It’s exact­ly the kind of despair that you’re not sup­posed to share with the rest of the world.

  • Tommie says:


    It is the fact that he DID share it that makes this song stand out, espe­cial­ly at the time of its release. It was a release of emo­tion into the realm of the social­ly uncom­fort­able that ele­vat­ed what was, at the time, large­ly a glut of faux emo­tion through­out rock music. The fact that sud­den­ly their burst some­thing like this onto the scene that had raw emo­tion and made you react, how­ev­er uncom­fort­ably, that lift­ed the music being put out above into some­thing more art­ful. In its base­ness and deprav­i­ty of an all out pity-par­ty and emo­tion­al break­down, real­ly, was a look inside, which was against the exter­nal mate­ri­al­ism of what rock music was at the time. This and songs like it lift­ed rock into the realm that could become emo­tion­al­ly sat­is­fac­to­ry for its artists and con­sumers. That is why it lasts, that is why it broke through, and that is why it will become a large piece in every rock his­to­ry course giv­en.

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